Friday, September 26, 2008

Gluttony in Quezon

For mumsy's birthday, she and her friends decided to take a road trip to Tiaong, Quezon to have lunch at Ugu Bigyan's Potter's Garden. I decided to tag along upon hearing that, with just P500, I could feast on...

...all these!

A rundown of what we ate: (left to right, top to bottom row)
  • Corn soup, made with fresh corn and not canned Del Monte!
  • Pako (?) salad--at first, I thought they said "taco" salad. But this one is made with ferns!
  • Puso ng saging. I really, really liked this dish. It's banana hearts cooked in gata (coconut milk) and mixed with onions. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did!
  • Fish with mango salsa. Good.
  • Some sort of tahong dish. Also good.
  • Calamares. I think these were nicely done. None of those haphazardly fried squid rings--each one was perfectly coated in a light and crispy batter.
  • Curried shrimp. Possibly my favorite. It's a toss-up between this and the puso ng saging!
  • Ribs. Yummm. The inside was a little bland, but the outside was very flavorful, sweet. And since I'm a meat lover, I had a lot of this.
  • Ginatan. Dessert was tapioca balls and gabi in coconut milk. We tried to figure out what else was mixed into it--like arnibal and pandan. There was something different about it. I'm not into gabi, but I did wipe out all the gata.
And these were all prepared by Ugu himself. Ugu is a potter whose pretty ceramics can be found in such places as Aman Pulo, I've read. (All the dishes are served on Ugu originals.) I first got introduced to his work when I spotted an interesting bench with leaf inlay at a house shoot a couple of years ago. Leaves and fish are kind of an Ugu trademark.

If I'm not mistaken, this is Ugu's house, found on the property.

The meals are served in open-air kubos surrounded by lush greenery. Walkways lead to a gift shop selling Ugu items like plates and wind chimes--so you get your fill of Pinoy food and Pinoy craftsmanship! Our favorite find: a calamansi spoon. It's a flat, ceramic spoon with holes in it, so that it could catch calamansi seeds as you squeeze! Plus, it's one of the cheapest items in the store, retailing at P120.

The tree in the middle of everything; the kubo at left is where the eating happens.

Cute product: Calamansi spoons

The Potter's Garden is part of Viaje del Sol, a route with interesting stopovers in Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon. Read more about it here.

If you'd like to have lunch at the garden, you'll have to make reservations. There's a minimum required number of people though.

Call mobile 0917-5605708 for inquiries.

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