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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Swiss Eats - Vieux Chalet

It was a fine day, almost nearing lunch time while driving within our (mountain) city limits, that we allowed our appetites to lead us to an iconic Antipolo restaurant.  Vieux Chalet has been a repeat destination for us whenever we want a bit of quiet, efficient and friendly service, and your own panoramic view of Metro Manila.  It has perfectly situated itself atop a higher peak in Antipolo since 1984 and is actually just a portion of the residence of Mr. Tony and Mrs. Susan Hassig and their children. It is the only restaurant in this city that serves continental cuisine, so you're in for quite a treat.
Vieux Chalet translates to "old cottage" in French, thus, the restaurant's interiors reflect accordingly.  The Hassig family is much into arts and crafts as evidenced by various tableaux seen in a nook here or a cranny there.  The paintings that line the walls are also for sale, in case you're into collecting them, some of which are made by Chef Florence Hassig herself.
But for our part, returning to a favorite place and fortunately, our favorite table, is joy in itself.  Much more so with the consistently cheerful Rico to serve us with diligent attention.
My daughter likes coming here for only one thing - their Raclette, served with gherkins, boiled potato and olives.  Good as a starter, or as a light main meal.
On the other hand, we had our fill of the Beef Liver Pate served with crackers and bread, a great starter for more things to come.
Vieux Chalet serves hefty pasta dishes, but since we just want a tasting for the sake of variety on our table, we opted for their Shrimp Ravioli with home-made tomato sauce and ricotta cheese. 
It was light and savory, and the sauce was good to the last mopping of their delicious freshly-baked bread.
But the Filet Mignon with Creamy Onion Gravy and served with rosti and vegetables was the star of that meal.  The dish was deconstructed, thus, sharing the it becomes convenient - the bacon was served in strips on the side, the beef tenderloin sliced into medallions, well-cooked while maintaining its juiciness, and the sides balanced everything.  Our plates were wiped clean, and very well finished with cups of perfectly brewed coffee.  Our entire meal costs PhP2,860.00 (around US$68), but well worth it.
I invite you to make a day of Antipolo, if only to get away from the humid weather of Metro Manila, and partake of what this side of Rizal province has to offer.  When planning to go to Vieux Chalet, it would be helpful to call for reservations since seating capacity is limited.  Note too, that they are closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays as Chef Flo devotes this time for arts and crafts, and ensures the general cleaning of the restaurant.
After that, make a pilgrimage to the Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.  This is the same Marian image brought to the city in 1626 by Governor-General Juan Nino de Tabora from Acapulco, Mexico that still stands in the Antipolo Cathedral.  If you're into art, there is the Pinto Art Gallery which houses the personal collection of Dr. Joven Cuanang, an eminent neurologist in the country.  It also hosts independent exhibits so you get to have a taste of what's trending in the local art scene.
Vieux Chalet
Taktak Road, Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines
Tel. No. +63 2 6970396; +63 928 2888584
Hours: 9am - 10pm (closed Wednesdays and Thursdays)

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