Battle of the Herbs: Sage and Bayleaf

On the red corner: Bayleaf

My friend Ms A and had planned our afternoon around trying out a Thai restaurant named Basil. We both were sure it was behind the Burnham Park Children’s Playground. But alas! We got the herb wrong! Haha! The place is called “Bayleaf” and they’re not quite Thai. But Basil wasn’t a figment of my imagination — there is a Basil — in White Plains, QC.

So let’s start with their specialty – the Pork Ribs.  The serving is pretty big — 3 chunks served with String beans and rice. However one chunk of meat was softer than the others. One chunk had the meat fall off the bones- the other 2 needed the assistance of a knife and some muscles. It was tangy, a little sweet and overall, a pleasant meal.

Bayleaf Ribs

Bayleaf Ribs

Next is the Caesar Salad – the menu says Romaine lettuce. This isn’t Romaine, I believe. It’s the Iceberg variety. The dressing was super yum. It was a good blend of creamy, salty and sour. If I remember correctly, it had bits of etag mixed into it instead of bacon bits. It’s a good local touch!

Bayleaf's Caesar Salad

Bayleaf’s Caesar Salad

Now here’s the sad looking Vietnamese Spring Rolls – I’ve had these a couple of times and I don’t think it should be served wet and forlorn looking. It was nice and filling although I missed the “kick” out of fresh herbs. If it could have more mint+cilantro+basil, I’d be jumping with glee. My taste buds weren’t able to detect some of these herbs. Loved the crab meat though!

Bayleaf's Vietnamese Spring Roll

Bayleaf’s Vietnamese Spring Roll

In my head, this is how it should’ve looked like: photofromgimmesoven.com

The Vietnamese Spring Rolls I was expecting

The Vietnamese Spring Rolls I was expecting

For dessert, I ordered the apple walnut cake– but they ended up giving me apple salad, which I declined and pointed out I wanted the cake, not the salad. It’s a bit disappointing that they’d get it wrong considering we were the only customers at that time. Although it looked like they were preparing for an event. They were mostly attentive , a lot of the orders we tried to make weren’t also available. None of the desserts were available at that time too.

Overall damage was under 500 pesos. Meals average 200 pesos.

The location is a little odd. It’s at the third floor of the Midland building. The set up is nice and simple. It’s a casual dining place. Great place to hideaway! 😀

On the blue corner: Sage

Sage is located right across the Small World School at Military Cut-off. Parking is limited.

I went through their Facebook page so I can manage my expectations. And I’m glad to say that for the most part, they have exceeded my expectations.

I thought it was a tiny eating place. But it was pretty big. It’s about the size of 1 and half classrooms. Haha. I’m bad at estimating areas. But you get the drift. Place is really pretty. Reminds me of those nice homes in Pinterest.

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And check out their water pitcher. Now who would want to order soda after being served this! Haha!

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Now to the nitty – gritty. From their Facebook page, it looks like that the Bulalo Steak is their specialty. I’m not a big fan of bulalo and marrow particularly for the fatty parts. Now add a creamy sauce and mashed potato (made of cream/milk and butter) — and I got  one overwhelming creamy meal, which wasn’t very pleasant for my buds. Beef stock in bulalo is “manipis” in your mouth, whereas, cream and mashed potato is makapal. So, it didn’t take long it to reach “umay” levels. Unlike BBQ ribs and such, this wasn’t marinaded in a special mixture of sauce, so the meat flavor is not as exciting. It’s a cool concept for steak, but just didn’t work for me.

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Their ribs would be a nice alternative. Served with Java rice , special sauce and salad, it’s a awesome balance of flavors and textures. Ribs were less sweet than those of Canto’s but less BBQ-ey than Don Henrico’s. So it’s somewhere in between those favorite ribs of mine. Meat fell of the bone and salad was refreshing – perfect partner to these ribs.

Ribs from Sage

Not sure what Sage is — if it’s a steakhouse, cake house or a fusion of Asian and Western eats. They serve ribs, cakes and Asian inspired desserts such as the one below. The roti flakes with Ice cream and peaches was okay but not as good as the one in Chef’s home.

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My friend M also ordered Red Velvet cake. It looks cute. As in – it’s a tiny slice. But I enjoyed it.

eatsinbaguio

Sage is a cool new eating spot in Baguio that you should try if you like dining in nice pretty spaces that offer a variety of eats. There’s something for everyone. Want a meal, they got it. Dessert, check! Pasta, check!

Total damage for this eating session was 700. Average cost of meals is 200. That cute piece of cake is about 90 bucks. Water is free though 🙂

Between Sage and Bayleaf, I’d say Sage wins this round. For the variety and AVAILABILITY of food, for the ambiance, service and location. I don’t mind dining in a location that’ s not too close to town. As long as the food and overall experience is worth it, I will keep coming back.

Which leads me to my next adventure – that all day breakfast place in Mines View!

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