I’ve always thought that the best bulalo in Tagaytay City are located at the fancy restaurants fronting the Taal Volcano. Boy, was I ever so wrong! I’ve heard about the bulalos being sold at one of Tagaytay’s many markets, but have no idea where it was. Little did I know that I’ve been passing through it countless of times; it was just at the Mahogany Market all along.
Half a day of walking around the drizzly pathways of Caleruega made some dents on our stomachs. We immediately headed towards the bulalohan area along the Nasugbu Highway to replenish our batteries but were immediately turned off by their prices (Php380.00 per bowl).
We packed up and boarded another jeepney, this time to Mahogany Market, there’s also a bulalohan strip there that’s much cheaper, although sans the view, my friend says to me.
Vendors selling knives, kakanins and espasols immediately swarmed us as we entered Mahogany’s market ground. We bought a plastic of pinipig and tried out a piece of espasol (free taste, the vendor told me); the knives, I wouldn’t have any use for, so we ignored those.
The pinipigs were great but the espasols wasn’t that good, much to the seller’s chagrin.
Even with the multitude of carinderias lining the bulalohan strip at Mahogany Market, the place was still packed to brimming. Although we would’ve preferred to eat at the bulalohan with the most number of customers--which means that the place is really good--we had to settle for the least occupied one since there really were too many people lining up for a bowl of that sinful bone marrow soup.
We finally settled at Lyleth’s slash Betty’s Eatery. Well, we were having a hard time knowing the real name of this carinderia since they have two posted on their boards. It looks about the same as with the other eateries in the strip; but the important thing was they have bulalo and they allowed us to haggle with them.
A bowl of bulalo cost Php350.00, that’s good enough for three to four persons. But since there’s only two of us, we asked if we can have a customized order, they lowered the price down to Php200.00 but without a bone. We begged, and they let us have a one. I now officially love Lyleth’s slash Betty’s Eatery!
The bulalo was nothing short of spectacular. I haven’t had bulalo like it ever. The serving size was absolutely magnanimous. The meat was meltingly tender. The soup was the ultimate. And the bone marrow, an absolute killer. And I really mean that.
As if the huge bowl of bulalo wasn’t enough, we ordered one more plate of crispy tawilis—a Taal Lake delicacy. It cost Php100.00 but we asked if they serve half. They do and it was awesome! You have to eat this like a chicharon, hold one end of it, dip it down their home made sweet/sour vinegar and bite down to the end (head and all). It was so crispy; I love it like I love chicharon!
After miraculously wolfing everything down, we took a breather and ordered two cups of coffee. Funny thing was, I saw one of their staff mixing pinipigs with their coffee. Aha. We just have to do that too! So we went ahead and poured some into our instants. The trick, ate said was to let the coffee make the pinipig really soft, then you spoon it like cereals.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like it that much haha.
While having coffee, I asked ate what Gotong Batangas is as I kept seeing it on food stalls along the highway. She said they have one and they can serve us a bowl of it if we still can eat. A bowl cost Php100.00 and we asked if we can have half. Surely, she said.
And we were served with the strangest goto I’ve ever seen. It has no rice pudding and it was filled with all sorts of innards! The soup was (again) absolutely amazing and absolutely sinful! We tried a few spoonfuls before finally giving up; we didn’t want to have a heart attack on our way back to Manila!
Before getting up, we munched on a couple of bananas which are given free to customers to probably compensate for their now clogged arteries. I don’t like bananas that much, but I took a few bites just to be on the safe side. I’m feeling up my nape at each passing moment, lol!
I’ve been eating bulalo at Tagaytay for the longest time and I can say that it’s only now that I’ve tasted what a real Tagaytay Bulalo is. The bulalohan at Mahogany Market may not have the best amenities and may not be as posh as the restaurants near the highway, but I can truly say that the best bulalo in Tagaytay doesn’t need to have a view of the famous Taal Volcano. You won’t need any of those superficialities here anyways. At Mahogany Market, it’s gonna be only you and your steaming bowl of bulalo.
Mahogany Market Bulalohan
Betty’s Eatery / Lyleth’s Eatery
Address: Mahogany Market, Mahogany Ave., Brgy. Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City, Cavite
Contact Number: (0921) 460-0097
Open Hours: 5:00am to 8:00pm
GPS Coordinates: +14° 6' 19.30", +120° 55' 59.00"