The best of Tagaytay in a pot of Bulalo

Nothing beats spending a cold, rainy day with a pot of bulalo (stewed beef shank). Sipping on hot soup, savoring that chunk of beef, and scraping out that wad of bone marrow brings pure bliss to the mind and the belly.

What makes a great bowl of bulalo? Is it the beef, the broth, or the marrow in the soup? Is it the vegetables added to enhance the flavor, or the way it is cooked?

While there are lots of restaurants that serve great-tasting bulalo, most foodies point to one place where bulalo should be best experienced – Tagaytay.

Tagaytay is known as the country’s second Summer Capital. The city’s cool climate makes it a prime spot for vacations, honeymoons, and retreats. The view alone of Taal Volcano is a great experience, much more if you tour around Taal Lake and the volcano itself.

Tagaytay has a rich food culture. Tawilis and maliputo, fishes caught in Taal Lake, are popular fare among tourists. Fruits and vegetables are aplenty, sold with locally-made patis and vinegar. Sweets like peanut brittle and buko pie are sold everywhere. 

And then there’s bulalo. Tagaytay’s beef, which comes from farms all over Batangas, is believed to be the best meat in the market. Beef is so fresh and abundant here, it’s no wonder bulalo is popular.

An outing in Tagaytay can never be complete without dining on bulalo. Every part of the city has restaurants or canteens that serve a version or two of bulalo.

One restaurant stands out among them: Leslie’s.

Leslie’s is located at one of the best vantage points of Taal Volcano in the city. The view of the lake makes the bulalo experience all the more pleasurable. The ambience inside is just as impressive. The place is cozy and relaxing, making it a perfect spot for families and large groups.

One of Leslie’s most popular dishes is the Bulalo Special. Big chunks of mouth-watering beef wade in the broth. The vegetables are fresh and tasty. The marrow melts and blends with the dish, enhancing the taste. The best part of the bulalo is the broth itself, with its thick, fragrant, flavor-rich texture.  Diners say this dish is indeed worth traveling for.

Bulalo fans may also try out the Sizzling Bulalo, beef shank in all its fried, sizzling goodness. Other dishes here are their kare-kare, sisig, and ensaladang talong. Just have lots of rice and bulalo soup ready and you’re set.

It’s nice to note that Sooo Pinoy recognized Leslie’s as one of the best bulalo houses in the country, and its bulalo the best of them all. And why not, since it closely reflects Tagaytay’s food culture, and by extension, Tagaytay itself.

So, what makes a great bowl of bulalo? Is it the beef, the broth, or the marrow in the soup? Is it the way it is cooked, or the vegetables? In the case of Leslie’s and its bulalo, it’s probably all of the above.


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