Restaurant Verbena Oyster Menu

Oyster dining in Tagaytay
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte


Oysters have been an important food since the Neolithic period and were cultivated long before the Christian era. The Greeks served them with wine and the Romans were so enthusiastic about these marvelous mollusks that they sent thousands of slaves to the shores of the English Channel to gather them.
According to globalgourmet.com, oysters have always been regarded as a precious commodity beginning with the Roman emperors who paid for them by their weight in gold! Its reputation as an aphrodisiac is rooted in Greek mythology when Aphrodite, the goddess of love & beauty, sprang forth from the sea on an oyster shell and promptly gave birth to Eros; thus the word ‘aphrodisiac.’ The dashing lover Casanova, on the other hand, also used to start a meal by eating 12 dozen oysters.
In view of the foregoing, Discovery Country Suites’ fine-dining restaurant, Verbena, offers an exquisite treat for metropolitan weekend gourmets and gourmands with its special selection of oyster preparations that has been added to its celebrated a la carte menu.
Harvested from one of the cleanest Philippine waters in New Washington Aklan, Chef David Pardo de Ayala’s oyster selection includes all-time favorites like Oyster Rockefeller (served with creamy spinach and hollandaise sauce) and Roquefort (served with blue cheese, caramelized onions and bacon). The menu also includes gourmet concoctions like Oysters with black truffle spaghettini and Oysters broiled with foie gras and spiced almonds.
“We have 6 different new recipes and our oyster dishes are cooked and not served raw. Soups are proffered first to set the stomach. The best seafood hardly stays in the country. They go to five-star destinations in Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and the rest of Asia. So we pride ourselves with a steady supply. They’re delivered to us thrice a week,” revealed Chef de Ayala during an intimate media luncheon
“The small ones are best eaten raw, the mid-sized are best cooked while the biggest are used for our Asian/Chinese recipes. The bigger they get, they become less pleasant to the palate. Our menu is in constant evolution; following the rhythm of the seasons. So there’s something new and interesting for our regulars when they come back visit us,” he added.
Contrary to popular belief, oysters can be eaten year-round due to modern-day refrigeration. Historically, oysters were eaten during the months spelled with the letter “R.” This rule is no longer followed. Since there are no seafood harvest restrictions in aqua-cultured oysters, one may eat them as long as they are available.
“The selections show the versatility of oyster-inspired menu. We have 6 baked oysters in our special menu and two in our general menu with fricasse and fresh options. There are six oysters per serving so our patrons get to maximize value and they’ll be happy when they get their bill as when they get their food. Our menu is not repeated in other properties ‘coz we believe each has a sense of place that is so much a part of the experience,” enthused Chef de Ayala.
Marineticsinc.com wrote that oysters are a great source of protein, vitamin C, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus. They are also a rich source of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. There is also good news for dieters as farmed oysters are lower in cholesterol and saturated fats.
While dining there, you may want to close your meal with crème brulee and Tagaytay coffee or opt to pair your beverage with Lemon Lavender with its topping of wild blueberry jam. Those with sweet tooth may delight in their Choco Marquis creation that‘s served with Tahitian vanilla ice-cream.
With the spectacular backdrop of the Taal Volcano and its majestic lake, paired with Chef de Ayala’s sensational oyster dishes, it’s no wonder Restaurant Verbena is becoming the most popular dining venue in Tagaytay. Chef de Ayala is now the corporate chef for the Discovery Group of hotels and resorts that includes 22 Prime, Restaurant Verbena as well as Discovery Shores Boracay restaurants: Sands, Indigo Coastal Cuisine and Platitos.
Restaurant Verbena is a scenic hour-and-fifteen minute drive from Manila via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) or the coastal road expressway as well as the Aguinaldo Highway. From the SLEX, take the Carmona exit, and drive through Governor’s Drive and Silang until you reach Tagaytay City. From Laguna, you can enter Tagaytay through the Carmona exit.
For inquiries, simply call (+46) 413-4567 or call the Manila office at 719-6999 and 529-8172. You may also email dcsrsvn@discovery.com.ph.
Discovery Suites, Discovery Shores Boracay and Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay are developed and owned by the Discovery Leisure Company, Inc. and managed by HSAI Raintree Hospitality Management.

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