One of the things we made sure to accomplish during our vacation back home in the Philippines this year was to explore the province of Rizal. I have lived in Rizal for 10 years and it has been our home base whenever we are back home.
The province of Rizal has a lot to offer, it is after all the Art Capital of the Philippines. Some of the top things to do in the province is to visit art museum, old churches, spend a day at nature parks and explore food scene.
We accomplished two of the suggested things to do – eat and relax.
First on the list is FOOD.
Balaw-Balaw Restaurant located at Angono, Rizal is well known for serving local delicacies and exotic dishes. I have been to this restaurant twice however a first time for my Daddy C, kids, my Mom and siblings. This restaurant was also featured at Andrew Zimmerman’s show Bizarre Foods.
We chose to have lunch at this restaurant for us to try out some exotic food. Here are some of the unusual food Balaw-Balaw has to offer.
Listed are crocodile, kabayo (horse), kalabaw (water buffalo), kuhol (escargot), palaka (rice frog) and Uok (coconut beetle larvae).
Growing up in Davao and with an adventurous Ilocano family I pretty much tried a lot of dishes which some might consider exotic – tokak (frog), balut (duck embryo), rabbit, sawa (snake) and baywak (monitor lizard). I was quite an adventurous kid, if you tell me it’s good food I would probably eat it! However, I draw the line on animals that I consider family.
Uok Tempura (PHP 300 / AED 22) had a crunchy exterior, the larvae skin was so tough it was a struggle to bite but when you manage to cut through the skin it had a gelatinous gooey insides! We ended not being able to chew the skin and had a spoonful of vinegar dipping to get through the “fat” inside.
Uok Adobo (PHP 300 / AED 22) was more pleasurable to eat because of its rich adobo sauce. We managed to chew some skin but it was still tough.
After sharing photos to family members I learned that my Great Grandma used to eat Uok and Abal-Abal so did my Aunts/Uncles growing up. Apparently it is a good source of vitamins that is according to my Lola.
What is Uok? Uok is a coconut beetle larvae which can be found in coconut logs. According to our server this one is best eaten RAW! this creepy creature is apparently a good source of protein.
Andrew Zimmerman ate Adobong Uok at his show, Bizarre Foods.
Crocodile Sisig (PHP 480) tasted like chicken. This one we really enjoyed and sadly I can’t find the photo.
Ginataang Kuhol (PHP 170) is Stewed Escargot in Coconut Sauce. This is a familiar dish since we always have it every Sunday when in season. Kids are also used to eating this, please don’t tell Chloe she ate this.
Sinagang na Kanduli sa Miso (PHP 200 / AED 20) I have no idea the English name of the fish, mom said it is a cousin to the cat fish. A fat fish that complemented well with the rich sour sinigang soup.
Balaw-Balaw is not just a restaurant it also features some art pieces.
We did not have any room for desserts but they have some delicious choices of Filipino snacks like turon and ginataang bilo-bilo.
Food may take time to be served but you can use that to explore the place and admire the art pieces. Servers was very pleasant and patiently answered all our questions about the food. I will update this post soon with a video blog of our dining experience.
Balaw-Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery is one stop you should not miss when you travel to Angono, Rizal.
16 Doña Justa Subd. Ph. I Angono, Rizal
Contact Nos.: +63 2 651 0110; +63 2 295 2698; +63 923 714 4209