Sunday, March 18, 2007

BALE BALL!

After a month of preparation,
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
Foodship Digiprint.

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...




BALE DUTUNG,
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
resurrected bricks,
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?
check!

"Bale Dutung" after all, is Capampangan for "Wooden House".


It is also his
atelier,
food laboratory,
by-appointment restaurant,
museum,
gallery,
souvenir shop,
and
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:

Kapampangan Sushi
> 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:

Wysgal
ChichaJo
Slammin' Socky
WaterGirl
Gypsy Soul
and
Awesome Anton!!!

Do check on their blogs over the next few days...



Nevertheless,
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.







13 Comments:

Blogger christine said...

Hi Spanx, nice write up and pictures. Thanks so much for arranging this for us, I had a blast! :) Eat memories!

March 19, 2007 at 10:31 AM  
Anonymous joey said...

It was so nice to finally meet you Spanx! :) Thanks for being a great organizer! I had so much fun! :)

March 19, 2007 at 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can u unerstand kapampangan b?

sabi ng ima ku, ali nmn kanu masanting keng bale dutung,,ini b itang keng la condola street?

atyu ku kc middle east and taga-apalit ku, buri ku munta ken since muli ku by december,,

salamat!

March 19, 2007 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger spanx said...

cabalen,

kanyaman na!

byasa ku kapampangan, ditak bagya mu!

so, english for now. hahaha!

bale dutung is on paul st. in villa gloria, so your mom may be talking about another restaurant.

kasanting ng lugar. manyaman i pamangan!

you really should go there when you come home for christmas.

ingat diyan sa ME!

March 19, 2007 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger spanx said...

hi nena and joey!

too bad i had to miss the margaritas,

but my rock and roll dreams with upDHARMAdown couldn't wait!

uncle claude texted me to say that he and tita maryanne had a great time too!

see ya at the next food trip ",

March 19, 2007 at 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cabalen,

thanks for the comment and nice try on d kapampangan dialect :)

can i have the address? and perhaps website/contact #'s if ever gusto ko magpa-reserve.

thanks again!

March 19, 2007 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous katrina said...

It was a day that truly gave us all many EAT MEMORIES! Thank you for being a grEAT organizer, Spanx. Wouldn't have been the same without you. Speaking of which, we were so stuffed from lunch that we didn't get a chance to try the many other food stops Pampanga has to offer. Which means...there will have to be a sequel! :-P

March 19, 2007 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger wysgal said...

Thanks for organizing! It was great fun. But, like Katrina said, I'm only sorry we didn't get to see more of Pampanga. =)

March 19, 2007 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger spanx said...

Katrina,

so much to eat still,
the crunchy sisig at Mila's,
the jalapeno poppers & SOS of VFW,
etc., etc., etc.!!!!



Anonymous Cabalen,

for details about Bale Dutung,
you may e-mail:

claudetayag@digitelone.com

bon appetit!

March 19, 2007 at 10:56 PM  
Anonymous toni said...

Wow! What a feast!!! Time to go to Pampanga!

March 20, 2007 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger christine said...

How sweet of them to say that. :) I really thought they were such a down-to-earth couple and so warm. And Katrina, I totally agree! There's C, Cottage Kitchen, VFW, Zapatas, Mila's. Ayayay! How will I ever go on a diet?!

March 21, 2007 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger spanx said...

toni,


do join the next food trip!

i'll e-mail you once we start planning it ",

March 21, 2007 at 12:39 AM  
Anonymous cfusion said...

Do you have a contact info on how we can rent the Foodship bus? Thanks.

July 18, 2009 at 5:19 AM  

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