New Baguio Dining Experience: Ketchup

New Baguio Dining Experience: Ketchup

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Located right in front of Wright Park in Baguio City is a new destination for food lovers. The place is catchy-named, Ketchup: The Food Community. It is a small compound with 5 restaurants inside. Green Pepper serves gourmet pasta, salads, steaks and sandwiches. Rancho Norte serves Filipino dishes. Rumah Sahte serves Indo-Malay cuisine, grilled sate and laksa. Happy Tummy serves Thai cuisine. My favorite restaurant, Canto serves mouth-watering pork ribs, pizza and burger.

The restaurants have a homey feel. Part of the food community’s uniqueness is that all restaurants are owned by families that are trying to share their recipes to everyone. The selection of restaurants in Ketchup cater to the different culinary preferences of locals and visitors.
Canto’s owner named Carlo Blanco is also a photographer. His intriguing black and white shots are displayed at the restaurant. The best seller of Canto is the pork ribs and the recipe is Carlo’s well-guarded secret. We pestered him to tell us the secret recipe but he kept his mouth shut. The ribs are perfectly roasted with the meat falling off the bones. The tender meat almost melts in your mouth. The ribs are served either with rice or mashed potato. Another meat lover’s must taste food in Canto is the Chili Burger. Its ¼ pound patty is grilled to perfection. The burger is then served with chili beans. The meat is almost sweet and you can distinctly taste the juice. The chili beans perfectly compliment the burger. Those different flavors give out a heavenly taste.

I also tried the beef sate at Rumah Sahte to give in to my spicy food craving. At first, I thought I can tolerate the spicy sate sauce but the more I bit into the juicy skewered beef, the spicier it got. Though the meat in itself was grilled to perfection, the insanely hot sauce made me give up on the meal. Three glasses of water were not enough to cleanse my palate of the heat.

We ate at Canto two nights in a row. The owner’s love of the place can be felt by how they treat their guests. They take the time to cater to every small request of the guests. Their staff is also well trained and very accommodating. If there is something they cannot serve in the restaurant, they will apologetically say no and offer suggestions.

Dining at Ketchup is an experience. Although it aims to known as one of the best food destinations in Baguio, the restaurant owners try to keep their feet on the ground. The sense of humility despite the success is still a value held dear by the owners. They simply want to share their love of food.

/// Written by Mayleen Cadiz, The Philippines