Concha's Garden Cafe: A (Sort of) Review

July 18, 2017

A few months ago, I had an uncle who came over from Japan. He hasn’t been home in the Philippines in years so I thought it would be a good idea to take him out before he went back to Japan. Being an Eat Bulaga fan, I thought he would appreciate a visit to the restaurant owned by one of the hosts of the show, Alden Richards. After a trip to Nuvali and some Taal Volcano sightseeing, off we went to Concha’s Garden Cafe at Cliffhouse in Tagaytay.

I have never been to Concha’s before so I was a little confused by the number of branches that they have in the Tagaytay-Silang-Laguna area. I wish they had their own website so it wouldn't have been so confusing.

Apparently, there is a branch in the Silang area and when we were on our way to Nuvali, I also spotted another one on the road. I have no idea if that was the Silang branch or if there was a separate one in Laguna. Just to be sure, we picked the Conchas Tagaytay location because Cliffhouse was an area I was familiar with.

Once we got to Cliffhouse, the restaurant was pretty hard to miss. I think we referred to it as Concha’s Garden Café/Alden Richards Café when we saw it because there were a couple of Alden Richards standees in the area: one was near the pasalubong shop and the other was at the indoor part of the restaurant.

Alden Richards
Alden says Hi!

I was a bit surprised by how small the place was. There were a few outdoor tables and a few more at the indoor/air-conditioned area but that was about it. I was expecting something bigger. The nearby Café Breton had a bigger area than their restaurant. My family and I decided to stay at the indoor part. It was lunchtime and sadly, the Tagaytay weather we were hoping for was not there. It felt like a really hot summer day so AC was desperately needed. The indoor area looked cozy and we felt comfortable at the table they led us to.

Alden Richards
Interior of Concha's Tagaytay

We were disappointed by the service initially, there was only one girl who came to assist our big group and as soon as we were seated it was hard to get someone’s attention to order. We had asked for a high chair for our nephew and I had to walk up to someone after waiting for some time just to get it (also to get the menus). The girl who gave us our table apologized and said that there were only a few servers at that time. Sure enough, minutes later a big group of servers arrived (were they all on break together or something?) and someone finally assisted us with our orders.

Alden Richards
Menu

The Concha’s Tagaytay menu seemed different from what I’ve seen online. Maybe not all the branches have the same selection? Anyway, the prices seemed a bit high given the sizes when they were served, but my uncle seemed very happy with them so that’s all that matters. I thought the food was OK, but not something to rave about.

Alden Richards
Sisig

Alden Richards
Salad

Alden Richards
Sweet and Sour Fish

Here’s a quick review of some of the food we ordered: My mother and uncle loved the Pinakbet. I loved the salads (Mango Kani and the Concha’s Garden Salad). The Chicharon Bulaklak was slightly burnt. I’ve had better sisig but it was not bad. We did not understand the flavor of the Sinampalukang Manok. (Maybe because we do it differently at home? I’m not sure.) It wasn’t bad, it’s just a flavor we’re not used to. Being that we were not completely sold on the food, we opted to have dessert elsewhere.

To be honest, I was disappointed with our visit to Concha’s Garden Café. I guess being a restaurant owned by a celebrity, I was expecting more from it compared to others. I think for the same (or even lower) price we would have had bigger servings and a better selection from other nearby restaurants that serve Filipino food.

Would I go back? Probably not. Unless Alden Richards himself invited me to give it another chance, I probably won’t.

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