I’ve dined in a number of traditional Filipino restaurants but there’s one that had me enchanted.
The feeling was ethereal, as if I was transported back to the Spanish era. The day I came here (with a group of friends last March) I thought I time traveled. At the back of my mind I kept hearing that piano soundtrack from the movie Somewhere in Time while I walked up the stairs through the main hall of this restaurant that is surrounded by lush greenery…
Located at Barangay Del Remedio, Sulyap is a bit difficult to find, but you can ask around and the locals are all smiles ready to point out where it is. When we entered the compound, we all couldn’t help but gasp and utter a “Wow!” First thing that came to mind: this is hidden paradise!
I had to keep my amazement in check. Well, that’s because we actually came here for a short time to work on some stories and beat a deadline. We came from a coverage in Batangas and have to travel again by land to Sorsogon. Sulyap Restaurant & Gallery Café in San Pablo, Laguna was our pit stop.
I tried to hurry and finish my stories but as our orders came in, it was hard to concentrate. Food here is sooo amazing you have to savor every moment of it.
The main dining hall where we ate was an ancestral house built in 1907 and was remodeled to be an open-air dining area. Adjacent to it was Casa de Cabay gallery café and museum where they say one can also have the pleasure of dining in.
The best thing I’ve tasted at Sulyap was their Ensaladang Dilis, fried Boneless Bangus Belly (I’m suddenly craving for this right now), Kare-Kare, Sizzling Chicken in Gravy Sauce, Pork Barbecue, and Beef Tapa.
We also had to make more room for dessert. Halo-halo at Sulyap is really superb!
After finishing work and early dinner, we walked around the compound and checked out the gallery. We had a fun time having our selfies and ATMs for posting on Facebook. It’s so nice to see this restaurant really live up to its name: sulyap means to take a quick look, a glimpse—and so far that gave us first time diners to this place—a quick glimpse of our rich past.
It had this homey feel that I nearly dozed off inside the gallery. While letting the cool breeze touch my cheek. Others sneaked a peek at a swimming pool nearby that they said is private and off-limits to visitors.
Across the museum and restaurant is the bed and breakfast boutique hotel also managed by the owners of this quaint place. If you’re a lover of ancestral homes and antiques then, you must include this in your itinerary if you’re traveling south of Laguna.
Yes, it may have been a quick gastronomic adventure. But for me, the place was like a long lost friend who’s beckoning me to come back for more. Definitely, I will try. And when I do, I intend stay for more than just a glimpse… 😀