Saturday, August 26, 2017

DINING | Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant: Serving good food atop the hills of Antipolo since 1984

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Vieux Chalet's festive but homey interiors.

It's been around since 1984 but I honestly have never heard of this restaurant before. Nonetheless I'm thankful that Kwittiegirl stumbled upon it while searching for a place to eat on our way back to Manila one night. Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant in Antipolo, Rizal proved to be an awesome discovery that we immediately went back the following week.

Here's a rundown of our experience, a review, if you may.

Design and ambiance
With an unmistakable homey feel to it, Vieux Chalet was a house after all, a rustic cabin-type abode surrounded by trees and all sorts of ornamental plants. The colorfully painted concrete flooring that greets guests upon entering the gate immediately lends some cheer. There's outdoor seating but which don't serve any dining purpose at all. There are a couple of rabbits on one side and a pair of hamsters right by the short staircase. And oh, they have a chow-chow who just wants to be left alone. It's easy to forget that this is a restaurant after all.

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Welcome!

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Sit down and unwind...not for dining at all.

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A portent of things to come, these paper flowers by the stairs.

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Rabbits in cages. The elevated area is a dining space.

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This space would be good for a group of friends or family.

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Mr Chow-Chow can't be bothered at all.

The exteriors may be painted brown, as is typical of cabin-style houses, but inside the place lights up with color, tempered only by the black table cloths and the hardwood floor. Although the restaurant is dimly lit at night, daytime reveals a bright and airy space with windows everywhere, affording a view of the metropolis down below.

The restaurant is peppered with all sorts of knickknacks, including family photos and several newspaper clippings. Very homey indeed. Whoever designed the interiors also has a penchant for soft drapes hanging from the ceiling and oh yes, lots and lots of colorful paper flowers. To be honest it's bordering on tacky but somehow I still think it's charming. Okay, let's settle for charming.

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Black table cloths and white table runners provide much needed contrast to the loudness of the restaurant's decor.

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Color everywhere!

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Somehow I think it works, these paper flowers.

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Old photos and newspaper clippings fill the walls, like a preteen would do her room.

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The variety of stuff that they cram in here amazes me.

The food
The decor may not be to everyone's liking but I can tell you that from two dinners and a breakfast, Vieux Chalet serves up some really good food. It's not exactly cheap but with how satisfied I was with the taste, I think it's worth the price.

The salad alone did not disappoint, with a great combination of fresh ingredients and dressing, nor did the Italian Farmer's Soup (pumpkin and potato cream soup with basil, bacon, and potato chips) with its rich and smoky flavor.

The fish fillet in white wine sauce was a winner. The sauce was just about right in richness and flavor that it never overpowered the fish, which was lovingly sitting atop a slew of veggies. I tried the fillet mignon. The meat was nice and tender but not very juicy. However, the delectable onion cream sauce on the side more than made up for whatever the steak was lacking. Overall I still loved it.

We also ordered their creamy pesto topped with shrimp, which I think effectively balances out the richness of the sauce. Their pizza is also worth a try.

And oh, breakfast! Or brunch, whatever. That Swiss Brunch (for sharing) was a joyful lot with smoked ham, sausage, bacon, eggs, bread, etc.

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Salad, part of a dinner set for bed and breakfast guests. On the menu, I think the closest match would be the Garden Fresh Mixed Vegetable Salad (Php 225).

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Italian Farmer's Souppart of a dinner set for bed and breakfast guests (Php 225 on the menu).

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Fish Fillet in White Wine Saucepart of a dinner set for bed and breakfast guests (Php 725 on the menu).

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Beef Fillet Mignon in Onion-Cream Sauce, part of a dinner set for bed and breakfast guests (Php 925 on the menu).

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Antipolo's Best (Php 285); Butternut Homemade Ice Cream (Php 200).

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Creamy Pesto with Fiery Prawns (Php 345).

As for dessert, I wasn't a fan of their Antipolo's Best, which was essentially suman topped with mango slices, crushed cashew nuts, and some sweet syrup. I usually go nuts over suman but this one just didn't measure up. It didn't help that the mango was sour.

Nevertheless, you have to try their homemade ice cream because the butternut flavor was just yum. I'm lost for words. Just try it.

In the beverage department, Vieux Chalet has some really good iced concoctions on the menu. So far we've tried their basil-lemon iced tea and ginger-orange iced tea (both Php 145). We were very pleased with both.

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Fruits, part of Swiss Brunch (Php 1,055).

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The rest of the Swiss Brunch (Php 1,055).

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Ginger-Orange Iced Tea (Php 145).

The restaurant also serves cheese (including raclette and cheese fondue), sausages, pork and lamb dishes, salmon, homemade pancakes, smoothies, wine, beer, and cocktails.

Service
The waitstaff were friendly and attentive. Waiting time for your food is about average. No complaints here.

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In hindsight
If it's good food that you want in a no-fuss, homey ambiance, then Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant fits the bill perfectly. And that is, of course, if you don't mind driving all the way to Antipolo. It may be a little pricey but from what I've had so far, you won't regret it.

Open Mondays and Tuesdays from 9am to 10pm, and Fridays through Sundays from 8am to 11pm. They sometimes close earlier, though, so it's best to call them if you're planning on going.

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Very nondescript location.

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GETTING THERE

There are jeepneys and UV Express vehicles near Farmer's Market in Cubao and in Shaw Boulevard (across Shangri-La Plaza, I think) that ply the Antipolo route. Take one that's going to Antipolo-Simbahan (church). 

Once there, hop on a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off at Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant. To be exact, it's at 456 Taktak Road, Sitio Sampaguita, Brgy Sta Cruz. If the driver still can't figure it out, tell him it's past Villa Cristina Resort; that should be a popular enough landmark. Just continue driving along a pothole-ridden concrete road until you see that sign pictured above to your left.

If driving, just use Google Maps like we did.

vieuxchaletswissrestaurant.com
✆ +639282888584

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