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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tiaong, Quezon: Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden

It was like discovering an amazing gem the moment we stepped inside their garage. With the fiery red bricks calling me, I know that I am in for a great treat in this place. After visiting two other restaurants here in Quezon Province, I somehow have an idea how blessed - how beautiful - this province is, but the time we reached our third restaurant destination, Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden gave a whole new fun to our food adventure in the humble city of Tiaong, Quezon.


Located at the very heart of Tiaong lays a pottery garden turned restaurant, which is owned by one of  Quezon's greatest potters, Augusto "Ugu" Bigyan. If you love Thailand's artistry, well, you really don't have to go that far to experience that because right here in Quezon, you can recently feel the fusion of the Philippines and Thailand's artistry by simply going in and dining in their most relaxing and most unique dining area.


But before we go in to that part, let me tour you around first by sharing some the interesting items/art pieces around the place. Despite of the very humid weather, I managed to enjoy every brick and every stone around me. I, being a huge castle lover, find the  place really homey probably because of the plants and trees that compliments well with everything in here - such a masterpiece you ought to see in person.


From the amazing pieces hanging everywhere, down to the pebbles and rock strategically and artistically displayed around, Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden is definitely a must-visit here in this province.


The compound has its own souvenir shop where guests can freely check out and purchase some of the items made by Ugu himself. From the fashion accessories to home decors and bottled goods like that one, which is Pajo or fermented mango, Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden is made in to a heaven of uniqueness in this side of the country. 


Sadly, when we got there, Mr. Ugu was out of the country. According to his wife, the man went on his trip to Morocco, and will probably back a few days more after our visit. Nonetheless, despite the absence of the head of the family, we were accommodated very well and received the most pleasing treatment we've ever wanted.

Since we have a reservation, there's already a table waiting for us. We came in an hour before lunch, so we had some time to go around the place. After some minutes of going around, we decided to take our places to start having our lunch. To our shock, when we asked for the menu, the staff told us that they don't have a menu for us. They told us ti just wait on our table and our food will be served.

We were all clueless as to what we're going to have, but instead of worrying about that, we just let it be and let the peacefulness of the surrounding embraced us. The place was really so peaceful to worry about the food, really - something that made us believe that for sure, what we are going to have is something worth the trip.

After some 15-20 minutes of waiting, our food started to come in. I wanna believe that this is the reason why most of the people who have been here considered the place so unique, simply because they make sure that we'll be surprise and will leave with a full stomach and happy face.

According to our team leader, our reservation here cost us Php 6,000.00. This covers the food that we're going to have, which is actually good for 10 people, including the dessert and the Buko Juice for our drinks.

I personally think that it was too pricey, but when these appetizing started to fill my eyes, well, I had a changed of heart. Hahaha!

Pako Salad

Halaan Soup

Kulawo

Stir-fried Mussels and Cabbage

Spicy Prawn in Coconut Milk

Calamares

Baby Back Ribs

Sweet and Sour Fried Fish

Ensaladang Mangga

Sweet Taro with Tapioca

Every plate that was served to us was so appetizing, making us feel that we were back in a feast. From the indigenous Filipino dishes like the Lato Salad, which tasted so fresh and good, the Halaan Soup, which was so smoothing and just perfect for this kind of food adventure, to their Kulawo, which is their version of Ginataangg Puso ng Saging (banana flower cooked in coconut milk) and the Stir-fried Mussels and Cabbage, which is my favorite that day.

Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden also shared to us some of their most in-demand dishes, which are inspired by local and international cuisines like the Spicy Prawn in Coconut Milk, which will surely make your heart skip a beat, the Calamres, which is equally delicious specially when dipped into that sauce beside it, the Baby Back Ribs, though lacks a little of that smoky flavor still gives that lingering effect, and the Sweet and Sour Fried Fish that comes with that Ensaladang Mangga, which will somehow convince you to eat with youe hand and just fall in love with the rural setting that you are having at the moment.

Lastly, despite of the weight that those food placed into our stomach, we made sure that there's still some space left for the dessert. And so, right after they cleaned our table, the sweet ending came in to our view with glistening tapioca on top, Sweet Taro for the happy ending here in Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden!

It was only after the fantastic lunch that we realized why the whole place looks so comfy and homey and inviting, we thought that it was because they know that their guests, right after they had their meals, will ask for a place where they can snooze and call it siesta. Hahaha!

Our day here in Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden was really a surprise. And with one more restaurant left on our list, after an hour of snooze fest, we bid goodbye to the this beautiful place and promised to be back soon.

Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden doesn't have any rooms for those who wanna stay for a night, but they accept guests who wish to have the whole place for themselves - which is usually for a wedding reception, baptismal, birthdays and others. They also allow pre-nuptial shoot around the place with the use of some of their accessories at a friendly price.

If there's one thing I have in mind by the time we've reached our van to leave, that is Mr. Augusto 'Ugu' Bigyan has the right to be called a National Artist someday. With the way he turned things around here, Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden is indeed a gem worth discovering, worth sharing and worth acknowledging.

Thank you, Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden, to the the owners and staff who happily shared to us the beauty of this place - the beauty of Tiaong, Quezon!

Happy eating, everyone!

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I was able to experience and try Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden through the Electrolux Philippines' Discover-E campaign. And together with bloggers Enzo Luna of Juan Traveler and Raffy Pedrajita of Pinoy Travel Blog, we indulged on these sumptuous food finds from the beautiful Province of Quezon last May 15-16, 2013


The culmination of this Electrolux Philippines Discover-E campaign will take place this coming Saturday at the NBC Tent through a Food Festival showcasing our very distinct Filipino flavor. So, see you all there!



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