Most of my travels include a food trip to uncover restaurants and cafes that are only available in that destination. I’m freak in listing down places to eat before trips. But on my Bataan visit, with work being demanding, I wasn’t able to create my food itinerary for Bataan.
No online research, I hoped for the best and just planned to have a meal at any food place I would meet along my way. And so far, these random restaurants I’ve tried didn’t disappoint and really have their own unique way of impressing a visitor, by means of food.
Swanky interiors, which remind me of the witch’s house on the Hansel and Gretel story, dazzled me while walking in the hallway of Robinsons Galleria. A chiller filled with more than a dozen of gelato welcomes every customer. Colorful tables and chairs surround their counter situated in the middle of the ground floor.
They have service crews but you need to state your orders at the counter and pay for it. The entrée section attracted my eyes when I scanned the menu. It was lunchtime and a meal with a cup of sinful rice would definitely fill my tummy. I went for Grilled Salmon and a slice of the blueberry cheesecake, my weakness when it comes to cheesecakes.
An upper level is also available that can fit around 15 diners. There were few customers on my stay and food immediately arrived after 10 minutes. Grilled Salmon has mushroom and leeks sautéed in lemon-butter sauce on top and with a cup of buttered rice. The flavor of the toppings of the grilled fish had hints of saltiness and sourness. Fish was tender and not overcooked. – Galleria Victoria Mall, Balanga
The Beanery is more than a coffee shop. Yes, they offer blended beverages, hot drinks, and cakes, but pasta, sandwich, and rice meals are also available on their menu. The restaurant is famous in Bataan and visiting the store on a Saturday night will give you a hard time looking for a table. Friends and families flock the place for a small chat over a good meal. But during my visit, it was chaotic and service was fast-paced.
Bacon and Mushroom Pasta, Chocolate Almond Cheesecake, and Raspberry Iced Tea became my dinner that evening. Pasta came with two pieces of toasted garlic bread. Bacon and Parmesan cheese did the magic in bringing the flavors while the mushroom added a different texture to the pasta. The cheesecake was a little sweeter than what I’ve expected but it was fine as you could appreciate the chunks of almond, chocolate, and other confectionaries.
The Beanery is a good choice when it comes to dining in Bataan but I observed one thing on their Balanga branch. Service crews were rude as they bring food to your table in a stomp way and unmannerly hand other needs you ask. The place gets crowded in the evening but this should not let the management, and its staff, behave that way. I don’t know if it was only a bad day for them but service still tops my list even if we say, you serve great food. – Capitol Drive, Balanga
With the aim of finishing all my goals on my pedometer, I decided to take a walk from Plaza Mayor. I headed in a direction I had no idea where it would bring me. I saw a famous name, Wanam Restaurant after thirty minutes of dissecting the alleys of Balanga. Adjacent to the restaurant is their newly opened café. Bricked posts, exposed duct-work, and crates as chairs were details that first struck my attention.
Hot and iced cold beverages, frappe and milkshakes dominate Wanam Cafe’s menu. Apart from that, they have a small part allotted for appetizers, salads, sandwiches, crepes and waffles, pasta, and entrees. Since I just got back from Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, I asked for a cup of hot Café Americano, and Baked Penne.
The penne was literally dipped in thick cheese sauce and drizzled with Parmesan cheese. Fork was useless during the meal as I used the triangular garlic bread to scoop the pasta. And for every dig, you can discern the gooey melted cheese. – Banzon St., Balanga
ROBERTO’S COFFEE AND TEA
Again, this restaurant is more than a coffee shop. It was unfortunate for me not to try the Japanese restaurant of The Plaza Hotel Balanga. The chef already stopped taking orders when I went there around 9 PM. This led me to go out of the hotel and survey the nearest restaurants to have dinner. A building across Robinsons Galleria, on its upper floor, is Roberto’s Coffee and Tea.
It was Mother’s Day and the place was full of families apart from the ongoing buffet promo. But despite customer arrivals, the managers were eager to accommodate everyone entering the premises of the restaurant. If you’re searching for a place like Starbucks with added perks of availing yummy entrees, then Roberto’s is definitely for you. I asked the counter crew for a Grilled Prawn Skewers, which was really sumptuous with all the chunks of sweet mangoes, grilled onions, succulent prawns, and flavorful mashed potato.
Serving time was a little longer but I was able to understand as the crew were busy cleaning tables and going back and forth to their buffet area to check guests. You won’t be bored here as the cozy place has also ingenious interior design. One wall has all their coffee offerings explained, another brick wall, and a lounge with Kenneth Cobonpue furniture. – P Paterno St, Balanga
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We all know that Bataan played a vital part in the colorful history of our nation during World War II. It was fun to see restaurants not sticking with the old culinary scene but rather modernizing the cuisine that’s already available. One observation I had during my visit to these restaurants was the all-pervading desserts. Restaurants are not only focused on perfecting the main dishes they offer, but always see to eat that a tourist with an insatiable sweet tooth will be well fed.