The allure of the old-world charm timelessly whisks me away from the slaving modern world. I can't explain it, I've grown to love vintage arts including architectural structures however I'm glad that I don't have the tendencies to hoard old stuff else, my home would be haunted with stories from the past and with the scent attributed to it.
What better way to start a heritage culinary tour than to visually step back in time as we were welcomed on the first part of our tour at Sulyap Gallery Café and Restaurant in San Pablo, Laguna. Overwrought when I received the initial invitation for a Southern Tagalog food tour upon seeing Sulyap, I said yes in a heartbeat.
Even though it wasn't my first time to come here, I still felt like I'm a little girl, whom a grandma will be taking to a dress shop (well coz I never liked candies...). Going to artsy, antiquated places highlighting unique experiences is my game and Sulyap have fallen under that category, time and again. Below is the link of my old blog about them.
SULYAP: A Glimpse of the Past
Not only was I'd be seeing the old houses that was rebuilt from the ground, oh wait, let me rephrase that, it was first torn down piece by piece from the roof down and transported from it's original setting to the Cocoland Compound in San Pablo, rebuilt again from the design and keen expertise of Roy Empalmado, the owner and curator of the museum, gallery, the bed and breakfast the facilities of Sulyap.
The culinary tour began with a heavy breakfast of rice, viands, kapeng Barako, hot tableya (Laguna's version of tsokolate, or hot choco), pan de sal and kesong puti, fruits and Ube halaya. I do understand that we Filipinos are rice breakfast-eaters but I never expected a fiesta of a breakfast will be served to us. Nevertheless, after having my daily doze of brewed coffee at our van while being drove at Sulyap, I never hesitated trying out everything, well except the sunny-side eggs also served to us. I just hoped I didn't miss out on something with the huge platter of fried eggs.
Sulyap's Bed and Breakfast offers a traditional Filipino breakfast, signature to Sulyap, however, you can also opt to order ala carte at the Casa de Cabay, which is the restaurant of the compound.
Aside from the beautiful sunny side eggs, there is also salted egg and fresh tomatoes combo. Salted eggs are also one of the main products of Laguna, which mostly comes from Victoria, since it is a town rich in ducks. What I love about Victoria-made salted eggs is that they aren't too salty and oily, the texture is just enough too, making you eat not just a few slices but the whole egg actually.
Another signature dish to Sulyap is this Pork Tapa. If I can recount this correctly, the taste is very much familiar, different from the regular beef tapa we would have at every corner street, but more like Taal's famous Pork Tapa. So, yes, t's like having a part of Laguna and Batangas in one breakfast.
At first, I kind of smirked to the idea, but then when I grabbed one and sliced it through, I was dumb-founded as it was tender and the smokiness of the meat is just marinated to goodness.
Another thing you should not miss when having breakfast here is their dried fish. I'm not sure if these are danggit, but I'm sure I enjoyed it, and I'm definitely sure you too will.
While our table was being filled with meat and fish, my eyes would constantly glare at the other table, as they have a plateful of pan de sal and next to it are angelic slices of white cheese, known also as kesong puti. Laguna's native cheese is the subtle version of buffalo (mozzarella cheese), a non-aged cheese made from carabao's or goat's milk.
I've been hankering for Good Shepherd's Ube Haleya for the longest time. Glad that my tastes buds had been celebrating with this creamy batch of Ube Halaya (also Haleya). From what I know, this sweet delicacy is only served and made in huge batches during fiestas and special family occasions. Making this is a bit tedious and would require a really strong muscle as this would entail a lot of mix and the batter thickens and morphs into this heavy mound of paste. But eating the delicacy can just be worthwhile as giving your muscles some exercising.
CASA DE CABAY GALLERY CAFE AND RESTAURANT
Ready to discover a portal to the past era? Here is the roadmap to Sulyap:
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Address: Del Remedio, Cocoland Compound,
San Pablo City, Laguna
Contact Details: 049 562-9735/ 0917-5968760