Family road trip to Vieux Chalet
MANILA, Philippines - Our family likes to take road trips.
Our family likes to eat.
Sometimes, we take road trips simply to eat.
Sundays are family days, perfect for road/food tripping, specially since there is so little traffic. So, one Sunday, we packed all the kids in the car and decided to take a road trip to Vieux Chalet in Antipolo.
Vieux Swiss Chalet was established in 1984 by a husband and wife team who decided to open their home to city slickers seeking something outside of the noise and pollution of Metro Manila. The restaurant has since been taken over by their children who continue to uphold the work ethic and values instilled in them by their parents.
The interior of the restaurant looked and felt as if we were sitting in someone's modest dining room in their home. Collections of silver serving pieces were tucked away safely in curio cabinets, and small collectible spoons proudly hung on the wall. Collectables lined the top of the piano that sat in the far left corner of the upstairs dining room. It was apparent the walls could use a good coat of paint. The window treatments could also use an updated look.
We were told to try the mushroom soup. Nino and I make mushroom soup from scratch so it's something that we can appreciate when eating out, if done right. And by "right" I mean rich and creamy with a hint of truffle oil, that even Gelli enjoyed dipping her bread that accompanied the generous serving of soup.
I love cheese. It's no secret. When someone said Vieux Swiss Chalet, I envisioned cheese...lots of cheese. We started with the raclette, which came with the standard boiled potato and pickled vegetables.
When we finished with the first course, we decided to share the Swiss Platter which generously boasted of house smoked meats, smoked salmon and balanced by homemade ricotta and tomato provencal.
Because the raclette left me wanting just a little more, we made sure to try the Swiss Fondue. It's one of the restaurants's specialties and can satisfy even the hungriest of cheese lovers. The kids enjoyed dipping the freshly baked bread into the tangy, gooey, creamy melted pot of cheese goodness which was also served with organic steamed vegetables.
Traditionally, the fondue comes with a garden salad or Italian Farmer's soup, but we were given a terrine mushroom soup! This was a fantastic treat for those who didn't get to try the soup earlier, because Gellibean gobbled it up.
When ever we eat out with the kids, pasta in any shape or form is usually a safe bet. Sometimes, I get lucky and the kids agree to some kind of pasta that actually has vegetables or something good for them.
This time, the big kids chose ravioli. The ravioli was homemade and stuffed with the fresh ricotta cheese that also came with the Swiss Platter.
My older son Miguel said it was the best ravioli he'd had in a long time. I tasted it and totally agreed.
It was as if we wanted to try everything on the menu that day, because even after the table was cleared of all the platters (we also ordered pizza and Fettucine Alfredo for the little ones), we still wanted to finish the Sausage Platter.
I loved the presentation, and I took note because I want to try and serve sausages this way in our home, for the kids. The platter can easily serve 4 adults (specially after everything else we already ate).
The wait staff were pleasant and accommodating to our large group, even suggesting items that would satisfy the huge age bracket that we were dining with.
When we eat out together as a family, it's noisy and sometimes a little confusing; but since we were with our extended family, it could have easily been overwhelming. Rico and Ronel were quick on the fly to address our needs and answer questions since it was our first time dining at VC.
When the kiddies' bellies were full, we let them play outside the restaurant for a little while. We finished the rest of our meal leisurely while the kids took in the fresh air.
We made the most of the road trip to our "cheesy" destination in Antipolo, and because everyone was full, the kids fell fast asleep and Nino and I enjoyed the quiet drive home. - Rappler.com
To make reservations at Vieux Chalet, call (02) 697-0396 or text 0928-2888584. Visit their website www.vieuxchaletswissrestaurant.com.
Michelle Ressa-Aventajado is a Filipina American who grew up in NY and now makes Manila her home. When she's not busy raising her 4 children, she enjoys teaching, reading and writing about her passions. Follow her blog Momma 'N Manila as she documents her adventures and growth in parenting.