Tagaytay is merely a two-hour drive from my place, but I don't seem to get tired of its charm. I have hundreds of stories and fun memories, and I think I'm all too familiar with the city from the numerous visits with my family, my Sweetie and my girlfriends. I don't understand exactly why, but it's been a tradition for the whole Villanueva clan to troop to Tagaytay whenever we have a balikbayan relative, or to simply fill our tummies with authentic Bulalo matched with fried Tawilis. Simple joys.
Speaking of food, I not-so-recently discovered another hidden treasure of Tagaytay. This time, I indulged in Vietnamese cuisine, which honestly used to be one of my least favorites. Used to be I say, because soon as the authentic Vietnamese food touched my palate from this unassuming vacation house-turned-resto that is Bawai's, my views shifted and I'm convinced what I probably didn't like were the commercialized Vietnamese restaurants in Manila.
It's a bit of a drive in the inner barangays of Tagaytay City to reach Bawai's, and it's best to call in advance and place orders because Bawai's makes it a point to offer only fresh, authentic Vietnamese food (we were informed their ingredients are sent all the way from Vietnam!), and Bawai, or grandma in Vietnamese, herself cooks and prepares the food for the guests.
Bawai is a kind Vietnamese lady married to Mr. Virgilio Tatlonghari, a war veteran, whom we had the pleasure of meeting. Since the restaurant rarely gets crowded because of the reservation rule, the owners take time to entertain their visitors and even share glimpses of their lives during the war, and how they've decided to stay in the Philippines in 1970s, and now retire in Tagaytay. Lovely couple! =)
|Goi Cuon or Vietnamese Fresh Lumpia - fresh noodles, shrimp, pork and veggies wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper, served with special peanut sauce.|
|Chao Tom or Prawn in Sugar Cane Skewer|
|Shrimp and Bamboo Shoots Salad|
|Tom Rang Mae or Prawn in Tamarind. This is absolutely good!|
|That's a frozen smile while trying to prevent my tummy from betraying how much I ate that day!|
Price is not bad at all, about 400-600 per head for a full course meal, and a good helping of giant prawns! If vegetable dishes are this good, being a pescetarian won't be so hard after all.
I highly recommend Bawai's. The long drive and muddy tires are all well worth it. =) Give them a call and surprise your loved ones on your next Tagaytay weekend getaway.
PS: Don't miss their sweet patis!
Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen
Hernandez Street, Purok 5, Bucal, Silang, Cavite
0920 972 2924
Friday: 5am-8am and 11am-2am
Saturday and Sunday: 5am-9am and 11am-2am
Feverish but still blogging from the Nook,