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Hintonburg/ Preston/ Chinatown
The signs offer authentic Filipino soup.
Foods from Bulalo House
2012 May 7
During a Sunday afternoon shopping trip through Chinatown I discovered Bulalo House is now closed. I was really disappointed to see this since the food was so good and the owner was so accomodating and helpful I was really hoping he could make a go of it. Just goes to show how volatile the food industry is these days.
First post for this user
2011 Sep 20
Just stumbled upon this place tonight. My husband and I were very pleased with the food here. We had the Longsilog and the BBQ (kebab) with rice, as well as the lumpia (pork spring rolls). And we were happy with all of it! It was just like eating at a family party (which I miss out on a lot these days).
I'm not originally from Ottawa and all my family is back in Toronto. To find a Filipino restaurant that reminds me of home cooking is very exciting for me. I will definitely eat there again, especially when I'm feeling a bit homesick.
The restaurant and menu are both fairly basic, but it was cozy and clean. We had a chat with the owner and it seems he has some big plans, including a once-a-month buffet to feature more filipino cuisine. I'm looking forward to whatever he comes up with.
2011 Sep 9
I went to Bulalo House for dinner last night for my first introduction to Filipino cuisine. It was certainly a fun night out!
The restaurant itself has two entrances. It is U shaped so when you enter you can move from one part to the other by passing through a narrow hallway at the back of the establishment. It is set up with cafeteria style tables and chairs and brightly painted walls. We were given menus shortly after arriving. Since no one in my group had ever eaten Filippino food before we were thankful the menu items listed were accompanied by pictures to illustrate what the dishes should look like.
We all started with pork spring rolls which were deep fried and served piping hot and accompanied with sweet chili sauce. One person in my group ordered the beef soup and he said it was very good and another ordered two apps (pork spring rolls and beef on a stick) and they were also reportedly good. I ordered the Filipino sausages with a house-made bbq sauce which was VERY good, rice, and sliced cucumber and tomato on the side. One dining companion ordered pork belly and another ordered stirfried pigs ears. Their dishes came with rice and tomato/cucumber salad with pickled mango. The three of us that ordered the pork dishes shared and I'm not sure which I liked the best - my sausages or the pork belly. The pigs ears were good (not as much gristle as I would have expected) but I didn't really like the sweet and sour sauce it was sautéed in. The desserts looked so intriguing we had to order some. One person at the table ordered halo-halo which is crushed ice mixed with coconut milk, palm tree fruit (I think?) and purple ice cream (can't remember which fruit it was made from). Two of my dining companions ordered just a dish of the purple ice cream which was not on the menu but the waiter (who was actually the owner-;) gladly obliged. I ordered the sweet corn dessert which was a BIG MISTAKE. The dessert was attractively served in a martini glass. It was layered, starting at the bottom, with creamed corn which tasted like creamed corn out of a can and served cold. The next layer consisted of shaved ice cream and coconut milk but tasted mostly like shaved ice cream, then it was topped with purple ice cream. The only part of the dessert I liked was the purple ice cream. Note to self: next time ask for a bowl of just the ice cream and leave it at that. We had tea with our meal which was replenished frequently throughout the evening.
Except for dessert I absolutely loved my meal and I look forward to return visits so I can try many more dishes. They offer take out but do not have a take out menu printed yet since they are planning on adding more items to the menu. If you choose to take out anything you can order from the regular menu and they will package it up for you.
I had a brief chat with the owner on my way out and he mentioned he left his IT job to start up this resto. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope everything works out for him.
It looks like May Lan is no longer there - it is now
2011 May 30
So May Lan is still there, then? Bulalo House is in the two units beside it?
2011 May 29
Good ... a review here. I was about to post this pic in the "New Openings around town" discussion.
2011 May 29
Went to unch yesterday at Bulalo House for the first time, and it was good!
The place is very basic but clean & bright, and service was welcoming and very efficient. The layout is a bit strange, with two storefront rooms separated by some other storefront and linked by a rear hallway. The staff were very helpful and wanted to know if we had eaten Filipino food before and were eager to explain the dishes to us.
We began with an order of vegetable spring rolls, which were served very hot with the accompanying sweet chili sauce for dipping. The server also offered us a kind of spiced white vinegar in a squeeze bottle, and another squeeze bottle of banana ketchup. All three sauces were interesting and worth trying.
We ordered the filipino soup with beef on the bone and noodles. The small size was more than two of us could eat, and had plenty of very tender beef, fresh baby bok choy, a bit of corn on the cob, boiled quail egg, fried plantain and some other goodies. It was served with fresh lime and tiny chopped chiles on the side and can be ordered with either noodles or rice. The soup was kind of bland, but I gather one is supposed to add the sauces and hot chiles to taste, which we did. It was hearty and filling and not short on beef. Once I fired it up a bit, it was very satisfying.
The other dish we shared was a bbq pork dish (sorry can't remember the name) which had boneless chunks of marinated pork in a sweet bbq glaze. SO tasty! especially when I added the hot sauce from the squeeze bottle they delivered with it. The pork was outstanding - juicy, tender and tangy. It was served with a few pickled vegetables and some rice topped with a nicely fried egg. The egg/rice was great with a dollop of banana ketchup.
There were other bbq dishes on the menu; beef, chicken, filipino sausages and they also do specials on weekends. Yesterday it was milk fish.
There are also a number of neon colored desserts on the menu that looked quite tasty but we didn't try them.
The service was wonderful; they changed out our teapot for fresh hot tea 3 times during lunch, and they checked on how we enjoyed the food after each course.
Total bill including taxes but not gratuity was under $20.
This was our first time eating Filipino food, and we will definitely be back to try other dishes at Bulalo House.
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