September 14, 2014

Baguio City Eats: Choco-late de Batirol - Reviving Traditions

The last time I was in Baguio was exactly 10 years ago. We were constantly being invited by friends and had several plans to go up there before, but the travel time was too long and it would eat at least 1- 1 ½ days of our vacation (which we couldn’t afford because we only take 2-3 days off from work quarterly). That’s the reason that for the past years we opted to go to other places which are easily reachable by airplane instead. I mean for example, going to Coron or Puerto Princesa by plane will only take 45 minutess to an hour, while going to Laiya Batangas takes a good 3-4 hours (by land). And before, going up to Baguio would take 6-8 hours!




Not until recently that we found out that another highway, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), is now operational and that it would make the travel time to Baguio cut in half. One of our married friends who recently bought an SUV invited us to go on a road trip so that they can break-in their new wheels and it was Labor Day Weekend (in the U.S., which is the holiday we follow in our line of work); the timing couldn’t be more perfect so we decided to join them.




After filling our bellys with our sumptuous early dinner at Cafe By The Ruins (you can read my review of Cafe By The Ruins HERE), we looked for a place where we can hang out in Baguio and have some desserts before we call it a night. I suggested to group that we try Choco-late de Batirol which is in Camp John Hay. Choco-late de Batirol is again a must try foodie place when you visit Baguio City according to numerous blogs I've read while we were driving up to the City of Pines.






Choco-late de Batirol is a Cordillera-themed garden restaurant in Igorot Park in Camp John Hay; it is just walking distance from Baguio Country Club. This quaint restaurant decorated with wooden structures, artifacts, different antique displays and the furniture are made from recycled materials and drift woods.


 


Choco-late de Batirol has been serving good old chocolate drinks made from local cacao beans prepared the traditional way. Batirol actually refers to the metal mixing pot used to prepare the hot chocolate beverage while they use a molinillo (wooden whisk), to manually blend the chocolate. The chocolate drink comes in several variants: Traditional Blend, Baguio Blend (with strawberry), Cinnamon, Almond, Cointreau (with orange), Kahlua, Mint, Toffee, Raspberry and with Choco Mallows.






Although they also serve other food dishes (breakfast and lunch), Choco-late de Batirol is more known as a merienda (snacks) hangout.


goodies you can take home


We stayed at the far most and isolated cottage of the garden restaurant, where we enjoyed the cool and crisp Baguio air while sipping on our traditional blend chocolate drinks and munching on bibingka  and suman sa lihia.




Traditional Blend Hot Choco Drink:




Suman sa Lihia: is a moist sticky rice cake topped with shredded coconut meat and muscovado sugar




Bibingka: soft and spongy  flat rice cake topped with butter and generous amount shredded coconut meat




Even though we were there at night time, we didn't experience any mosquitoes biting on us even if it rained the whole day. The weather was cold and relaxing that even our friend's pet dog enjoyed the place.




What I can say about Choco-late de Batirol is that their chocolate drink was really something,  bitter but very rich in chocolate flavor. Though I must admit that the bibingka and the suman sa lihia were ordinary. The service crew was attentive and helpful but I noticed that they always flocked behind the bar/kitchen area or in one of the tables near the bar area. So when we were about to leave and get our bill, one of us had to go to them just to ask for our bill.




But over all it was a relaxing stay at Choco-late de Batirol, drinking a hot cup of traditionally blended chocolate drink while enjoying the cold Baguio weather is not something that we all can experience on a regular basis. I just wish we went there earlier than we did so we can still enjoy the lush green that is around us (and ohhh the smell of the pine trees) and that I could have taken much clearer photos, well... maybe next time.


Choco-late De Batirol during day | photo c/o chocolatedebatirol.com


Chocolate de Batirol 
Gate 2, Igorot Park, Camp John Hay,
Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines
0916-375-6510 / 0915-933-3474
Facebook Page:  Chocolate de batirol
Website: chocolatedebatirol.com
Email: chocolatedebatirol@yahoo.com

Other Branches:
Extension Resto by Chocolate de Batirol
50 Romulo Drive
Baguio City 2600
Philippines

Chocolate de Batirol - Pampanga Branch
Northwalk 2
JASA Road, Olongapo-Gapan Road
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Philippines


Baguio Travel Diary Series:
Baguio City Eats: Café By The Ruins - A Place for Friendship and Fresh Food
Baguio City Eats: Ketchup Community
Baguio City Eats: Choco-late de Batirol - Reviving Traditions


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