In the middle of Batanes’ windy, grassy hills and peaceful ambiance is a place where you can eat, hangout with friends, have that serene romantic date, or just simply enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. The place I’m talking about is Café du Tukon, a farm to table restaurant that sources fresh, organic ingredients from local producers in Sitio Tukon and even from their own backyard like mulberries.
Upon seeing the gorgeous landscaping, we can’t help but explore the surroundings and take photos. I’m sure you won’t be able to contain yourself from taking photos too when you see it for yourself in real life.
These are statues of the parents of Atty. Florencio “Butch” Abad, the current Department of Budget and Management Secretary, and Pacita Abad, an internationally acclaimed painter.
Me-An’s photo op.
And this is my photo op.
THE RESTAURANT’S INTERIOR
From the mismatched chairs and tables, brick wall, wooden floor to the colorful decor, I believe the charm of Café du Tukon is inspired by the legacy of Pacita Abad, “a woman of color” international painter. I can say that everything in the restaurant is well thought out and it exudes a relaxing feeling that makes us want to stay long. The wide windows that allow natural light to lit the place and the cool Batanes breeze also add to that feeling of unwinding. In my opinion, it’s a very nice looking café that fits Manila’s standards.
On dining in this place, we highly recommend for you to choose the window side farthest from the entrance as it’s overlooking the rolling hills and Mount Iraya, Batanes’ highest peak.
This is one of the views from the good dining spot.
It’s also a good spot to emote. Hahaha!
As we went here in the afternoon as part of our tour and as a break from our walks, the food that we ordered are just snacks. The restaurant offer main dishes as well which we’ll definitely try when we visit Batanes again.
We had WAKAY CHIPS AND DIP (PhP 200/ USD 4.33). This is sweet potato chips (also known as “camote chips”) that is cut a bit thicker than the usual chips so it’s crunchier. I like how they paired it with their delicious, homemade garlic mayonnaise dressing to give it delicious taste. Yes, we find this healthy appetizer a bit pricey too, but we think it’s reasonable since it’s of good quality and it’s the produce from hard work of the local Ivatan farmers.
For our sweet treat, we ordered their PALEK* BREAD PUDDING (PhP 175/ USD 3.79). It’s diced bread pudding with poached tanyud (mulberry in English) and served with muscavado sauce. As you can see in the photo above, presentation wise, it looks very instagram-worthy, but, for me, those confectioner’s sugar spread all over the bread pudding makes me want to eat the whole thing right away.
Anyway, after trying it, I think the edge part of the bread pudding is baked dry which made it a little crispy. I certainly preferred the middle part which was the actual pudding – soft and warm. The mulberry mixed on the pudding gave it a little sour taste. I’m not sure if that’s what mulberry supposed to taste like or it’s not yet the right season for harvesting mulberries as it was actually our first time trying mulberries. Meanwhile, the muscovado sauce served with it was sweet with a hint of sour wine taste. We discovered eventually that Palek is Batanes’ native sugar-cane wine and it was included in the name since they added it in the dessert through its sauce. What a delectable dessert it is.
For our drink, we ordered TUBHO ICED TEA (PhP 80/ USD 1.73), the traditional tea of the Ivatan people. Made from indigenous wild fern that Batanes locals dry & boil, we heard from the locals that it is a good source of anti-oxidants and it’s good for those people who are diabetic since it lowers blood sugar. Upon drinking this, the tea itself tastes mild with a little sourness, but we’re glad to know that this is freshly brewed and it has good medical benefits.
They have 5% service charge, but it’s already included in the price of the menu so it’s negligible.
Café du Tukon is REASONABLE
We really liked our spontaneous visit to Café du Tukon. Its gorgeous landscape, charming interiors, amazing natural view to their well plated food really captivated us even if we just went in for snacks. How much more will we be captivated if we get to try their Ivatan dishes and their other meals? We’ll definitely come back to try the other dishes in their menu. I also won’t be able to forget their bread pudding in particular which is a really unique food experience, not just from its look, but on how it tastes as well. To sum everything up, we recommend Café Du Tukon for those looking for reasonably priced great food with a wonderful ambiance.
(*Cue in romantic background music. Hahaha!)
Café du Tukon
Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge, Brgy. Chanarian, Tukon, Basco, Batanes 3900 Philippines.