koko & everything else

koko & everything else

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Simplest Valentine Date: Lunch at Bawais and Coffee at Bag of Beans

It was a windy day with a few scattered droplets of rain but all in all, it was a beautiful day to go to Tagaytay. Valentine’s day is actually a few more days ahead, but since my girlfriend’s schedule is crazy confusing and I am not a fan of driving in Manila on Valentine’s day… just imagine the traffic and all the crazy love birds flocking every decent restaurants there is… and I am so not up for that… It will just ruin the day…

So we decided to celebrate the day of love and all cheesy-ness there is with the celebrated day. I booked a table for two at Bawais. It’s actually a Vietnamese restaurant in the outskirts of Tagaytay. The directions going there is pretty much clear and concise, so even if you had to go into the deep, it’s pretty easy.

My plan was to take my girlfriend to a decent restaurant where we can eat soundly and ejoy good food together. And considering Bawais’ reputation on some of the blog reviews I read, it was the perfect place. And the bonus part was, it was really affordable. I mean, where can you get a decent place in Manila at that price… real nice…

But there’s a catch to it. You need to book in advance and pre-order for that matter. I mean, I really have no clue what Vietnamese cuisine is and with the SMS menu that I got, even reading it was hard work. But I decided to go on with it and just asked for their recommendation.

And here’s what we got….

Appetizer: Cha Gio (Vietnamese Rolls)- P 165

It tasted like Lumpiang Shanghai for me with the extra crisp. Although I’m not a fan of rolls, these are pretty decent

For the Entrée: Bo Kho (Slowly cooked beef stew) – P305

I’m used to the beef stew with the thick sauce. But when I first saw it… my mind kept asking… why is the sauce like that? HEHEHE but when I tasted it, it was real good, the beef was real soft and it actually make you want to eat more…

Another Entrée: Com Suon Cha (Grilled Pork with Egg & Mushroom Pie) – P 295

It looks like a grilled or barbecued pork liempo and it kinda makes you wanna ask for sawsawan (sauce) but once you get a taste of it, the marinate on the pork is real tasty. I am starving at the thought of it. But the egg & mushroom pie was alright, I personally didn’t liked it but it wasn’t that bad either.

Dessert: Ban Da Lon (Pandan and Yellow Mung Bean Cake) – P25

I loved this although it really reminds me of Ginataang HaloHalo in a kakanin form. LOL… my girlfriend started laughing when I called it “binuong ginataan” coz it really tasted like that… but I think Pinoys will love this one since it’s really close to the native delicacies

Drinks: Che Phe Sua Da (Iced Coffee with Sweet Milk) – P 95

It was too strong for me. I loved it coz its sweet but its sweetness is too strong like I’m drinking condensed milk (but not that thick). For me, its okay.

Drinks: Iced Tamarind Juice – P 95

What can I say? Its like drinking sampaloc… sweet and sour LOL

Well aside from the drinks, which I really feel I shouldn’t have ordered a soda instead, everything I ate at Bawais was worth every penny and much more. I think they are even underpriced for the ambiance and set-up. And the taste… the taste is simply great… You could add a few more pesos in it… and it will still be worth it.

So after a sumptuous meal at Bawais, we were off to Bag of Beans. I live in Cavite but for so long, I heard of this place called Bag of Beans but I wasn’t able to go there yet. My girlfriend read about it in a blog and she wanted to try the Alamid Coffee (the coffee bean pooped by an Alamid but costs unjustly).

The blog said its somewhere in Tagaytay, I thought it was near Gourmet or something. Then it wasn’t. So I drove to where Starbucks is, it wasn’t there either. It took me a few minutes (15 or 30 minutes) before we finally saw it… (a lady was nice enough to point us to its exact location).

The signage SUCKS. It says BAG OF BEANS in little fonts and a huge PINOY TOPPINGS under it. If they wanted to highlight the PINOY TOPPINGS, then they should have just used it instead of BAG OF BEANS (for crying out loud) You wasted my fuel, my time, and my energy looking for BAG OF BEANS everywhere possible… then I find out, I kept passing by it for so many time… it was smacked ride there in front of the Tagaytay Rotonda beside BPI bank. It was like a secret place… its completely discreet.

So , we came for a reason… to drink that Alamid coffee… then to our surprise… that Alamid Coffee was really freakin’ expensive. What happened was, we ordered for it and then the waiter said we had to buy the whole container of it before we can actually order it for P50 per cup. I thought the P50 pesos was alright so I asked for the price of the container (and it was the smallest one like around less than 50 grams) and it costs P1000!!!!!

What the hell? Why would I spend a thousand pesos for a poop? Even my girlfriend was shocked. So we just decided to order their houseblend for around P90. They are more expensive than Starbucks coz their P90 peso coffee is like the counterpart of the Starbucks Short brewed coffee (even less), and you can get that for like P80 or P85 at Starbucks.

But as consolation, I like the place. It wasn’t too crowded and their deck had a nice view. The whole woody look of the place makes the coffee worth it.

After a few hours, we got hungry and ordered their shepherd’s pie which is like P130, if I am not mistaken. We waited for it then to our disappointment, there goes the P130 pie as big as a deck of playing cards (okay, just a little bigger… but only a little)

It smelled nice so what the heck, maybe it tastes better than it looks… but again, another BOOOOOO on their part. I think I can make better shepherd’s pie than them… they just didn’t brought justice to the shepherds… its lack of taste really makes you depend on the hot sauce they gave… now I thank Jufran Hot Sauce for making that piece of ______ tasted better…

Even with the bad review of Bag of Beans, I tell you… that day was simply wonderful. I planned out a simple day for my girlfriend and surprised her with a rabbit stuffed toy I hid at the car’s compartment (she really loves rabbits… LOL)

But what really made my day so special…. was how she surprised me with her gift. I excused myself for a while to go to the restroom and when I came back, a heart-shaped box was on my chair. And when I opened it… it was this….

I almost cried (but didn’t thanks to the group of ladies who stared and watched me the whole time like I was a TV show or something). It had the sweetest message… and it really makes me realize how lucky I am to have her…

Happy Valentine’s Day to all and may you all be filled with love with or without a partner… it’s really the LOVE you celebrate this day… so go and do that!

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