You Can Skip the Hike and Get the View at Masungi Georeserve’s Silayan Dining RoomSeptember 13, 2018
- Bea OsmeñaWords
Sitting on top of a hill overlooking hectares of lush green trees and ridges is a cylindrical flat structure with a tall conical roof. Silayan Dining Room is designed to blend comfortably and naturally with its surroundings, letting its simplicity highlight the complex designs of the nature that frames it. A fresh breeze pulls you into the cover of the dining area, which shields you from the cold mountain weather without sacrificing your view. Its walls are all glass, giving you a panoramic view of Rizal’s mountain range, with the city—and its lights and noises—in a faded distance.
Silayan Dining Room is the fine dining concept of the popular hiking destination Masungi Georeserve. Made Instagram-famous from their rope-webs and -ladders that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the rock formations that distinguish the Masungi landscape, the Georeserve’s addition of the Silayan Dining Room allows visitors to see what Baras has to offer without having to brave the long trails (or rewards them for doing so!).
Many of the herbs and garnishes are foraged or gardened on the protected area’s grounds, making many of their ingredients unique to the landscape. Other ingredients that they cannot find on the grounds are sourced from nearby farms and groups, such as the raw honey sourced from the Dumagat indigenous community. And though the dishes (all created by the passion and 23-year-young head chef Ezekiel Macadangdang) are served in courses and plated beautifully, you don’t need to worry about dressing the part—come in your trail shoes; you’ll feel right at home.
While Silayan Dining offers 3 different set menus (which change seasonally, depending on what’s available), this is the one that stood out the most to us from their current menu:
SOUS VIDE CHICKEN WITH MASHED UBE AND GREEN PEPPER SAUCE
At PHP1400 for this set meal (or PHP850 if you do the trail), the chicken dish is the most affordable of the meals at Silayan. And to us, it is also the most creative and stand-out offering. The chicken is tender, soft, and full of natural juices. It is seasoned with fresh herbs just enough to bring out the flavor of the meat without overpowering it. The meat sits on top of a somewhat sweet mashed ube, which was so creamy, smooth, and flavorful, we wish that it was the staple mash everywhere (step aside, potatoes!). And if you so wish, you can add some of their homemade green pepper sauce onto the dish—it’s served on the side so that you can distribute it according to taste, but for us, the chicken was flavorful enough that it doesn’t need it.
The farm-to-table fine dining concept of Masungi Georeserve.