We love road trips. We love eating. So sometimes, we end up road tripping simply to eat.
Like last Sunday.
Nino’s parents asked us if we wanted to tag along with them and try out Vieux Chalet in Antipolo, and to be honest, they didn’t have to ask twice.
Did someone say road trip?
Nino comes from a family of driving enthusiasts. All the boys love to drive. Their love for getting behind the wheel was nurtured when they were quite young because my FIL was a champion race car driver for four straight years back in the 80’s. I have heard stories of how Nino was taught how to drive even before he was old enough to qualify for his license. So a road trip to Antipolo to eat lunch? That’s quite easy for this family. (as long as Momma has time to pack everything she will need, ok?)
So we set out a little early on the road to Antipolo to visit a restaurant that has apparently been around for many years.
The interior of the restaurant looks and feels as if you are sitting in someone’s private dining room. There are collections of silver serving pieces tucked away safely in curio cabinets, and small spoons that have been collected from places traveled very far from this quaint restaurant, sitting proudly, on this hill in Antipolo. It looks like the walls could use a good coat of paint and the window treatments an update to some more modern blinds, but don’t let that deter you from enjoying the traditional Swiss fare served atop rustic wooden boards.
After all, people really come here to eat and to enjoy the view.
The menu was quite thick, in fact, it was a three ring binder complete with the history of how Vieux Chalet came to be back in 1984. The Hassig children (who run the restaurant now) recall how their parents opened up their home as a restaurant to serve as reprieve to the city slickers who might be tired from the hustle and bustle of the city life. They lovingly share their memories on the opening pages of the menu about growing up with clean air to breathe and the value of hard work and dedication instilled by their parents.
We intended to order quite a few different dishes (and that we did) ala carte, but we also took note of the ability to reserve in advance if you have a private party from two different set menus, focusing on Rizal’s prime meats or bringing in a seafood feast.
Because we had heard so much about the mushroom soup, it was the first thing we ordered along with the raclette.
After all that cheese we ordered (some more cheese) a pizza, two pastas for the kids to share, and a big grilled sausage platter for the adults to share. Believe it or not, we were still hungry. We figured that a Fettucine Alfredo was a safe bet for the picky kids, but the bigger kids had also asked for ravioli.
I forgot to snap a picture of the pizza while it was still whole. But I guess that means it was really good! All the kids had at least one slice and there was very little talking once it arrived so I’m sure the kids loved it. I had a bite and I liked the fact that the dough was crispy and I could taste the different cheeses layered on top of one another.
I took note of the way they served the sausages, thinking, that it was cute for bringing sausages to the table at home. I’m always on the look out for cute ways to present food to the kids and I thought this is something simple I could do at home that would make our meals more interesting. My kids are pretty good eaters, but every now and then I try to change things up. It gets them talking at the dinner table and if it’s fun and yummy they will enjoy eating it too.
After all of that food you would think we would be stuffed. I truly was stuffed, but I also needed to finish with something sweet. I don’t have dessert ALL the time, but I was curious about the Trio of Desserts that I knew the four adults sitting at the table could share. The first of the trio was fried sweet sticky rice (suman) served with mangos flambe and capped with cashews. The second (which was my favorite) was a creamy frozen chocolate mousse. The last of the trio was a ganache covered chocolate Swiss cake which was a little dry. The mousse was the first to disappear and the suman was gone after that.
By now, we were sitting for quite some time. So when dessert came, the kids were so full that they just wanted to get up and walk around. Since the restaurant is located on a street that is not so busy, I allowed the children to walk around outside with their yayas (nannies) while the adults finished dessert and had tea. (Plus, I knew that they would be super restless in the car if they didn’t get a chance to stretch their legs).
The staff of the restaurant was quite friendly and accommodating. The food was comforting, the view was refreshing and the air in Antipolo was light and a welcome change from the city. Once we got back in the car, the kids were quick to fall asleep with their full bellies. Would I recommend others to this restaurant that can obviously stand the test of time? Yes, I would. It’s easy to see the charm in taking a drive out of the city for some fresh air and good food…and CHEESE. Yes, Lots of cheese…