I never thought that dining at Liliw, Laguna would be as pleasant as dining in a reputable restaurant in Manila but at an absolutely cheaper price tag for every dish in the menu. At first sight, I was intrigued with their appetizer Fried Tofu Teriyaki. I have always loved fried tofu but I usually dip tofu in my mom’s delicious blend of sauce – soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and lots of garlic. So it came as a surprise that it could be mixed with teriyaki sauce. Covered in layers of flour, eggs and breadcrumbs, the crisp fried tofu was topped with teriyari sauce. It was simply divine. And at Php50 per serving, I was in tofu haven. I almost finished the entire serving while Mike was taking photos of the other dishes. Ooops, sorry Mike!
Six dishes at their seafood selection and I got to try Thai Tilapia for only Php95. For starters, the tilapia was huge. Coated in flour, deep-fried to a crunch, and served in a soy-based sauce with minced red onions and garnished with spring onions.
Chef Mau Luto ni Tatay sa Bungkol is owned by Chef Mauro Arjona, Jr., who is also part of Manila’s fine restaurants like Kusé and the Old Vine in Mckinley and Eastwood. With such reasonable price, good service and mouth-watering dishes that is so good even to the last morsel, Chef Mau Luto ni Tatay sa Bungkol is just one of the reasons to visit Liliw, Laguna on a whim.
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All photos were captured by Mike Caballes.
It was not a case of serendipity when I checked out one of Laguna's pride - Aling Taleng's Halo-Halo. When my friend and talented photographer Mike Caballes pitched the Laguna topic to our 7107 magazine editor-in-chief, and upon learning our route, I instantly insisted of visiting one dining area - Aling Taleng's Halo Halo.
Why wouldn't I insist when this is one of the oldest halo-halo serving establishments in the country today (originally established in 1933 by Editha dela Fuente). As I saw Aling Taleng's Halo-Halo signage, I was jumping for joy and my heart was pounding fast - alas! I was about to taste what they are made of.
Forget about a dozen or more sweetened ingredients, Aling Taleng's Halo-Halo offers only seven. Yes, seven ingredients but these will surely blow your mind away with every spoonful. These seven ingedients are ube halaya, kundol, monggo beans, white beans, macapuno, kaling-kaling (or kaong as alternate) and tubo ng niyog (sugarcane bits). Intrigued by the tubo ng niyog, when uncooked, this is a crunchy round produce - with a white to yellowish hue. What they do is wash this, take off its brown "crown" and marinate in apog or lime then sweetened for about an hour. The result is a transparent fruit akin to a rambutan or lychee in color and texture. Each tall glass of halo-halo is topped with this tubo ng niyog when in season. We were lucky that at the time of our visit last July 2010 that all their ingredients were available, if not, leche flan may take place of this interesting ingredient.
All ingredients being home-made spells the difference in every tall glass served and I actually did not bother for additional sugar with this concoction. What's best is that it is only Php50. Pagsanjan's residents are lucky to have Aling Taleng's Halo-Halo with their every whim.
I hope you would check out their deliriously delicious offerings and savor their goodness in every bite. As I always say, Live Well, Laugh Often, Eat To Your Heart's Content!
For more deliriously delicious dining destinations, visit my food blog at Eat To Your Heart's Content.