The allure of Baguio’s Cafe Yagam

Cafe Yagam

Thanks to the digital world, we are now able to access something fast and easy, whenever, wherever. Like in the case of a crazy craving for authentic, traditional Ifugao etag (cured, smoked and aged pork), which brought us to Cafe Yagam, a homey cafe specializing in Cordilleran fare.

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At Cafe Yagam, etag is used to boost an otherwise bland pinikpikan (smoked chicken soup), and best eaten with their tapuey-based dipping sauce. I’ve never really enjoyed the controversial pinikpikan this much. A diverse spread of flavors from the mountains of Cordillera went next.

We had Kalinga binungor, a spicy vegetable stew with agurong (or what we call birabid in Ilocos), and pinuneg, a Kankanaey blood sausage that went well with the default sweetish, spicy vinegar dip. Just to differentiate kini-ing from etag, we also ordered kini-ing pasta in yogurt sauce. Etag is more gamey as it undergoes fermentation.

Pinikpikan with EtagBinungor with AgurongYogurt Sauce Pasta with Kini-ingPinuneg (Cordilleran blood sausage)Kalinga coffee and sticky rice

Pressed ethically sourced mountain coffee is a specialty here, so we didn’t leave without a fill. I had it dark and it was really good with the sticky rice dessert that was served with the meals.

If we base good indigenous food on the decent-sized local crowd present enjoying tradition, then Cafe Yagam does it well.

Service was nice and prices were reasonable.

Never had mountain food this exotically tasteful.

Cafe Yagam menu

Café Yagam
#25 J. Felipe Street, Gibraltar, Baguio City
09464550364 / 09212565677 / (074)423-0839

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Kamiseta Hotel | Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

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Just got back from Baguio and I have fashionable news for you. The double K logo says it all. Ladies who grew up with Kamiseta, the homegrown clothing brand, will be delighted to know that the kamiseta (shirt) has grown full-blown into an artful patchwork of beautiful patterns, both literally and figuratively. The just opened Kamiseta Hotel is a boutique hotel with themed rooms. It houses the Vanilla Cupcake Bakery and of course a Kamiseta store.

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We were billeted at the Baguio Country Club for an event (Thanks, Yek Yeu!), so I don’t have photos of any room, but you could check out the dreamy rooms here. (Oh, love the toile de jouy room!) And because Irwin of the fab Kitchen Lab in Laoag told the Laoag attendees to try the Vanilla Cupcake Bakery’s strawberry shortcake, we stopped by the cafe on our way home.

The menu is not limited to desserts only, but you know the sweet tooth in me, strawberry shortcake was the first thing I asked. The waiter said it wasn’t available, so I told him it was that cake that brought us to the place, and as luck would have it, he came back to say one cake was given the go-ahead for slicing. Yippee!

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The meticulous Irwin was right. I ordered an extra and actually wanted one more, ‘coz it was kinda light — perfectly spongy with a hint of cream, not too sweet, and layered with fresh Baguio strawberries and nice frosting. I think I love this strawberry shortcake more than the one I’ve blogged about in the past. Brandon says he likes it better, too, ‘coz the other one has gelatin.

Kamiseta Hotel for a vacation on steroids, why not?

Hope to see you again for my next post, a new discovery for authentic Cordilleran fare.

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Kamiseta Hotel
20 Villamor St., Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City, Philippines
(074) 442-4613 / +639217612872 / +639153846987
kamisetahotels.com

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Ahmad Brothers Café: Another best of the best eats in Baguio

Ahmad Brothers Cafe, Baguio

A melting pot of flavors, Baguio has another winner in the best places to eat that’s not overpriced. Ahmad Brothers Café specializes in authentic Indian and Pakistani Halal food.

The menu: Ahmad’s meat (including lamb and mutton) and fish specialties cooked in Hindustani spices and herbs, appetizing Mediterranean hummus, falafel and shawarma, rice topped with traditional tandoori, masala and curry, fruit and yogurt shakes, sweet and salty lassi, masala tea, and (surprise!) Fiipino fast food favorites like pancit and mami (thanks to the owner’s Filipino wife).

Ahmad

What to order: Everything we ordered was stimulating, but topping my list is well flavored and grilled chicken tikka. What was really surprising was Ahmad’s French fries pakora that came with the shawarma, but can be ordered separately, imo, better than your favorite fries, seamlessly seasoned, very thinly battered, crisp on the outside and between soft and firm on the inside, and not too oily. They also have onion rings pakora. Three pieces of samosa costs only 50 pesos, including the lively, delish herbed yogurt dip. Not-too-spicy chicken masala was so good with rice.  The shawarma meals are huge. Lassi may run out of stock if you go late in the evening. Lamb is also not always available.

Chicken TikkaDeconstructed ShawarmaShawarma with FriesSamosaThe FoodPrints team went back for another around.

The space: Simple and a little tight, but offers a good view of a gentrified Baguio skyline.

Mutton dishes are priced higher and lamb within 200-250 pesos. Other than that, everything is relatively cheap. Oh, with the exception of bulalo.

Ahmad Brothers Café
Legarda Road cor. G. del Pilar St., Baguio City, Philippines
CP #: 0908 740 7284

Photographed by BlauEarth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015