Archive for sizzling

exotic foods at Balaw Balaw Restaurant…

Posted in dine out with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2010 by crazychanese

When asked, what is the meaning of the word ‘exotic’, most of the time, the answers would be ‘something weird or unusual’, but there’s more to that than being unusual, its the intriguing factor that makes it interesting. Like we had this weird early dinner at a quaint restaurant in Angono, Rizal. Some may know it, some may not, but this place brags about their “EXOTIC” menu. A few years ago, they used to serve monitor lizard ‘bayawak’ & tree snakes ‘sawa’, but was banned by the DENR because of their endangerment. But the most exciting part was that this place isn’t just an ordinary restaurant where you eat and dine. It is a restaurant & art gallery (painted by the family itself) at the same time. I was hesitant to eat weird stuffs, especially we were taught by our parents that ‘insects are dirty’, depending on where you’re coming from. During a foodfest in China I tried alot of fried insects on stick, like a barbeque (ugh…), but it was a nasty experience, just did it for the photograph. Although I finished everything, the secret is “swallow it w/ water” hehehe… The best way to take up the challenge, remember that. 😀

The façade of the restaurant doesn’t have a decade old feel, but it seems different and interesting. There are also neighboring art schools beside it.

Upon entering, one can notice hanged masks all over the wall and ceiling. Different facial expressions and signatures on each mask. Forgot to ask what it’s called or resembles, but it was made out of papier-mâché. Being alone with a lighted candle, in the place during the night would be like being in a haunted house full of statues and gargoyles. (creepy…)

The first thing I went to look for in the menu was their list of exotic dishes… hehehe

We were unlucky because the dish that we went there for wasn’t available, UOK or the beetle larvae. The server told us to try it some other day, but try calling for availability. (waaaa!!!) Anyways, most of our orders we’re not the usual food like chicken, beef or pork. But what we ordered are Minaluto (steamed rice)- their specialty dish, Kamaro (crickets), Nilasing na Palaka (frog legs) – YUMMY!, Sizzling Butt & Balls (yuck!), and Sago’t Gulaman, the only thing normal for our crazy palettes.

Before they served our food, they gave us a variety of dips or ‘sarsa’.

(clockwise: soy sauce ‘toyo’, fish sauce ‘patis’, fermented shrimp paste ‘bagoong’, vinegar ‘suka’) (in the middle: fermented shrimp paste w/ red rice ‘balaw-balaw’)

We were getting excited for our orders and still conditioning ourselves that it’s just another form of ‘FOOD’ period. Anything edible is spelled F-O-O-D. (seems like it….)

Our first dish was Minaluto, it was a steamed rice on a banana leaves surrounded by kangkong, 2 pcs. prawns, 1 pc. crab halved, steamed tomato, half-boiled egg, 5-6 pcs. mussels and pork adobo on top of the rice. Good for 1, according to the menu, but for me it’s for 2-3 pax already. (P195)

This is the start of the unusual stuffs…

Kamaro or fried crickets is a popular Kapampangan dish, which is stir-fried field crickets. It is best served w/ vinegar. For us, the taste is similar to small shrimps. T’was really, really good. The first and second time i had those, it gave me the creeps… Nothing too exotic if one tries to conquer the fear. (P250)

Nilasing na Palaka is an ordinary fried frog legs, looks like mini drumsticks. As the same old expression goes ‘it taste like chicken’. It really is… 😀 Best served w/ vinegar again. (P220)

Haven’t been contented without a taste for some cow’s butt and balls to top off this wild-xotic dinner. So we ordered Sizzling Butt and Balls, it was served on a sizzling plate w/ leeks, onions, carrots, & beans with a slightly sweet sticky sauce (signs of high sugar content). Surprisingly, it wasn’t bad after all, the butt was just made out of chewy ligaments or ‘litid’, soft, and chewy. The balls, on the other hand, has a texture of firm balut yolk and has a slight livery taste to it. Overall it was flavorful, but we could’ve enjoyed more w/ Soup No. 5, which consists of the same parts. It’s better off cooked on a soup because of the flavors of the butt be infused in the soup itself, similar to bulalo (bone marrow). (P200)

At the end of the day, it was a eXotically fulfilling, having conquered another challenge in life. As we go along this culinary journey, we would like to try different foods all over the world, from game meats to insects, to satisfy our craving for the ‘ULTIMATE FOOD’.

Follow us every week for another gastronomical adventure here at

P.S. We’ll definitely comeback for the ‘uok’ or beetle larvae. hehehe!

Balaw Balaw Restaurant is located at 16 Don Justo, Dona Justa Village, Angono, Rizal

651 0110