A second trip to Bale Dutung recently was experienced and seen in a different perspective primarily because time was leisurely spent looking around the place rather than earnestly waiting for delectable food to be shown and savored like the first time. Not that the excitement was gone. It was very much present. Perhaps the familiarity of everything made the difference.
And look around TBW did. This time with a different camera angle as well.
Beautiful, rustic wooden house. Aptly called Bale Dutung.
The man-made pond in the middle of the lush garden.
Tall trees that protect the huge property from noise and air pollution
The tindaan (store) which has wooden art objects made by artist Claude Tayag.
If I'm not mistaken, these are for sale.
Claude Tayag's art gallery
Noted and famed signatures of Filipino artists that look to me as cornices that crown the gallery's walls.
A cornice of who's who in Philippine art.
Claude's works of art....
....including these 2 lechons for they are to be carved & transformed into 5 delectable ways by the artist-cum-chef. It was interesting to note that the lechons are brought to this gallery to rest until "show time" to preserve the skin's crispness. Gallery doors are closed to avoid any draft which can affect the lechon's dermis & epidermis.
An interesting wooden table, no doubt made by the artist, occupying visible space in the gallery.
Outside the gallery, which is basically the dining area, one sees functional areas with pieces like these electric fan & fire extinguishers blending harmoniously with art work. Form and function successfully joined together.
A captivating grouping of vintage vinegar in jars.
Every part of the house reeks of style & artistry but in a natural & unpretentious manner. Indicative of who the house owners are.
One-of-a-kind lighting fixture
Another eye-catcher is this plastic bag filled with water & several 25 centavo coins inside. One can see many of these hanging around the sides of the al-fresco dining area to ward-off flies. An eye-catcher fly-catcher =)
Of course the glorious food, gracious hosting of Mary Ann Tayag and must-have take-home goodies are just as important, if not more, as they are what make Bale Dutung a destination in Pampanga.
All set for lunch
Our lunch mate
And the food…
Still my favorite among all the 5 ways. Crispy, shredded lechon belly on tortilla wrapper with tomatoes, coriander leaves, onions, thai basil sauce & the best tasting kimchi for moi. Mary Ann shares that diced fuji apples are thrown in the kimchi concoction to absorb the liquid so it won't be runny. Perhaps the apples contribute a certain sweetness to it that's why TBW likes it.
Lechon sinigang with brown rice wrapped in banana leaves
Eric and Claude together with the lechon.
Pig's brain added to roasted sisig.
Find out why and not just how sisig is made.
Heavenly dessert being prepared for the 60 plus lunch guests that Saturday. TBW was amazed at the range of demographics of Bale Dutung's guests. Claude and Mary Ann have definitely mastered the formula of success.
The necks and heads.
Call or text 09175359198 and check Bale Dutung’s next scheduled lunch. Make this part of your bucket list =)