Food and art can mix! This is what Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant in Angono, Rizal has proven over the years. The place has become famous for its exotic and native Filipino fare. Aside from enjoying their authentic Filipino dishes, guests also get to enjoy the art pieces that are showcased in the restaurant's galleries.
We went there on one of our spur of the moment Sundays after hearing mass. From Cainta town proper,we drove all the way to Angono to eat lunch at Balaw Balaw and to enjoy the sculptures and paintings that are on display in the place.
After ordering our food, our waiter informed us that we can go around the place and view the art displays in the galleries. The restaurant's art gallery is rich with different forms of art- sculptures, paintings, and paper mache. Our waiter reminded us to check out his work. Yup, the waiter is a painter, too. It's not a surprise at all since the town is known to have clans that are artistically inclined.
Our food was served once we got back to our table. We ordered Ginisang Balaw, Sinigang na Malaputo, and Lechong Kawali. Balaw is actually Angono's version of the bagoong (fermented shrimp). It is less salty and a little sour. Balaw was sauteed with eggplants, garlic and tomatoes. It was a yummy complement to our Lechong Kawali. Malaputo is a rare fish found in Taal Lake. The fish was served separately on a platter which made it easy for us to eat it while its soup was served in a clay pot. We finished our meal with my boys sharing a plate of Leche Flan.
Balaw-Balaw is a great place to eat when you are with a large group of family or friends. In fact, a large group had a large pan propped beside their table. It's called Minaluto and has rice topped with adobo, various seafoods, vegetables. The pan is lined with banana leaves that made it quite look like a boodle feast. I swore to come back and try that some time.
Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant can be found at 16 Don Justo, Dona Justa Village, Angono Rizal. Contact 651-0110 for inquiries.
How to get there:
If you are riding a private car, you can take Ortigas Avenue Extension and pass through the towns of Cainta and Taytay. Turn right at Manila East Road and drive straight towards SM Taytay. You will also pass by Club Manila East Taytay. The road will narrow down once you're past Club Manila East. Drive straight until you reach a fork road. Take the road on the left leading to Binangonan. Dona Justa Village will just be a few meters away from there. You will need to turn left at Don Justo Street. Your landmark will be Tatay Mesio's Restaurant at your right.
When commuting, you can take an FX or a jeepney that is Binangonan bound but will take the Highway and not Floodway. Just tell the drivers to drop you off at Balaw-Balaw. The place is famous especially among the locals.