(To read part 1, click here.)
A roadtrip is one of the many fun ways to discover the beauty that lies beyond the usual sights and people we’ve grown accustomed to. That is exactly what we did as we ventured off to San Juan, Batangas.
As we traveled along it’s narrow but well paved roads, we admired how the entire province is practically filled with lush greenery.
After doing several activities and sight-seeing for our Weekend Getaway taping, we were treated to a sumptuous dinner.
First food stop: Chef Ed Salagubang’s newly opened private restaurant called, “Bagong Tahanan”.
We were served Ginataang Kungo.
It’s a Batangas crab that can be found in the nearby mangroves of this province. A “kungo” is a tad bigger than a talangka but smaller than an alimasag. This batch of kungo was cooked in coconut milk which made the dish very tasty. Kungo tastes different from other crabs I’ve eaten. It somehow retains the saltiness of the water from the mangrove but without a hint of “langsa”.
A kind of dessert made from coconut meat, coconut milk, sugar and pinipig. The pinipig is submerged in coconut milk giving it its raw taste. This is something I would definitely eat on a hot summer afternoon – light, refreshing, delicious!
Made of sticky rice shaped into small balls, coconut milk, tapioca and jackfruit. I had this for my afternoon snack which I effortlessly devoured into. I love the chewy consistency of the bilo-bilo and the sweetness of the jackfruit.
We also enjoyed Chef Ed’s to die for Pata Tim that literally falls off the bone!
Ensaladang Mangga at Bagoong, their version of Pinakbet and fresh fried fish
And overflowing freshly brewed Kapeng Barako
“Bagong Tahanan” reminds me of my childhood days – from its interior to the food as well as the native outfits of the staff. It showcases comfort and homey Pinoy food at its finest.
The air-conditioned main dining area is very Filipiniana inspired.
“Bagong Tahanan’s” kitchen mimics your typical house kitchen with no sophisticated freezers. According to Chef Ed, they don’t need freezers because they cook and serve their food fresh.
“Bagong Tahanan” has its own big backyard with lots of vegetables and fruits.
Chuckie, Chef Ed and his wonderful and accommodating staff.
Cafeño is along the streets of Gen. Luna and Rizal in an old Spanish home converted into a café that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
An assortment of sweet treats.
This Sweet Tamales or steamed rice cake is topped with Coco Jam and cooked in wood giving the dish its smokey flavor. Heavy in the tummy but a perfect pair of Cafeño’s Kapeng Barako. We brought home a few of this for my kids and dad-in-law. (I made that heart on top of the Tamales. Ako na ang keso! 😍)
Crispy Tulingan Strips
The taste resembles that of paksiw – deep fried giving the tulingan its crunch. The dish is served with achara and eggplants on the side. Yum!
Barako Ice Cream
This is served with a shot of Barako coffee. I like that it’s not too creamy – more like having coffee shake. The taste is spot on!
You can also choose to dine “al fresco”.