It Takes a Ketchup Food Community to Make a Happy Tummy
Or is it the other way around? ^^,
No matter. But just so you know, before any of the other eating places at the Ketchup Food Community came to be, there was Happy Tummy. A Thai restaurant opening for business at the most opportune time (when people became more receptive to Thai cuisine), they serve pad Thai, chicken pandan, fried tilapia in tamarind sauce, som tam salad, Thai iced tea and more. What with the mega flavors that their offering of Thai dishes have, you can order up something as simple as eggplant salad and eat it viand-like with bagoong rice or maybe the more downplayed salty flavor rice – Thai rice. A good and filling meal for a happy tummy. (“,) That’s what Race and I did the first time we visited this restaurant. Hanging out in one of their dining tables in a hut, we had happy tummies in no time.
On our next visit, we went for a proper meal with fried tilapia in tamarind sauce and Thai fried rice. The fried tilapia was plated up so nicely with the fish left whole topped with crispy fillets of it. The tamarind sauce was a wonder, super yum, that we ran out of quickly when it came to eating whatever we fished out (pun intended *hee) from the tilapia head. We also got some soup, tom yam gung which was perfect for another chilly day in Baguio. With the creaminess of the soup as well as a taste explosion of flavors like sweet, sour, salty and spicy, there’s no other reaction for your tongue but to tingle with delight. After all this, we decided to finish everything up with dessert. The happy pizzuki did its job; it completed our Happy Tummy experience.
Placed on the shelf while I crossed off other places in my Baguio restaurant list, at the site where Happy Tummy was, sprung other restaurants like Canto, Circulo, Rumah Sate and Rancho Norte, too. The Ketchup Food Community was born! (And what a great idea it was to have a community of eating places right? In one compound, with patrons mostly dining out in the open, it’s a one of a kind experience.) Choosing Canto in our return, we ordered up their lomo ribs and beef kalbi. Great value for money is what the Canto meal provides. It’s yummy and has a huge enough serving proportion to give you its mother restaurant’s promise – a happy tummy.
So giddy to try the other places out, Race and I were back a week later. We made the plan that we should each eat at different restaurants and then we can get dessert in another. (Light bulb moment! (“.) This equals all five Ketchup Community restaurants checked off the list!) I guess we got there too early (11 a.m. is early?) in the day; Rumah Sate didn’t have that much to offer then. We sat down for Race’s meal, the satay babi. (Speaking of seats, we had a little mix up with that. The attendant kept on trying to make us sit at one table – the dark one against the wall. I don’t really know what was wrong with the table we wanted; it’s the best table there with a view of everything.)
We also got some drinks which were a bit too small to be really refreshing. It’s the type of serving that leaves you wanting, so I guess that’s their tactic. =b The meal was okay, Race said, nothing particularly special about it, just a barbecue meal. I couldn’t wait to eat so I ordered some of their ais krim (so amusing the way some words are in Malaysian, spell as you pronounce ^^,) but the attendant said they didn’t serve that (but it was on their menu, hhhmmm.)
Moving to the next store, Circulo; it was my turn to eat and I got their oven baked pork belly. That was a tangy dish. We had to get more rice (to Race’s relief, who helped me finish my lunch =D). For drinks, we had the blue raspberry soda (which was red *heehaha) and ube shake that was thick enough, it could pass for chilled ube jam. Race loved it. Suddenly, rain started to pour and so I had to eat a little bit faster. You see the Circulo set up isn’t really rain proof, a strong wind here and it will be raining on the inside.
We were ready for dessert. The last place we had left to try was Rancho Norte. Their menu was pretty limited and they only had a couple of desserts like puto bumbong. I wasn’t that in a Xmas mood yet so we fell back on Happy Tummy and their happy pizzuki that we got so much joy from. (“,)
When I had a hankering for green mango salad, Ketchup Food Community was our food destination. We took our dinner of tapang usa and sinigang na hipon at Rancho Norte and also ordered green mango salad from Happy Tummy. (The perks of dining at a food community. You can just sit in one place and all the food is just going to come to you from various other stores, like a food court but more fun. \m/) The tapang usa was great; smoky and tasty. (I steered clear of getting tapang kabayo. I didn’t want to eat my friends – or maybe my friends’ acquaintances. I used to go horseback riding years ago and it made me cringe just thinking about eating horse. =S *sniff) The sinigang na hipon was soothing; lots of broth, crispy veggies and big shrimps (which I didn’t really care about *hihi, I concentrated my forces on the broth and the veggies.)
The Rancho iced tea was ultra savory, being a mix of iced tea with pineapple (like the juice that pineapple chunks are canned with). I thought we would have space enough for happy pizzuki but after finishing the drinks, we were about to burst. We even had sinigang left for takeout. So far, the best service came from Rancho Norte. Our attendant there knew their stuff well. He described everything perfectly when we had a tough time choosing what to eat. When I told him I wanted green mango salad, he said he would just go get it from Happy Tummy for us. Snappy and speedy service, kudos to you, Rancho Norte!
(With our green mango salad from Happy Tummy, I wanted more mango than crispy catfish in it. Race said, however, if that’s what I wanted, maybe I should just buy green mango from the market =b *teehee. I had no argument there =b.)
X marks Happy Tummy and all the other eating places at the Ketchup Food Community for good food in Baguio. Truly, it takes a Ketchup Food Community to make a happy tummy.
Happy Tummy Rating:
Service: UPDATE 07/28/2014: I’m taking back the three treasure chests and leaving Happy Tummy with nothing. They used my photo of the happy pizzookie on their menu without so much as a by your leave and when they heard about my issue, did nothing, no sorry, no nothing. They just ignored me. OUCH! That says a lot about management. =S
Rumah Sate Rating:
Rancho Norte Rating:
Of all the restos that make up the Ketchup Community, you could say that the runt of the litter was Circulo. Located in the back-most part of the compound, people might have it as their last choice. Also, their store is lacking in terms of ambiance, as mentioned above – not rain proof.
I guess it didn’t make it because when we were there for our Rancho dinner, they were closed. We asked our accommodating attendant about it and he informed us that it had been changed to Green Pepper. I’m not sure if it’s under new management but we bid you farewell, Circulo. Regardless of who owns that ‘new’ member of the Ketchup Community, we wish them luck. See you some time, Green Pepper!
Green Pepper Rating: TBD
Ketchup Food Community
Romulo Drive, Barangay Lualhati
Baguio City, Philippines
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Search for Good Baguio Food
X Marks the Spot for Good Baguio Foods is a personal blog. Everything posted in this blog is PERSONAL OPINION DERIVED FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and since TASTE can be pretty SUBJECTIVE, should NOT be taken as THE NORM or the LAW OF DINING around in the City of Pines.
Its (prosaic =b) contents are meant to help with the question “san tayo?”/where do we go? in relation to eating out in Baguio, to ENCOURAGE EXPLORING (eatsploring) and TRYING NEW THINGS offered in the City of Pines.
By all means, eat where you want to eat and eat what you want to eat. May you have a great experience with all the places you visit and may all the restaurants you go to deserve a ton of treasure chests! (“,)
(Also, if you have any second thoughts about a certain place you arrive at, please DON'T LET THIS BLOG BE THE REASON YOU ARE FORCED into ending up anywhere. If the restaurant doesn’t have what you want, please FEEL FREE TO WALK AWAY.)
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