December 7, 2022

House of Yogurt bids you “Calajo!” (Come over in Ibaloy)

Yes, HOY belongs to the Calajo group of restaurants with this particular branch focused on their own brand of the health food, yogurt. This particular resto is at the SM ground level that has zoned the homegrown Baguio and local food shops and novelty stores on the right wing of the mall.

Yogurt has its probiotic elements that make this health food a good option on any day or every day. This piece will reverse the order of food and start with the desert in a bowl of yogurt. This yogurt is thick like a pudding and has its touch of tart.

The corn flakes and granola are good choices of the crunch, banana and blueberry for fruit and honey for syrup as the perfect combination. This is good for digestion after overeating on fat and cheese.

The yogurt bar has the other toppings that others might want to try with a selection of other fruits and other crunchy additions. To describe the experience with the different textures is like having all the millennial favorites in a bowl. A spoonful of thick yogurt almost like the consistency of thick oatmeal with a slice of banana, one or two blueberries in a sweet jam, granola with the chewy bits of oatmeal and raisin, a few corn flakes, and the earthy sweetness of honey is literally a snap, crackle and pop experience in the mouth and not in the bones.

The bursting of the blueberry, the mushy yogurt and chewy granola are delightful flavors coming into one or two swirls in the mouth. This doesn’t compare to a bowl of ice cream or a fudgy cake feeling. It is different. As a dessert, it wasn’t too sweet and almost perfect with my bitter cup of Benguet coffee. One must try this health option.

The sinful eating before this was a vegetable quesadilla. We agreed that this is the best quesadilla in this part of town.

The Calajo tortilla was different, and it made the mushroom, bell pepper, onions, and creamy cheese filling, different from others we’ve tasted. Just right in its salty creaminess, this would be good as a side to a regular meal or a starter before a meal. The stringy cheese lets you know that there’s some yummy mozzarella somewhere in there. This resto has its pasta and pizza bistro counterparts in the menu for some Italian fusion. So, this millennial diet is available for the Calajo version.

Pancit chami was going to be our carbs for a rice-free meal. The menu read Baguio vegetables with locally made canton. Anything local will definitely catch my eye and so, we opted for this experience. Lo and behold! The canton noodles were triple the size of the regular ones.

I just realized that it seemed to be a meatless journey for two of us who had our little medical episodes and were trying to keep away from the dangerous stuff. This was the Calajo version of the pancit that had bite-size broccoli and cauliflower with carrots, cabbage, and celery topped with crunchy garlic. Like a saucy dish, this made a good smooth texture of the ingredients. If one was eating a Korean big noodle dish, it was good to slurp in the rich sauce. But did you know that celery is the secret ingredient that makes any dish savory? Compare a potato or macaroni salad with celery and without. You will discover that there is a big difference.

Our meat dish was the sizzling pinikpikan with etag. Except for the sizzling plate, this is traditional in its flavor and preparation. The chicken seemed to be broiler cull and the etag from the Masferre kitchen of Sagada, Mountain Province.

The ginger is the important element to neutralize the pork fat and the chicken fat and gives the unique aroma of this Cordilleran favorite. The broth is separated from the meat and the chayote slices that go with it. This didn’t promise to be fancy, but dishes in the mountains are not fancy at all. What we missed was the chili and soy sauce which is a pinikpikan spice. This should always be eaten with chili for the whistles to relieve the burning lips.

There was the ribs in Calajo’s version. Barbequed pork ribs in a dark gravy with red rice and vegetable salad. This dish is always delightful when the meat falls off the bones and the gravy a salty sweet edition that complements the marinade used for flavoring the meat before baking it. This is a complete meal with the salad and rice.

Baguio green is what you expect from Baguio’s market with Calajo’s Ceasar’s dressing. The iceberg lettuce, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. This was drizzled with parmesan cheese. A salad is always a refreshing tongue cleaner when one is eating a rich fare. The crispy veggies and the juicy tomatoes and sweet bell peppers are wonderful treats that are best in our part of the country.

There is more to HOY than the yogurt and the fusion of foods that are sought by the Pinoy palate. It has the shelves that sell the best snacks, jams, breads, wines, vinegars, cookies, peanuts, peanut butter, caramels, coffee, and I guess anything that you have tried or want to try. I found the okoy that I was served in Manila here and is something I would highly recommend to those who like shrimps. The best part is you don’t have to travel far to get something you like to eat from Manila, Bicol, or other parts of the country. They might just have it on their shelves.

Calajo! Let’s have some food fun. By the way, HOY offers breakfast the whole day too.

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