a Party of 22 hardy souls
(and hearty stomachs)
finally launched their adventure
and embarked on a trip to CLAUDE 9.
FOOD, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the
Its five year mission,
To explore strange new cuisines.
To seek out new restaurants and new chefs.
To boldly eat what no man has eaten before...
nestled in a cozy vilage in Angeles City,
was literally built up by Cabalen Artist Claude Tayag
from the flotsam and jetsam
left behind by Mt. Pinatubo's devastating eruption in 1991;
the house is made up of
rediscovered fine wood, and
reimagined home furnishings
recovered from abandoned buildings and dwellings
after lahar swept through Pampanga that year.
Wooden flooring made from the lanes of a bowling alley?
"Bale Dutung" after all, is Capampangan for "Wooden House".
It is also his
beautiful home and garden
with loving wife MaryAnne.
Uncle Claude and Tita MaryAnne
offered an excellent sit-down lunch
that was so leisurely and homey
that we stayed on to chill out til 5pm...
the menu was composed of:
> sushi topped with taba ng talangka and camias
> rolled mustasa leaves filled with balo balo (fermented rice)
and fried hito (catfish)
> mini tapsilog bites made with pindang (traditional carabeef tapa)
Ensaladang Pakô at Lumpiang Ubod
>Fiddlehead Fern salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing
and fried spring roll of palm heart
Inasál na Pugo, maruyang patatas at kabute
>Grilled Quail on a bed of shoestring fried sweet potatoes & carrots
Paella Laman Dagat
>a Spanish Saffron Symphony,
heavily topped with strong squid, brawny prawns, gigantic mussels,
authentic Chorizos from Macau,
and flavored further with Hoc Shiu Ham Hocks.
I'll leave it up to these fab food bloggers
to adequately describe the lunch in pictures and prose:
Do check on their blogs over the next few days...
I was able to take one picture of the Paella
before we dug in and dug in,
and dug in 'til we all fought for the Tutong (!),
and blissfully drizzled dayap juice on
the almost-caramelized rice at the bottom of the paellera,
where all the flavors are most intensely concentrated.
and for dessert,
we were enraptured by Paradiso,
an original creation
of halayang ube, minatamis na kamote, & macapuno
floating on a bed of carabao milk pastillas de leche sauce.
Quite a few pounds heavier,
we forced ourselves to lift our behinds
and settle back into our "Love Bus",
which came complete with a La-Z-Boy Captain's Chair,
two TVs for watching DVDs,
and a couch (!) at the very back for amorous foodies.
And as we boarded our foodship back to Manila,
satisfied, sated, and smiling,
this serendipitous message appeared to us:
Claude Tayag delivered, and how!!!
grEAT Memories indeed.