Overlooking the Taal volcano, is an authentic Japanese restaurant. Inspired by nature’s azure roof, it named itself “Aozora” – literally blue sky in Japanese – enticing you to take your taste buds to heaven, eat authentic gourmet Japanese food under the canopy of the majestic Tagaytay sky. Part of the Domicilio Hotel, Aozora Japanese Café + Bistro serves organic Japanese food, prepared and cooked in authentic Japanese style by a Japanese chef and with ingredients imported weekly from Japan.
I had the chance to experience this months-old restaurant thanks again to Aldous and one of his food tasting events. It’s not everyday that you get to hear about a Japanese restaurant in Tagaytay so I was fairly curious and excited to be there.
Our meal started with Aozora’s signature welcome drink: the Kalamancello. An organic alcoholic drink (13%!) made from freshly squeezed orange juice and vodka. As far as welcome drinks go, it’s one of the most refreshing. Next came the Aozora Iced Tea, offering a unique blend of tastes: pandan, cucumber and lemon grass. Its mint leaves are homegrown by the resto. I like that they concocted something original but I don’t like the taste of pandan so I was glad there was the Kalamancello.
As an appetizer we had the Wakame salad, consisting of crunchy green seaweeds with sesame dressing. I liked that one.
The Aozora Ramen is the resto’s flagship and bestseller, made up of real Japanese ramen noodles infused with Tagaytay’s famous bulalo soup base. Except for the noodles, Aozora prides itself for using only local ingredients in their signature dish.
Next and my favorite of the day’s selection was the Rainbow Maki. I just loved how the maki was presented, all those colors and they were even arched just like a rainbow. A complete set of tuna, salmon, tamago, unagi, cucumber and even lapu-lapu… I could eat all that by myself!
Aozora’s Pork Belly Yakiniku was cooked just right and it tasted good, too.
The Yasai Itame was a new one for me. It had pork, cabbage, carrots and lots of bean sprouts, cooked with a miso-based sauce. I’m not so much into bean sprouts though so next time I visit, I’m skipping this one.
It was also my first time to eat Yakisoba in a Japanese restaurant and I was surprised that it was on the sweet side.
For dessert, we had Mango Tempura with ice cream, which was literally mango tempura served with ice cream. There was a bit of a shock factor – deep-fried breaded fruit – but it was actually not half bad. It was a mixture of textures: crunchy, smooth and creamy.
Lastly we were served with their special Japanese brand “Key” of Sumiyaki Coffee. That was some strong coffee. I loved it!
Next time you find yourself in Tagaytay and craving for some authentic Japanese treat, head over to Aozora. I know I will. 🙂
Aozora Japanese Café + Bistro
KM Gen. E. 58 Aguinaldo Highway,
Tagaytay City, Tagaytay City