Friday, April 6, 2018

What to Eat in Taal Batangas

Travel Food Guide: What to Eat in Taal Batangas.
A Food Trip Discovery with Don Juan Boodle House, Leo and Gie, Taal Public Market, and at Abby’s Garden Resort

This is a NOT sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Last March we’ve decided to go on a DIY Taal Heritage Town Tour in Batangas. We were confident about this road trip owing to one of our travel buddy who created this half-day itinerary, a native of Taal herself, thus making it easier for us to entrust this tour from a true-blue Batangueña who frequent the region every now and then.
taal basilica taal batangas
Taal Basilica

We’ll skip the entire DIY Taal Heritage Town Tour in Batangas details, instead focus with Taal cuisine and delicacies we had during that half-day walking tour. What to Eat in Taal Batangas?

Don Juan Boodle House. The food stop flanked by most local travelers, I believed the restaurant has
made tie-up with some travel agencies offering Taal Tours. The place is known for boodle meals (in Filipino traditions boodle is dining set-up in an uncut, layered banana leaf where food is served --- everything on it rice is place at the center portion surrounded by fish/meat usually roasted with bar-b-que taste what Filipino called Inihaw na Isda or Chicken BBQ or Pork BBQ. Also, included on the boodle meal are salted egg with fresh tomatoes, steamed vegetable such as eggplant, okra, beans, etc. Sometimes the best match for fish/meat is the Pinakbet (stir-fried mixed vegetables with bagoong (shrimp paste). DJBH’s boodle is created with Taal flavors, it’s mostly served with Sinaing na Tulingan, Taal Tapa or Inihaw na Tilapia.

don juan boodle house taal batangas
Don Juan BBQ Boodle House

don juan boodle house taal batangas
Don Juan BBQ Boodle House
Taal Tapsilog

don juan boodle house taal batangas
Don Juan BBQ Boodle House
Inihaw na Tilapia

don juan boodle house taal batangas
Don Juan BBQ Boodle House
Adobong Dilaw

don juan boodle house taal batangas
Don Juan BBQ Boodle House
Minatamis na Saba

don juan boodle house taal batangas
Don Juan BBQ Boodle House
We tried the Adobo sa Dilaw (good for sharing) PHP220, a chicken cooked in adobo style instead of soy sauce and vinegar, it was flavored with turmeric or luyang dilaw. Taal Tapa meal PHP109 is pork tapa seasoned with Taal’s secret sauce. Inihaw na Batangas Tilapia meal PHP120 served with salted egg and a slice of tomato. Honestly the adobo sa dilaw needs improvement (In layman’s term “walang lasa, napakatabang, kulang sa gisa). It’s requires a high amount of seasoning. For dessert, Minatamis na Saba PHP49 and Halo-halo PHP75. The Minatamis na Saba comes with sago and sweetened with brown sugar, but the sago texture is kind of uncooked (“hilaw pa”) while halo-halo surprisingly Pinoy dessert is topped with cereals, its nata de coco is too sweet (“sumobra sa asukal, as in grabeng tamis!”). Oh well that summed up our Don Juan experience.

Leo and Gie. When in Batangas you should not pass the Taal Lomi episode. We all agreed to order Lomi Special PHP70 since it’s not available, we opted for Lomi Overload PHP60. The lomi “presyong probinsya” although our Batangueña food buddy insist that the “lomihan” infront of Taal Basilica only cost PHP35 of the same look but she regarded it as “mas masarap.” Leo and Gie’s lomi aesthetics will take your breath away. We portrayed it’s as overflowing with embellishments. Your 60 pesos can go further like this with dramatic backdrop and ambiance of an elegant house from a distinguished family. Imagine P60 only. The other lomi from Taal Basilica’s proximity cost P35 is typically served in average carinderia frontyard, but I’ve seen the place from outside, it’s blockbuster as what I heard from the locals. Halo-halo PHP75 is authentically served with buck.
leo and gie taal batangas
Leo and Gie's interior

leo and gie taal batangas
Lomi Overload

leo and gie taal batangas

Taal Public Market. The “palengke” of Taal where you can buy “pasalubong” or treats back home. Our travel buddy instantly caught the attention of a nearby stall selling Taal Tamales by Ka Biko. She narrated the heirloom recipe of the late Ka Biko being passed on to his children. That this Taal blockbuster is exclusively available at Ka Biko’s residence and are sold every morning before sunrise. Cleverly the market vendors see opportunity when they hoard the tamales and make it on display even in the afternoon. Taal Tamales by Ka Biko in the public market cost PHP25, at the residence they sell it at PHP20.

Other Batangas goodies you can buy are:
panutsa sa Batangas (sugared peanut)
kapeng barako
coco vinegar
utaw (rice coffee)
kalamay 3 small pieces for PHP50
pinindot or bilo-bilo
ube halaya
macapuno sweets
minatamis na kundol
dried kamyas PHP300/pack
dried tawilis
dried biya
squash shingaling 3 packs for PHP100
Taal Tapa PHP 240/kilo
Suman sa lihiya
all kinds of suman, mention “pahiling” the local vendors will give you 1 piece for trial
cooked Sinaing na tulinga or Kurindeng wrapped in banana leaf and steamed in clay pot (slow cooking)
all kinds of atchara – papaya, ampalaya, or ubod
Taal empanada in pork PHP22, chicken PHP25, or vegetable with bison PHP12
ka biko taal tamales taal batangas
Ka Biko's Taal Tamales

ka biko taal tamales taal batangas
Ka Biko's Taal Tamales

taal public market

taal public market

Abby’s Garden Resort. A private resort in Aroma, Butong, Taal. During our stay, we were served with Sinaing na Tulingan cooked with pork liempo, Taal Tapa, pinakbet, pork adobo, our group’s chosen dish, the ensaladang ampalaya with lemon and honey. Practically the herbs used for cooking came from Abby’s Garden, aside from organic herbs the garden’s perimeter is converged with landscape bound with plants and flowers.
abby's garden resort
Abby's Garden Resort
Sinaing na Tulingan

abby's garden resort
Abby's Garden Resort
Ensaladang Ampalaya

abby's garden resort
Abby's Garden Resort
Typical Breakfast with Taal Tapa

In the meantime, we’ll stop from here as we arrange another Taal adventure before the summer ends. This time we’re optimistic we can go to see Tampuhan Café, La Casa Victrola Café, Café at the Ranch, Casa Cecilia, Halo-halo Shop in front of Agoncillo White House, burger joint near the public market, or maybe the other food stalls and make-shift restaurants in different Calle around Poblacion town.

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