When I was still working on a project for agriculture development, we would, every now and then, hold workshops for project implementors, facilitators, trainers, and such. There was a time when we held our workshops almost consecutively at the same place—Day’s Hotel Tagaytay.
Now, it’s not that we are biased towards Day’s Hotel. Just so happened that of the three choices we can have, their offer was deemed more reasonable. And yes, not to mention the chance to have some R&R after the *ehem* tiring and draining *ehem* workshops!
Even if it’s as simple as staring at the Taal Volcano while sipping an ice-cold beer (and it’s cold in Tagaytay!) or messing with the DJ booth after a full glass of strawberry margarita, or enjoying the food that Day’s Hotel has to offer!
See, this post is not really about the workshops we did but the food that we had over several conferences we held at Day’s Hotel. Have you eaten yet? I hope you had coz I’m betting you’re going to be really hungry after scrolling through this post. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Soups and Salads
Breakfast and Merienda
Lunch and Dinner
I purposefully did not enlarge the images as I thought, it would be more merciful. Hahaha And yes, I have tried each and every dish. And, because I hate wasting food, together with Acee, we took on the role of “demolishing” the stuff that other people did not want on their plates. Good thing the Chef at Day’s Hotel cooked really well!
(Disclosure: This post is not sponsored. Meaning, Day’s Hotel Tagaytay did not ask me to write this. Para lang malinaw. Hehehe. But really, Day’s Hotel Tagaytay is a good place to stay for workshops—just haggle for the rates, really hard!)
After kilometers of biking, marveling and picture-taking (aka camwhoring) in and around the Angkor Wat Archaeological Complex in Siem Reap, you’d end up really hungry and I would personally recommend for you to satisfy that hunger for Khmer food at Stall No. 29.
It was Julian, the Spaniard-but-based-in-Ireland-whom-I’ve-met-in-Phuket (whew!), who told me about the place. Since he arrived at Siem Reap and Angkor Wat complex a day before I did, he had the chance to try the place out.
He said that apart from Stall No. 29, he tried another place too. But he chose for us to come back to Stall No. 29 not just because the Khmer food was better but also because the people are nicer!
Stall No. 29, located inside the Angkor Wat Archaeological Complex in the stall area near the Terrace of the Leper King, Terrace of the Elephants and Prasat Suor Prat, is a family-run food stall (restaurant). Granma runs the kitchen, Mommy serves the food, and the daughter takes care of customer relations. (I’m really sorry that I have now forgotten her name)
Don’t get me wrong. I mean, I am not recommending the place just because the people are nicer but it’s because the Khmer food they serve is really yummy. And the price, in thousands of Khmer riel (I think USD1=KHR4000 at the time) seems reasonable at 20-30000 for a dish, and looks like the same range of prices anywhere else.
Well, it’s quite expensive in a sense that it’s a roadside stall and in that price, you can get a full meal with drinks and dessert in some restaurants/restobars here in the Philippines. But hey, this was real deal Cambodian food and Khmer goodness while marveling at temple ruins. Seriously, that ought to cover it. And, did I mention that the food was really good?!
Khmer food are usually curry-based, with a lot of coconut powder and lemon grass. During my stay in Cambodia, I’ve had several Khmer food and none of them matched the goodness I’ve tasted with the food from Stall No. 29.
Not even the dinner buffet at the Apsara dance performance or the free food at the Bousavvy Guesthouse where we stayed. There’s a certain way about Grandma’s fish amok (curry), served in a coconut shell no less, that when I tried to order another fish curry at Phnom Penh, I wished I hadn’t.
Grandma’s version was smooth, rich and flavorful. I know I probably sound like a TV show host selling food via home channel right now but really, that’s what it tasted like to me. Whether it was a spicier chicken curry (not as hot as Indian curry of course) or a simple-but-complex clear vegetable soup, Grandma knows how to tickle one’s taste buds and leave you wanting for more.
Whenever we taste Cambodian food goodness at Stall No. 29, Julian and I would always leave full and satisfied. Plus, during the meal, we get entertained by the daughter’s stories about Cambodian culture. At the time, especially when I was on my last day at the Angkor Wat complex, we mostly talked about marriage and married life. I saw a wedding photo shoot and she was already thinking of marrying her boyfriend. The way she shared her stories made me experience it too, perhaps more than I should. Hehe
Another reason why I am recommending Stall No. 29 is because I believe in their genuineness. Of course, it is a business. But, it is a business which they run with sincerity and willingness to share. Stall No. 29 also reminds me that there really is good in a person, even when we are with strangers. On my last day and Khmer meal at Stall No. 29, I accidentally got my left leg burnt by a motorbike’s exhaust. After learning about this, the daughter disappeared and came back with a new tube of Colgate, bought especially to be applied to the burnt skin to soothe the heated pain. I was, of course, touched deeply and was at lost for words.
So yeah, when I said Khmer goodness at Stall No. 29, I didn’t just mean Cambodian food. There’s a different kind of Khmer goodness that Stall No. 29 and the family have shared with me and Julian. If in case you are heading in Angkor Wat complex and heading to Stall No. 29 to taste and experience Khmer goodness, enjoy the food and I’d appreciate if you can give the family my regards.
I love eating and it’s my favorite part of work-related travel. You get to savor sumptuous and delicious dishes like fresh vegetables and oh-so-fresh-it’s-still-moving seafood! So, whenever we go on the field, we make sure to always sample the local specialties of the place and when we were in Capiz, it’s always seafood that we craved for!
You can find almost any seafood in Capiz. For how else can Capiz own the bragging rights of being the seafood capital of the Philippines?! From fish to oysters, squids to clams, shrimps to seaweeds, crabs to lobsters.
You name it, and you’d probably get the seafood of your choice. Unless of course it is of the “illegally for sale” kind. That’s another story.
Located in Western Visayas at the northeastern section of Panay Island (where you can also find Ilolo and Aklan), Capiz faces the Sibuyan Sea in the north and has numerous fish ponds in the locality.
A lot of seafood being enjoyed in Manila comes from Capiz, with the extra hundreds of pesos added per kilograms of course. Here are some of the great seafood dishes I’ve tasted in Capiz. I hope you enjoy the visual chow time! (Disclaimer: I like eating but I am not that good in describing. I’ll try my best but please use your imagination or previous foodie experiences!)
This is perhaps the most famous and the “fanciest but still looks like casual dining” seafood restaurant in the Capiz bay seafood restaurant area. It’s a bit more pricey than the “dampa” choices down the coast. I can’t tell you how much exactly coz I didn’t really pay for the food. Another perk of field work travel! Anyway, Coco Grove is also the place where celebrities and personalities visiting Capiz usually go to for their quick seafood fix. Photos below are what they offer (or at least what we tried).
There were probably other dishes we enjoyed that I forgot to take photos of coz I was already hungry. I think we also had nylon clam soup which is quite tasty! And perhaps some scallops too. Plus, you can order beer or coconut, which you’d drink from the shell itself!
Aling Bebing’s Seafood Plaza (Dampa style)
Since we were doing a series of farmers’ training at that time, we also had the chance to go for another round of seafood dinner by the Capiz bay area. This time, we went for the Dampa style at Bebing’s seafood plaza.
If you are unfamiliar with Dampa style of eating, it’s where you choose the seafood that you want to be cooked, haggle for the price, and tell the kitchen how you want them to cook it. It’s quite fun. I didn’t do the haggling per se but it’s fun to watch, and request for the food you want!
Eating at Aling Bebing’s seafood plaza is more casual than at Coco Grove. Both places have a great view of the beach/shore and you can feel the wind gushing. Aling Bebing’s Plaza’s style of bamboo flooring a little above the sands and closer to the shore was more breezy though. Making the seafood dinner more authentic and enjoyable.
So, what are you waiting for?! Book your flights to Roxas, Capiz or fly to Iloilo and Aklan and take a road trip from there. Or, if you really have a lot of time but not much budget, maybe try the 2GO ship option (I should try this too) or take the Roll-on, Roll-off (RORO) buses. I know it seems like great effort but hey, if you really want the freshest and finest seafood, there’s no other place to be than Capiz, the Philippines’ seafood capital!
Life is short so take a leap of faith. Let’s wander, explore and discover. Come and journey with me.