Balai Ilocos

760 JP Rizal St. cor. Cosme St., Pagsanjan, Laguna

Balai Ilocos
3.3
3.5 Stars

3 Reviewers

  • 5 stars 0
  • 4 stars 1
  • 3 stars 2
  • 2 stars 0
  • 1 star 0
  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Recommend
  • 3 Reviewers
Category:
Filipino
Business Hours
Reopens: 10:00a - 9:30p
Phone
+639175819041

Hours

  • Sunday
    • 10:00a - 9:30p
  • Monday
    • 10:00a - 9:30p
  • Tuesday
    • 10:00a - 9:30p
  • Wednesday
    • 10:00a - 9:30p
  • Thursday
    • 10:00a - 9:30p
  • Friday
    • 10:00a - 9:30p
  • Saturday
    • 10:00a - 9:30p

Payment Options

Cash

Most Recent Reviews

Jairus d.
4.0 Stars
6

Ester and I were supposed to have our lunch at Calle Arco but a lot of cars were already parked in front so we decided to try Balay Ilocos instead.

It's one of those ancestral house turned resto serving filipino food. It's been a while since I've been to an old-looking but well kept house/resto. Awesome ancient structures from the exteriors down to the designs inside. Woods dominate and the dining area is surrounded by capiz windows.

From its name, I had an idea what to eat for mother's day. I ordered hahanap-hanaping binagoongang bagnet (P200), ginataang gulay (150) and sinigang na salmon sa miso (P240) for Ester.

Their bagnet is less crispier than what I expected. Like it wasn't fried for a long period of time. I've never been to Ilocos or tried an authentic bagnet but their bagnet is more like of a lechon kawali. Also, they made the bagoong a notch sweet which is not what I prefer.

Ester liked her sinigang the miso. The sweet, sour and salty taste were on point and the veggies were not soggy. Just rightly cooked.

The winner dish for me was their ginataang gulay. Just like in the sinigang na miso, they were able to cook the vegetables to our liking and the amount of coconut milk was just enough to envelope the wealth of flavorful richness I'm looking for. I believe thin strips of ginger were sautéed first before adding the veggies and coconut milk creating another texture to the dish. Yum!

I wanted to end my lunch with a cup of buko pandan but the crew said it was not available. I read other reviews and they also failed to serve one. Get rid of the item on the menu if you can't maintain the ingredients to avoid customer disappointment.

Wifi was fast and service was above okay. I'm rating four stars but I have to admit I can probably replicate the dishes we ate. Why pay for 650 pesos when I can just do the cooking at home? I hope they could come up with an awesome signature dish for them to strive and stay longer in Pagsanjan.

  • No. of Comments: 5
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Gina Marie T.
3.0 Stars

My husband and I went on vacation 2 weeks ago in my hometown- Magdalena, Laguna so I will post a couple of reviews on popular restaurants at the neighboring towns. I brought my husband in Balai Ilocos, located in Pagsanjan. I've been there a couple of times before we got married. I so love the ambiance! It's like you're back in Spanish era. It has no air-conditioning but well-ventilated. The first time I went there, the owner was also at the place ensuring customer's satisfaction. They were playing folk Filipino songs added mood to the ambience. But when I went there recently, as I said, with my husband, they were playing modern songs. Hindi bagay sa place.
We went there at around 2 PM and we would just wanted to order some desserts because we just ate in Calle Arco- also a popular resto in Pagsanjan, but everything we chose to order was not available. They said they ran out of stock.
So we just ordered their clubhouse sandwich which was so ordinary with oily fries on the side and their tea- Lipton.

From the my previous visit with my sister and friends, we had their bagnet which was good. My friend who had a vacation in Ilocos said that Balai Ilocos' bagnet tastes authentic. We also had pinakbet, mechado, and dinakdakan. Nothing extra-ordinary. And their serving was small for its price range around 200-300 pesos per viand. They said it's good for sharing but one person can finish it alone.

Don't get me wrong. I love Balai Ilocos and it's something that I'm really proud to have nearby my hometown. Whenever I had visitors when I was living in Laguna I would always want to take them there because the place was picture perfect! But I hope they will stock up their supplies.

That last day we went there, we had our lunch first at Calle Arco and it was full of its patrons. It was just a few steps from Balai Ilocos. We transferred in Balai Ilocos to have our desserts and the only customers was me and my husband. Very sad.

  • No. of Comments: 0
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Vic M.
3.0 Stars

We were supposed to Eat at Calle Arco but ended up at Balai because Calle Arco was full.

Upon entering the Resto we were welcomed by their friendly staff. We ordered the Dinakdakan, Mechado, Inabraw & Halo Halo.

While waiting we were given cornicks. And when we finished the plate of cornicks we were offered more.

The Food: the Dinakdakan was something i did not expect. We just came from Tuguegarao and i had just eaten delicious dinakdakan so had a point of comparison. The version of Balai was weird, pork pieces were fried then dunked in Vinegar?! The Dinakdakan for me was a Miserable failure. They should overhaul their Dinakdakan in my opinion. Definitely not the Kind of Dinakdakan i am used to. The inabraw on the other hand was delicious, the mechado too was delicious. Another Miserable Failure which needs to be overhauled is their Halo Halo. Though their Halo Halo is Big, let us leave it at that. Just Big! The neighborhood Halo Halo is tastier than their version of Halo Halo.

Service: though the food had some hits and misses, the service was fast, efficient & friendly.

Ambience: the Ambience is outstanding. The Balai is housed inside an Old House and i just really love old houses.

Overall it was an Average lunch, if not for the service & ambience i would have given lower stars.

  • No. of Comments: 0
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