We woke up at 4:30 am today so that we could make it to Balay Dako (Big House) early enough to be seated at once.
You see, there are guests who are visiting from Hawaii, Earnie and Leilani Juan, and Hazel’s parents wanted to treat them to the breakfast buffet of Balay Dako, a restaurant in Tagaytay that is often packed. We took two cars, with the in-laws, the Juans and the Fontes, Jamie and Gilbert, in the Fortuner, while we, the Roseros, used our CR-V.
The Fortuner arrived first and they signed up for the queue. After an hour’s drive, at 6:30am, we were the ninth group to arrive! We had a great time the last time we were there in 2015, so we expected the queue to form early as the place has quite the reputation.
So we were seated at a far corner of the dining area with a cool breeze blowing in from the lake. Famished from the drive, we quickly headed for the buffet. They had custom-made fried rice where you choose the ingredients and then they cook it for you, custom omelets, homemade corned beef with horseradish sauce, bacon, tocino, longaniza, tapa, assorted fruits, desserts, breads, taho, drinks, etc. All of which sound delicious for breakfast.
But there was a measure of disappointment as well. When we analyzed the menu, we figured that there were no unique dishes in the spread. All of them could be offered in a similar way by any breakfast buffet, and true enough, we’ve seen most of the dishes in many buffets before.
Another damper is that the sections are deliberately set up so that you spend some time lined up for the fried rice, the omelets, the drinks, or even the main dishes, making it possible for your appetite to wane. There was only one cook handling the fried rice, and another handling the omelets. They had a limited number of glasses for the drinks at any given time. It may be clever on their part so you don’t eat as much food, but it certainly detracts from the experience. Good thing we were able to stay until 11am and we certainly made the most of it!
We left before noon and the in-laws got some coconut pie on the way home while we, the Roseros, had to make a couple of stops in gas stations to deal with a fussing Nixi. Hazel at this point was starting to feel ill.
Unfortunately, Hazel had to contend with a bout of indigestion after her last bowl of fried rice. It was so bad that when we got back to Alabang, she threw up three times and would still suffer from an intermittent stomach ache even as she went to bed. She barely had enough energy to attend mass and ate very little for dinner. I detected a slight increase in her core body temperature before she slept and I really hope she gets better soon.
In spite of her condition, Hazel pushed through with her 4pm salon appointment in Alabang Country Club. Since the folks were attending mass at 4:30pm, We decided to attend the 6pm and I took care of Nixi while waiting. We ate dinner at the Veranda as we entertained the Juans. This awesome couple certainly can show their appreciation. Maybe we can visit them in Hawaii some day.
We soon went home since tomorrow is another work day. It’s also the date when Hazel and I got engaged six years ago.