One of my favorite dining destinations along the Manila East Road is Kawayan Farm in Pililla, Rizal. Situated on a hilly landscape overlooking the scenic Laguna Bay, this is a popular spot for cyclists, motorcycle riders and road trippers. It’s an easy enough drive to via Marilaque and you can get here in about two hours from Quezon City, making it an ideal stop for late breakfast or lunch during weekend or day trip rides.
Stopover at Garden Cottages on the way to Kawayan Farm during a weekend ride
As the name suggests, the farm is home to various species of bamboo. All the structures around the farm are made of bamboo as well.
The place is family-friendly too. There’s a small children’s playground with monkey bars, a swing and a slide on the grounds. There’s even a small chapel and massage huts. There are also a few gazebos and huts scattered about the grounds where road trippers can rest.
But the best attraction here is that the farm also manages a restaurant that serves Filipino fare. There’s an enclosed dining space near the entrance that can seat larger groups, while the airy dining spots with bamboo walls and floors at the back are ideal for families or smaller groups.
Compared to some of the other smaller restaurants or carinderias along the route, the food at Kawayan Farm is admittedly pricier, but I think the rates are still reasonable. Expect to spend P500-P600 for 2 people. If you are after comfort, ambiance and decent restrooms, this is a good pitstop choice.
If you want to stick to the restaurant’s specialties, they serve a few dishes that make use of bamboo shoots including labong (a spicy Bicol express dish) and lumpia (egg roll filled with lettuce and bamboo shoots).
The binakol, native tinolang manok cooked with coconut meat, is also a bestseller. For drinks, it’s best to order fresh buko juice that you can drink straight out of the shell or fruit shakes, which are pretty refreshing after a long drive.
If you’re not that adventurous when it comes to food, some of the more traditional dishes on the menu include tapisolog, sisig, sinigang, and crispy tilapia.
Kawayan Farm also sells different bamboo seedlings here including white, yellow, black, Chinese, Buddha, and giant varieties. They also sell expensive bamboos used by landscapers in their masterpieces.
The distance from the city, clean and green surroundings and delicious fare really makes Kawayan Farm an ideal spot for a quick day trip getaway.