…where Filipino food and art blend for an enjoyable experience…
After an insightful learning session with Sir Nemi at the Nemiranda Art House, we knuckled under a challenge, which brought us to Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant few walks away from the gallery.
The restaurant promotes traditional Filipino cuisines and native fermented take-homes (pasalubong) such as balaw-balaw (fermented shrimps), alamang, and burong hito. But, what’s even more exciting here are the must-try exotic dishes offered to locals and visitors. Out of my exhiliration, I noted a few:
- Uok – Larva of beetle found in fallen coconut trees (choice of adobo or steamed in tamarind fruit and tomatoes) (P300.00)
- Nilasing na Palaka – frogs marinated in wine and deep fried (also cooked in adobo) (P245)
- Kamaro – Crickets found in rice fields (P300)
- Soup No. 5 – Butt and balls of cow (P210)
- Sizzling Butt and Balls – Butt and balls of cow cooked as Adobo (P210)
- Sinabawang Balut – fertilized duck eggs cooked like Bulalo (P210)
- Bibingkang Abnoy – Fertilized duck eggs cooked in banana leaves with coriander, tomatoes and onions (P90)
- Sizzling Balot – Fertilized duck eggs cooked as Adobo (P225)
- Crispy Alagaw leaves – Alagaw leaves dipped in batter and deep fried (P115)
We had our share of protein-rich Adobong Uuk (along with pork sinigang) and breathtakingly finished the meal within one and a half hours. I think this was the longest time we finished a meal!
Balaw-Balaw is owned by Mr. Perdigon Vocalan, an Angono artist together with his wife, Mrs. Luzviminda Vocalan, who opened the business in October 1982.
The designs at the restaurant and art gallery portray blended themes. An inscription of their surname (Vocalan) is posted on the façade, between a piece of Italian-inspired metal roof and group of woodchunks interlocking horizontally above the main entrance.
Inside, the colorful banderitas portray Filipino-Spanish inspirations. The small nipa hut with clay jars show native Filipino tradition. The pond surrounded by bamboo stalks and the sound of rushing water from the fountain add an oriental ambience. The spiraling stairs with piled rocks behind it altogether give off a Spanish appearance.
The restaurant not only promotes Filipino cuisines, but also Filipino tradition and culture through its folk art and painting collections from various artists in Angono.
Picture- taking inside the art gallery is allowed. There are no entrance fees to the gallery.
How to get there:
- If you are coming from the Nemiranda Art House, walk a few meters north leading to the highway (Manila East Highway).
- If you are coming from Manila, from Crossing, ride a jeepney going to Binangonan, Rizal at P30.00. Ask the driver to drop you along the highway at Angono fronting Balaw-Balaw Restaurant.