I have this weird love-hate relationship with yoghurt. You know that person that you always miss and always want to see but when you’re together, he makes you sick? Yoghurt is like that to me. I hopelessly, desperately, dangerously love yoghurt but, unfortunately, it turns my stomach upside down. I’m lactose intolerant and yoghurt (and other dairy products) starts a revolution within me.
Imagine how I feel whenever I stand in front of the Yoghurt House in Sagada.
It’s like a house of sin for me. I know yoghurt is bad for me, but in the three times that I have been to Sagada, I always found myself stepping into this unassuming restaurant for a cup (or a bowl) of this dairy goodness, even though I knew how it would make my guts spin like an old, clanky washing machine. Alright, too much information.
My first time at the Yoghurt House was rather brief. It was more than three years ago. We were waiting for the rest of the group near Salt and Pepper Diner when, out of sheer impatience, decided to go for a short walk. I spotted the pretty facade of a restaurant, which had its doors shut but a small OPEN sign hung. Its big yellow signage was the first to catch my attention. (Yellow is my favorite color.) I entered the restaurant and ordered a sinful serving of their flagship homemade yoghurt with strawberry preserves, served in a styrofoam cup covered with a sheet of aluminum foil. I started digging in even before I could leave the counter.
While there was nothing spectacular about the yoghurt, it tasted pretty good. It was sour with a hint of sweetness to it. Its consistency was perfect, enough to highlight its sour taste but not for a long time as it melts in your mouth straight away. (I still prefer its frozen counterpart that we’re all used to here in the city but frozen yoghurt would be too much in chilly Sagada.) The strawberry syrup was sweet, as expected, and it complimented the sour dairy base. I just felt like there was too much syrup in my cup that it kind of made my whole cup a bit too saturated for my taste. (I actually liked better the homemade yoghurt sold at the store opposite the entrance to Sumaguing Cave for it did not have the umay factor but I believe that store doesn’t serve it anymore. Too bad.)
The last time I visited the Yoghurt House, I was with friends. As always, the place was packed even after they had opened the second level of the building to customers. I really wanted to try their carbonara because I remembered how my friends raved about it but, unfortunately, it was not available that time. In fact, most of what was on their menu was not available that night. The waitress who entertained us explained that it was because there were too many customers so the dishes were kind of limited. But recommended something that was off the menu — Roast Pork, if I remember the name correctly. And that’s exactly what we ordered.
It was great, to say the least. The pork was cooked perfectly — no bloody or burnt part. The meat was tender and easy to cut. There was not much fat, too. It was bathing in gravy, but it was sweet and really delightful. The serving was also big enough for
one and a half two people. The vegetable salad on the side was also phenomenal. The cucumber was fresh and made a good crunchy sound when I took a bite. I loved everything on my plate that dinner.
If there’s one thing that the Yoghurt House still has a big room to improve on, it’s the service. While I understand that most home-cook restaurants in Sagada take so much time to prepare food, waiting is always almost painful at the Yoghurt House.
- First, because it takes almost 40 minutes to an hour for them to prepare your meal, which I don’t mind, to be honest.
- Second, because there really isn’t much to do, look at, or enjoy at the place that could help pass the time more pleasantly.
- Third, because the place is always jam-packed, thus I get uncomfortable when I see other customers standing by the door looking for a free table or waiting for one to be vacated (or maybe that’s just me).
- And also, the waiters always seem to be in a big hurry, which might be because there are so many customers.
- Lastly and most importantly, because the staff was not as warm as the ambiance of the place. I had dined at the Yoghurt House on five different occasions in the three trips to Sagada that I made and not once had I seen any of the staff make any friendly gesture or even smile at the very least. Maybe it’s just me but they don’t feel as warm and welcoming as the staff at the other popular food places in Sagada.
Still, the food is great. The food here always makes me want to visit the restaurant but, like my love-hate relationship with yoghurt itself, my feeling towards the place when I’m there can easily turn sour.