The Wild Juan
Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Niyugan, Laurel, Batangas
- 4 Reviews
- 9 Recommend
- 4 Reviewers
- Business Hours
- Reopens: 11:00a - 8:00p
- 9:00a - 10:00p
- 12:00p - 9:00p
- 11:00a - 8:00p
- 11:00a - 8:00p
- 9:00a - 10:00p
- 9:00a - 10:00p
- 9:00a - 10:00p
More Business Info
- Street, Parking Lot
- Hotel Star Rating:
Most Recent Reviews
The Wild Juan is actually not just a Bed & Breakfast Inn. In between the busy Tagaytay area and the always-crowded Twin Lakes, you’ll find this serene place that also has a restaurant and a beer garden. Their restaurant is a place where Southern comfort meets East and West, so basically, they serve Filipino - Western comfort food.
Just a few weeks ago, we were able to visit as we, @foodsocietyph on Instagram, got invited by the owner, Ms. Thelma Murillo. When we got there around noon, we were warmly welcomed by her son and head chef, Chef Thomas Murillo, and her husband, Mr. Ral Murillo. Chef Thomas gave us a quick tour of their cozy space. We saw their 5 rooms at the basement which can comfortably house 20 guests and their nice beer garden which overlooks the rest of their 9 hectares of land. I really can’t wait ‘til they develop their property. A glamping site was mentioned and I’m very much looking forward to that.
After the tour, lunch was served and Chef prepared the following:
🔹 Pulled Pork Adobo Bruschetta. We still had to take some photos so it took quite a while before we were able to taste the food. But surprisingly, the taste of this appetizer was not compromised at all. Except for the bread being less crunchy as it has already absorbed the liquid from the toppings, it was still perfectly delicious. The pulled pork, salsa pipino, and pineapple puree were ingenious as alternatives to the Italian Bruschetta.
🔹 Caldereta Wings. As the name implies, this is a Filipino-style buffalo wings. Instead of having the chicken wings tossed in spicy sauce, they use caldereta sauce. As I am not really a fan of spicy food, I easily liked this. Of course, it would not really taste a lot like Caldereta because a Caldereta would rely on so much more ingredients, but it was good nonetheless. It was served with cheddar dip that I absolutely liked as well.
🔹 Shrimp, Pops. Shrimps in spicy coconut aligue sauce. This was so good. If you like it extremely spicy and with a heavy coconut taste, you might be a little disappointed as they were very subtle. But because of that, I certainly enjoyed it.
🔹 Krispy Kasoy Kare-kare. Traditionally, a Kare-kare’s sauce uses peanut/peanut butter to taste and achuete to add color. But The Wild Juan has a different take on it. They use cashew instead of peanut so it tasted a little sweet. What was more interesting for me though was how they cooked the beef. It was deep fried so the outer layer had a slightly crisp texture but the inside was tender. Despite the dish being tasty already, they still serve it with bagoong on the side.
🔹 Surf-Rice. This is their Seafood Bagoong rice. Really good and the serving size is for about 3-4 persons.
🔹 For dessert, we had a pair of Cashew Tart and Calamansi Custard. We thought they were individual items so we tasted both separately. Apparently, you’re supposed to mix them or have them together for better taste. They tasted good but it will definitely be better with some improvements on the texture.
Thank you for having us, The Wild Juan! Can’t wait to go back!
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FoodSocietyPH (Clarissa P, Ruth D & moi) went to Tagaytay to answer the invite from Wild Juan. It’s one of the upcoming restaurants with bed and breakfast in the area. The name will give you a hint on the type of dishes they serve.
The word “Juan” for all we know is the national personification of the Philippines while “Wild” connotes the adventurous side of the owner by adding a twist on our classic local food.
The young owner & chef Thomas Murillo was born and raised in the United States. So it was just natural for the restaurant to offer western Filipino comfort food according to his taste buds.
They’ve been operating for a year and a half now if I'm not mistaken. Ze chef gave us a tour of the restaurant before trying the food.
The restaurant sits on a 9-hectare property with 5 rooms on the lower ground that can accommodate up to 20 guests. You can easily spot them along the road before reaching Fire Lake Grill. Rooms are not air conditioned as they want the guests to feel the fresh breeze coming from the ridge. You can request for a stand fan if needed.
I felt the calmness and tranquility in each room that we visited. Well maintained and affordable. It’s a good escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. I’m actually considering of booking a room within the year.
They are also planning to have a campsite with an open view of the volcano for glamping which is becoming a trend these days particulary with the millennials. There’s also an idea to start an artsy café on the last of the year through a couple they met. Expect pastries coffee and the likes.
After the tour comes the food! We tried the following:
Caldereta Wings with cheese dip (288 pesos) – Think of buffalo wings but instead of hot sauce, calderata sauce coats the chicken wings! It’s a good concept if the calderata taste was profound. The cheese dip was amazing though.
Shrimp, Pops! (328 pesos) – Five pieces of shrimp nestled in a sauce made with coconut milk and aligue. It’s creamy and a tad spicy with a kick of sweetness. I liked the sauce! I would request for the shrimp to be cooked more on my next visit. The girls liked how the shrimp was cooked.
Pulled Pork Adobo Bruschetta (188 pesos) – pulled pork topped with cucumber and drizzled with a chili cilantro pineapple puree. I find this too sweet for my liking. Luckily, the cucumber helps to cut the richness of the appetizer.
Sur-Rice (328 pesos) – Seafood bagoong rice. Need I say more? This was my favorite from everything that was served. I can really taste the bagoong without the usual stench plus it’s a tad sweet.
KKK or Krispy Kasoy Kare-Kare (518 pesos) – The beef brisket was deep fried and instead of the usual nuts they used cashew for the sauce. I loved how the beef brisket remained juicy while being crispy. The cashew sauce was a good twist but I prefer my kare kare to be enveloped with beef or pork stalk. Cla and Ruth liked the dish.
Cashew Tart and Calamansi Custard (198 pesos) – Yup, they come in pair. We ate this separately which is totally wrong! Lol. Good thing there were still enough to try them together and it works. I liked this without the base part of the cashew tart being salty.
A few slips but I still enjoyed our meal at Wild Juan. It also helps when the owners are humble and good natured. I felt the passion from the chef and I wish nothing but success to him and to his hippy daddy!
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Before my backlog list piles up even more, let me start reviewing the latest restaurants that I visited...Starting off with The Wild Juan.
The Wild Juan is a restaurant plus Bed & Breakfast place in Tagaytay that's a little far off the usual busy place that's packed with malls, hotels and mainstream restaurants. Located before you even reach Twin Lakes, The Wild Juan sits quietly at the front line of a 9 hectare property along the ridge. It has a nice view of the mountains and the lake and it's not too near any other establishments.
Owned and managed by the Murillo family, The Wild Juan promises Tex-Mex and Filipino food fusion, taking inspiration from the experiences of it's Chef and Owner, Thomas Murillo.
It was such an honor for Food Society PH to be invited over for lunch by The Wild Juan mom - Tita Thelma. We went there on a Friday. With my homies Jairus d & Ruth D, we were welcomed warmly by Thomas himself.
He explained that the concept of the food came about because he was born and lived in the US for a while. He wanted Filipinos to experience Tex-Mex cuisine with dishes familiar to our palate. He prepared some dishes for us to try.
| Pulled Pork Adobo Bruschetta for 188Php
- Small in size, big in flavors! The goodness of a Filipino Classic Favorite dish, Adobo, topped with cucumber salsa and drizzled with chili pineapple cilantro puree. Each bite was flavorful! I loved the salsa on top as it cuts through the saltiness of the Adobo, giving each bite a refreshing twist.
| Shrimp, Pops! For 328Php
This dish was my favorite! Crab fat x coconut milk - two of the best ingredients in the world! The Coconut Aligue Sauce was a little spicy, tasty and a little sweet. The shrimps were perfectly cooked! Sweet and succulent with that nice bite. IMO though, a little more coconut milk would be knock out.
| Caldereta Wings for 288Php
The concept was great - instead of the usual buffalo wings sauce, Chef Tommy made a Pinoy version by using Caldereta sauce. Since Pinoys love putting Eden Cheese into their Caldereta, Chef Tommy made a dip out of Cheddar as well. The dip was really good! You can dip anything here and it'll taste great! But the chicken wings didn't taste like Caldereta at all. Least favorite.
| KKK - Krispy Kasuy Kare-Kare for 518Php
Kare-Kare is one of my favorites Pinoy dishes. The Wild Juan's take on this Classic Pinoy Favorite was different but not bad at all - though I still prefer the traditional, this one was something I liked as well. The sauce was thick and made from purely Kasuy or cashew nuts instead of the usual peanuts. They didn't use coloring here that's why it was pale. But it was good - on the sweeter side but it was tasty. The beef chunks were indeed crispy! What I liked about the meat though was the tenderness behind the crispiness. The chunks were tasty too! Served with home made bagoong on the side, trust me, the sauce was good and you wouldn't need much of the bagoong anymore.
| Surf Rice for 328Php
Sea food bagoong rice that's good for sharing! The bagoong flavor was there but surprisingly, their wasn't that strong distinct smell. The saltiness was also just right but this rice was packed with flavors!
| Dessert: Cashew Tart and Calamansi Custard for 198Php
The best way to go is to get a little of the tart with the Calamansi Custard and dunk both into your mouth! But we didn't do that lol
The Cashew Tart was good! Roasted and Chopped Cashew, baked with a graham crust in a ramekin - I loved the Cashew chunks!
The Calamansi Custard had a good flavor - sweet and tart. But the texture wasn't as smooth as I have expected. It was like a flan with more egg whites than yolk. Chef Tommy apologized though and promised to improve.
Overall, it was a great lunch! Aside from the food, the restaurant has it's own charm too. It had simple interiors, to be honest, but the view was good with soft cool breeze blowing in.
Also, Chef Tommy was so easy to talk to. He's very passionate with his craft at such a young age! Definitely going back here to bring the family and probably try their B&B as well.
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What could be the best thing to pair up with the chilly winds of tagaytay? Aside from a lot of restaurants offering piping hot bulalo, why not just enjoy the warmth of southern comfort food with some extraordinary handcrafted booze?
The Wild juan's soft opening happened last November 6 and will be in full swing this coming March, 2016. (long haul!)i was really waiting for this. I was already eyeing this since september!
At first I wasn't that sure if this will be just for restaurant or hotel since they also offer bed and breakfast. They have 5 fully furnished rooms (TV and all). Rooms 1 and 2 have one queen sized bed while rooms 3,4, and 5 have one single bed and 1 superior bed. And so to have that extra comforting ambiance while drinking your ale, they have this beer garden with bar (which is right now under construction). I could imagine Roegan T magugustuhan mong tumambay dito. I think late teens to young professionals (like me, ahem...) would really enjoy this type of chill-hangout (overnight if you must) place, but age really does not matter, right?
They are still finalizing their menu and has just released one fourth of it! At the moment, food choices generally good for groups. And a couple of dishes are good for solos. I basically saw the fish section, which they offer either parrotfish, tuna and blue marlin.
grilled blue marlin @180PhP. It was not in the menu yet but it was offered to me. It was cooked well, sensibly sprinkled with salt. zing it up with calamasi to taste. The tomato adds contrast to the dish. The tomato looks dead actually, How i wish it comes with cheese . The rice was sprinkled with mixed herbs, so it was pretty much appetizing. I met head chef's mom and dad ms. Laura and mr. Raul (did i get it right?...)
Just right after I ate the satisfying dish, the head chef greeted me. How could i miss this opportunity to lnow about the their food?! Head chef tommy murillo recommends:
The Wild Juan Sisig - wild juan sisig is not your ordinary sisig, he says. We all know the normal sisig is composed of the pig's innards and mask and all.. However, this dish is just composed of pulled pork topped with chicharon. It has seasoned salty pork topped with special Adobo Aioli. Calamansi to zing the dish.. I asked chef what makes it sisig if no innards?.. Then he said the flavor and taste is the defining characteristic... And we are all to find out!
Gumbulalo - gumbo and bulalo. Chef tommy knows how to play twist. His dish twisted our very own beef stock bulalo. His is a tomato base sauce with beef shanks. This he makes a stand for southern cooking. Gumbo is a stew that originated in the Southern Louisiana. It consists primarily of a strong-flavored stock (thanks wiki!)
Kaldereta wings - now he's making a southern dish to filipino. We all know the famous spicy Louisianna rub that most 'southern themed' restos use for their wings. Not chef tommy. He formulated a special kaldereta glaze for the wings.
After the food part discussion, i was talking with chef about my preference of hard drinks over beers, but told him at the end that i should get used to drinking beer since i've been forming an allergic reaction on spirits. So would we forget discussing about their beers?? Especially the HANDCRAFTED ones? No!
Hand craft beers are bolder and stronger when it comes to flavors. And is more likely to be more than just 5% of what it claims to be its alcohol content
Juan brew - handcrafted from parañaque; really dark and you can defintely taste hops. I got i little sip and this one is dark and strong.
Rogue - on the house! Thank you for letting me try this hazelnut flavored beer. I really havent heard of hazelnut flavored beer until now. Well, you can say hazelnut was really part of the handcraft just by smelling the beer. It tastes really bitter at start, then the hazelnut peeks slightly but definitely has the stand. Chef tommy also commented that this is incomparable to the caramel beer that we know (not honna mention what bar ) this one is handcrafted from america.
Gordon Biersch - lighter roast. Chef told me this is like as san mig light--Only handcrafted. I did not taste this because i think that bottle of rogue had made me a little... Rogue? .. This 'light' beer is also handcrafted from america.
Märzen -5.8% this one.. I would not dare to try na tlga. chef said this is similar taste with gordon.
These are just a few of the many more to expect from the... Err... Bar? Restaurant? Hotel?
I would be glad to explore it more on its full swing come March. They're still fixing the rates though but if you want to try them while they're fresh, i got their contact number, i wouldn't mind connecting you to them
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