By Rosemarie Reyes – SouthTrip Editor-in-Chief
Sometimes, we all need a getaway to clear the mind and lift the spirit. When a particularly challenging week compelled me to pack the family and go south to Tanauan, Batangas, we were quite unprepared to find more than what we hoped for. The unassuming entrance to BAMBÚ CAFE, EVENTS, BED AND BREAKFAST led us to a wide clearing with a modern looking structure in the middle of mature trees and lots of greens.
And just like that, we felt our muscles relaxing. The air was fresh and clean; we could breathe easier.
Instantly refreshed, we entered a spacious restaurant that is the modern edifice, Bambú Cafe, the first feature of the multi dimensional property that Bambú is. As we quickly discovered, the four-hectare property also houses a humongous white tented events place and further back, a quaint bed and breakfast. But first, let’s talk about the cafe.
Pleasantly cool and with high ceilings to add to the sense of space, Bambú Cafe boasts of an incredible menu of Asian flavors. In fact, many dishes are from heirloom recipes of the grandmother and mother of Chef Abe Arayata who manages the family-owned property together with all members of his family.
When we arrived, everybody was hungry and it was a good sign that the menu was extensive enough to cater to multi generations. Among the bestsellers we tried were Lechon Kawali on Bagoong Rice, Tulingan sa Gata, Tahong Sisig and Crispy Skin Nachos (a more upscale version or the humble nachos, and an instant hit with the fam).
Replete after a fantastic meal, we savored good kapeng barako and their famous dessert of Longhina Cassava Cake, named after Chef Abe’s grandmother who owns the recipe. We cannot help but gaze at the enormous white tent from the cafe’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The vision in white is Bambú Events Place, an all-weather airconditioned area that can seat a maximum of 350 people.
Further beyond the events place is a grouping of rustic cottages that make up the Bed and Breakfast part of Bambú. A very wide expanse of green in front of the cottages will make this ideal for company teambuilding sessions or an alfresco party.
Back at the cafe where the kids decided to have more desserts, Chef Abe invited us to visit again for Acoustic Saturday when a local band performs from 6pm-9pm. Now, that is more reason for us to plan another getaway and perhaps, stay overnight for a more relaxing experience.
What started as a desperate escape from the city into somewhere peaceful and new turned out to be an exciting journey where we discovered a hidden gem in the quiet city of Tanauan, Batangas.
Life does throw in a few delightful surprises, some go by the name Bambú.
Call 0917.119.1030 for inquiries. Bambú Cafe, Events, Bed & Breakfast is located at Daang Janopol, Santor Tanauan City, Batangas (open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-2pm, 5pm-10pm). For more information, visit Bambú Cafe and Bar on FB and @bambu.batangas.