Bale Dutung

Paul Ave., Villa Gloria Subd., Angeles, Pampanga

Bale Dutung
4.5 Stars

17 Reviewers

  • 5 stars 10
  • 4 stars 6
  • 3 stars 1
  • 2 stars 0
  • 1 star 0
  • 19 Reviews
  • 6 Recommend
  • 17 Reviewers

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Most Recent Reviews

Mary Love S.
4.0 Stars

As much as I love to eat out, I also enjoy staying at home and experimenting in the kitchen. Lately, I find attending events a bit too much especially when all my loose clothes are starting to be fit. But an invite to Bale Dutung is too good to resist. And before my brain cells could even process the pros and cons of attending, I already click the send button with yes as my reply.

Hello, Bale Dutung!

I've been eying this restaurant for over a year now. But it being located outside Metro Manila and requiring a minimum of a dozen to reserve made it difficult for me to visit Bale Dutung sooner.

Thankfully, I was invited by Lifestyle TV to attend the press launch of Claude Tayag's cooking show Chasing Flavors which first aired on June 3, 9 p.m..

While waiting for everyone to arrive, we munched on some jicama (singkamas) with shrimp paste (bagoong).

I was thrilled to tour this spacious and picturesque restaurant with Chef Claude as our guide. He showed us Almazen which is also the shoot location of Chasing Flavors. The vintage decors and rustic vibe made the frustrated interior designer in me so giddy.

After our quick walk around the compound, Chef Claude did a quick demo on how to make Lechon Tortilla. His simple steps and basic cooking terms made it easy for me to grasp everything. In fact, I want to try making it at home! I just need some of that lechon rub to make it taste sweet but with an attitude.

I absolutely love the soft shelled lechon taco.

Each bite was packed with flavors and the different veggies added extra crunch. Don't forget to add sauce to tie all the flavors together.

Next served was a plate of Pako Salad which was quite tangy because of its dressing. Chef Claude said that they decided to serve it to prep our tummies for the next lechon dishes.

Chef Claude also showed us how he makes sisig. He also mentioned how sisig became what it is today and the different varieties of the well-loved Filipino dish. It started as a simple dish and evolved to several versions from different restaurants and regions.

My favorite among the different kinds of sisig? The most sinful one, Lechon Sisig. I loved how Bale Dutung's version remained true to Kapampangan's way of cooking sisig. It had this sour note in each bite thanks to the pork being cooked with calamansi. It is also mixed with chili but since this red spice is added after cooking the pork, the whole dish doesn't turn too hot.

The star of our lunch was the classic Roasted Lechon.

The skin's crackling sound was music to my ears and its crunch and slightly salty flavor was divine. The moist meat was great too and would go well with the liver sauce or with vinegar.

And just when we were about to unbutton our pants, we were each served a bowl of Sinigang na Lechon.

I was about to reach food coma then so I told myself that I'll just have one sip of the soup and tiny bite of the lechon. But it was too good to be enjoyed that way. I ended up finishing more than half of what was served. The tangy soup made it a legit sinigang in my book and the soft lechon was just too heavenly not to munch.

As we wait for the last two dishes, we were given some Frozen Bloody Mary which were spectacular as well. The frozen tomatoes were really tangy making it a great palate cleanser and a nice break from the rich flavors we just indulged.

Second to the last dish served was Inihaw na Tadyang na Lechon with Enseladang Talong.

Our table agreed that the lechon ribs reminded us of the famous chicken inasal given its smokey taste. It went very well with the eggplant as it gave our taste buds a break from all the pork served to us.

Last served was Lechon Asado which came from the lechon's hind. Served with some greens, carrots and marbled potatoes, a serving of this could stuff one up.

I was expecting a sweeter taste given that it's asado but it had a beautiful balance of sweet and salty flavors. I liked it that way though.

And to cap our heavy meal, we each had a cup of buko melon sorbet. The light and sweet frozen treat was perfect to close our superb lunch.

It was indeed a scrumptious afternoon and I left Chef Claude Tayag's wooden house with a full tummy and culinary inspired. I can't wait to watch his show Chasing Flavors this Saturday!

Bale Dutung is located at Villa Gloria Subdivision, Angeles City, Pampanga. For reservations or inquiries, you may contact them at +639175359198 or email them at / (If you really cannot pull eleven more foodies with you, you can shoot Mary Ann an email to schedule you with another group.)

  • No. of Comments: 1
Dominique Martel S.
5.0 Stars

Seafood Kare Kare by Chef Claude Tayag.. 128077🏻 World renowned chef.. Best kapampangan experience..

  • No. of Comments: 0
Sandy V.
4.0 Stars

I liked it.

  • No. of Comments: 0
Glenn O.
5.0 Stars

We took a two hour drive to Angeles, Pampanga for a 10 course degustacion prepared by no less than Kusinero Claude Tayag. For ₱2,135 per person, we got to enjoy Filipino dishes including different ways of cooking and eating lechon -- from skin, body to face and brain -- in dry or wet style.

Reservation is a must with minimum number of 12 pax. Be ready to eat there for 3-4 hours.

  • No. of Comments: 3
Alex O.
5.0 Stars

Bale Dutung is actually not a restaurant, but the private residence of Chef Claude Tayag, where he holds private degustation or tasting menu of the best in Pinoy or Kapampangan cuisine. Since the famous visit of Anthony Bourdain, Bale Dutung has become THE best place in the Philippines to showcase Pinoy cuisine to foreign visitors. Complete with anecdotes of each dish by the gracious hostess of the house, Mary Anne, and the legendary Chef Claude, the tasting lunch becomes an unforgettable experience,and a journey into Pinoy cuisine, and the passion of the couple to elevate it to a world class cuisine is infectious!

Normally, reservations is only allowed for weekend lunch, but we were lucky to let Chef Claude organize a special tasting lunch on a Monday for some foreign VIP visitors of mine. You can choose two tasting menu: the Anthony Bourdain (which includes lechon) or the Kapampangan menu.

I have tried the Kapampangan before, so this time we went for the Anthony Bourdain menu, which I would highly recommend for first timers. Price we paid was P2,200 per head, and this would include a ten course degustation. Spare easily 2-2.5 hours to fully enjoy the meal, and avoid going for seconds as you will really be stuffed by the time you reach dessert, even if the portions are small.

Here is the run down of the menu:
1) Ensaladang pako
2) Piniritong lumpiang ubod
3) Inasal na manok and talangka sushi
4) Adobong pugo
5) Hito and balo-balo sushi
6) Fried lechon flakes in tortilla (lechon taco)
7) Sinigang na lechon
8) Begucan tenga ng baboy at ensaladang talong
9) kare-kareng laman dagat
10) Paradiso dessert with kapeng barrio or pandan tea
*refillable salabat juice

Each dish was well crafted and executed. Although the essence of the flavor is traditional, the final product is actually a fusion inspired by world cuisines with the creativity only Chef Claude can think of! Do not expect, therefore, traditional preparation and presentation, instead be prepared to go for a ride where each pinoy dish is fused and transformed into a gourmet experience, but without losing its flavor essence. Best looking dish was the seafood kare kare, which was presented like Spanish paella. Beautiful and instagram worthy! But my favorite was the lechon taco, fine lechon flakes wrapped in Mexican style soft tortilla with salsa and oriental sauce. Winner! Sarap!

Each dish was, indeed, a degustation, and which would have not been complete without the personal annecdotes of Mary Anne (who was more humorous and light hearted) or the dissertations of Chef Claude (who was more serious and authoritative). They balance each other out perfectly. Their house was also a perfect venue, which is literally a wooden house (bale dutung) with a big homey open dining space, overlooking a thick garden and a small pond, and decorated with traditional furnitures and knick knacks.

My foreign guests absolutely love the food and experience, and were really blown away with pinoy cuisine, which they know nothing about before the trip. I was happy that they all left with a better appreciation of Philippine cuisine.

  • No. of Comments: 7
Camille R.
5.0 Stars

We had a mallshow in Pampanga and after a tiring day, we were brought to Bale Dutung for a sumptuous dinner.

The design of the restaurant is quaint and rustic. The wooden furniture and vintage decoration perfected the over all feel of the place. While waiting for our food, we were offered frozen towels that smelled of Johnson's baby cologne for us to put behind our ears and neck for relaxation.

I cannot contain my excitement because it was my first time to have a full ten course meal. The owner entertained us by telling the story behind every dish they serve. The table setting, food presentation, taste and experience is definitely praise worthy!

  • No. of Comments: 0
Cookie S.
5.0 Stars

Worth the drive to Pampanga. Authentic Kampangpangan cuisine at its finest. Be prepared to spend at least 2-3hrs for the 10-course feast.

Heed Mary Ann Tayag's warning not to go for 2nd's so that you have enough room until the last course is served.

In photo - adobong pugo with pandesal, kare-kareng lamang dagat & paradiso (imagine pastillas meets creme brulee topped with ube, yema & macapuno)

  • No. of Comments: 3
Eric C.
3.0 Stars

The food was ok. Nothing to call home about.

  • No. of Comments: 1
Charisse Y.
5.0 Stars

The best and ultimate foodie experience by far! This roadtrip plus really really excellent Filipino food should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Why? Because why the hell not? Aside from the fact that this 10 course meal is extraordinary and beautiful, don't you want to experience and eat the same food that the famous Anthony Bourdain experienced? 128521

Every foodie here will love this experience because you're not just gonna eat when you dine here. You will learn a lot since everything served to you will be discussed and through this you will appreciate our culture even more.

It's pricey but definitely worth the roadtrip, calories, fime and everything in between. Lol 128516

PS: It's the most beautiful Kare Kare I've EVER seen. EVER. 128525

  • No. of Comments: 3
Angel G.
4.0 Stars

I liked it.

  • No. of Comments: 0
Alex O.
5.0 Stars

Like Antonio's in the South (in Tagaytay), Bale Dutung is the ultimate food trip in the North (in Angeles City). Every Loolooers should make this mecca at least once in their lives!

Reknowned chef Claude Tayag and his wife Mary Anne will take you on a 3 hour culinary journey or degustation with annotation of the best in Kapampangan food, or you can have the menu that was specially made for Anthony Bourdain showcasing the best of Filipino cuisine, or you can go for the lechon menu-- lechon served 5 ways and more!

Filipino food has never been presented this way, almost gourmet. Miele Guide has declared this to be one of the best restaurants in the Philippines.

You have to call for reservation in advance, as you actually dine in the house of the Tayags as their special guests. Medyo pricey at around P2,000 per head, but worth it, including the 2.5 hours drive to Angeles!

Talagang the Ultimate Food Trip! Go with an empty stomach though as it is more than an 8 course meal (I have stopped counting...).

Check for more info.

  • No. of Comments: 27
Jules T.
5.0 Stars

I loved it.

  • No. of Comments: 0
Lonemille L.
5.0 Stars

A new dining experience :)

  • No. of Comments: 0
Becca R.
4.0 Stars

Three words.

Lechon. Five. Ways.

We were invited last weekend to have lunch at Bale Dutung in Angeles City in Pampanga. Claude Tayag is the chef while his wife Mary Anne plays hostess (or as my dad jokingly told her, "GRO ka pala dito" 128514128514128514).

We were served a ten course meal, we began eating at around 1p and finished at 4pm. Whew! The starter was three kinds of dip, pesto, taba ng talangka and buro of some sort. Mary Anne explains how it should be eaten, and she does this with every course. Next we had pako salad and I love pako! So fresh and cripsy! We also had lumpiang ubod with Claude's special sauce, it was really crispy and i liked that it was wrapped in lettuce. Very Vietnamese! Next was the Kapampanga version of inasal with taba ng talangka sushi. I liked the sushi! We had buro wrapped in mustasa next, not so much a fan of that.

The lechon was the main event! We were first served buffet style, the lechon tortilla. Lechon belly flaked and fried til cripsy! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. It also had kimchi, Mary Anne said that their kimchi has fuji apples which makes the kimchi less watery. Next was sinigang na lechon, it was good but i could feel the sebo all over my lips! Parang lipgloss lang hahaha this they served with kamias puree on the side so you could control the asim of the sinigang. Next was just plain lechon which was divine. ANG SARAP NG BALAT!!!! Almost no fat was sticking onto the skin which i loved because i'm not a fan of pork fat. Cripsy tadyang ng lechon was next with ensaladang talong and tenga ng lechon. This was just so-so. Lastly we had lechon sisig which was my favorite after the lechon tortilla. You get to control the onions and liver. Also they serve it will a little of the pig's brain which was new to me but it was oh so good. I want some sisig now. Huhu.

They also served us some chicharon bulaklak which has been the best i've ever tasted in my life, plus their homemade suka is divine. We were served the 1998 batch mixed a little of 2010.

We were lucky because we got two types of dessert that day, their homemade tibol tibok and their famouse Paradiso which was yema, ube and macapuno in pure carabao's milk pastillas. It was so sinful but so worth it. These were served with your choice of pandan tea or kapeng barako with carabao milk.

They also opened the art gallery which displayed Claude's artworks. The place itself makes you forget that you're inside a subdivision. It actually feels like your're in a resort.

Overall, the food is good but not as great as it is hyped up to be, but if you want a one of a kind experience, definitely this should be on your list.

I want to go back just to try the seafood kare kare!

  • No. of Comments: 1
Maita d.
4.0 Stars

I liked it.

  • No. of Comments: 0
Alex O.
5.0 Stars

This is by far the farthest and the best food tripping I have done. Travelled 2 hours to Angeles City in Pampanga to experience the acclaimed Bale Dutung of Claude Tayag. Also rated as one of Asia's finest dining places by The Miele Guide.

It is actually not a restaurant, but a house of the Tayags where they host private lunch or dinners, but open to the public. And you need to make reservations in advance through the "boss of the house" Mary Ann Tayag. Normally, groups of 10, but we were lucky to be squeezed in, even we were just 4. In total, though, there were easily 30 people that afternoon.

You can choose either an Anthony Bourdain, a 5 ways Lechon or Kapampangan menu. We chose the Kapampangan menu, but next time I will go for the Bourdain menu, which includes the lechon.

We ate for 3 hours, and the food was carefully served one by one to savor and enjoy, and, each was annotated by Mary Ann, the gracious hostess of the house, who was funny, witty, and, at the same time, an OC. She will ensure you eat the food correctly! And I do understand as each dish has been meticulously prepared. Sayang naman kung isusubo mo lang, hehehe ... 128521

It was probably a ten-course meal ( I stopped counting), and each was really a level up!

Claude then, who is the one that supervises the kitchen, will make a quick "apparition" towards the end of the meal (by this time, you are ready to applaud the chef).

Well, let me just say, every foodie in Looloo should make this trip, at least, once in their life. Hehehe 128521

The whole experience would cost you around P2,000, but definitely worth it!

  • No. of Comments: 4
Jay S.
5.0 Stars

This was the best sit down lunch I have ever been to. We ordered the Lechon menu and every course (10 course) was divine.

This was our menu:
Ensaladang Pakô
Piniritong Lumpiang Ubod sa Claude'g Oriental sauce
Inasal na Manok at Claude'g Talangkang Sushi
Hito at Balobalo Sushi
Fried Lechon Flakes ni a lot sa Tortilla
Niihau na Tadyang na Lechon
Sinigang na Lechon
Sisig ulo Ng Lechon
Tibok Tibok
Sinaunang kape

Will definitely go back for the Anthony Bourdain menu

  • No. of Comments: 1
Lyko L.
4.0 Stars

I liked it.

  • No. of Comments: 0
Edwin I.
5.0 Stars

Two international celebrity chefs, Anthony Bourdain (Mr. Kitchen Confidential) and Bobby Chinn (Mr. World Travel Asia), both have experienced one of the country’s best cultural and culinary adventures in this place. They even featured Bale Dutung in their respective Food Network shows.

The whole experience promises anyone an insight and hands-on experience into Excellent Regional Cuisine (Kapampangan cuisine to be exact) . I believe that anyone (local or foreign) who truly loves Filipino food or simply wants to know a bit of history behind Filipino Regional Cuisine, should get a chance to try coming here.

Bale Dutung (meaning Wooden House) is owned and operated by renowned Chef/Artist/Historian/Author/Food Missionary Claude Tayag and his wife , Mary Ann. They personally greet, orient, tour, and serve guests. It’s like being invited to a friend’s house for a full 10-course meal.

The first thing that struck me when we reached the place was the structure. Old wooden house, lovely garden, pathways, artworks in the garden (crafted by Claude ), ponds, …very Zen in a Filipino way. We were personally greeted by the owners who first toured us around the area. The house itself was filled with antiques and the owner’s artworks(coconut graters –kudkurin, jars filled with fermenting vinegar personally brewed by Maryann).

The best part: LUNCH.

Our group had the Kapampangan Set arranged for our visit. (Bale Dutung has 3 sets that you can choose from—for those who aren’t worried about cholesterol, I recommend that you get the Lechon Set : Lechen served 5 different ways—but since our group was close approaching our midlives, cholesterol was an issue). Mr. Tayag explained each dish as it was served. All were really good. But my favorites were : the Prinitong Ubod with Cloude 9 Oriental Sauce (the sauce, hint of basil, lemongrass, sweet , salty—worked excellently with the ubod); Adobong Pugo (First time for me to eat Quail—the whole bird); the Talangka and Hito Sushi (very ingenious of mixing crab fat and hito into a sushi—and it really tasted good); the Tortillang Lechon (reminds me of Peking duck wrapped in tortilla); and the Kare-Kareng Laman Dagat (excellent Seafood Kare-kare).

Talk about super-busog!

-Bale Dutung is strictly by reservation/appointment only – they are not open everyday . Book WAY in advance. Our group booked as early as July. Since they can only accommodate a small group at a time, it may be a challenge to get a slot.

-Have a party of a minimum of 10 people (otherwise, they may join your group with another group).

-DO NOT EAT BREAKFAST on the day of your visit. You will be served a 10-course meal—eat ‘til you drop. Sorry—not doggie bags for leftovers. The whole stay will last at least 3 hours.

I think that this place will never fade as a fad. It’s one of the few establishments that genuinely strives to preserve the Filipino identity through food. As my balikbayan cousin said, “It’s one of those Proud to be Pinoy” moments.

  • No. of Comments: 8