Tuesday, February 2, 2016

First Bite: Qiwellness Living Teahouse + Bathhouse

They say that time flies so fast when you are having fun. I believe in that as I still cannot get over the fact that R and I have celebrated our first anniversary a few weeks back. I still clearly remember our first few dates and how we became more and more comfortable around each other. But enough of the mushiness as this entry is all about my degustation experience in Qiwellness Living Teahouse + Bathhouse.

Hello, Qiwellness Living Teahouse + Bathhouse.

I spotted a deal in Deal Grocer while looking for the perfect (and romantic) anniversary gift for R. Since it’s hard to buy him an actual gift, I figured he’d appreciate something we'd experience and enjoy together. And so why not a nice dinner with a beautiful view? 
I instantly purchased two coupons (priced at PHP1.950 each) of Qiwellness Living's Yin Yang degustation after reading good reviews about this place.Reservation was also a breeze as the customer relations person replied to my email in less than 24 hours. Qiwellness has already delighted me prior to my dinner. And on the night of our dinner, we were treated like VIPs. <3
The place does not have a screaming signage so it could be a challenge to find this place if you do not have Waze. (So download it now!)
We were asked to wait for a bit outside while the guard radioed the staff inside that we have arrived. In a few minutes, the big red door opened and we were welcomed with a gong. (And I meant that literally.) 
We were seated right next to the view of Taal. We would have loved it even more if we could see it. But it was too dark when we got there. Oh well.
It was so windy that night that I was literally shivering. I was barely saved by the complimentary lovely pink and floral tea. 
After 20 minutes or so, our first dish arrived and it was Pine Tree-Smoked Clams with Tofu Skin and Paprika. 
It was a delightful starter spoon. The flavors were not overwhelming yet you could definitely taste the freshness of the clams. It balanced well with the tofu and paprika.
Next served was a plate of complimentary signature bread and salted butter. And I loved it. The bread was glutinous and was lightly seasoned making you whet your appetite even more. 

The soba with seaweed pesto and bottarga (salted and cured fish roe) was served rolled on chopsticks, ready to be devoured. Talk about convenient!
The soba was cooked well--firm and smooth in texture. I loved how the seaweed pesto added saltiness with an undertone of nori taste. 
One of my favorites that night was the crab fat custard with lemongrass and galangal (ginger) soup, green onions and okra. I loved it because it was warm and a treat for my shivering body and because it was simply superb! The aligue was delectable and does not have the umay factor at all. The soup made it very refreshing and the veggies added crunch or bite to the dish. 
Our winter salad of roasted root vegetables was also good. I enjoyed the black vinegar vinaigrette dressing which did not have the bitter and oily after taste of the usual vinaigrette used by other establishments. The dance of flavors--tinge of tanginess from the dressing, saltiness from the rock salt and a hint of sweetness from the osmanthus jelly-- made me wish the serving size was a lot more generous. 
The lamb stew raviolli was also worth mentioning. A small serving of lamb stew was stuffed inside a firm raviolli which was scrumptious with the garlic puree! I had each bite with the fried potato cubes and it made me remember the breakfast staple corned beef. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. 
Veal tongue in miso was served right after. It is Yin Yang Degustation's highlighted dish so I had high expectations for this one. And it did not fail. The veal tongue had a nice bite to it. Slightly tougher than the usual lengua, it went really well with the sweet and salty miso sauce. It was great with seaweed too!
The pork belly confit was served with plum and black bean reduction. It reminded me of the usual pork chop but the contrast with the sweet plum and rough black bean made it... classier.
The heaviest dish served that night was beef tenderloin with lentils and charred leek with garlic, hoisin, ginger, honey and kapeng barako. The meat was tender, succulent and rich in flavor. 
There was a beautiful harmony of flavors among garlic, hoisin, ginger, honey and coffee. It was great and I would love to order it ala carte if available. The lentils and leek simply added texture to the dish.
Chocolate Praline was served last and it was just so-so for me. It was not as chocolatey as I wanted it to be and I was not fond of the wine-infused pear and creme chantilly. I liked the crunch brought by the cashew, pinipig and poppy seeds though. 
Overall, despite the slight misses,it was a wonderful dinner. Ambiance was definitely great and the dishes were delightful. Service was also great. (There were just times when it was hard to get the servers' attention.) 

Qiwellness Living Teahouse + Bathhouse is located at Aguinaldo Highway, Barangay Maharlika East, Tagaytay City. For inquiries, contact them at +63 9 17 522 6969.


  1. I think we have passed by this place a few times when we were cruising to Tagaytay.

    I am sure that the food is great but the portions seem small?

    1. Hi, Rach!

      We had the Yin Yang degustation dinner where dishes are in tasting sizes. :)

      It's worth a try.


Comments or other recommendations? :)