After our visit to SM Lucena, we decided to eat on the way back to our hotel. This was where we found Palayisdaan, a small restaurant by the highway. We were a bit early for dinner but we just decided to have something simple (since it was holy week).

We saw several ponds and quite a few cages in the area. The fishes were not active at this time, but our attention was drawn on the grunting tigers and cougar inside the yellow cage.

It was very quiet and windy in Palayisdaan. There was a funny pair of ostrich legs on top of their cashier’s table. The waiter gave us wood woven plates with banana leaves on them along with our San Mig Light.

They put a bottle of bagoong balayan (a fermented sauce made out of fish and salt) on our table, I looked at the label and it says “Pampagana sa Pagkain” (Appetite Stimulant).

A few minutes later our food came out:

Binusog na Tilapia – It didn’t taste muddy and the flesh was nice and firm. It was filled with the usual tomato and onions. I wish we could’ve actually caught this ourselves for full effect but we were too hungry to ask if there was actually fishing in this place.

Steamed Okra – paired with the wonderful bagoong balayan. The okra was steamed just right and it still had a nice crunch to it. The bagoong balayan really acted as an appetite stimulant as this was delightful with rice.

Ensaladang Kangkong – the kangkong or swamp cabbage was steamed and doused with a little vinegar. And I mixed up the salted egg, red onions and garlic with the steamed kangkong. I love Filipino salads. They’re just so different!

I really enjoy places that serve Filipino food and have a Filipino feel. It’s really hard to get a quiet, farm-like atmosphere here in Manila…and this place gave me that. Despite our seemingly simple fare, it was done well so we really enjoyed ourselves.