A New Kind of Buffet: Eat Like You're at Home. Only at Bahay Buffet

by - July 23, 2015

In the last few years, different kinds of Buffets have popped up in the Metro and if you're a seasoned foodie like me, there comes a time that a Buffet experience no longer seem exciting at all as buffet spread tend to taste like the same halfway to your experience.

Last Saturday, me and my blogger friends together with some guests were invited to the launch of Bahay Buffet by BAGA Manila. After weeks of preparation, they are now ready to launch a different buffet experience in a different set up which is the house of the host that Bahay Buffet personally vetted.

BAHAY BUFFET, Bahay which stands for Buffet At Home is Always Yummy, is not your traditional eat all you can experience as explained by Ms. Dawn Bolus Mawis. Instead of unlimited quantity of each dishes the host will guarantee that the buffet spread will never be vacant for the entire allotted time. It will not only be  a different buffet experience where the focus is not only getting yourself so full but to really enjoy the food, learn new things and gain new friends.

And with their launching, Bahay Buffet invited bloggers and guests to Moca Farms.

The first bahay Buffet venture attempt to cultivate and promote farm to table food made possible thru the invitation of Ms. Gigi Morris of Moca Farms.

Moca Farms is a one hectare farm in Pedro Garcia, Batangas. A  family farm whose main goal is to have fun growing and preparing food. They want guests to enjoy the food connection from farm to table, offering no set menu and where meals served is based on seasonal availability. After all, their mantra is to grow safe food, prepare deliciously and serve creatively.

After more than two hours of traveling, we finally set foot in the farm. The havoc wrecked by Typhoon Glenda last year can still be seen from the fallen trees which they creatively brought back to serve as farm decorations now. Ka Gigi says that they are still on the process of fixing things around.

She gave us a pep talk about Moca Farms and her advocacy of putting Family Farms in the line of Tourism Development. Afterwards we were given a tour around the farm. Besides plants and vegetables, they also have a Rabbitry and native chicken and pigs.

I saw one pig being roasted over the coals and they told us it's one of our meals.

And the most exciting part and the reason why we were in Batangas on a weekend finally commenced.

We were brought to their dining area. Ka Gigi would have wanted a one long table set up but due to pesky flies problem that arose during that time of the year she decided to just let us eat inside the dining area.

When we first arrived and waiting for lunch we were served with their version of Sweet Tamales with Santan Syrup, popularly known in Quezon and Laguna areas as Suman. It was delicious and Ka Gi reminded us that we still have lunch to eat but we stuffed ourselves with this sweet tamales anyways.

And then lunch was served. Of course, buffet style. In my haste to eat, I forgot to take a picture of the buffet spread so I'm borrowing this picture and credited to one of my favorite history buff blogger, Rence Chan.

I was curious about this salad that they served. I saw that most of them comes from plants that I've just saw around the farm. And it's also my first time to see a Katuray. Yeah, i know I've heard about Katuray but haven't really saw one or to be more precise, eat one. And now I'm going to.

I asked Ka Gi about this salad and she told me that it has Alugbati leaves, fresh peineapple, katuray and the blue ones are the blue ternatea flowers and some other leaves. And paired with a great dressing, it was so yummy. 

Next is their Creamy Kalabasa Soup with Malunggay Flakes.

The soup tasted so creamy with little bits of mashed Kalabasa which is actually nice. I don't like Malungay but I didn't mind eating them because of the creaminess of the soup and it's in flake forms.

I tasted a bit of Pinaputukang Tilapia Wrapped in Galangal Leaves.

Truth be told, the only part of Tilapia I always eat are the fleshy part near its head. The dish is juicy and the fish is so plump and fleshy. I learned that Galangal Leaves belongs to the ginger family and is used mostly for medicinal and culinary purposes. I take it they used this to remove the fish smell and also for added flavor.

I grew up in Quezon and that's why I'm happy to see this Zest Santol with Pork in Coconut Milk. During the months where Santol fruits is abundant, my father always makes this.

The dish is kind of spicy for my taste but when I paired it with the Moca Farm Seasonal Garden Salad which I mentioned earlier, it was a perfect combination. The problem is you tend to eat more rice.

And the Sapin Sapin Rice they served is so original.

When I saw the menu the night before, I thought it's one of the dessert to be served but it's actually the rice we're going to eat with the dishes. The yellow rice have turmeric for the color and the blue rice, which is so beautiful to look at have the blue ternatea flowers which grows abundant in the Moca Farm.

And the star of the spread is this Native Pig Lechon which we saw being roasted earlier.

The good thing abut this Native Pig Lechon is that they are organic and raised inside the farm. We literally had a feast and the only thing left of the Lechon is this.

The dessert is a bit anticlimactic, what with everything we've eaten earlier. It's Hubad na Lumpiang Saging. But i love the crispy wrapper especially when smothered with the sweet syrup.

All this we drowned with this special juices, The Santol Juice and the Bignay Cider.

Yup, they made a juice out of the Santol using its rind so it's not that sour. We were told not to drink the Bignay Cider when we first saw it earlier because we haven't eaten anything yet. And the cider when left for long turns into a wine so it's kind of a little bit potent. Both juices are refreshing.

And this is how my plate looked like on my second round :)

And my second plate of Moca Farm Seasonal Garden Salad.

They also have coffee like the the Robusta, Liberica and Excelsa and grow inside the farm. I just have a sip because I tend to get sleepy when i drink one. 

Overall, our Moca Farms experience is worthwhile. The first Bahay Buffet collaboration offered a different buffet experience. I hope this will set the tone for a more prepared future Bahay Buffet partnership and invitation to the home of future host who will share their love of food to everyone.

Thank you Bahay Buffet, BAGA Manila and Moca Farms for this experience.

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