Metro Manila gives us plenty of restaurant options that serve a variety of cuisines, including Filipino. But for well-loved rice meals and casual, Filipino-style dining, head to Gubat inside Diliman Bonsai Society in Quezon City.
This food spot encourages diners to eat the traditional Filipino way with their bare hands, allowing you to best enjoy the food – and maybe even feel nostalgic in the process.
Food is served binalot-style on a piece of banana leaf.
Image credit: @jillianitaas
At Gubat, food is served on a banana leaf a la binalot. Utensils are also not provided so diners can enjoy their dishes the Filipino way, kamayan-style (eating with your bare hands).
Don’t worry about germs – the food spot has you covered. They have an area where you can wash your hands.
Once you’re done with your meal, you can clean as you go by wrapping your leftovers with the same banana leaf you ate on and throwing it in their biodegradable waste bin.
Lechon kawali rice meal.
Image credit: @goodiefoodieph
This food spot urges diners to eat kamayan-style because it’s the best way to enjoy the Filipino rice meals they serve.
Among the dishes Gubat offers are lechon kawali (deep-fried pork belly), adobong baboy (soy sauce-based pork stew), and mouthwatering halabos na hipon (buttered shrimp). These come with rice, salted egg, and a salad made with either pako (vegetable fern) or cucumbers.
Gubat’s Filipino rice meal offerings start at P115 (~USD2.07), giving you the bang for your buck in the metro.
Image credit: GUBAT QC
Besides well-loved Filipino meals, there are also other interesting menu items at Gubat.
On hot days, get ice cream with flavors such as coffee with bacon bits and ube cheese piaya (unleavened flatbread with purple yam and cheese filling). If you want a grab a drink with your Filipino meal, they also have local dragonfruit ale.
If you like fermented dishes or have an adventurous palate, you should definitely try their buro or fermented rice.
The ambiance at Gubat.
Image credit: Engelbert Tabones
Gubat is located within the Diliman Bonsai Society’s garden so you’ll have your meal surrounded by different kinds of bonsai and other plants. It might even make you feel as if you’re dining in a provincial home instead of somewhere in the metro.
And yes, you can buy plants from the stalls at Diliman Bonsai Society, which is convenient if you’re a plantita or are bringing one to a meal.
You can’t get any more Filipino eating with your bare hands and with a piece of banana leaf as a plate at Gubat in Diliman, Quezon City.
By simply eating kamayan-style while being surrounded by greenery, you might even feel as if you’ve been transported to a province.
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