A Hidden Gem in Tagaytay at La Bella Residences


Just when I thought I’ve had enough of Tagaytay, I’ve stumbled upon this charming restaurant that effortlessly transported me to the best of Europe all at once—Greece, Spain, and Italy.

I’m talking about El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo, a secluded Spanish restaurant veiled inside La Bella Residences, a real-estate development, which prides itself as a “health and wellness haven,” at Barangay Neogan in Tagaytay City.

I visited the restaurant last summer with my family and we were happily surprised to find this off-the-grid dining destination, away from the chaotic side of Tagaytay. We were so drawn not only with the Mediterranean vibes and feels of the place but also with the food, bursting with authentic Spanish flavors! It’s a fusion like no other—cozy atmosphere plus flavorful food equals a truly good time.


Let me tell you what I love about this hidden gem in Tagaytay as well as some tips for you to enjoy this restaurant:

  1. The main draw of El Cocinero is in its Santorini-like interior. El Cocinero is what Instagram dreams are made of as hues that define Greece are all over the restaurant! Imagine white washed walls with bright blue doors and windows—totally instagrammable, right?
  2. The vibrant Picasso-inspired paintings and murals accentuate and complement the overall look of the place. My tip: get a table at the second floor as the drama is up there
  3. Dining at El Cocinero is like having an intimate culinary sojourn. The scenery is lush and serene—you’ll enjoy devouring the restaurant’s specialties in peace. There’s not much crowdand the place can only accommodate a handful of guests so I can say it’s also perfect for romantic dates and even a dreamy proposal!
  4. It has an outdoor alfresco dining area for guests to truly immerse in and feel the fresh Tagaytay breeze.
  5. The food is outstanding! Their varied selection of paellas might just be the best in the country. At the helm of the restaurant is Chef Arnaldo Limeta who spent 14 years in Ibiza, Spain where he learned to master Mediterranean menu and Spanish specialties. The dishes at El Cocinero are as authentic as they can be! But please be patient as it takes a while for orders to come. Give them at least 20-30 minutes of serving time or better yet, reserve and order in advance.
  6. The staff is attentive. El Cocinero’s crew knows the menu very well and they will try to help you every moment you’re there—whether it’s a question about their offerings or just simply taking your photo, you can definitely count on them. Chef Arnaldo himself is gracious and accommodating. When we visited, he was on his way to a business meeting but he still took his time to go upstairs, greet us, and take a photo with us. He even instructed the staff to give us free appetizers! What a treat!
  7. As a bonus, El Cocinero is located inside La Bella Residences, where you can also find an outdoor organic and art market and the Bodhi Mind and Body Shop, a two-story shop filled with books and an open deck, free for anyone to get access to. The La Bella Boutique Hotel and Residences will also be ready for occupancy later this year or early next year, which is something to look forward to.

You can read the full post here: https://www.girlchasingsunshine.com/2017/06/el-cocinero-tagaytay.html?m=1