Mother Tongue: Flavors of Our Archipelago - Dine

From Luzon to Mindanao, these restaurants across the country give you a taste of rich regional flavors.

Scattered all across the country are pockets of fine culinary experiences that give you a taste of the diversity and history of local cuisine. Not only that, many spots even provide an international sentiment that rivals those found in the metro. Most of us are used to Manila having the majority of attention in the culinary scene, but it’s time to put the spotlight on gastronomic gems found elsewhere across the archipelago. From homey rustic cooking to refined beachside dining, these restaurants are must-tries for your next local trip.


Bale Dutung – Angeles City, Pampanga

Bale Dutung’s classic Seafood Kare-Kare

The culinary capital of the country, Pampanga is a hot pot of endless culinary adventures at the forefront of local flavors as well as international tastes. A highlight in terms of local fare would be Bale Dutung which means “House of Wood” in Kapampangan. Located in Angeles City, this restaurant was founded by famed chef, Claude Tayag. Strictly by reservation only, Chef Tayag’s exclusive dinners offer a 10-course degustation experience (spanning nearly four hours) that features many Kapampangan classics, a 5-way Lechon course, and an Anthony Bourdain-inspired menu.

BALE DUTUNG is located at Paul St., Villa Gloria Subd., Angeles City, Pampanga. Lunch reservations are usually accommodated once a month due to high demand. For reservations, contact (+63917) 595.0218 or via e-mail at <[email protected]>


Bramble Bakehouse – Davao City

Salmon Bagel

If you ever find yourself in Davao and craving some fine freshly baked pastries, Bramble by Chef Wade Watson might just be the brunch fix you need. Better known for establishing Bondi & Burke in the country, Wade wanted to focus on baking for his new concept in Mindanao. A wide range of bread awaits diners at this new Aussie bakery, serving bagel sandwiches, brunch toasts, and savory Australian pies.

BRAMBLE is located at 115 P Pelayo St, Poblacion District, Davao City. Open from 6am to 10pm daily. For inquiries, contact (+63920) 970.8517


The Pig & Palm – Cebu City

Foie on Toast, Apple, Walnut

As its name suggests, pork is the focus ingredient of this Spanish tapas bar in Cebu’s Business Park. The first Philippine venture of Michelin-starred British chef, Jason Atherton and his wife Irha, The Pig & Palm offers modern European fare with a penchant for tapas and pintxos, most especially using pork—the favored meat of Cebuanos. Their Confit Pork Belly is a succulent dish with a touch of sweetness from the apple caramel while their Roasted Red Grouper is a favorite from their non-pork offerings.

THE PIG & PALM is located at MSY Tower, Pexcadores Rd., Cebu Business Park, Cebu City. They are open fr om 11am to 11pm on Tuesday to Sunday, bar hours are 12pm to 11pm on Tuesday to Thursday and 12pm to 12am on Friday to Saturday. For reservations, contact (+63917) 657.6866


Read the full story written by Ysmael Suarez in Lifestyle Asia’s February 2020 edition titled, “Exploring Our Island Paradise.”

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