2018 heralded a new addition to Bataan’s gastronomic landscape – as if the province is lacking in that department. Let me ask you, my Bataan fellas of the internet, why is that you have so many good food places? What is happening? There are seriously so many good restaurants in your midst. Why is that? It’s important that I get an answer. Let me know in the comments.
OK. So, anyway, Bataeños get another food place in the form of The Bataan Food Park. And I was one of the firsts to experience it.
Located along Capitol Drive in the capital city of Balanga, The Bataan Food Park (let’s refer to it as BTN for brevity), as all food parks should be, is a mall with nothing in it but the food court.
BTN has a hipster junkyard thing going on with its bare ceiling and metal railings. There’s the light bulb marquee alongside a steel skeleton of a miniature bicycle serving as a welcome arch. The seats are mostly wooden. Even during daytime, and I don’t know why, the place looks a little bit yellow, giving you a strong industrial vibe, which I liked.
It is smaller than, say, the Barracks Food Park in Tagaytay, but don’t let that deter you. With 29 food stalls, you’re bound to find something you’ll like. The limited seating could be an issue, but if the food is consistently great then that wouldn’t really be a problem. Plus, the place is set up to hold regular musical performances so now’s the part you should follow them on Facebook (if you haven’t already) to keep abreast with what’s up.
I got to try some of the offerings of BTN and there’s one thing I can say: it’s varied. From egg waffles to Korean street food, to tuna, and nuts, all the way to cocktails (in broad daylight!), it has a good hodgepodge of choices. Some, as all things in life, stood out more than the others.
The first thing I liked was the kimchi sisig from K-pops Korean Street Food. I never liked kimchi, but it went surprisingly well with my favorite sisig. My first reaction, albeit internally, was “How dare you defile this pork?” but I was hooked on the first bite. It was still quite early for beer (at least if you ask me), but I thought it would be perfect with a cold bottle of Mule.
If you're looking for something to wash down all the food, Aqua Aloha serves cocktails and a collection of juices and beverages. The one I tasted turned out to be a "special" concoction by my friends from the Bataan Weather Page. It had a little bit of everything in it, it made me tear up. The iced tea was really good, though. But I was not down with the liberal use of plastic straws.
You can pair up the cocktails with an assortment of finger foods over at Oh! Nuts.
Another thing I liked was the egg waffles from Cuffy’s. These are Hong Kong waffles, if I remember correctly, and I simply love them. Even when it was soggy, it was still good.
For dessert, I super love Bing Seoul. Try the mango bingsu, or the strawberry. Both are refreshing.
The bulalo steak, and the coffee chicken over at Sizzlin' 34 are highly recommended. The coffee chicken was weird, but in a good way. Both dishes tasted impeccable.
Speaking of impeccable, Bella Cibo is one classy food stall. It’s looking to be my number one recommendation. The pasta dishes were superb. But you must absolutely try the sizzling brownie! My god, that dish blew me away. I thought it was all show, but when I sank my teeth into that brownie, I was floored. Best brownie I’ve had. Hands down!
I wanted to try the chicken wings at Wings N’ Things, but my companions were much quicker than I was. Same with the delicious-looking potato variations from Eyes on the Fries – I should’ve stuffed my face when I had the chance.
At any rate, below is the list of all the food stalls in the park:
- 88 Hotpot and Grill
- Above Sea Level
- All Day Breakfast
- Aqua Aloha
- Bella Cibo
- Bing Seoul
- Bro's Foods N' Sticks
- Cookera Diner
- Cuffy's Hongkong Egg Waffles
- Delbery Noodles
- Eyes on Fries
- G Spot
- K-Pops Korean Street Food
- Oh! Nuts
- Penge Panga
- Plato Wraps
- Ribs Food Corner
- Sizzlin' 34
- SUMO Takoyaki
- Super Bagnet
- Sushi Quatro
- Teo's Crepe
- VMV Grande
- Wings N' Things
I also got several photos of the dishes that were served to us that day. Check out this album, and take your pick.
What I love about the BTN Food Park is how there are plenty of trash cans. Even after a whirlwind of bloggers and guests munching on food, the place still remained spick-and-span because a bin was immediately within reach. I have a suggestion, though, and this goes for all food parks out there: install a water dispenser (or two) and just do away with the bottled waters. Have tenants provide reusable cups or have guests bring their tumblers. Charge a one-time fee for unlimited water, and bam! Less trash, more income in the long run!
I’d definitely drop by The Bataan Food Park the next time I’m in the city, especially since it’s just a quick sprint from Crown Royale – my usual abode when I’m there. I would love to try more of the food.
Parking: Yes, but limited
Mode of Payment: Cash
Tenejero, Capitol Drive, Balanga City, Bataan (beside 88 Hotpot and Grill)
Tuesdays to Thursdays - 11AM to 11PM; Fridays to Sundays - 11PM to 12MN; Mondays - Closed