Balay Cena Una

F. Lotivio St., Daraga, Albay

Balay Cena Una
4.3
4.5 Stars

11 Reviewers

  • 5 stars 6
  • 4 stars 3
  • 3 stars 1
  • 2 stars 1
  • 1 star 0
  • 11 Reviews
  • 2 Recommend
  • 11 Reviewers
Category:
International
Business Hours
Reopens Wed: 10:00a - 10:00p
Phone
+63454354338

Hours

  • Sunday
    • 11:30a - 9:00p
  • Monday
    • 10:00a - 10:00p
  • Tuesday
    • 10:00a - 10:00p
  • Wednesday
    • 10:00a - 10:00p
  • Thursday
    • 10:00a - 10:00p
  • Friday
    • 10:00a - 10:00p
  • Saturday
    • 10:00a - 10:00p

Payment Options

Cash

Most Recent Reviews

April H.
5.0 Stars
10

Balay Cena Una or Sinaunang Bahay should make it to your Bicol itinerary. The beautiful ancestral house turned restaurant will be the setting for an incredible Filipino feast.

We were glad that they were able to accomodate a group of 24 past lunchtime; we made reservations prior to visiting Daraga Church and Lignon Hill. Everyone was sweaty right before the fine dining experience.

Take your time going around this restaurant, which is nestled in a residential area of the city. It is beautifully restored, maintaining it's previous grandeur. You can see Albay's rich history in the photographs mounted on the walls. They usually have regional memorabilia displayed on shelves covered with chicken wire; however they swapped it out for small belens in time for the festive season.

We occupied the second floor of the traditional Spanish ancestral house, ascending their grand staircase. We were surrounded by capiz windows and perfectly restored wooden chairs. We had to rely on fans to keep us cool-- they tried to keep the place as authentic as possible.

We preordered the whole meal beforehand, so the dishes were just served one by one when we got there. We started with the lumpiang tinapa, which was really delicious! Good pick for an appetizer, though they would recommend the buffalo wings if you ask the staff. I love pako so I requested for the wild fern salad. This pako salad was really fresh and well-made. I have tasted some which have an aftertaste, but their version did not have that. I think it's because of the dressing that went really well with the pako. But I would recommend their heart of palm and apple salad-- this was very light and refreshing. The apples and grapes lifted the flavor and gave a nice sweetness to the dish.

For our viands, we had to order the Bicol express. Obviously. Be warned that their version is HOT. But it burns so goooood! Keep the coke on hand! The tanigue steak in buttered herbs was really delicious! But my favorite amongst our orders was the chicken tinutungan. The tinutungan, in this case, pertains to the grated coconut that is smoked before it is pressed to make coconut milk. This is then added to a mixture of herbs to give the chicken a creamy and smoky flavor. It's a unique dish that I urge you to try if you are in the area. Btw, each order of their viands already comes with a cup of rice.

We ended our meal with rice coffee, which literally uses burnt rice or tutong. I liked the distinct roasted flavor and it was pretty strong too! We ordered several slices of the only two cakes that were available. Their blueberry cheesecake was good, not a bad version of the classic. You can taste the vanilla in every bite. However, everyone preferred the Opera cake. This traditional French cake is a prime example of the kind of cuisine this place offers. It is a mixture of International and Bicol cuisine that makes this place very unique, much like their bestselling cake. An opera cake is usually made with layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee and the ganache is the glue between the layers. Their version replaces the almond with pili, resulting in a familiar yet distinctive dessert. This is really excellent-- they actually supply other cafes with this particular cake.

My aunt was surprised that she knew the owner, Mrs. Medy Villanueva, an old classmate from HS. Mrs Villanueva regaled us with stories of Daraga and of their business. Originally an exporter of abaca, they have expanded their business to include 3 restaurants in the Legazpi area. Cena Una was their first venture and the brainchild of one of their children who took up culinary studies abroad. They utilize their abaca products as placemats and decor all over the restaurant. You can actually purchase these and more at half the Manila price in their warehouse (soon to be a pasalubong center) across the street. I swear, if they accepted credit cards there, I would have went wild. They also make the belens that are displayed all over the restaurant. These are very well-crafted and very cheap; these are a steal if you can bring them back to Manila. Btw, they are also credited to have the biggest Christmas tree in Albay, using local materials and displayed outside for everyone to enjoy.

It was a lovely afternoon spent learning about the rich culture of the region from a proud Bicolana. We even had a grand view of Mt Mayon from our seats. She wished us "Dios Mabalos", a traditional Bikol platitude that literally means "God will return your good favor." It is their way of showing deep gratitude and thanks.

In a nutshell, Cena Una is all abou showcasing traditional Bicolano ingredients and flavors yet utilizing International techniques to make their own brand of cuisine. Tourists will definitely enjoy the elegant ambience and the gourmet fare at Daraga's best kept secret.

  • No. of Comments: 6
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レロン テ.
4.0 Stars

I liked it.

  • No. of Comments: 0
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Michell Elizabeth C.
2.0 Stars

closed early last jan 1.

it was closed when we arrived at 7pm.

i will come back.

  • No. of Comments: 2
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Mye D.
5.0 Stars

Cena Una reminds me of my grandparents' old house 128522 Service is very courteous and fast. I like all the food that we ordered, especially the local salad (i forgot the green veggie that's in it-sorry), spring rolls, tanigue & the chicken with laing128077128156

  • No. of Comments: 0
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Raech P.
5.0 Stars

Still can't get over with this beautifully restored ancestral house in Daraga, Albay. Balay Cena Una gave us an excellent dining experience in Albay next to Small Talk Cafè. We decided to walk from Daraga Church to this place because it was already past 6pm and we wanted to arrive there just in time for dinner.

When we reached Balay Cena Una, we fell inlove with the restaurants' facade. With all the nice lightings and very warm employees to welcome you, who would not love this place?

Food was really good. I give their food presentation 5 stars. You can see clearly how the food was well prepared. I recommend you to get the Bruschetta Sampler (P35) for appetizer, Pasta Cena Una, Bicol's version Pesto for mains. My partner ordered Boneless Chicken Tinutungan. Having a sweet tooth, of course I left a big room for dessert! Their opera cake and English Vanilla Cheese with Blueberry Sauce were beyond excellent. See photos to appreciate them. :)

Price was very affordable and worth every peso. Prepare 300+ per head inclusive of dessert.

#LoveBicol

  • No. of Comments: 1
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Alex O.
4.0 Stars

The only 'fine dining' Bicolano restaurant in Legazpi, but at 'regular' prices!

The restaurant is an old Spanish ancestral house with sliding capiz windows, grand wooden staircase, etc. but kept really well and 'renovated' so that you don't get that eery feel!

All dishes came individually nicely plated. No sharing here!

Try their Boneless Tinutungan Chicken with coconut milk, paco salad and tinapa lumpia. Good touch to the simple Bicolano cuisine presented ala fine dining!

Don't get initimidated though with the place! The prices are very reasonable (not much difference to other mid range dining places in Legazpi) and actually quite casual and cozy place.

  • No. of Comments: 3
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Aj M.
3.0 Stars

I thought it was OK.

  • No. of Comments: 0
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Kristine B.
5.0 Stars

Ate here last Valentines and would definitely recommend this place when visiting Albay! The place itself is a 5 star! It's an old Spanish home turned into restaurant, the ambiance is very romantic and homey. Very suitable for a special date or if you just want to try something new with your s.o. The foods are really delicious! It has a big serving for one and nice plating. We had ratatouille for starters. Cena Una marinated boneless chicken and Baked Salmon for the main entree. The desserts are a must try! We had the Cena Una chocolate cake and mango crepe. The price is also reasonable. If you'd compare the price here in Manila I would rather say Balay Cena Una is cheaper.
It was a very romantic experience given that we were the only costumers that day. I would say that we had a memorable Valentines date. 10084

  • No. of Comments: 1
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Randal E.
5.0 Stars

I loved it.

  • No. of Comments: 1
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Bamae C.
5.0 Stars

Classy Vintage House/Resto!!! :)) Blueberry cheesecake the best!

  • No. of Comments: 1
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Denver S.
4.0 Stars

Had the king prawns in tilmok sauce. Pasta is great and the prawn is tasty.

  • No. of Comments: 0
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