Why a Creative Restaurant?
If there is a NEW must-go-to restaurant that Baguio locals should go to and suggest to tourists, then it is Bistro Lokal! The dishes are approached as home-cooked comfort food in a fine dining setting. It is truly a creative restaurant offering spectacular Filipino food because of its presentation. One of their dishes is the “Laing Pebbles” because of the use of dry ice. The smoke gave out a theatrical exhibition that truly surprises the diners. This element makes the food-extra! The owner of the restaurant, a Baguio local as well, Chef Miko Dy, also revealed that he may change the menu whenever they want to. He added, “I think Baguio needs that kind of restaurant.” So make sure to taste what’s on the menu now!
About the Chef
Chef Miko Dy has been traveling the world for his whole life and learning different cuisines, techniques in cooking and many gastronomic flavors. Despite a graduate of Culinary Arts in Pastry, he’s now into gourmet food in which he incorporated a modern approach in the most loved traditional Filipino dishes. He became a consultant for 14 years for various restaurants in Baguio. It is only now that he decided to put up his own restaurant in his very own building! He added that food is his first love and married to cooking.
The vegetables are proudly locally-produced. The vegetables all came from Tublay, Benguet which are harvested even not completely grown (baby vegetables). Once harvested, within five hours, it should already arrive the kitchen to keep its crisp and fresh ingredients. Their pork comes from black pigs which are fed by backyard famers with natural food, not “chemically” feeds.
The Exceptional Service
Chef Miko Dy has also Chef Reden Molina on his side to run the restaurant. The whole staff of Bistro Lokal is exposed to excellent cooking and service. I was surprised that they were also trained to ask the name of the guests so the approach is more personal and genuine. They wouldn’t call you “ma’am” or “sir,” which honestly makes me feel old when addressed that way too, LOL! The restaurant has no WIFI connection for the guests. Sorry to some guests but the Chef wants you to enjoy the food, take photos and just enjoy the company! The servers are also more than willing to inform you more about the menu!
Speaking of the menu, here’s what we bloggers have tried during our visit. This is what Chef Miko Dy calls it “degustacion,” this is a Spanish term when translated to English, “tasting menu.” It is careful and appreciative tasting a series of small portions of a chef’s signature dishes. I think that’s what a creative restaurant offering spectacular Filipino food means!
Freshly baked bread and churned butter
Bistro Lokal bakes their own bread; a fermented red rice sourdough. With the red rice, they make it into flour and fermented to make sour bread then served with freshly churned butter!
A unique interpretation of Filipino’s famous street food is served on a potato nest and the pork scotch quail eggs are surrounded with baby Romaine and “Pechay” which are both exclusively farmed from Tublay, Benguet. The tasteful sauce on the side is inspired by its “kariton sauce” which is concocted with vinegar and fish ball sauce.
“Momma” (Betel Nut) and Samgyupsal-inspired dish flavored with Bugnay wine reduction sauce plated on a tree stump of a Pinetree. This one’s a mouthful bite of goodness!
Chef Miko Dy honestly said that it took him six months to perfect the dish. It is inspired by a Kapampangan version of “Dinuguan.” It’s dehydrated pork intestines and “dugo” sauce with “puto”(rice cake). Chef’s tip is to eat the puto first!
Chef Miko claims that this is the first in Baguio to use dry ice on food! This dish is a stunner as it is served in a pot with that “theatrical” effect of dry ice. “Invoke the feelings of the diner,” the chef added. Laing Pebbles has crispy squid ink “Laing” ball, green Mango “buro,” assorted salad green and patis mansi spray. Its seasoning; “bagoong” (shrimp paste) and dayap” (lime), sprinkled with fresh peppercorn which kills the fishy taste of squid.
The restaurant’s best-seller but the hardest to do! Chef informed that the BBQ itself is a three-cuts pork barbeque with “pigue”, “kasim” and pork belly. Tinuno is served with “Pakbet” salsa, Mango vinegar, homemade kimchi rice and 4-second poached egg, also topped with “chicharon” powder.
7. “Pusit Salada”
The menu described it as grilled squi with “burong” mango, cherry tomato, assorted greens, “dilis” (small dried fish), bagoong vinaigrette, “lasona”, “patis” (fish sauce) cured yolk.
Like every story, there is a finale, in eating the main dishes, it is the dessert! Bistro Lokal is a creative restaurant offering spectacular Filipino food because even down to their dessert, they put in much effort to serve it deliciously! They serve freshly churned “sorbetes” (ice cream)!
Saba at Kondensada
This ice cream pays homage to a traditional “saba-con-yelo.” A condensed milk ice cream with crushed Skyflakes and Baguio Dairy Farm Butter also served with “saba” (sweetened banana). This is like a version of famous crackers filled with condensed milk, yum! This delectable “panapos” is also drizzled with caramel made with “patis” (fish sauce) and butterscotch. Fret not as all the flavors are balanced!
Black Rice Ice Cream
Bistro Lokal’s Bestseller ice cream is with “Balatinaw” or red rice with black sesame seeds, red rice puff and red rice cracker.
3. Sayote Sorbet
This is a surprisingly a tasteful ice cream! “Sayote” or Chayote is made with its pure juice!
Bistro Craft Drinks
A creative restaurant offering spectacular Filipino food isn’t complete without well-thought drinks!
Their menu described it as “Arabica coffee with Baguio dairy farm yogurt and your choice of syrup (plain syrup, brown sugar, “panutsa”) The one that we’ve tasted during the visited was concocted with “panutsa,” the sweetener that Filipinos use for Bananacue.
This soothing drink is made with Dragon fruit of Sablan, Benguet, fresh lemon juice from Sagada, Mt.Province, and freshly grated ginger from our grandmother’s backyard.”
Bistro Iced Tea
Bistro Lokal’s iced tea has “tanglad” or lemon grass, “kamote” or sweet potato, mint, “dayap” or lime, and “panutsa” to taste.
“Hilaw na Presa”
Another refreshing drink of Bistro Lokal is made with preserved unripened strawberry, sweet basil, and lemon soda.
Other food and drinks from the Menu:
“Bagnet at Tokwa”
Mama M’s Pata Tim
Kare-Kare and more!
As for the drinks, they have non-alcoholic drinks, coffee, “panulak na may amats” or alcoholic drinks. They also have Bistro Lokal’s signature craft drinks such as “Itim na Budhi”(saba tea, panutsa, vanilla, pandan, gulaman, black sago, jasmine tea smoke, “Matandang Aquino” (Sucrose, preserved Mango, coconut water, pandan, coconut foam. So many choices to choose from, really! Did you know, their straws are not plastic but bamboo straws- eco-friendly!
Bistro Lokal is open daily from 10am-9pm. Please be advised that there is no parking lot for customers. Best to go there through public transportation like a taxi or ride a jeepney of “Trancoville” or any jeepney passing by Magsaysay Avenue in front of Baguio Central University-High School.
Bistro Lokal in my Vlogtober
Want to see more snippets of Bistro Lokal? I uploaded a vlog about this creative and “passion” restaurant on my Youtube channel. It is included in my Vlogtober!
Vlogtober Week 2 with Bistro Lokal
Thank you Chef Miko Dy for having us and special thanks too to Ms. Sheryll Ico! 🙂