Sunday, July 17, 2011

Filipino Food + Art = Balaw-Balaw

2011 is the 150th year of our National hero Jose P. Rizal and the Department of Tourism spearheaded Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150, a good way for everyone to rediscover the Philippines (or at least the parts where Rizal went).
This July 16, 2011, we went to Antipolo to visit the Antipolo Church. Rizal went there with his father when he was seven years old for a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Antipolo.
Anyway, what I wanted to highlight in this trip was our dinner at Balaw-Balaw (also known as a native sauce made from shrimps and rice) which is a restaurant/art museum.

Since we were a big group, we decided to order their Balaw-Balaw group platter (PHP1160). It was a huge rice topping meal with fish, mussels, clams, crabs, abodo, salted eggs, tomatoes, egg plants, and pork, among others. The waiter told us though that 2 orders of that was not enough for a group of 20 (kinda) hungry travelers. But we decided to stick to the 2 orders. And to our surprise, 2 orders were more than enough. Perhaps their disclaimer of it being good for 5 people is for 5 GIANTS.
This picture wasn't able to capture how big the pot was but it was similar to the size of a huge baby tub.
We had a feast. The toppings were not outstanding but very filling. I find the fish too salty though and the pork too hard. There were also some fish that are not cooked well thus an ugly after taste. L
The highlight of that night was UOK, larva of beetles cooked like adobo (PHP300). I admit; I was grossed out when I saw it. It looked like fat hairy worms. But since I want to try something different (okay, exotic), I tried it… and instantly fell in love with it. It looked gross but it was really good. A bit salty because it was cooked like adobo, but it was like crab meat in hard longganisa skin seasoned like adobo.   
Uok :)
I find it a bit overpriced though since it was PHP300 for 9 pieces. I was lucky though since I managed to get three. J
Overall, the dining experience was good. The ambiance was pleasant and rather entertaining.
I will definitely look for more Uok  in Manila. Hopefully, it will be cheaper.
Balaw-Balaw is located at #16 Dona Justa Subdivision, Angono Rizal

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Comments or other recommendations? :)