BALAY DAKO – A must-visit…

BALAY DAKO

“Enjoy life, it is delicious.”

Catching up with myself, I decided to self-gratify and do a quick fix by visiting one of my favorite places in the Philippines – Tagaytay.

Among the long list of where to make our tummies happy, we chose “Balay Dako”.

bd-outside
She’s all smile getting there.
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Waiting area..
bd-piyaya
Piaya originated from Bacolod..
sorbetes
Sorbetes! (Ice cream)

Immediately upon entering their enormous dining hall, we found our spot.

bd-table
While waiting for our food..

It is facing a central view of the famous Taal lake. It came to us with the soft cool breeze of Tagaytay. And some fogs too which were too thin to notice.

bd-taal
The weather was great at that time.

Spending almost 3 hours to get there from my place, we ordered some of their specialties to our heart’s content.

bd-feet
And relaxing at the same time..

And while waiting for our food, I took photos of what they’re using in their kitchen.

bd-kitchen
It was good to know that some of these are in my kitchen too..

I must not forget to mention here that Chef Tony (Escalante) was there and smiles at everyone including me. #startruck

Permit me this awe since he is touted as one of the best chefs in Asia. The brain behind Antonio’s Restaurant. Though the Executive Chef of Balay Dako is Chef Ricky Sison.

So, here’s what we’ve had:

Our table were filled with Filipino cuisine and the usual that we cooked at home, but broadly speaking, the taste and ambiance and the service are 2 thumbs up.

bd-food
We had shrimps, beef and green mango salad.
bd-dessert
Two old-time favorites: Turon and bibingka..
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And another favorite: Sago and gulaman for our drinks.
bd-mascuvado
We were also provided with mascuvado sugar either for our bibingka or sago gulaman should we wanted it sweeter.
bd-condiments
Each table is served with staple condiments.

And these are the elements making up a note-worthy place that deserves frequent visit. I then again wished that Tagaytay is just 15 minutes away from me. More of a visceral thing to me. We were in a relaxed mode anyway.

bd-letters
I had fun spotting two of the most important letters to me..=)

The place is huge, giving justice to it’s name: “Balay Dako”. Dako is big in the Visayas where Chef Tony hailed from.

You’d be glad to know that after we had our desserts, our feet lead us to their specialty shop and brought home some stuff too.

bd-deli
Went shopping too.
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Neatly arranged items..
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Chalkboard menuboard which will eventually be included in my other blog that features my fascination on Calligraphy.
bd-cart
When you visit this, there’ll always be something that you can bring home..
bd-chiller
Like these..
bd-tuyo
Fish in oil..
bd-chicharon
Chicharon which equates to 20 counts of burpees.. =p
bd-ensaymada
Freshly-baked daily.

Find time to visit the place and I’m pretty sure you’ll like it there too.

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Their welcome arch..

ps

They asked if we have tried these other two: Breakfast at Antonios and Antonio’s Restaurant (the pilot branch). And if not, they said that we must. =) I think I’ll start saving for the latter. Their steaks are famous. =)

bd-me

 

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Another Pinoy pride: Kuya J!

Another Pinoy pride: Kuya J!

And so it seems that the popularity of Authentic Filipino restaurants like Dencio’s and Gerry’s Grill reached that leverage of being imitated by many.

The tarpaulin ad of “Kuya J” is so distracting when we passed by SM Dasmarinas, Cavite on our way to visit some clients.

It is almost lunch-time and we opted to have our lunch there after one more client visit.

The temperature lately in the Philippines is so unbearable as we are not used to it, even if we are a Tropical country, with scorching winds, even if we’re in a province, it made us rush to the nearest mall. And to the nearest food stall.

And we ended up at “Kuya J”. Upon review of their menu, it is like a newer version of what you will see from Gerry’s grill or Dencio’s.

kj menu
Mini mini mini mo!

And while I was reviewing the menu, my colleagues are interviewing the attendant if the “J” stands for Jericho (he is the official model of their ads, he is a famous heartthrob in our country), just like asking if Jericho owns “Kuya J” and we were informed that he is just a model and the restaurant is owned by a Chinese Businessman based in Cebu.

kj lovely ladies
Two lovely ladies!

And we’ve had what?

We opted to try their Kare-kareng Bagnet. I (or we) didn’t like the shrimp paste (bagoong) that much.

kj kare
Yum!

We also tried their Pinakbet. And we liked it.

kj pakbet
Veggies!

We also had Crispy beef tadyang (ribs).

kj ribs tapa
Crispy ribs!

I personally like the vinegar, it has a tasteful flavor. I am not much into vinegar sauces, but this one I was able to tolerate.

For dessert, we all wished for the fried halo-halo, it is not just available at that time so they ordered for the real one.

halo 2
Photo courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/KuyaJResto/

 

It was a winner. We especially liked the milky ice, it is so fine and no feel of ice bits.

kj halo
Truly a Summer treat!

Since we didn’t get our fried halo-halo, we asked the attendant if there’s a corkage should we bring food from another establishment, and they said it’s okay.

Calling it a hefty lunch essentials. We had our finale. Two different cakes from Cakes by Kat.

kj cake
We opted for cakes!

We had Chocolate indulgence cake and of course, blueberry cheesecake.

kj choco cake

kj bb cheesecake

And we’re back to work with smiles.

In a different occasion, we’ve tried these equally delicious treats:

kuya-j-crispy-pata

kuya-j-salad

Happy tummies! =)

There are more than 50 branches of Kuya J nationwide. One could be just near you. =)

To blog or not to blog – BAGNETified…

To blog or not to blog – Bagnetified

“Take time to eat what makes your tummy happy.”

Every year in the Philippines, new restaurants are born. It became so conspicuous that well-known bloggers even come up with their own top 10 list each year. For there are so many of different kind. So bloggers like me are cajoled to visit them if chance permits.

One of which is BAGNETified!

It is a chain of restaurants and has eyed to open a hundred stores this year. And luckily, we’ve got one just across the street.

“Bagnet” is a delicacy from the north, specifically in the Ilocos region.

My first to try it is a pasalubong from a friend in my previous job. And when I visit that region in the north, I immediately looked for it and ordered it and honest to goodness. Enjoyed it!

As for health concerns, this might not fit those who are health conscious. Bagnet is first and foremost a big portion of pork belly, deep fried until crispy. It is the Ilocano version of “Lechon kawali”. The best part of it is the skin being crispy and paired with a special soy sauce where different spices are chopped thinly and voila, more rice please!

At BAGNETified, they did some special twist. The staple viands of the Filipinos they utilized as specialties created with bagnet on each of it.

Like vegetable bagnetified, seafood bagnetified, and so on. Here’s what we’ve got:

bagnnet again

bagnet kare

bagnet pakbet

So what is the step by step procedure to cook it?

bagnetified
So here it is.

Some sinful desserts are available too.

bagnet bb
Blueberry cheesecake with fresh mangoes on top..

They even have pastas and chicken too. The choices are plenty so no worries, you will be able to choose one that fits your palate well.

As for the ambiance. Their interiors are simple yet pleasant.

bagnet red

bagnet dining area

This is a place for diggers like me, who might not mind an extra fat or calorie every once in a while.

PS

The iced tea is great! (–,)

bagnet iced tea
Not more of just being polite, being a coffee lover, I like their iced tea…=)
bagnet
More please..=)

They accept deliveries within Metro Manila, to sate your cravings, just dial: 99-SARAP 

Happy eating! (–.)