Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal

Friday, November 30, 2012

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum
Words and Photos by Yedy Calaguas
Published in Gala Magazine
September 2012 Issue
Page 92-93
Northpoint Publication

“Here’s Minaluto, one of our specialties.” Says the food server as he place the dish on our table wearing a gleeful pride bordering to pontifical.  I cannot blame him for that.  The sight of Minaluto in its bilao exudes a kaleidoscopic world against immaculate backdrop that is the table cloth.  Combination of prawns, crabs, mussels, pork, water spinach, and salted egg on a bed of specialty rice wrapped in banana leaves served on a native shallow basket called bilao, are all the good things that constitute the colorful Minaluto.  The burst of colors mirrors the rich cultural arts that Balaw-Balaw Restaurant aims to reflect.

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
Balaw-Balaw which name was taken from a specialty dish called Binurong Hipon made of fermented rice, shrimp paste, and “angkak” which give it a reddish color. Despite its name lifted from a dish, this well known restaurant is more than the good food it serves.


Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
At the heart of The Art Capital of the Philippines

Located in the town of Angono Rizal which is known as The Art Capital of the Philippines, Balaw-Balaw Restaurant started its operation way back 1982 by the late Perdigon Vocalan.  A native of Angono Rizal, Perdigon is known as one of the town’s celebrated painter and sculptor.  When the artist passed away, the restaurant was then handed to his wife Luzviminda Vocalan who up to this day still manages Balaw-Balaw with the rest of the family.

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
A feature truly befitting the location, the restaurant showcases the late patriarch’s art work alongside the works of other local artists in town.  Maskaras made out of paper mache, small replica of higantes in which the town is known for, and other knick knacks peppered the first floor of the restaurant.  While at the second floor and the mezzanine level, the display of arts boast of unprecedented manifestation of true talents bestowed to the artists of Angono. Intricate architectural designs, paintings, paper mache, and sculptures that features bits and pieces of the town’s folklores, are some of the artistic wonders that diners can feast on with their eyes before the feast of the palate begins.
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Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
Folk Arts Meet Folk Food

While Balaw-Balaw Restaurant boasts of its gallery of art works, it is also known as one of the restaurants here in the Philippines that offer exotic food.  Having been featured in some of international food shows such as that of Andrew Zimmerman and Anthony Bourdain, it certainly made an impression that Filipinos can be proud of.

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
Some of the best selling exotic food are Uok (larva of beetle cooked adobo style or steamed in tamarind soup), Nilasing na Palaka (frogs cooked in wine), Kamaru (crickets), Bibingkang Abnoy (fried duck eggs), Rose Petal Salad, and Bouganvilla Salad among many others.  However, one should not be intimidated with this rather spunky line of dishes since traditional Filipino food is also given space on their menu for the diners to feast on.

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
Feast of the Palate

While exotic dishes can be both challenging and exciting in some people’s book, one couldn’t go wrong with traditional food for the taking should courage refused to show up at the last minute.  After all, these are equally festive and filling.

There couldn’t be more apt way to start a feast of the palate than a treat of flavor and texture brought by the Crispy Kang-Kong dish as appetizer.  A beautiful prelude that is teasing enough to whet one’s appetite for the good things to come.

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article

While Minaluto’s grandeur can be downright appetizing, Balaw-Balaw Rice begs to be had as well. A name befitting a dish of fried rice mixed with binurong hipon, bell pepper, green peas, chorizo de bilbao, and scrambled egg, the dish is made all the more special with mussels and prawns thrown in for a good measure. 

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
Popular in the town of Angono, Fried Itik is a welcome change from the usual fried chicken most people are used to. With its crunchy skin and tender meat, the Itik’s savory flavor is an explosion meant to tickle the palate.  A clay pot of Kare-Kareng Baka with its thick nutty sauce is also a delightful treat.  The tenderness of the beef chunks goes perfectly well with the slight crunchiness of the vegetables indicating its freshness.

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Articlev

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
The Binagoongang Baboy served on a bed of buttered rice comes with shreds of mango nearing its ripeness.  The crunchiness of the pork hinting of shrimp paste compliments the sour and sweet component of the mango.  Although there couldn’t be simpler looking than Ensaladang Talong, the interplay of flavor from the grilled eggplant, diced tomatoes, onions, smothered with vinegar and coconut milk is impressive.  

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
After a gastronomic feast, an impeccable dance of flavors, juice of freshly picked coconut with its innate sweetness and distinct flavor is always a delightful way to cleanse the palate. 

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article

Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
Filipino History and Art on Plate

Dining at Balaw-Balaw Restaurant is like taking a peek into a wonderful world where art and food reflects our country’s infinite passion for creativity.  Balaw-Balaw is a treat for the eyes through the arts and a treat for the palates through the dishes.  It does not just serves as a medium to satisfy one’s hunger for Filipino dishes, but it also serve as a way to showcase infinite talents of local artists.  These things made this restaurant at the small town of Angono reverberate not just in our gastronomical memories, but also in our country’s history.
Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal Blog Review YedyLicious Manila Food Blog Yedy Calaguas Published Magazine Article
Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant is located at 16 Doña Justa Subd. Ph. I Angono, Rizal, Philippines 1930 Tel.651-0110 & 295-2698.



3 comments on "Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Folk Art Museum in Angono Rizal"
  1. I should bring my family here. :) Super lapit lang sa min.hehe. :P


    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am suddenly craving for Fried Itik and Kare-kare :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Saved as a favorite, I really like your site!

    ReplyDelete

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