For a whole week until today the rain hasn't stopped because of all the different low pressure areas hitting our shores. That's rain coming in and out of Manila for seven straight days! Yes, there might have been hints of sunshine from time to time but the weather remained strong and consistent with its windy skies, scattered showers and cloudy atmospheres. So with this comes my friendly reminder to be safe when going outdoors alright guys! With the mildly violent weather conditions taking place, you might be thinking of what food to devour yourself to on these cold rainy nights.
I, for one, have thought of the same thing a few weeks ago. It was during one of our after shift close-to-midnight foodtrips on a chilling rainy tuesday, and bf asked me if I knew of any place that offers hot piping soup aside of course from all the pares/mami joints in the metro. Since we were travelling from Taguig, I thought that we can pass by Boni first to grab a bite at R&J Bulalohan and Tapsilogan.
R&J Bulalohan and Tapsilogan ATBP is a widely popular 24-hour restaurant on the corner of Boni Avenue. It's just a corner away from the Mandaluyong City Hall and is a non-stop alfresco food joint reminiscent to a fairly large bahay kubo. On the downside, the restaurant itself is quite limited with space (or maybe because it was always jam packed with customers). It's literally sandwiched in other establishments such as a gas station and a generic drugstore. I think they can only accommodate up to 5 cars including double parking. Who knew that something good is cooking here?
I confidently refer to this place as widely popular. Why? Look around the place and notice their wall display. R&J Bulalohan have stood the test of time, as these walls were filled with signatures from celebrities and other popular public figures. As I observed, there were old staff pictures from some tv shows, entertainment shows, politicians, and a lot of thank you pictures specifically coming from Boy Abunda/ The Buzz family. With all the other bloggers raving about this place (myself included), I personally believe that this is definitely considered one of their selling points that attracts a lot of customers. But enough of the showbiz talk, let's get down to their major selling point, R&J's Famous Bulalo.
When I got their menu, it is evident enough that they have established themselves as a good bulalo restaurant by lookng at the list of food items on their menu. Surprisingly, not only do they offer one of the best bulalos in Manila, they also have grilled items, rice with egg combinations and other affordable package meals for individual or group servings. They also serve alcohol and woah, they even have a videoke spot for groups who would like to drink and be merry. We even get to hear a few songs from the other customers while eating at that time. I wasn't able to take a picture of the entire menu, but luckily, I found one online at MunchPunch and you can check it out here.
Anyway, we only ordered bulalo (which was about P200.00) and some rice, which is defined very well in a big container of salty, beefy broth with only a few of its natural oils deposited on the sides of the bowl. With a few irregular sized beef chunks and one piece of bone marrow, which apparently wasn't big enough compared to my previous visits. I perfectly remember the time when I was working as an account handler for a previous company wherein we usually come here at R&J with my working team after a day's event. There was even a time when I ate here for two consecutive nights. Unfortunately, after the second night, I felt a slight pain on my nape. I had too much bulalo meat at that time I guess
The soup was deliciously salty but it doesn't overpower the natural flavor coming from the beef chunks and bones, and you can enjoy this greatly with a heap of rice and your choice of sauce. Some use soy sauce, but I was brought up to enjoy this dish with a mixture of fish sauce and calamansi with fiery red siling labuyo/red chillies to intensifies more heat aside from the broth itself.
Apart from that, you can definitely muster getting an order extra rice here at R&J Bulalohan, especially when they get to offer get free soup refills, a complimentary offering from the restaurant which you can get upon your request. After me and bf 50/50 agreement on the bone marrow fat, there was no more room for idle chatting until we finished eating everything. Too bad we were not able to finish all of the soup. We were literally exhausted with it and figured, hey, we've had enough! We can always go back here if we can.
With a cult following amidst their secret location, we can always make sure that even in time differences, you can be enjoy their delicious food at very affordable prices sans the marketing strategies.
Date of Visit: 2012-10-05