Just what/where is TALISAY, and why would a restaurateur christen his latest “baby” that?

Known as Indian Almond or Umbrella Tree, the TALISAY tree provides shade and protection to passersby in coasts, roadsides and parks.

TALISAY also happens to be a new dining oasis on Maginhawa St., UP Village that is managed by celebrated Chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou, whose family hails from Talisay, Cebu.

Chef Sarthou takes inspiration from Sunday lunches with the Sarthou clan in the old hometown of Talisay “which was all about good food and happy memories,” he said.

What could now be considered as the most elegant and upscale restaurant in the Maginhawa area is housed in a refurbished 1970s suburban home with lush, sprawling gardens. Diners are amply rewarded with a communal, intimate, relaxed dining experience amid the homey ambience of art deco interiors and warm wooden floors.

Talisay, the Garden Café offers a delectable feast of memory, flavour, and experience. It is a simple and straightforward restaurant for lovers of good food: food that fills the tummy and warms the heart. Each bite is an ode to nostalgia and magical moments spent sharing hearty meals with loved ones,” said Chef Sarthou.

The restaurant honors tradition by having items in its menu flavours that we’re familiar with and constantly crave for: “traditional regional favourites” or those that were popular in suburban or urban Manila in the 1960s and 1970s (“when mothers lorded it over the kitchen”!), but with a modern twist.

Calamari Frito : Deep fried squid served with aioli
Calamari Frito : Deep fried squid served with aioli
Pescado y Coco : Whole fish slow cooked in spicy coconut cream with tomatoes, ginger and chilies
Pescado y Coco : Whole fish slow cooked in spicy coconut cream with tomatoes, ginger and chilies
Paella Mixta : balitanaw rice with mixed seafood
Paella Mixta : balitanaw rice with mixed seafood
Balbacua : Cebuano classic ox tail, tendons and trotters cooked with spices until tender
Balbacua : Cebuano classic ox tail, tendons and trotters cooked with spices until tender
Cassava Cheesecake
Cassava Cheesecake

Talisay celebrates the Filipino spirit. “Talisay’s cuisine takes roots in Philippine gastronomy,” says the chef who represented the Philippines in Madrid Fusion in Spain. “It mainly uses Filipino ingredients and flavours and pushes its boundaries by combining traditional and non-traditional cooking methods, flavour combinations and presentation to come up with a fresh culinary expression that pushes Filipino food forward.” This need emanates from Chef Sarthou’s advocacies “to feed more people by transforming ordinary ingredients into amazing recipes to encourage more people to eat these ingredients.”

These classic, iconic Filipino and Filipino-Spanish recipes are prepared from scratch with ingredients that are fresh, artisanal, and locally-sourced. Talisay also has a modest selection of wines and liquors, desserts and snacks, and will soon be introducing vegetarian/vegan fare.

The garden café has had a steady stream of clients in the community since its soft opening on October 10. It officially opens its doors on November [date here].

Talisay, the Garden Café is located at #44 Maginhawa St., UP Village (and has ample parking space!). It opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 10 pm.

Its Patio area – whose entire wall is filled with glass windows facing the garden – seats 32. An elevated area called the Gallery, which is perfect for small to medium-sized functions, also seats 32. The Garden Pavilion – which is ideal for banquets and parties, seats 80 pax. Interestingly the pavilion is built around a huge caimito tree.

For inquiries or reservations, contact at 0919 877 6321, landline 82399077, or e-mail talisay@tribo.ph.

Group photo
Top: Dino Datu, Aaron Aw & Brando Aw. 2nd row: Chef Gel Salonga-Datu & Adolf Aran Jr. Bottom: Alu Aran & Chef Tatung Sarthou