As soon as you arrive you already get a sense it's a special place... peachy is maybe the word to describe it. The structure looks like an early era Filipino home from the outside but once you step inside the interiors is a mix of contemporary and western design. They have a receiving area that looks almost like a small hotel lobby with plenty of white leather seating and a reception desk that oddly did not receive us; we just walked straight to the well-presented bakery/ deli to the left which had plenty of heavenly goodies and then to the dining area on the second floor. The reason perhaps is we were there for early dinner in anticipation of a crowd since waiting time is at least 45 minutes for lunch and dinner from what I was told.
As impressive as it is, the interiors were off since the restaurant is a Filipino themed one. Perhaps this is by design to be eclectic. The below-level dining tables were a mix of English looking, leather-bound, half room length sofas, leather benches, baluster type wooden chairs, and varnished tables while you get bar height wooden tables on the second level, white picnic-style wooden tables, wrought iron pieces, and loungy nooks. Customers dined there on this level too but the space is a bar at night. Both spaces are lit mostly with chandeliers and spotlights.
The food to cut to the chase was ok but not quite exemplary at least at the day and time we were there. Food arrived very promptly but some dishes were honestly a bit sloppy. The paksiw na lechon became lechon soup because it was swimming in oil... Servers were already quite blank (forgot to bring the drinks and condiments) perhaps due to a very heavy lunch crowd earlier. We ordered Kare-kare (vegetable), inihaw na liempo, barbecue, paksiw na lechon and starters... a hearty meal in the end.
What made a lasting impression in my mouth is their piyaya. We brought maybe 4 bags of them home! As a matter of fact, it’s a specialty at Bahay Dako. They are prepared fresh from an open island kitchen/ bakery in the center of the dining area and trust me they are a must-try!
Freshly-made Piyaya by Balay Dako
Pusit Sisig (Squid in sizzling plate)
Kare-kare by Balay Dako
Yes they serve barbecue too.
Patio (outdoor) Dining at Balay Dako
Just like the next person, I enjoy good food. Doesn't matter if it's cooked one minute or one hour, if it looks good, it usually is.