Project 81: PH

    CALABARZON Culinary Tour: A 2-Day Food Crawl Adventure in the South

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    Culinary Tours or Food crawls are truly one of the best ways to explore a place. Not only you get to experience local dishes but, you’ll get to know more about their rich culture and heritage as well.

    Last April 2019, I was fortunate to experience the beauty of CALABARZON and its delicious local dishes and delicacies. I’ve been to all areas of CALABARZON for mountain climbing, beach bumming, glampings, and staycations but I’ve never tried exploring their food.

    But glad that I can now fully say that CALABARZON is indeed blessed with history, culture, people, and FOOD.

    Together with the Department of Tourism Region IV (CALABARZON) and QuePATTA (Quezon Province Association of Travel and Tour Agencies), for two days, we ranged over the province, met lovely people (their passion for food is WOW!) and ate mouthwatering cuisines in CALABARZON.

    Read Also: Where to eat in Silang, Cvite: Asiong Caviteno Restaurant

    Asiong Caviteno Restaurant – Sapin-Sapin


    Where exactly is CALABARZON?

    Calabarzon, also spelled as CALABARZON, formally known as Southern Tagalog Mainland and designated as Region IV-A, is an administrative region in the Philippines. The region comprises five provinces: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, and one highly urbanized city, Lucena. – Wikipedia

    The region is situated south of the National Capital Region, and is bordered by the Manila Bay in the west, Lamon Bay and the Bicol Region in the east, the Tayabas Bay and Sibuyan Sea in the south, and the provinces of Aurora, Bulacan, and Metro Manila in the north. It is home to places like Mount Makiling near Los Baños, Laguna and the Taal Volcano in Talisay, Batangas.

    TheCALABARZON Culinary Tour

    This CALABARZON Culinary Tour is being offered by the QuePATTA
    (Quezon Province Association of Travel and Tour Agencies).

    The organization, together with the DOT Region IV-A believes that CALABARZON is so much blessed with heirloom cuisines that should never be forgotten. Thus, the CALABARZON Culinary Tour was born.

    Casa De Segunda | Ms. Tina at the background


    The Two-Day Culinary Tour

    This is actually my first time to experience a food crawl and I loved everything about it. Everything was well organized and the chosen restaurants speak so much about its own native land. Listed below is our itinerary for our CALABARZON Food Trip.

    DAY 1

    1. Asiong’s of Cavite – Silang, Cavite
    2. Casa De Segunda – Lipa, Batangas – Sidetrip
    3. Don Juan Boodle House – Lipa, Batangas
    4. Quezon’s Best House Of Pasalubong And Restaurant – Tiaong, Quezon
    5. Earthkeepers’ Garden And Restaurant – Tiaong, Quezon
    6. Ouan’s The Farm Resort – Lucena, Quezon

    DAY 2

    1. Luisa and Daughter Restaurant – Lucena, Quezon
    2. Quezon Capitol Building Lucena, Quezon | Sidetrip
    3. Kamayan Sa Palaisdaan – Tayabas, Quezon
    4. Air Summit Gourmet – Tayabas, Quezon | Sidetrip
    5. Fisher’s Lake – Tayabas, Quezon | Sidetrip
    6. Food Carving in Paete – Paete, Laguna | Sidetrip
    7. Kape Kesada – Paete, Laguna
    8. Balaw Balaw Restaurant – Angono, Rizal

    Yes, friends. We went to all these restaurants!  If you are interested to know more about our food tour, read on.

    DAY 1 – Cavite – Batangas – Quezon

    Day 1 was well spent. I guess it was clever to start in Silang, Cavite for the food tour since our last destination is in Angono, Rizal. Since we will start in Cavite, and I am from Cavite, I opted to go straight to our first destination. The entire day was full of fun and energy (hi, super hyper blogger friends!) PLUS food! Never been so full in my life. Haha!

    1. Asiong Caviteno Restaurant

    Location: Silang, Cavite

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    As mentioned in my blog review of Asiongs, if you are looking for a chill place with huni ng mga ibon and Imelda Papin songs in the background, this is your abode.

    Being a chill-probinsyana-turned-nagpapaka-busy-city girl, Asiong is something that I wanted to spend my weekend with.

    This restaurant is secludedly located inside Silang’s lush greens. Upon entrance, you’ll already feel relaxed as this is not the typical modern designed restaurant.

    What to Order at Asiong’s of Cavite?

    We went here for breakfast and here’s some of the dishes we ate. Don’t forget about the Pancit Pusit, please! Also, if you happen to visit Asiongs, you may want to look for the very hands on owner, Mr. Sonny Lua. I don’t know, he’s like a magnet. He made me laugh so hard with his witty jokes. Hehe. You’ll love the history of Asiong’s as well. Check it out in my Asiong’s Caviteno Restaurant Review.

    restaurant in silang cavite
    Carioca Breakfast Meal – P260
    restaurant in silang cavite
    Asiong’s Original Pancit Pusit – P380


    Personally, Asiong’s is something that I’ll visit again for my next Silang, Cavite adventure. Maybe I’ll plan to try their lunch or dinner together with my Mama during the cold season.

    2. Casa De Segunda

    Location: Lipa, Batangas

    Casa De Segunda is the home of Jose Rizal’s first love – Segunda Solis Katigbak.

    I thought we will be dining here for lunch pero nag side trip lang pala kami. Hehe.

    Casa De Segunda in Lipa, Batangas is very rich in history as this casa was built in the year 1880. This 136-year-old house surpassed World War I and II already and is the only remaining old house in Lipa.

    Casa De Segunda – Since 1880

    3. Don Juan Boodle House

    Location: Lipa, Batangas

    Our lunch for the first day was at the Don Juan Boodle House in Lipa City, Batangas. It’s just minutes from Case De Segunda. The other branch of Don Juan is located in Taal, Batangas.

    • Address: P. Torres Street corner G.A. Solis, 4217 Lipa, Batangas
    • Phone Number:  (043) 740-1828 / (0917) 1130-393 / ‎(0917) 5280-551
    • Operating Hours:
      • Mon-Fri: 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
      • Sat-Sun & Holidays: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM
    • Facebook page: Don Juan Boodle House Lipa

    What to Order at Don Juan Boodle House?

    1. Southern Tagalog Boodle

    Boodle fight! Of course, we tried their Southern Tagalog Boodle. It comprises the following:

    1. Pork Binagoongan
    2. Bistek Tagalog
    3. Inihaw na Tambakol
    4. Tortang Talong
    5. Pork Ribs Kaldereta
    6. Pork Sisig
    7. Fresh fruit in season
    8. Served with sliced tomatoes, onions, salted eggs, atsara
    9. Steamed Rice

    2. Taal Specialties

    1. Tapang Taal
    2. Adobo sa Dilaw
    3. Ginataang Sitaw Kalabasa
    4. Longganisang Taal
    5. Sinaing na Tulingan
    6. Fried Tawilis
    7. Inihaw na baboy
    8. Fresh fruit in season
    9. Served with sliced tomatoes, onions, salted eggs, atsara
    10. Steamed Rice

    I am not a fan of tapa but Tapang Taal of Don Juan is surprisingly delicious! Plus, love their Tawilis!

    Their ambiance is so Batangueno as well. Love that their servers wear baro’t saya.

    4. Quezon’s Best House Of Pasalubong And Restaurant

    Location: Tiaong, Quezon

    After a hearty lunch at Don Juan’s Boodle House, we immediately headed to Quezon’s Best – the popular pasalubong and restaurant in Tiaong.

    • Address: Tiaong By Pass Rd, Tiaong, Quezon
    • Operating Hours: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM

    What I love about Quezon’s best is they make sure that what they’re offering is of high value just like the below photo of their Organic Coconut Ainos which they are exporting!

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    We also stopped by for a quick merienda. Love their Halo halo and especially the puto! If you’ve already tried Lemon’s Square, mas masarap pa ito. Promise!

    The mas-masarap-pa-sa-lemon-square puto!

    Here’s their pasalubong station!

    5. Earthkeepers’ Garden And Restaurant

    Location: Tiaong, Quezon

    After a quick merienda at Quezon’s Best, we went straight to Earthkeeper’s also situated in Tiaong, Quezon. I think we only spent around 5 minutes to go to the place.

    • Address: Km. 101, Tiaong, 4325 Quezon
    • Phone Number: (042) 545 7112
    • Operating Hours: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
    • Facebook Page: Earthkeepers

    I love how nature welcomed us here. Everywhere I see, plants and trees are present. Earthkeepers indeed!

    What to order at Earthkeeper’s Garden Restaurant?

    What’s good about Earthkeepers is they are serving food in glass bottles/jars and banana leaves. Earthkeeper’s served us another surprising merienda.

    We ate Sinulbot, a pre-kalamay merienda which is a rice cake, by the way. It’s sauce is made of coconut milk with brown sugar. With Sinulbot, we were served cold Buko Juice straight from the backyard of Earthkeepers!

    Sinulbot – pre-kalamay merienda
    Coconut trees in their backyard

    5. Ouan’s The Farm Resort

    Location: Lucena, Quezon

    After a day full of activities and food, we were welcomed by one of the most popular resorts in Quezon, the Ouan’s The Farm Resort.

    What I love about this resort is it is surrounded by trees. This family resort was also the venue for our candlelight dinner and Tagayan night, a special ceremony for VVIP as per QuePATTA’s Officer, Ms. Tina Tagala.

    We are also humbled to know their family history through Retired General Recaredo Sarmiento II’s museum. Glad and inspired to hear their very story from the retired general himself. I guess his love for his family and wife is the reason for all his successes in life.

    Retired General Recaredo A. Sarmiento – I love their family story!

    Day 2 | Quezon – Laguna – Rizal

    Day 2 is actually more full blast than our first day. We started with Quezon ending in Angono, Rizal. We also had side trips to different places to go while in Quezon and Laguna.

    1. Grandma’s Kitchen – Ouan’s The Farm Resort

    Location: Lucena

    Our Day 2 started with a heavy breakfast from the quaint and lovely restaurant of Ouan’s Resort called Grandma’s Kitchen.

    It is situated beside the resort’s swimming pools so you can already feel refreshed while watching friends and families enjoying the pool.

    What to Order at Ouan’s The Farm Resort?

    For breakfast, we had Malunggay Omellete, Tinapa, Quezon Longganisa, fried rice and lots of tomatoes. I also wanna note their coffee as I can compare it that of Banaue!

    2. Luisa and Daughter Restaurant

    Location: Lucena, Quezon

    After bidding goodbye to Ouan’s Resort, which had been an instant favorite, we went straight to Luisa and Daughter Restaurant.

    Luisa and Daughter Restaurant is a humble family-run restaurant in Quezon.

    • Address: Km. 101, Tiaong, 4325 Quezon
    • Phone Number: (042) 545 7112
    • Operating Hours: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM

    Here we were taught how to make Pancit Chami which can be regular or hot and spicy. Of course, I love how tasteful the spicy one is. It’s also a bit more salty and more saucy.

    What to order at Luisa and Daughter Restaurant?

    Pancit Chami is best paired with turon! And don’t forget to put on some calamansi for a more appetizing Pancit Chami!

    3. Kamayan Sa Palaisdaan

    Location: Tayabas, Quezon

    • Address: Brgy. Dapdap, Tayabas City, Quezon
    • Phone Number: (042) 793-3654 or 55
      • Globe:  0918-951-0460
      • Smart: 0917-556-2642
    • Facebook Page: Kamayan Sa Palaisdaan

    After a quick side trip to Quezon’s Capitol, we went straight to the popular Kamayan sa Palaisdaan in Tayabas, Quezon for our lunch.

    It was actually surreal to me because I have been reading this only before and finally, I get to explore and experience this restaurant with a man-made pond. The pond has over 60 floating kubo.

    What to order at Kamayan Sa Palaisdaan?

    After being served with grilled liempo (my favorite, of course!), grilled tilapia, and ginataang suso with pako, we were serenaded by this group of handsome Titos! I love them singing the hits today like ‘Buwan’ of Juan Carlos among others.

    And of course, Buko Juice in Quezon!
    Grilled Liempo – my fave!

    6. Kape Kesada 

    Location: Paete, Laguna

    • Address: Quesada St, Paete, Laguna
    • Phone Number: (049) 557 1436
    • Operating Hours: 8AM to 6PM
    • Facebook Page: Kape Kesada

    Never thought I’ll get back to Kape Kesada after three years, I guess? This quaint coffee shop / art gallery situated at the heart of Paete, Laguna is just minutes away from the Paete church, Municipal Hall, and as far as I remembered, it is also near the wood carvers of Paete.

    What to Order at Kape Kesada

    Here we ate Kalamay (we call this Biko in Masbate), Minani (cubed cassava fried in garlic and salt ) and Laksa. Laksa, vegetables in coconut milk, is best paired with biko. It was a surprise at first but when I got to try it, it really blended well with the biko!

    I think I ate around 10 pieces of biko that I forgot to take a picture! Haha!

    Laksa | vegetables with coconut milk
    Minani – cassava cubes/cutlets cooked like peanuts
    Photo by: Aaron Nomo

    7. Balaw-Balaw Restaurant

    Location: Angono, Rizal

    • Address: Doña Justa Street, Angono, 1930 Lalawigan ng Rizal
    • Phone Number: (02) 651 0110
    • Operating Hours: 8AM to 12AM
    • Facebook Page: Balaw Balaw Restaurant

    It was around 8PM when we arrived at Balaw-Balaw Restaurant in Angono, Rizal. Here I was surprised that Balaw-Balaw is actually an art gallery as well.

    The interior of the restaurant is pretty quaint and I feel that the place together with its paintings and stuff tells a number of different stories. I would love to explore more and ask about the gallery next time I visit the place.

    What to order at Balaw-Balaw Restaurant?

    Balaw-Balaw is not your ordinary restaurant. Aside from the exotic food choices, Balaw-Balaw is also housing paintings, sculptures, among others.

    For the food, I suggest you try their best seller, Minaluto. Minaluto is actually like paella with seafood, fried chicken at pork. You can also choose from their yellow (turmeric) or black (with tinta ng pusit) rice.

    I was actually surprised by their food servings here:

    • Nilasing na hipon – this dish is made of shrimps marinated in alcohol, coated and then deep fried until golden.
    • Vegetable salads
    • Lauya – beef soup
    • Binalot na itik sa pita – native duck wrapped in pita bread
    • Minaluto – this is actually like the usual Paella. You may order the yellow rice (turmeric) or the black one (squid rice).

    If given another time to visit Angono, I will definitely try again Balaw-Balaw Restaurant because I feel like I haven’t fully checked out the place when we were there.

    CALABARZON Foodtrip Side trips

    While going around on your food tour, here are some side trips that you may want to check out.

    1. Food Carving in Paete

    Location: Paete, Laguna

    One good stop we had was the food carving in Paete, Laguna by Ernesto Sena (ship and flowers in vase) and Nomiric Baisas (flowers and eagle). Love that I actually got to experience actual food carving here in Paete!

    2. Quezon Provincial Capitol

    Location: Tayabas, Quezon

    This century-old building in Tayabas is considered a national treasure. Its breathtaking Neoclassical Art-Deco style was designed by Architect Juan Arellano and is serving as an alarm clock for its people. Here, a familiar siren is being heard three times a day – at 7 in the morning, 12 noon and 5 in the afternoon.

    3. Air Summit Gourmet

    Location: Tayabas, Quezon

    • Address: Brgy. Dapdap, 4327 Tayabas, Quezon
    • Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
    • Facebook Page: Air Summit Gourmet

    Air Summit Gourmet is a sister-restaurant of Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. It is an airplane-turned-restaurant still in Tayabas, Quezon, minutes away from Kamayan sa Palaisdaan.

    I love how they have their own ‘immigration office’ where guests can ‘check-in’ before going up the plane. We were glad to be assisted by the owners of Kamayan to explore Air Summit. Wish we can go back and really experience dining here!

    4. Fishers Lake

    Location: Tayabas, Quezon

    • Address: Lucban – Tayabas Rd, Tayabas, Quezon
    • Phone Number: (042)793-3654/55 0918.951.0460 or 0917.556.2642

    Another sister restaurant of Kamayan sa Palaisdaan, Fisher’s Lake boasts an upscale-ish Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. One unique experience you will get is, since the tables soaked in the water, you’ll get to experience to eat with fishes on your feet. Free foot massage, everyone!

    Pia’s Thoughts

    Looking back to our two-day super foodie tour, which I thought was not possible by the way, I was glad that it was properly and strategically organized as I have never felt the hassle of touring around for days. Imagine going around CALABARZON in just two days?

    With this, I highly suggest you contact Ms. Tina Tagala if you are interested to join a Culinary Tour around CALABARZON.

    We would also like to express our appreciation to Stella Salvacion (My Journey Travel and Tours President), Nino Magararo (Rainsummer Travel and Tours Vice-President), Maria Luisa Villabroza (Myles Travel and Tours), and Marilyn Mendiola (Sunburst Travel and Tours Treasurer).

    My warmest thanks to the Department of Tourism CALABARZON and QUEPATTA for showing us how beautiful and wonderful CALABARZON is!

    Check out our CALABARZON Culinary Tour Travel Series:

    1. CALABARZON Culinary Tour: 2-Day Food Crawl in the South
    2. Asiong’s of Cavite | A Taste of Authentic Caviteño Dishes
    3. Casa De Segunda: Exploring The Home of Rizal’s First Love
    At the Quezon Capitol Building together with my co-bloggers

    Read More:

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    Pia Bernaldohttps://piathought.com
    In love with coffee dates, mountains, and beaches. Currently in the season and process of unlearning, relearning, and learning together with God.

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    Comments

    1. Wow that culinary tour looks fun. I haven’t tried a lot of those foods but being able to experience new flavors and dishes it’s pretty cool.

    2. This looks like a fun thing to do. I would love to do a food tour of my own as well in the future. I’ll probably start in my hometown. :0)

    3. Oh wow. So many delicious looking food! I wish that business would grow and expand and put up a branch near us! Not only is this place a haven for gastronomics, it is also a very beautiful place to explore!

        • Hi Pia. My parents are both Batangueños (from Lipa and Taal) but I was born and raised in Quezon City. I am very familiar with those dishes at Don Juan Boodle House because my parents and grandparents made sure we knew about Batangueño food and culture. I have not been to Batangas in decades and I miss the food. I hope that Don Juan Boodle House would have a branch in NCR. Being able to taste these food again would bring back so many memories of my parents and grandparents who have all passed away.

    4. hoping to go back home soon with my parents and hopefully will stop by and try some of these restaurants. food looks really yummy.

    5. Wish I could do a food tour like this sometime. May be in Singapore where I would be visiting after a few months. Some great exhibition and details of what looks awesome food choices.

    6. I would love to do a food tour like this. Getting to know the local area and the culture through food sounds like an enlightening experience. It is true that food is a great centerpiece for conversation!

    7. I would love to dine at Luisa and Daughter Restaurant and the others as I have never experienced a culinary tour. Also, glamping in this area sound exciting.

    8. I love doing food tours when travelling to new cities! What a great way to get a ‘taste’ of authentic cuisine!

    9. Ohhh, I love doing culinary tours. I’ve never visited this area before and it sounds like a place I would love.

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