Dining at the Baguio Country Club is always a treat. As anyone who lives in Baguio knows well, food at the club is just superb and is in fact one of the best in the entire city. You can never go wrong with their classic, perfectly-baked-each-time raisin bread and brewed coffee — a combination so simple yet done so well that it is very hard to replicate.
As it turns out, there were many new developments at the club introduced over the 2014 holidays, particularly in its already-ginormous kitchen: the club’s kitchen has a new head, the incredibly down-to-earth Executive Chef Kiko Tugnao
, who has cooked up a storm during our stay. They also opened up a new wing just off the lobby for themed buffets.
Over at the Veranda, that classic all-wood semi-alfresco dining area overlooking the golf course, there is a formidable lineup of Chef’s Specials and classic favorites tweaked to perfection. We sampled some of these menu classics and newcomers and were blown away! We didn’t think food that’s already good can get a lot better, but that’s exactly what happened.
If you’re coming over for Panagbenga, do try these fantastic dishes!
French Onion Soup Au Gratin
Rich beef broth enhanced by caramelized onions and sherry wine, covered with puff pastry and mozzarella cheese.
Hands down one of our favorites in the lineup. We had this twice during our stay and it was perfect every time: the crisp puff pastry and the light but savory onion soup. This is the first thing we’d order on our next visit.
Cinnamon Apple Pumpkin Soup
Creamy puree of apple and pumpkin with a sprinkling of cinnamon for a twist on a classic recipe served in a bread bowl.
Rich and creamy with a hint of sweetness, this is not your ordinary soup.
Grilled Cordillera Vegetables
Healthy starter of locally sourced vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, mushroom, and bell peppers) fire-roasted to enhance flavor
Another of our favorites, this dish is a refreshing take on the way highland vegetables are cooked. We also love the presentation!
Moringa Pasta Gamberetti
Pasta with creamy malunggay pesto sauce, with grilled prawns.
Whoever said the humble malunggay can’t be in the same plate as pasta and prawns? This dish is such a winner you’d want to eat it over and over again.
Pata de Paella
Boneless crispy pata roulade stuffed with flavorful seafood paella.
Description says it all. The Pata de Paella—Chef Kiko’s signature dish—is not for the faint-hearted. You have been warned.
Salmon Belly Roulade with Hoisin Sauce
Grilled parcels of salmon belly, aromatic hoisin glaze, and Hainanese rice
Salmon served with Hainanese rice? Now that’s something new! Light and savory, this fusion dish tastes as good as it looks.
Crispy lechon kawali slices topped in gabi leaves in spicy coconut cream sauce and sautéed prawns accompanied by steamed rice.
Laing and prawns are not exactly the most common of pairings, but this dish justified it quite well. Another winner!
Bagnet, Sayote, and Cordillera Wild Rice
Crispy pork belly slices paired with highland staples
The pork belly was cooked perfectly — a tasty pairing with the light and fresh sayote and Cordillera rice. Pork belly serving is good enough for sharing too.
Beef Rendang with Biryani Rice
Fork-tender beef simmered in a variety of aromatic spices, lemongrass, and coconut milk; served with Biryani rice.
The beef was tender and packed with flavor, and the fragrant Biryani rice takes you straight to the Indian subcontinent where it came from. More Asian classics in Baguio please!
Oriental-style Fried Chicken
Fried chicken seasoned in a special blend of oriental spices, with fried camote and gravy.
Light and crisp, this fried chicken dish is something you probably won’t want to share with anyone else.
Hardly what you can call a shortcut to a full meal, the bacon cheeseburger, with its succulent beef patty and generous serving of the very well-loved bacon, is every meat lover’s dream-come-true. And it does have ample greens to cut off all the juicy fat, in case you were worried.
Anything with lechon in it does not need any more introductions! The serving on this one is good enough for sharing. Something new and something tasty always wins in our books!
Dessert: My Sweet Indulgence
Baked cheesecake topped with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, accompanied by berry compote and streusel bits.
The cheesecake is to-die-for, and the serving is so big three people can share in one. Another absolute favorite!
The man behind all the delicious plates,
Executive Chef Kiko Tugnao
The club also offers buffets at the Cotterman
. We love the careful selection of dishes on their spreads (we tried their breakfast and dinner buffets). Each dish we sampled was really good — something not all buffet-offering restaurants in Baguio can rightfully claim.
Duck and melt-in-your-mouth steak at the carving station!
Great wine selection at Par 7, right next to the Veranda:
And some other photos from our stay:
The club has an aviary, in case you’re wondering
The new area for themed buffets
What can we say — good food, fantastic Cordillera coffee, and that cozy mountain ambiance — the Baguio Country Club is everything we love about Baguio, in one roof.
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Check out our recommended Airbnb in Baguio HERE. :)