Balay Dako by Antonio’s…

Balay Dako by Antonio’s

“Family is like music, some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song.”

I’m so glad to have brought my family to dine at Balay Dako… It just occurred to me that when they planned going to Tagaytay, I instantly thought of bringing them nowhere else but at Balay Dako.

And because me, my son and her girlfriend were outnumbered by oldies, what we ordered were those that are a little “healthier”, even if I wanted a lot from the menu to try for myself, please take a look:

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Gela just enjoyed nibbling on these dessert from Ilo-ilo: Piyaya.
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While I enjoyed the ube turon
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I was quite disappointed with the halo-halo, I think they lack some of the ingredients.
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The oldies wanted fish, so we had sweet and sour fish for them.
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My son opted for the salt & pepper spare ribs.
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We ordered for the green mango salad too

I actually can’t figure out what matches it. We just had the beef shanks soup (“Bulalo” in Filipino), and normally green mango salad fits best with fried food.

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Their paella.
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Mama and nanay (her yaya) about to start on their fresh lumpia when I asked them to smile first. =)
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Their lumpiang sariwa.

I still want to try more from their menu, I’ll come back soon. =)

 

Menu Photos courtesy of: http://antoniosrestaurant.ph/balay-dako/#menu-section

I’ve tried most of their desserts, so we can always go out and find another, there’s a lot of places in Tagaytay where you can find a good one to get your sweet cravings. So it’s like hopping from one place to another, besides Tagaytay is a very beautiful place. You wouldn’t mind just looking around.

 

 

 

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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”.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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And relaxing at the same time..

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.
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When you visit this, there’ll always be something that you can bring home..
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Like these..
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Fish in oil..
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Chicharon which equates to 20 counts of burpees.. =p
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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..

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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. =)

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LUCINA Home…

Lucina Home

“An artist cannot fail, it is a success to be one.” ~Charles Horton Cooley~

Christmas is my favorite season of the year. I remember myself as a child helping my father in putting up our Christmas tree. He will assign me to neatly hang all the embellishments and he will be in charge of the lights. I look up to it.

Now that he’s gone, it is our 5th year celebrating the season without him. And me putting up the tree alone.

Despite of that sad part, I still am excited to put up my tree. I collect photos of the grandest trees and search for places where can I get my decors. I also wanted to create “DIYs” as my trimmings. I assign what color to use each year.

Come November, I was able to visit this shop in Tagaytay which I’m eyeing for years now. Lucina Home.

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This caught me while I was about to enter the shop…

I have talked to the owner last year that I am visiting them for a project,
however said project didn’t push through for having a full plate during the “ber” months.

So I made time for it. I can’t wait to see their items. And when I did? I can’t get enough of it. I hoarded decors for my tree,

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It’s that time of the year when you’re excused for splurging.

I bought some for my boss too, a cute notebook for my foodie buddy, gifts for friends and I promised to come back for more.

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All the cute stuff are here..
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Even repros of famous paintings..
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Even millennial stuff..=)

What made the visit sweeter is the manner of their attendants tending to guests, Paul, whom I have been talking to since last year was there. Paul was busy unpacking and arranging stuff which I must assumed has recently arrived.

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You can find best finds from all corners..

They also introduced me to to Joey. Both were meticulously checking their displays, inter-acting with guests, and giving me discounts!

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I saw from google a chandelier filled with Christmas baubles, and then I saw this. It is beautiful..

Yes, Joey even gave me one of my best finds for free! It is a unique dream catcher without the real feathers on it as the whole thing is made of stainless steel.

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(–,)

I accidentally saw it while I was waiting for them wrapping the items I’ve bought. And I shrieked (sorry) upon seeing it. It was glaring in front of me hanging on one of their stands and instantly grab it, head to the cashier’s counter to add it to my purchases.

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I think this is where I found the dream catcher..
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And this is where Jen found the lighthouse..
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I actually eyed this for our porch..=)

It was such a surprise when the cashier told me that she was instructed by her boss (Joey) that the dream catcher will be free. Awww! it was really sweet.

There’s this one attendant too who is such a good up-seller. He knew what I wanted and kept on gathering similar items and giving them to me.

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Christmas stuff..
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Jen hoarding!
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Such a cool idea, egg shells, painted in pastels as Christmas wreaths and can be used for Easter too.. =)

Leaving with shopping bags on both hands, I knew then that there’s going to be a second visit, and a third and a fourth. I think you know what’s it like to find something you’ve been looking for. It’s like “Eureka”!

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Vintage, shabby and chic..
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All the elements you need for Christmas..
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They have furniture too..

I’ve been hunting for a shop like theirs in the country for so long. An array of what I want, shabby chic items, vintage, quirky, artsy, bohemian and unique finds. Actually, I’ve taken photos of some that I intend to get soon.

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Don’t you love that gilded mirror?
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How about that cabinet?
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And that pastel chair..

ps

They sell hand-painted furniture too. Something which I will be saving for. A piece in pastel pink or two will absolutely spell happiness. Until then.

An afternoon at Cliffhouse…

An afternoon at Cliffhouse…

One of my most favorite part of the country is Tagaytay. I am so blessed and lucky to have it just an hour away from our house (if without the traffic jam).

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I was always aiming to take a photo of this welcome signage, then i did it this time..=)

Young as I was, we frequent the place, it was like a huge park for me, there’s the highest point, where you can enjoy the whole panoramic view of Sta.Rosa, Tagaytay and some of Batangas.

Blooms of all the colors you can think of can be spotted everywhere. Picnic Grove was very famous even when I was a child, had been a favorite of excursionists that allows you to have picnic, horse back-riding, shop souvenir items and locally produced items too. Recently, they introduced zip-lining.

Tagaytay established itself as a tourist spot enticing investors to build hotels here and there due to influx of local and foreign visitors.

Currently, there are more than a hundred hotels to choose from, each offering their own uniqueness, details of each making a difference which makes choosing a little harder and fun too.

The place had also been venues of seminars, trainings, retreats as started by DAP and a lot of weddings were held here too. Spas are like mushrooms sprucing in every corner, not to mention the restaurants too. There’s a zoo too, Tagaytay is like a one stop shop, upon your plight, everything you need is there. What captivates the hearts of so many, is the cold weather of Tagaytay, as a child, it is here where I saw thick fogs for the first time. My papa had to stop driving from time to time due to zero visibility especially during the “ber” months.

One early weekend morning, we hit the road heading to Tagaytay. My mom’s cousin is residing in Tagaytay and they are celebrating the annual fiesta. And so I grabbed the opportunity to enjoy Tagaytay to the fullest. (–,) I eyed to check out Cliffhouse.

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Cliffhouse – at last!

Initially, I was just craving for froyo (frozen yogurt) feeling bloated after having lunch with more than 5 different viands to choose from (this is how fiestas in the Philippines are being celebrated – fiestas: festivals celebrating the patron saint of a particular town), and then later I discovered that Cliffhouse is a a whole block of the following establishments: Fire lake grill, Buon giorno, Cafe Breton, Domicillo, Burger bar, there’s a hotel too, a Souvenir shop,

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Souvenir shop!
Attendant claimed it's prohibited to take photos inside the Souvenir shop, sowee, she's too busy to notice...
Attendant claimed it is prohibited to take photos inside the Souvenir shop, sowee, she’s too busy to notice…
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I so love this mannequin!
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Excited for my frozen yogurt!
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Where to? =)

The shop where I got my yogurt!

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want to have a fling?=)

There’s a space where you could get a good view of the Taal volcano,

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This area allows you to have a good view of the Taal volcano..

some comfy benches, trees and flowering plants made up a place worthy of being revisited time and again.

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Tweet-tweet!
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Symmetry..
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Balance..
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Focal point..

Plus, the many choices nearby of whatever that you are craving for. We had some pizzas from Buon Giorno with drinks that comes in giant mugs shaped like a muscled arm. I found it really cute so I had to take a photo of it. (–,)

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Buon Giorno is “Good morning”!
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My yellow mango shake!

This resto by the way coveted the Best Restaurant award from the Philippine Tatler.

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Tatler’s taste..
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Personalized dressings..
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Where are the birds?

And this is just one of the many authentic restaurants that you can find in Tagaytay. Please take a look at my top 10 list:

1. Eateries from Mahogany market

2. Mushroom Burger

(I even heard my former boss saying “What’s Tagaytay without Mushroom burger?”)

3. Antonio’s 

4. Mile-hi

5. Bag of Beans

6. Gerry’s Grill

7. Rowena’s

8. Verbena 

9. Sonya’s Garden

10. Buon Giorno

After seeing my own list, I was thinking of the other places that I think are as good as those I listed. I think I’m listing a second batch soon. Suggestions are always welcome! As I will never get tired going to Tagaytay, the more I see it, the more I love being there. The place is so peaceful to me. There’s a different air that I always feel being in Tagaytay, not just because it’s colder there, it’s really something special. (–,) And it’s best felt than told. Please come and see for yourself! (–,)

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So where do I go next in Tagaytay? (–,)