Our latest food trip sent us driving more than an hour away from our place in Cainta. It was my husband who discovered it after watching it being featured on a show one Sunday. As it turns out, Kainan sa Tabing Lawa has been one of Tanay’s famous restaurants since the 60’s.
Lately, we have been eating in what I call, “don’t judge a book by its cover” restaurants. (Remember, Tamerlane’s?) Kainan sa Tabing Lawa is an addition to that growing list. Outside, it just looks like a big rustic cottage built of nipa and bamboo. Inside is an eatery with ordinary looking chairs and tables. No airconditioning, too.
But what surprised me was the number of people eating in the place considering that it was already 2pm when we arrived. Not to mention that it’s really not that easy to find since it’s a long way from the main highway to the lakeside where the restaurant is located. “The food must really be good here,” so I thought.
Of the many dishes in the menu, we chose to order the Small Inihaw Bilao which was a small woven tray filled with grilled kanduli, hito, plapla, and liempo plus eggplant and green mango salad. The feast cost us Php 400 which is almost the same price as the bilao meals we eat in Tiendesitas. But the grilled fish we ate here were more fresh and tasty. I think it’s because Tanay is also a fishing town so they have access to fresh water fish.
The salad was delectable, too. The bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) was in itself a dish on its own. It had the right amount of saltiness and sweetness, much like my brother-in-law’s famous bagoong. Ah, you should try Dong’s bagoong. We keep on bugging him to sell bottles of it because it really is delicious! But I digress.
We ate on wooden plates topped with banana leaves. Though we were given pairs of spoon and fork, we still chose to wash our hands and eat the whole lot kamayan-style!
We finished the bilao with 2 serving plates of rice (around 6 cups) and 1.5 liter of Sprite. I wasn’t also able to resist buying packs of pastillas de yema and a jar each of macapuno and coco jam from their pasalubong station. Total bill was less than 900 bucks including the pasalubong items.
Do I recommend Kainan sa Tabing Lawa? Definitely! It offers fresh, delicious, and affordable Filipino food. Just make sure that you also have other things to do or places to visit nearby to make the long trip more worthwhile especially if you’re driving all the way from Manila.
Kainan sa Tabing Lawa is located at #6 Lakeshore Drive corner Cong. Ding Tanjuatco Streets, Tanay, Rizal. To go there by car, it would be best to take the Manila East Road from Ortigas Extension (Cainta and Taytay). Tanay is the town after Morong and Baras and before Pililia. Turn right towards E. Rodriguez Ave. and left at M. H. del Pilar St. which will take you to the town church. Then, just right after San Ildefonso Church ans Tanay Park, turn right at P. Burgos St. (I think it’s now called Cong. Ding Tanjuatco although it’s still P. Burgos in my Google Maps). Just drive straight through that road until you reach the lakeside. There’s a basketball gym just across the restaurant.
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