Home Sweet Home: Balay Dako's Filipino Breakfast Buffet
SPOT.ph blogger Yvette Tan stamps her seal of approval on Chef Tony boy Escalante's latest restaurant, Balay Dako
(SPOT.ph) I will do many things for food, and that includes waking up early. When my friend said that he was going up to Tagaytay to try Balay Dako’s Filipino breakfast buffet, I threw propriety out the window and invited myself along.
Being awake at 6 a.m. is a struggle for me, and for everyone on that road trip, actually. But we all love food, and we all love Antonio’s, so we knew that this sacrifice would be worthwhile.
We were not disappointed.
View from above
Just like Antonio's, this venue is built for celebration.
Cooking on the spot
Balay Dako is the Antonio’s Group’s newest restaurant. It’s in the same compound where the old Antonio’s Grill used to be. The newly constructed restaurant is a three-storey structure inspired by the mansions of old. The foyer, which holds the lobby and the deli, also accesses the rooftop and main dining areas, which both offer a—allow me to insert an overused but apt description here—breathtaking view of Taal Lake. The rooftop offers both indoor and outdoor dining, with foldable doors that seamlessly integrate the interiors with the outdoors.
Breakfast at Balay Dako
For chillier days
The Filipino breakfast buffet is held on the upper dining area on weekends from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.. The large hall in which it's served makes the selection look small, but don't let that fool you; there's enough variety—all of excellent quality—to make this Filipino breakfast buffet stack up against heavy contenders.
Aside from chafing dishes filled with local breakfast staples like tapa, tocino, corned beef, and danggit, there's also an egg station and a rice station (aligue rice, anyone?), as well as an assortment of native rice cakes, breads, jams, and cheeses. The selection of jams alone is enough to make any sweet breakfast lover cry tears of joy. Everything—from the corned beef to the jams to the kesong puti—is made in-house. There's arroz caldo, champorado, ginataang halo-halo, cornflakes, and taho.
What's in your omelet?
Antonio's Jams, obviously
Drinks are also the stars of the show. There's also a selection of fresh native juices—mango, calamansi, and dalandan, for starters, as well as fruit-infused water. A selection of teas are available, as is native hot cocoa, made on the spot the traditional way. Coffee is brewed upon order. It's not an exaggeration to say that everything we tried was delicious.
The weekend breakfast buffet costs P475/adult and P375/child 12 years and below. Toddlers under three years old eat for free.
There are few things worth getting up early for, and Balay Dako's weekend breakfast buffet is one of them. Sure, you have to drive all the way to Tagaytay to enjoy it, but the food, the view, and hopefully, the people you're with, make the experience worth it.
Balay Dako is at Tagaytay-Nagsugbu Highway, Tagaytay City (046-483-4847, 0943-264-1680).
Yvette Tan is a lifestyle writer by day, horror writer by night. Pick up her books Waking the Dead and Kaba at select establishments. Find her on Twitter and Instagram (@yvette_tan).