Beautiful Brunch at Bawai's

By Karla Aguas - 5:23:00 PM

Hi everyone, it's definitely been a while since my last real entry, post Coco's passing. Sorry if I flooded your Instagrams, Twitters and this blog with nothing but my love for my angel Coco, I am still trying to move on and be happy with the fact that he is in a better place.

Moving forward and facing reality, I'm now going to talk about a little Vietnamese Adventure I had with my family and Bubba during Holy Week- on Black Saturday we went all the way to Tagaytay for an adventure and some serious bonding. We hit up my sister Trina's friend's mom's restaurant (layo ng connection noh? Haha) for some DELICIOUS and FRESH Vietnamese food. So here's my take on a place that I think all of you should visit when you can- Bawai's. :)


"Bawai" actually means grandmother in Vietnamese. This in itself already sums up what this quaint little place is all about: home cooked, delicious and authentic Vietnamese food from grandma's kitchen. How yummy does that sound??

Bubba being a MOWDEL (mana lang sa akin! Hihi)
We heard of this place because of my sister's friend Ana, she's the daughter of Bawai. Bawai and her husband Mr. Tatlonghari met during the Vietnamese war and from then on, their love has not only produced a bunch of children, but a cute little restaurant at their vacation home in Tagaytay. Yup, Bawai's is actually the house where Mr. Tatlonghari and Bawai live. They decided to open up their home and Bawai's cooking to the public in order to keep themselves busy as they grow old (awww how sweet) together. With this being said, I'm already letting you guys know that you have to book a table in advance. And here's why:

Bawai only cooks the food you order on the day that you arrive for your meal. Yes, as much as possible you are asked to order two days in advance because Bawai herself goes to the market to buy the ingredients and prepare the specific menu you asked for. How cool is that already yeah?!?! So anyway back to our adventure...

Entry way into the garden area :)
We got to Bawai's a little before 12 (WAY early compared to the time we said we would arrive) and we ended up sitting outside in the garden area. Our table inside the house was actually taken from us by a rude group that told Bawai they wanted to sit there. We didn't mind this because actually we felt the garden was the perfect place to have our meal PLUS, we were the only ones in that area! God really makes things happen for GREAT reasons. :)

My beautiful sister Trina and equally gorgeous Mama :)
While we were deciding on what to eat first, Mr. Tatlonghari entertained us with funny kwentos and the story of their house and how they started. I tell this man is such a pleasure to talk to- he will make you laugh with how animated he is and how passionate he is about their restaurant and the food that they serve. He immediately recommended that we try their Vietnamese coffee and of course, we all ordered it!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee- you can ask for it HOT if you want
Guys, in all my years of drinking Starbucks, Coffeebean and Seattle's Best coffee (I'm a coffeeholic) I have NEVER, in my life, tasted a coffee that was THIS good. YES people. I am hyping it up THAT much because SERIOUSLY THIS IS THE BEST COFFEE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. It is like a rainbow in your mouth (does that even make sense? Let's say it does). The coffee beans are supposedly from Vietnam (Bawai buys them when she visits Vietnam every 2 months for ingredients) but I think they are straight from HEAVEN! Yup, please please please try this coffee, you will not regret it!

Coffee addicts much?
Just by sipping the coffee and realizing how delicious it was, we were even MORE excited to taste all the delicious food that we had ordered. Mr. Tatlonghari even made a joke that we must really like prawns cause in mostly everything that we got, there were prawns! We didn't even realize it, it was so funny! :P

Pandan House Tea
This house tea will really change how you look at the "house teas" that they serve in those Chinese restaurants. This tea isn't the kind of tea that you dip your utensils in to "clean it" (uyy aminin mo! Guilty ka rin! Haha) this tea is the perfect palette cleanser in between courses because of the faint taste of Pandan that they infused in it. I loved drinking it, I looked like a legit tea drinker! (even if I'm jsut a poser Huhu)

Prawn and Bamboo shoots salad
I can't remember what this is really called in it's Vietnamese name but let me tell you what this is called in Karla's Dictionary of Food and Beverages: REFRESHING AND DELICIOUS! This salad as a starter was the perfect choice because of how light and fresh it tasted. The portion was huge and we were all able to grab a bite of the delicious and fresh prawns that came with it. There was also a vinaigrette that came with it and it added the perfect amount of salty flavor to the light salad. Yummy oh so yummy!

Chao Tom - Prawn balls in Sugar Cane Skewers
Don't let these three little cute guys deceive you, they were absolutely packed with flavor! What I loved about this second appetizer (oo na, matakaw kami Huhu) was that it had a nice bite to it. And by bite I mean the skewers (yes I tried eating it HAHA) but seriously, you could really taste the prawn and at the same time it added a more "meaty" feel to the regular appetizer. I loved that it came with a side of fresh veggies and another delicious dipping sauce. :)

Nem Nuong - Grilled Vietnamese Sausages
This was our third appetizer- a plate of grilled Vietnamese sausages (oinkity oink oink). This was again, delicious (I will be saying this a lot in this entry just so you know!). I loved it because it was a bit smokey but still light! I really don't know how Bawai does it but her food isn't oily nor is it lacking in any flavor. Everything tastes fresh and newly prepared. This plate was gone in 60 seconds Hehe :D


Vietnamese Noodles
Again, forgive me for not knowing the legit Vietnamese name for this dish- my memory isn't as good as it used to be (Lola Vibes). Packed with tons of ingredients and huge pieces of prawns (yes, prawns again. There's like prawns in every dish I truly feel that the prawn population has lessened because of our lunch). It tasted soooo good. People, this was LEGIT Vietnamese noodles. As in. For the texture of the noodles down to the mixing of ingredients (uyy Master Chef Karla?) this noodle dish was beyond me. I honestly don't know how I'm going to be able to go back to Phoa after this.

Curry Ga - Chicken Curry
I love chicken curry. I love curry in general. My love affair with curry has been going on for years and I cannot imagine my life without a good bowl of piping hot curry (clingy much?). This chicken curry, however, was very different from the traditional Indian curry that most of us have eaten. This curry was again, light and refreshing (there's like that?) Instead of having a strong curry taste, this was more of like a "Curry Light" type of chicken dish. There was just ah int of curry, yet you could appreciate it's full flavor. I know it sounds so contradictory but that's how it tasted! :P
Bo Kho - 12 spice Beef Stew with steamed rice
I think what really made this dish extra special was how soft the beef was. As in, melt in your mouth soft. It was so good and you can really tell it was a slow cooked dish because not only was the meat extra soft, but the stew in itself was so flavorful. This is the perfect Vietnamese dish for those meat lovers because not only do you get the yummiest and softest beef, but the flavors of the stew just make you want more! I don't like rice but I ate this with a whole lot of it! Soo good with the cool Tagytay weather! :)

Tom Rang Me - Spicy Prawns in Tamarind Sauce
You can never go wrong with prawns and spicy sauce. Never. Never ever ever. This dish is the perfect example of how prawns taste even better when paired with a thick, spicy sauce. I am seriously salivating now just looking at this picture. The prawns were huge and juicy (that's what she said. Ano?) and the spicy sauce complimented the prawns, it didn't overpower it. It was so yummy!
Me taking a quick shot of the Bubba before he got mad at me for disturbing his eating. I am abused :(
Prawn Soup - Forgot what it's called again HUHU
Apparently, the Vietnamese way of serving your meal is that the soup comes in last. We were happy though because when this soup arrived, not only did it have the best smell ever, but it was packed with prawns again! It was like the Vietnamese version of my favorite Filipino dish Sinigang. It was tangy and the broth was soooo good! Despite us being stuffed to the brim, we were still able to attack this soup dish with just as much enthusiasm (and unbuttoned pants).

Banh Dah Lon for dessert!
Bawai and Mr. Tatlonghari sent us over some dessert on the house and we were speechless! First of all, with all the food that we had ordered (you saw all the pictures right? Just to remind you all, we were only 4 :| ) and second, for a simple rice dessert, it tasted like it came straight from Vietnam! I'm a sucker for rice dessert and snacks like puto and those purple ones at birthday parties and family reunions so despite my bloated and HUGE belly, I dove right in and ate every last bite of this yummy dessert. The coconut syrup on top was just the right amount of sweetness for the dessert. :)

Now here are some pictures of us with Bawai! I swear, I've never been such a fan girl in my life! Hihi :D
Bawai with my beautiful sister and mom!
Bubba, Mr. Tatlonghari, Me and Bawai! Double date ang peg.
Fan girl moment! Bawai is BEAUTIFUL!!!
Me, Bawai, Mom and Trina
After our delicious brunch/lunch we headed on over to my favorite coffee and dessert place in Tagaytay- Bag of Beans. The Bubba treated us to some yummy cheesecakes and coffee! What a great way to cap off the day! :)

It was so cold when got there, we were all freezing!
The Tagaytay wind was cray and my hair was all over the place! Wind effect achieved!
The best strawberry cheesecake EVER.
Plain cheesecake for Mom and Trina!
So there you have it. Our little food adventure to the lovely place called Bawai's. I encourage you guys to give this place a shot. I promise that you guys will not only leave with happy full bellies, but with new and wonderful memories. :)

Bawai's Tagaytay

Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday (11:00AM - 2:00PM / 5:00PM - 9:00PM)

Hernandez Street, Purok 5, Bucal, Silang, Cavite

info@bawaisgroup.com

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18 comments

  1. I'm sorry Karla but i just want to say this...Ang gwapoooooo ni Nicoooo!Taray ng arrive nya,artista/model ang level!!!Paging Ben Chan of Bench!!!Isali na si Nico sa Bench Body!hahahha...K bye!walang konek sa entry mo ang mga pinagsasabi ko!hahahahahahaha

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  2. This entry made my mouth water. I lurve prawns (even though I am a little allergic to them. Can't stop me from having mah prawns). I like how the place makes you feel at home. Haha. :)

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    1. Hi Krystyna! Aww thank you! Trust me when I say the food is mouth watering talaga. SUPER GOOD :)

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  3. Omg ate karla i am on a diet right now :((( this blog post makes me wanna eat dinner huhu. anyway, i'll definitely try eating there whenever i visit tagaytay. It looks so yummy. :) Your mother is so pretty btw like you and ate trina(uy close hehe) and nico is so gwapo forever. :""> perfect couple hihi

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    1. Hi Romelyn! Yes, you really should try Bawai's. It's healthy pa so definitely diet friendly Hihi :P

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  4. I want to go there now. Huhu. Karla, you always make blog entries about where you eat. Now, I want to try them all. :)

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    1. Hi Jean! Yes I do- I call these entries "Piglet Diaries" cause I love food and I want to be able to share with my readers the places I've been to and loved :)

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  5. How do we know if you're not just endorsing the product and that it's really good there?

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    1. Because not only did we pay for our lunch, but I always tell my readers that I never blog about something I didn't try for myself and loved. I suggest you try it out so you can see how good it is there. :)

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  6. I love how you describe each food! I feel like tasting them in my own mouth when I read your description! You really are a good writer! Now, thinking of going there with my family this weekend! =)
    -A

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    1. Hi A! Thank you so much! Yes I really recommend this place! It's a must try!!! :)

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  7. Ate Karls! What camera did you use to take those photos? btw, nice post!

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  8. OMG. Those dishes really look sumptuous! You always make me hungry whenever you post about your food escapades, Ate Karla. Hahaha. Please blog more about places with good food. They're gonna be really helpful.:) Btw, do you agree that a girl will really love a guy if he takes her to good places with good food and pays for everything? Caus ethat's pogi points for me. Hahaha. Just curious.:) - T.

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    1. Hi T! Yay I'm glad this post got you all hungry for the food! It really is a must try place. I'll definitely be blogging about more food places soon.

      I think it's definitely a PLUS in the pogi points section but it shouldn't be given as much value as like non-material actions. You have to remember that things that are bought are great, but nothing can beat being loved and taken care of with nothing but one's whole heart. Commitment and time are just as important or even more important than gifts and dates and dinners :) Those are just my thoughts of course.

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  9. Hello Karla! What is the price range of the menu items? :)

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    1. Hi there! Hmm... around P350 and up. It depends on what you get :)

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Thanks for reading my entry! I hope you enjoyed it. :)