Café du Tukon
Café du Tukon is Fundacion Pacita‘s farm-to-table restaurant, just a few steps away from the main building. Serving only the freshest catch and produce that their neighbor fish folk and farms have in season, Café du Tukon will surely make you smile with their good food and great service.
“The Sights and Tastes of Batanes are more than unique – they reflect a cultural heritage that places value on our collective effort to understand and adapt to our ever-changing environment.”
With me at the cafe’s waiting/lounging area is my beautiful Mom, who’s excited to try authentic Ivatan dishes at Cafe du Tukon.
While waiting for our table to be set-up, I took the images you see above. Look how well decorated (but not too much) the interior of the Café is, and what can you say about the restroom? art is never limited!
When we were finally seated (make sure you make reservations ahead of time because the cafe is -mostly- always full) we made sure we order their best sellers – making sure we get Ivatan dishes/or with a mix at most. Enjoy:
Appetizer: Tokwa’t Luñis (Fried bean curd with crispy luñis and sautéed onions in calamansi, vinegar and soy sauce) – The saltiness of Luñis is balanced by the soft tofu which made the dish flavorful.
**Luñis is a traditional heritage recipe of pork cooked with just rock salt over firewood until its fat is rendered and pork turns golden brown. the Luñis is stored in its own lard in clay jars for months to ensure continuous supply. This is their traditional way of preserving pork.
Soup: French Onion Soup (Gratinée with Gruyére) – Was very interesting. I saw on the menu that the main ingredient are Onions, and I thought wow, the soup tasted good, a little bland at first, but later gave the sweet kick of onions and the savory soup.
Main: Beef and Garlic Rosemary (Oven-baked grass-fed beef with sea salt, rosemary and garlic slivers served with red wine sauce and steamed rice)
“Café du Tukon supports Ivatan farmers and cooperatives by making sure that when you place your order, you get the freshest catch and produce that our neighbor fisherfolk and farms have in season.”
Main: Braised Beef Short Ribs (Slow-cooked beef short ribs in red wine sauce, topped with fried onion rings served with wakay mash) – Both mains were superb. The beef was tender (medium well) and all sides were cooked/prepared just right, creating a balance of flavor and aroma.
Desserts: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake & Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – Even in the sweets section, this Cafe still made us very satisfied. I especially liked Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, I think I could finish a whole! Lol
Overall Verdict: Terrific!
Each dish was definitely prepared with heart. From the excellent symmetry of flavors mixed with pleasant colors, and great customer service, we will absolutely come back here (when in Batanes) to try their other dishes!
Fancy an Art Gallery? just one floor down!
On display in the art gallery are various paintings of acclaimed/collaborative Filipino and Ivatan artists, showcasing life and culture in Batanes. Also, you’ll find a life-sized Pacita Abad in full color – much better than the plain grey one at the grounds of Fundacion Pacita. Don’t forget to bring a camera! (free entrance to guests of Café du Tukon/Fundacion Pacita)
For those who are curious where this café/restaurant/accommodation is located, imagine Lord of The Rings Hobbiton meets West Philippine Sea. Trust me, when you’re here, you’ll forget about going back to Manila’s hellish vehicular traffic and pollution, or any stress inducing place you can think of.
Overall, we were very satisfied and will recommend Café du Tukon to everyone who’ll visit Batanes. Special thanks to Bisumi Tour and Services for this amazing gastronomic experience, and to Mr. Arbin Fajelga for capturing my Mom and I’s best moments at Café du Tukon and Fundacion Pacita.
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