We were supposed to go to Daranak Falls and Regina Rica, both still in Tanay, but because it was already getting late, we just had to drop them off. And so right after the tour we headed to Julia Bandoma Vista Restaurant, or Halamanan as what it's well-known for, to have our lunch, a very late lunch that is. :p
My mom said that we've already dined here before but I think we were still little kids back then which is why I can't recall. Daddy, Mommy, and Gia took charge of the menu. I just don't know why Mark was still very busy and seriously looking at the menu when he already has his own food (which I prepared) because he's on a diet haha! :p
We had to wait for a little while before our orders were served. They were served all at once though. This type of service for me both has good and bad sides. It's bad because you'll have to wait for quite some time, but definitely good because once the food is served all at once, you'll finally get to satisfy your hungry appetite with no interruptions. :)
Because Gia partly took charge of the orders, I already knew that Sizzling Pork Sisig will be present on our table. :p I kind of smelled something different when the sisig was served. I can't figure out what that is until I tried the dish. Well apparently, it's because of the ginger bits.
It's the first time that I tried sisig with ginger and it somehow didn't appeal to my palates. The taste of the ginger was too overpowering. It didn't feel like I'm eating pork sisig at all. Even Gia didn't like it. But I guess if you're a ginger lover, this dish will definitely be a hit for you. :)
Adobong Kangkong was also present in our table. I didn't bother to taste this one but everybody, especially my mom, seemed to love it. :)
We also had Bulalo and Kare-kare. Everyone immediately got their share of these two dishes just right after I clicked the shutter. Fortunately, Mommy was able to keep a small bowl of bulalo for me. Though not that picture-perfect, these two dishes were a hit!
The bulalo soup was very flavorful and I love how tender the beef was. I also loved how the veggies were cooked to still maintain that crunch. Who wants soggy veggies, right?
I didn't taste the Kare-kare, but my Mommy (who's a Kare-kare lover) and my Daddy (whose palates are very meticulous) approved of it and definitely loved it! I tried to let Mark have some of it, since I know how he loves Kare-kare so much, but he refused because he's on a diet. Man, I really admire his self-discipline! :D
And because we also need to have dishes for our picky-eater baby boy, Jaoey, Daddy also ordered Pancit Canton, Fried Chicken, and Inihaw na Liempo.
The Pancit Canton looked very appetizing, with generous veggies, chicken, and liver chunks, but it wasn't that delicious. It was a little bland. Jaoey enjoyed eating the noodles though.
The Fried Chicken was definitely a hit for Jaoey. Well that's not a surprise anymore haha! But I got to try this one and admittedly, it was delicious! The chicken skin was very crispy and the meat was tender and juicy. It was not oily at all and was seasoned just right.
The Inihaw na Liempo was equally delectable. It was cooked just right making the pork skin crispy and the meat tender. It also just had the right amount of fat that made the dish maintain its juiciness. The gravy that came with it, which according to my palates is Mang Tomas (a very famous Filipino sauce), also made the dish more delish! :D
Good food should definitely be paired with a refreshing drink, so we got fresh buko juice while the rest of us got orange soda.
Oh I love fresh buko juice! It has actually become our post-workout refreshment. Mark and I would always pass by the market and buy fresh buko juice right after we hit the gym. :p
I love that the ones we got at Halamanan had a lot of sweet fresh juice. I was very delighted when I saw that it also had a lot of meat, unfortunately it was hard already. I also don't like the gooey ones, but this was just a little too hard. We all had a hard time scraping the coconut meat. :( Mommy said that the coconuts were already magulang. But even so, Gia was still able to finish hers, all wiped-clean haha!
Although there were a few misses, I can still say that we had a wonderful hearty lunch. We all enjoyed our lunch! The al-fresco dining with all the greens surrounding us definitely added to the enjoyment. The staff were also very attentive to our requests.
So whenever you happen to be at the Tanay area and want to have good food at an affordable price, go ahead and try Halamanan. :)
JULIA BANDOMA VISTA RESTAURANT (HALAMANAN)
Manila East Road