Food Trip in Baguio

Seriously, the bad weather prevented us from accomplishing any of the things I had listed on our itinerary so we had to comfort ourselves with finding nice decent restos in the city. 
For our first dinner, our growling stomachs forced us to brave the raging storm (honestly, we really have no choice as the place were staying in didn’t have a restaurant, yet). Problem is, I didn’t research anything even remotely related to food; I usually don’t as I’m always after the scenery and architecture whenever I travel. Plus, hubby and I aren’t picky when it comes to food. 
Anyway, after being turned away by O Mai Khan, this Mongolian place near our hotel (we stayed at the Microtel), we hailed a cab and went to Session Road. 
There aren’t that many appetizing AND sanitary-looking places to eat at. Maybe it was just the rain. We wandered a bit until the cold (17 degrees and raining so the actual temperature is much colder!) forced us to pick a place. 
We ended up at the Flying Gecko Restaurant and Cafe – it’s one of the nicer places, well-kept and apparently, one of the most expensive restos in the area, very popular with the rich locals for their tapas. Each dish costs around Php250-300. 
Clockwise from top left: herbed chicken, pasta, buffalo wings, (forgot the name of the sandwich)
I didn’t really enjoy the buffalo wings; chicken was too dry and it tasted plain but I enjoyed the rice and the vegetable soup – a pleasant surprise since it was the most plain-looking soup ever.
And I must say, I am loving the hot lemon/ginger tea served in a thick cup. Perfect for the weather. 
Loved this! The veggies were so fresh
The restaurant has nice and efficient staff; the guy (I would assume he’s the owner/manager since he wasn’t wearing a uniform) paid extra attention to our table and was on top of every order we had, without being obtrusive. And another plus point for Gecko is the free wifi. 
The time we were there, there was a promotion for Doublemint breath fresheners. You just play a game on their iPad and if you win, you get a tube of the new variant of Doublemint for free. I didn’t really understand the mechanics of the game so I was amazed we won. Ha!

Love doublemint. I have been a fan for a long time; it’s a staple in my kikay kit

For our late afternoon snack the following day, we went to the Cafe by the Ruins. I’ve heard about the place but all the while, I was thinking the ruins were some historical landmark but apparently, the ruins pertain to the home of the first civil governor of Baguio, Phelps Whitmarsh (I believe he married a local – don’t know how true). It was built early 20th century and destroyed during WWII.
This was probably my favourite place during our vacation – ambiance was cozy, laid-back and the menu made me feel right at home – all my favourite comfort foods there! I couldn’t make up my mind. And who’s to say no to hot chocolate?
The bakery greets guests
The cafe offers different kinds of hot chocolate (the local chocolate, in tablea form), depending on the thickness. If you want to go really thick, you can get the dark, bittersweet chocolate. I wouldn’t recommend this to those who immediately think of Swiss Miss when they hear the word “hot chocolate.” A better compromise would be the Chocolate de Agua, which, as the name implies, is dissolved in water. It’s served with very yummy and freshly baked cinnamon toast. 

Chocolate de Agua

Personally, I prefer my chocolate as thick as I can get but I didn’t want to risk my bum stomach which was still recovering from food poisoning, so I chose Rizal’s Tsokolate-e, a sort of in-between the other two types. It’s chocolate mixed with carabao milk which was just bliss. Did I ever tell you that I grew up loving fresh carabao milk? Too bad I can’t find any being sold at our wet market. The ones sold at groceries just don’t taste the same.

 
 

We ordered sotanghon with chicken and mushroom and champorado served with dried fish, and bibingcakes (bibingka), filled with salted eggs and cheese.
Champorado
Dried fish
Rizal’s Tsokolate-e, Sotanghon, Bibingcakes, Chocolate de Agua
 
The sotanghon was a big disappointment – my parents cook really good sotanghon so I had really high expectations, but the champorado was yummy! Plus, it looked great.
For lunch on our last day in Baguio, we went to this little Thai place called Arharn Thai Kitchen, located along Leonardwood Road. It was actually serendipitous, how we came about this place. We were on our way to Mines View when we spied a banner saying authentic Thai Food and decided we will go back there for lunch. 
The place was very homey, which suits me perfectly. Our friends say it’s a bit spooky though – it’s the in-house restaurant at Chalet Tepeyac, one of the oldest establishments in the city and I guess that explains the spooky aura.
We had the chicken sate set meal (served with lemon grass tea – the best tea I’ve had in Baguio, by the way), Thai pork barbecue, and chicken pandan, all served with sweet bagoong. 
Chicken pandan, tom yum, chicken sate, pork bbq
lemongrass tea

The chicken pandan was way too dry but I kind of liked the chicken sate. It was also rather dry but mixing it with the bagoong and side dish made all the diference. I finished my entire plate! 😀 
Food is quite cheap – the seat meal is around Php120, a steal considering the place is not a fast food. Individual dishes range from Php80 – Php90. Drinks are relatively expensive as compared to the main dish. They range from Php60-Php75. 
There’s one restaurant that I really would have wanted to try – Oh My Gulay, but the hubby doesn’t really get along well with veggies, so I guess I’ll just save it for next time.



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