It’s amazing how food holds the identical symbol of home that can make you fully happy with its presence. For this reason, being away from our comfort zone is really difficult on weekends, and on Mondays through Fridays… most especially when we are hungry. We know the struggle of Pines International Academy students regarding this challenge, and that is why we make sure that the foods we serve during their meal time satisfy their hunger with a taste of home.
And to ensure that they continue to experience such satisfaction when they plan to go outside, one of the privileges granted to them, this blog will serve as a guide for them because we will be featuring 8 international restaurants that offer genuine cuisines that originated from their respective countries.
1. Super Bowl of China
“Chinese with a whole new look and feel”
The look and feel of the restaurant are unlike any traditional Chinese restaurant – there is an unmistakable Western uncomplicated atmosphere that is created utilizing a number of elements including the design, décor, floor and wall finishes, furnishings, table setting, tableware, food presentation, food portions and the menu. All these combined with authentic Chinese cooking and warm personal service create a simple and uncomplicated ambiance that captures the heart of the diners.
Personal recommendation, of course above all, Wonton Noodle Soup:
This restaurant has a total of 18 branches here in the Philippines. The Baguio branch is located at Upper Ground, Sunset Terraces, SM City Baguio.
2. Agara Ramen
“Portal to Tokyo”
Agara Ramen is an 8-seater ramen bar that offers umami, classic and authentic ramen bowl favorites in Baguio City. This restaurant is a natural top choice, especially during the cold and rainy season, because of its promising edibles.
It is open for dine-in, take-out and delivery option. Agara Ramen Kit is also up for grabs.
Personally, I love their Hirata Buns, steamed buns stuffed with salad and delicious savory fillings that closely resemble sandwiches or tacos, and their Karaage, or Japanese fried chicken.
Agara Ramen is located at G/F Rancho Guillermo Building, North Drive Engineer’s Hill, Baguio City.
3. Korean Palace Restaurant
“Boost your energy with unlimited Korean foods”
This restaurant is by far the most jam-packed place I’ve ever been to… and I can give you three (3) reasons why:
First, for only Php 499 (per person) you get to enjoy a buffet that includes six (6) varieties of meat and more than 20 side dishes to choose from.
Secondly, you can wear traditional Korean costumes for free and take unlimited pictures.
Lastly, it has a spacious parking space.
The last time I went there was around July of this year, and as greedy as it may sound, I tried a piece of everything but their kimchi is so good I had to eat three (3) bowls of it. Wait… too much?
Korean Palace Restaurant is located at #38 South Drive, Baguio City.
4. O’ Mai Khan Restaurant
“Weekends mean Mongolian barbeque”
This family-friendly restaurant has been serving the people of Baguio for over 30 years. In my opinion, this restaurant has the most elegant and unique interior setting in a warm and cozy ambiance.
O’ Mai Khan offers Mongolian rice bowls, à la carte, tasty vegetarian option, drinks, desserts and different kinds of sauces at a very reasonable price… considering the quality of their food and service. Aside from that, they have parking.
However, just a piece of cautionary advice, be patient when you visit this restaurant, because the waiting time and queue tend to be so long during meal times on weekends. So, go there early and watch out for the customers who cut in line. But who knows, it’s been so long since the last time I visited this place so maybe they already have a lesser waiting time to get a table. But then again, even if it hasn’t changed yet, I wouldn’t mind waiting for 15 minutes or so, because the food is worth the wait.
I believe in the power of healthy foods, so I have to recommend the vegetarian option…
O’ Mai Khan Restaurant is located on Upper Session Road, Baguio City.
5. Habibis Grill Restaurant and Café
“Nothing better than a traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean platter”
Habibis is known for its unique pricing, serving size, and food quality. Their foods are proven made from fresh and natural ingredients. Their menu offers appetizers, salads, breakfast all day, rice meals, pita bread meals and sandwiches, house drinks, canned soft drinks, beers, desserts and ice cream. You can also ask for extra orders.
And as their way of adapting to the environment and culture here in the Philippines, namely in Baguio City, Habibis added Filipino foods to their menu to attract more customers to introduce their food and custom, as well.
Personal recommendation and also for someone who doesn’t eat rice just like me, try their simple salad, which has lettuce, Pita, tomato, onions, lemon and olive oil, and their mixed kebab in Pita bread:
Habibis has two (2) branches in Baguio, but both have a pleasant ambiance.
Branch 1: Ground Floor, Cuesta Building, Bonifacio Street | Branch 2: Travel Light Hotel (across City Hall)
6. Linjiang Noodles
“Your noodle weather buddy, a real gem in Baguio City”
Craving for some good noodle soup for the rainy days?
Don’t worry, this restaurant got you covered because they have six (6) different noodle recipes, however, each noodle bowl is perfect to satisfy your appetite. Linjiang also serves dim sum, fried rice, and drinks.
Aside from their guaranteed quality foods, the servings are great in size, as well. Plus, the prices are reasonable; good food that’s definitely value for money. Above all, their staff is very accommodating and their comfy place has great seating capacity.
To our students from Taiwan, if you want to savor the great taste of the popular Yong Kang Beef Noodles in Da’an District, Taipei, Taiwan, do visit this place because their Taiwanese Beef Noodles have the same legit and remarkable impression. Also, their signature light broth with ultra-tender pork belly slices, braised pork sauce, and chewy hand-made noodles, will definitely give you that feeling of being close to home.
And to our other students, who are also a noodle-lover, I highly recommend their Taiwanese Noodles, they are the most authentic in Baguio.
Just like Habibis, Linjiang Noodles has two (2) branches in Baguio
Branch 1: The Basement, Marian Plaza Hotel, #38 Military Cut-off Road | Branch 2: The Food Loft, 3rd Floor Porta Vaga Mall, Session Road
7. Lime and Basil Thai Restaurant
“The best Thai foods in Baguio with the best view”
Explore the flavors of Thailand with this restaurant. It will definitely refresh your palates, because every dish is bursting with flavor and aroma.
Plus, above all, it is only 12 minutes away from Pines International Academy.
Trivia: this restaurant is co-owned by the Mirandas, a Filipino couple and known personalities in the showbiz industry, so it easily rose to popularity. It was established on April 2022, making it the 4th branch of Lime and Basil. But since then until today, there’s still freshness, vibrancy and balance of flavors in every food on the menu.
So for our Thai students, visit this one and take a gastronomical trip back home. However, the foods are slightly reinterpreted but without veering away too much from authenticity, so you can still get to enjoy the flavors you miss.
I recommend Khao Soi, which is chicken coconut red curry soup, and Laarb Gai, made of minced chicken with aromatics and herbs in cabbage and lettuce wrap:
Lime and Basil is located at Outlook Ridge Residences, Ambuklao Road, Pacdal.
8. Yes Pho
“Standard for all restaurants offering Pho”
This restaurant offers very affordable yet the most authentic Vietnamese foods in Baguio because the owner is Vietnamese. You’ll surely love this place especially if you love greens and noodles.
This place has very limited seats but it is cozy and accessible, and the service is fast with friendly staff.
For that, they became part of the Esquire Philippines’ list of Best Restaurant in the PH of 2022 and was featured by numerous food blogger not only the Baguio locals but visitors from the different provinces in the Philippines, as well.
A visit to Yes Pho reminded me of my visit to Vietnam, which is why I confidently recommend their Pomelo Salad and Seafood Pho.
It is located at S. Building, Upper Session Road ext., Engineers’ Hill.
Fortunately, not only living and studying at Pines International Academy can give you a gastronomical experience of being at home, but also, being here in the Philippines, where people are friendly and innovative, can make your taste buds feel like you belong. Indeed, affection gives beauty to the uniqueness every culture holds and their willingness to connect with each other through food creativity.
So don’t be scared of going away to pursue your dream to study English here at Pines International Academy, because wherever you’re from, the Philippines is open to everyone and Filipinos are very accommodating and friendly.
That is why even if you’re far from home, you can discover or find something that brings back memories of being in one’s element, in so many different ways; one of the many ways is featured in this blog, and I hope it encourages you to just explore whenever you feel nostalgic or disoriented.