I have always admired unique restaurant concepts. To be immersed in a different theme while dining creates worthy milestones and memories. While my satisfaction for the food remains a primary consideration, I likewise include ambiance and details as distinguishing factors too for a worthwhile dining experience. A particular visit at one of the most talked- about restaurants in Baguio, captivated me for good reasons.
The name is pretty much a clear indication of what really it is – a Forest House. It’s a combined restaurant and lodging, one of Baguio’s sought-after tourist destinations. The interiors are predominantly made of wood and other decorative elements provide a surrounding of a cozy home tucked in the city of Pines.
In between I was torn of taking several photos to restore the visuals in my memorabilia, or to place the camera down and let loose of myself to experience the place fully. It was dreamy and magical but never lets me get detached unto reality, instead inspiring me to rebuild if not similar, a better one. Stepping into the room was like walking into a story book in my fond childhood years. Inevitably, you imagine a big house hidden in a forest – an absolute shelter from the winter, or a hiding place from the Big Bad Wolf.
But in the realm of adulthood, you sit down, admire the aesthetics of the place and take comfort in its food. You check the prices, and think whether the food is wonderfully made too. You skim the menu, get curious on the concoction of words to name a fancy dish until you finally get to taste what these are made of. We chose Wild Mushroom Cream Soup, Sesame Crusted Fish Fillet and Pork Steak with Mushroom.
Although it was past Christmas, the table setting is reminiscent of a joyous holiday with its red and green motif.
A small basket of tiny bread crackers will be served as complimentary appetizer. Something to keep you away from getting bored while waiting for the orders to arrive. The crackers were light and a bit salty but good to munch to let time pass.
The Wild Mushroom Cream Soup (Php 135) was divine. I liked creaminess of the soup in a bread bowl and its petite serving made me realize at the end of the dinner I should have ordered another one.
The bread was however hard, and instead of dipping it in the soup, we set it aside. A cute quote was pinned on the bread cover, something you can take as souvenir of the place when you get home.
The Sesame Crusted Fish Fillet (Php 295) was made of layers of steamed Cream Dory topped with Mango Salsa and Sesame Seeds. The main course has the options rice or mashed potato as sides. The fish was bland and served cold. The dish lacked the “X-factor” as I was looking for a particular taste to satiate my taste buds. If they had it served it warm, or with a special savory sauce then that would have redeemed itself. Nevertheless, two thumbs up still for the presentation and serving size.
Although the Pork Steak with Mushroom (Php 320) had a flaw in texture, the taste was okay. The mushroom gravy and meat was tasty. It would be better to include the options in the steak whether well-done, medium rare or rare because customers have different preferences. The pork slices were hard to chew. However, if rated on taste and size, it’s a winning feat.
The marinated pork steak lies on a bed of fussili pasta topped with champignon and shitake sauce, accompanied with blanched vegetables.
If you dine here during noon, perhaps a welcoming fog will envelope the overlooking of Baguio City. Not advisable to stay outdoors if the weather is bad.
Aside from the high-end wood works, some things in the place are too nifty. Take a look at this crafty bill holder. .
And this tip box made noticeable by a rugged stuffed toy placed beside it..
The other areas in the restaurant are not to be neglected for its countryside vibe and charming accessories. Here is the look of their restroom:
The chandeliers, frames, different clock designs and hanging flowers added appeal to the homey abode.
This open bar does not only serve as a working hub for all busy servers, but a counter that displays some of the restaurant’s awards, one of which is the recognition given by Philippine Tatler.
All the fine things in that restaurant seemed intimidating at first, but it’s really not. The affordable food and gracious, premiere customer service make traveling up north worth it. As people flock to this place to fulfill their Baguio holiday escapades, it’s better to secure a reservation. They also entertain walk-ins but we’re immediately asked if we had a prior reservation.
The brief stay at Forest House was a temporal fulfillment of a childhood fairy tale and might I consider one of the highlights of a beautiful Baguio trip. I do hope they continue to enhance or improve their food to live up to the guests’ expectations of what Forest House should really be – an iconic food place in Baguio and a dreamland to some like me.
You might also want to check their equally pretty rooms here.