Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bawai's Vietnamese Restaurant

I first heard about this restaurant years back when me and my wife were in Tagaytay. We wanted to try it out before we head back to Manila from our weekend overnight trip. When we called, we were disappointed because it was fully booked. We just ate at Sonya's Garden and forgot about this restaurant. Until today.

My sister celebrated her birthday here today. I was looking forward to try this restaurant out after I heard that they've set up shop here in Manila. It wasn't difficult to find as I am familiar with the place and given the Sunday traffic, it was smooth flowing so no stress was added to the experience.

Upon arrival, it wasn't the usual restaurant I expected. In fact, I felt like I was in Tagaytay! Prior to entering the restaurant, you'll see that it has somewhat an overlooking view of another city. From the inside, you can also see the same view from their panoramic windows. I would think that this is the best place to eat in Metro Manila if you want to feel like you are in Tagaytay less the travel time and traffic stress.

My sister had a reservation made so I'm not sure if they accept walk-ins. When we were there, the restaurant wasn't full though. There were around 3-4 tables free. Better call first before going there so you won't be disappointed. She has already dined there once so we delegated the task of ordering the food to her.

Here's what we ordered (We were 5 pax, white rice not in photo):
Cha Gio | Php 240.00
A usual fare seen in Vietnamese restaurants, these fried rolls has minced buttered chicken, pork, vegetables and some secret undisclosed herbs. You can probably ask about the herbs but when you are as hungry as I was, you'll just grab a roll and sandwich it between the fresh lettuce. For the optimal savory experience, add a drop of the sweet chili sauce in every bite.

Bo Kho | Php 420.00
This is the first dish I tried. It looked a lot like menudo and without even looking at the description in the menu, a single bite on the beef will definitely send signals to your brain that the meat in this dish is slow cooked. It was tender and soft, juicy until the inside. It impressed me a lot but after trying out the other dishes, I can't believe this dish quickly fell as my most favorite dish in Bawai's.

Pho Bo | Php 335.00
If you talk about Vietnamese restaurants, the spring rolls (called Cha Gio in Bawai's) and the Pho Bo are both something you can expect to see in the menu (and that hot sauce with the chicken as a logo). Their Pho's soup definitely tasted authentic as it reminded me of my first authentic Pho back in my Vietnam trip last 2004. Don't expect anything different because it tastes how a Pho should taste like. This comes with Hoisin and the hot sauce on the side. A perfect Vietnamese combination, combining two of the most famous food-related symbolism in Vietnam ; Pho Bo + Sriracha!

Com Suong Cha | Php 420.00
Remember the menudo looking dish which caught my attention for 5 seconds? This is the reason why it fell as my most favorite to a so-so dish (but the beef in that dish was really tender). The Com Suong Cha, I would think is a dish customers of Bawai's must not miss to try. This might be the reason (and the next dish) why I am going back here. Tasty and tender, I cannot help but to eat a spoonful of rice with every bite of this caramel-lemongrass marinaded pork belly. In the menu, it was described as "succulent". Defining it, it means "tender, juicy, and tasty." If you want to taste what succulent tastes like, order this.

Tom Rang Me | Php 585.00
Another must order in Bawai's. To tell you the truth, the fresh shrimp was good. But the best part of the Tom Rang Me? The sauce. Really! If you love rice and you are on a diet, I'll tell you now that this will break your no rice streak. The sauce is tamarind paste garnished with onions and sesame seeds. If it smells good, it tastes even better! If there's such thing as beer match, I'd say that this one can be dubbed as "rice match"!

Tamarind Iced Tea | Php 95.00
I've got high expectations on this drink but it turned out to be so-so. This might be because that I was already spoiled by another restaurant's tamarind shake which they are famous for. I'm sure if you love Filipino food, you'll know what restaurant I am talking about.

Ca Phe Sua Da | Php 95.00
What other perfect way to end a meal with a cup of coffee? Well for me and other coffee lovers, I would think that coffee is perfect for any time of the day. Their style is drip coffee. They grind the beans and put the coffee grounds in that stainless cup above. Then, they put in hot water and wait for the coffee to drip and fill the cup below. As seen in the photo below, it's almost full already. When mixed, the condensed milk acts as the sweetener and if you're a fan of coffee that are not that strong and a little bit on the sweet side, this might also be a perfect meal ender for you.

Vietnamese Coffee "Ca Phe Sua Da" when mixed with condensed milk
It was a good meal. The restaurant ambiance was relaxing. It really did feel like you were in Tagaytay or somewhere relaxing that defined the perfect slow Sunday meal. It's nice to take it slow once in a while and leave the hustle and bustle away for a day. The next time I go back, I'll make sure to try their other dishes cause I might discover another favorite or two.

Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen Menu

Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen
Address: 79 Katipunan Avenue, Bellitudo, White Plains, Quezon City 
Telephone number: 442-8874, 0917-8851145
Operating hours: Daily - 11am to 2pm / 5pm to 10pm

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