I finally get to eat dinner in Balaw Balaw. This is the last part of our Angono, Rizal day trip. If you are interested on what went through the whole day of my trip in Angono, here are some of my blogs about it: Angono Petroglyphs, Batlag Falls and Pililla Wind Farm. As you can see, I really enjoyed Angono. I didn’t expect I would see so many interesting places here. But of course, the one thing that I always look forward to whenever I travel is FOOD, FOOD and more FOOD! And this time, it’s not just ordinary food, I’m going to try exotic food! And what’s better to eat exotic food than in Angono’s famous and highly recommended Balaw Balaw Restaurant & Art Gallery.
Balaw Balaw: Art and Exotic Food in One Place
I’m a fan of reality shows, the likes of Survivor and The Amazing Race. Whenever I watch those, they always have a challenge related to eating gross food. Of course, being a fan, I always go like, “I can do that, too!” “I will eat anything to win!” I know, easy to say than done. And I came to that realization the moment we entered Balaw Balaw. Gross food challenge, I call it. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.
Just a little trivia I learned: Balaw Balaw was visited by Bizarre Food host, Andrew Zimmern. He ate Uok (giant coconut worms) and Soup No. 5. Furthermore, this art and exotic food restaurant is recommended by the Department of Tourism. Ibang level mga bes, di ba? My expectations are set high, and I hope Balaw Balaw won’t disappoint.
The Art in Dining
What caught my attention immediately upon entering the cozy restaurant are the beauty inside of it. I was delighted to find out that Balaw Balaw is also an art gallery, showcasing mostly Perdigon Vocalan’s artworks. I love art! So I find it just perfect to go around and marvel at the different paintings, sculptures and art pieces scattered throughout while waiting for our food to be served. More than a feast for my taste buds, Balaw Balaw is also a feast to my eyes! Of course, I took some time to capture some pictures.
Gross Food Challenge Angono Style
Now it’s time to experience what Balaw Balaw is mostly all about, the food! Checking the menu, they have the usual Filipino classic dishes. The menu looks mouth watering, but what caught my attention, and probably the star of the show, is the list of exotic food they serve. Wow, this is as exotic as it gets! They have the famous Soup No.5, which is a soup made from bull’s testes or penis. Soup #5 is believed to also act as an aphrodisiac. I know I have to try that!
Then there’s the Kamaro (Php 300), which is crickets cooked in seasoning with garlic. I wanted to eat kamaro, but was told is not available. Too bad. Another dish on the menu, though, is a familiar one. If you watch Survivor, then you know this is the food they ate in their famous gross food challenge. It’s Uok, which is wood crabs usually found in coconut trees. You can have them cooked Adobo style or steamed. I want to have that Survivor experience, so I’m definitely having Uok.
The other exotic food on the list are Nilasing na Palaka (fried frog legs marinated in gin, Php 250), Tapang Usa or Baboy Damo (Cured dried venison or wild boar, Php 300/380), Bibingkang Abnoy (spoiled duck eggs cooked in banana leaves with onions, coriander and tomatoes, Php 90), Crispy Alagaw Leaves (herbal mini leaves dipped in batter and deep fried, Php 125), Rose Petal Salad (rose petals with cucumber, tomatoes and vinaigrette).
So how was my experience? I ate Soup no. 5 and Uok, which coincidentally is also what Andrew Zimmern ate when he went here. The Soup No. 5 is delicious! I can’t believe I finished most of it. I forgotten it’s an aphrodisiac, though, so I have to admit I felt really hot afterwards on our way home. HAHAHA. The Uok is served like an Adobo, but I can’t see the Adobo falvor in it. First, wala pong sabaw. Where’s the soy sauce? But it’s okay, I asked for a gross food challenge, then they gave me one. The Uok got me defeated. It was hard to chew, much more to swallow. I was able to down one, but the aftertaste is so strong, I just wanna puke to get it out of my system. HAHAHA. They filmed a video of me while eating it, maybe I will post it here so you can have a good laugh at me. MY GOSH.
Overall, Balaw Balaw is a very interesting restaurant that makes you marvel not only with the food, but with the art. Highly recommended visit in the Art capital of the Philippines, Angono, Rizal.
Balaw Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery