Tuesday, June 27, 2017

DINING | Ted's Kitchen in Sta. Cruz, Laguna

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Countryside feels with Ted's Kitchen in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

So we spent two nights at Ted's Bed and Breakfast in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, which we called our base as we ventured out into nearby towns like Pagsanjan for food and Luisiana for its waterfalls. The B&B, however, is just an expanded venture as Ted's is, first and foremost, a restaurant.

Design and ambiance
Ted's Kitchen evokes some countryside feels with its design--from its signage, to the wall shingles, and down to the distressed door and furniture. Inside, the shabby chic aesthetic is also carried out in its walls, which are lovingly decorated with all sorts of random paraphernalia.

A crowded counter immediately comes to view upon entering, teasing you with an array of desserts that you'll almost forget there are savory dishes here. It's a small restaurant, and the place feels a little crowded although there's also some seating available outside. Yet despite the limited space, they still managed to squeeze in a little kid's corner filled with toys and where children's (and children-at-heart's) drawings are proudly displayed. It's cute.

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It's desserts you'll notice first upon entering.

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Distressed door, wall, and furniture.

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Because it's small, the place can easily feel crowded.

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The kid's corner. Yup, I belong.

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Extended dining area outside. And more.

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Haven't seen a gazebo with such thick foliage cover before.

The food
Ted's serves diner-type food like burgers, steaks, pasta, pizza, and all-day breakfast. And let's not forget--cakes and pastries! Apart from breakfast that was included in the room rate, we've only tried very few dishes. Generally, however, they were good. It's not exactly a cheap place to dine and its price point is comparable to a lot of restaurants in Metro Manila.

I ordered the Ted's Australian Burger (Php 245). Aside from the patty, it has onion, a slice of Swiss cheese, bacon, and egg, and served with fries on the side in a cute little wooden tray. Because of the price I was expecting a monstrous burger but was a bit disappointed with its size. That or I was just really hungry. But then if I wanted a big burger I should have just gotten their Big Daddy's Burger, but that one's good for 5 to 7 persons and it costs Php 750. I'm just one person.

Anyway, the burger was tasty and juicy; not excellent, but was good nonetheless. And I loved the added flavor from the Swiss cheese.

The potato chowder (Php 90) was pretty decent as well; not too rich or overwhelming. The U.S. Baby Back Ribs (Php 255 for a half slab; Php 505 for a full slab), while flavorful, wasn't fall-off-the-bones tender.

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Ted's Australian Burger. Not exactly the big burger I was expecting but was good nonetheless.

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U.S. Baby Back Ribs. On the right you'll partially see the potato chowder and the two similar-looking drinks, Calamansi Taragon and Apple Basil.

We were intrigued by their shakes, particularly with the combination of ingredients in some of their offerings. I got Apple Basil (Php 85) while Kwittiegirl ordered Calamansi Taragon (Php 85). We both liked them. But if that's not your thing, they also serve mainstream fare like strawberry milkshake (Php 160), choco banana peanut butter milkshake (Php 160), and root beer float (Php 75).

I think where Ted's really shines, however, is in their pastries and desserts. We all know Brazo de Mercedes, but how about Brazo de Fernando (Php 100/slice), its chocolate-infused cousin? Yes, they have some really interesting spins on popular desserts. There's also Pistachio Sansrival (Php 150/slice), Avocado Cheesecake (I love that it's not too sweet), Salted Egg Cheesecake, and more. I wasn't able to get all the prices but a slice typically ranges from Php 100 to about Php 160.

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Brazo de Fernando.

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Pistachio Sansrival.

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Strawberry Carousel (Php 120/slice).

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Avocado Cheesecake.

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I forgot what this frozen dessert is called but it's like mango torte with layers of crust, mangoes, and cream.

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Mini Kesong Puti Cheesecake.

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Mini Salted Egg Cheesecake.

Staff service
At Ted's you pay as you order from the counter, and then wait for your food to be served to your table. I'll admit I was a bit miffed with their service. Yes, the staff were pleasant and all but I was disappointed with how easily they could forget and mix orders up--considering the place was never packed. I would probably be more forgiving if they were really swamped but it was a slow day when I waited for nothing and then waited some more for just half of my takeaway order.

Except for that incident, and to be fair, their speed of service was good enough. You wait a little but not too long. Also, they know how to apologize. I appreciate it when they said our nightcap of coffee and desserts was on the house, though I insisted on paying. Still they managed to hand me a mini salted egg cheesecake the next day right when I was about to pull out of the parking lot after checking out. So thank you.

In hindsight
Ted's Kitchen offers a break from the myriad of Filipino restaurants in this part of Laguna. It has a nice homey ambiance, decent food, and a still fairly good service. The food isn't particularly cheap, which is probably a downside for some people. But if you're able to shell out a few extra pesos, then this place is worth a try if you find yourself in the area.

Beyond the kitchen
I said Ted's is first and foremost a restaurant and that its B&B is just an expanded venture. Well, there's more.

Cakes, pastries, and deli shop
There's a shop right next to the restaurant that sells, as announced by its sign, cakes, pastries, and deli. It sports the same shabby chic interiors and cute little touches as Ted's Kitchen.

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Cute and inviting store front.

Ted's Warehouse
Behind the restaurant and shop is an events place called Ted's Warehouse. Well, it is a warehouse by construction after all. It isn't air-conditioned but they have fans and coolers anyway. I was lucky to witness how they set the place up for a wedding reception and it was lovely.

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It looks like a warehouse because it is a warehouse, at least as constructed.

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A peek into how the transform the space for a wedding reception.

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It's a nice setup, don't you think?


Via public transport
Take one of those buses bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna. There are terminals in Cubao and Taft Ave. in Makati City. It's about a 3-hour ride and the fare is >Php100 but shouldn't exceed Php150. I'm not exactly sure where the trip ends in Sta. Cruz but you can take a tricycle going to Ted's Kitchen if ever.

Via private vehicle
Take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exit at Calamba. Continue driving through the National Highway (although there's a diversion road so you can skip the traffic at the Calamba town proper). You'll pass by Pansol, Los BaƱos, Bay, and Pila.

Ted's Kitchen is right along the highway on the opposite side. It comes way before Sunstar Mall, so if you see that one already that means you missed it and you have to go back. 

Or just use Google Maps. The location is pinned as Ted's Burger and Steakhouse

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this valuable post, nice blog! :)


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