August 25, 2008
Bawai's has always been my favorite restaurant that serves Vietnamese cuisine. The atmosphere is very homey and gentle. But what strikes me the most at Bawai's is that the people behind it are the nicest! From the servers to the owners, everytime we go there to eat, we are literally welcomed with open arms. We are treated to the best home-cooked Vietnamese cuisine and best service you can ever imagine. We are treated like family.
Another Tagaytay roadtrip brought us back to Bawai's and as usual, we had the best meal we could ever have in Tagaytay. Here are a couple of dishes we ordered/sampled:
Goi Cuon - Vietnamese Fresh Lumpia - A staple appetizer order whenever I dine at Bawai's (or any Vietnamese inspired restaurants). This is my favorite of ALL the Vietnamese dishes. A perfect barometer for a very good restaurant. Bawai's version is really good mainly because they use authentic ingredients. I love the wrapper which was REAL Vietnamese rice paper. The peanut sauce also complemented the fresh lumpia very well. This is a must-order at Bawai's
Bung Tom - Sautéed Shirmps on Dry Rice Noodles - The shrimps were really flavorful and the combination of the noodles and vegetables was amazing. I would prefer bigger shrimps though but I think the taste of this dish overcame the small portion of the sautéed shrimps. The addition of Vietnamese fish sauce was also a "cherry on top" of this awesome dish.
Pho Bo - Beef Noodle Soup - The last time I tried this, I didn't quite like it since it was a little bland for my taste. Coming back to Bawai's, I decided to try it out again. This time, it was different. The broth seemed more flavorful. It had a clean yet powerful taste. It was as if with every spoonful of the warm soup, my throat soothens. I guess I was wrong the first time or maybe it was due to the fact that my palette wasn't quite ready the last time I tasted this dish. I stand corrected, Bawai's Pho Bo is amazing.
My sister who also ate at Bawai's a couple of weeks back told me about this new dish that they had... I'm sorry but I didn't get the name of this dish but it was some sort of steamed fish accompanied by a salad. The steamed fish was nice. The flavor was really robust and strong. A bit on the salty side compared to the other dishes offered at Bawai's. I liked the fish but it was a bit overcooked. The fish meat was a little tough. I was happy though that the flavor of this dish was a good contrast against the subtle tastes in Bawai's other dishes and that they are expanding their menu. Now, the salad on the other hand was a different story. It was absolutely wonderful. Our server told us that the salad would take a long time to make and I wondered what salad would have an extremely long preparation?!? I was a bit skeptical... until I tasted it. The salad was a medley of different flavors in your mouth. It was like a well choreographed group of dancers, a beautiful symphony in my mouth. And as you can see in the picture, a beautiful plate of colors... As beautiful and as colorful as it looked, that was how beautiful and colorful it tasted. I'd personally add this to my staple order of the Fresh Spring Rolls.
For dessert, I had another staple order of mine in Bawai's: the Ca Pe Sua Nong or Vietnamese Coffee with Milk. One of the best tasting coffee I've ever tasted. Vietnamese coffee is one of the best coffee in the world. Bawai's version is very good and very strong. It smelled really nice and when you mix it with the condensed milk under the cup, it's heaven. Others preferred the iced coffee version but I opted for the hot coffee since it was raining a bit AND I wanted to taste the unadulterated flavor of the coffee itself. The coffee was also served drip like how the Vietnamese do it. Very authentic.
The Bawai's family gave us some free desserts of Banana with Coconut Milk and Tapioca/Corn with Coconut Milk. It was very lovely of them and it was very much appreciated by the gang when we devoured it all. Thank you to the Bawai family for being very accomodating and lovely to us. Thank you for making it my home away from home. We will surely come back to dine when we go to Tagaytay unless of course, the Casino takes all our money first - I'm kidding! :)