It’s way off the main road and open only for lunch and dinner three days of the week. But the gathering buzz on Bawai’s is proof that good news do travel fast. To paraphrase Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams”, if you cook good food, they will come. And visitors do hie off all the way here to dine. We visited one hot Sunday afternoon as part of a small contingent of Summit Ridge’s Tagaytay weekend getaway.
The location is actually in Silang, Cavite. To get there from the ridge, we head back to the rotonda and make a turn near the Aguinaldo highway and head through a smaller road, passing through hilly terrain planted to pineapple. We take another turn on a smaller road and stopped at a non-descript, two-storey house that looked nothing like a restaurant.
Coming in, we espy a garden at the back where an alfresco dining area beckoned under the shade of trees and a profusion of plants. We were ushered to the upstairs dining area instead, greeted by the pleasant aroma of something delicious simmering. The place feels more like a home than a restaurant, The dining area isn’t much bigger than those found in other ancestral houses, with several tables that can accommodate no more than a dozen diners at any one time. Well, the diners ahead of us seemed to be in a jovial mood — always a good omen in any eating place.
Lagal[og] says: We didn’t have the opportunity to peruse the menu as this was a lunch treat but on the other hand, it was a welcome change to just taste the food as it comes. I’m happy to say that personally, I wasn’t disappointed. For starters, the Goi Cuon (P185/ 3pcs) or Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, were delightful — light and delicately-flavored. Ditto, the Bawai’s House Salad (P250), which was made from coconut ubod (heart of the palm). Usually used in lumpia (fresh spring rolls), the blanched ubod made a great base for the salad, topped with glazed pork and shrimp, and drenched with a light dressing.
Ironwulf says: A light spice and a distinct tang played on the tongue as I ate a piece of the Tom Rang Me (Prawn on Tamarind Sauce) (P395). The prawns with sesame seed has skin that’s easy to peel and finding the tamarind sauce lending the wonderful flavor in between. It was yummy. The Vietnamese Sausage (P275 /3pcs) we had was chicken instead of the usual pork that they serve but it was perfectly grilled and covered with an attractive glaze. it taste as good as it looks and has a light smokey flavor.
Lagal[og] says: Judging from the speed at which the dish appeared and disappeared on the table, I guess the Com Suon Cha (P305) or grilled liempo, was also a hit. You can’t really go wrong with grilled pork any day but this one is grilled just right and served with a mushroom egg pie.
We were full and sleepy when we finished lunch but in a nice, pleasant way. When the food lives up to the hype, it’s always a pleasure to spread the word around by word of mouth (pun intended). We had the pleasure of talking to one of the owners, Mang Virgilio Tatlonghari, if only for a short chit-chat (his wife, Bawai, was in Manila at the time attending to friends visiting from Vietnam). I asked him what’s the secret to the great-tasting food on offer. He was probably not about to give away any trade secret but anyway, I guess he was also being honest when he said, “It’s love. Anything cooked with love, with passion, will come out delicious.” Judging from the taste of the food, we wholeheartedly agree.
Hernandez St., Purok 5, Bucal, Silang, Cavite
Reservation basis only • Call 0920 9722924 during office hours
Lunch and dinner served only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays