It’s not everyday that you can dine surrounded by the very herb plants that season your food. But at Cocoon Boutique Hotel‘s rooftop restaurant, that’s what you experience exactly with every meal. Call it an organic experience but for those old enough to remember, this is what our parents and grandparents used to do way way back when most houses still have backyard gardens and seasoning as well as whole ingredients are plucked from just outside the kitchen, not the nearest supermarket.
Anyway, the menu is still evolving but there are staples that your Happyfoodies look forward to with every visit. One is the Crispy Tawilis (deep-fried freshwater sardines). Nice of the staff to always remember my choices, especially this one. Nothing fancy here but fried to a delicious crisp, the tawilis is never served oily. It comes with the de rigeur suka, bawang at paminta (vinegar with minced garlic and pepper). But the kicker is how well it goes with the second dip — a delightful honey-mustard sauce that I used to ignore until I tried it.
The other favorite is the Binagoongang Baboy (deep-fried pork with shrimp paste). I liken it to the way Via Mare serve theirs — pork deep-fried to a crisp then drenched with shrimp paste, served with veggies. Again, nothing fancy but very, very good comfort foods alright which may be the beauty of it — straightforward, simple, indulgent. Thematically, they tie in very nicely to the Cocoon premise of nurturing and comforting. On a clear day, I would eat these with cutlery on the rooftop restaurant. But in-room, you may find me eating kamayan-style (eating with bare hands) with my feet raised on the chair.