Written by Joseph Cesar
Photos by Kat Magsino
In desperate need of just a relaxing weekend, I suddenly remembered a place that I once visited in Antipolo—Le Blanc Hotel and Bistro. I checked the destination on Waze and saw that it was only 40 minutes away from Katipunan, where I was. I was completely sold. The next day, I packed a few clothes, my laptop, and headed for Le Blanc.
I left Katipunan in the late afternoon—completely welcoming the rush hours. Despite being stuck in traffic for quite some time, everything started to clear up as soon as I reached the end of the ongoing construction site of the new LRT station. The roads started going higher and higher, and the winds started to get stronger. Within a few minutes, I reached Le Blanc, with a lot of parking space to spare.
Immediately, I was greeted by their friendly staff who took my bags and ushered me to my junior suite. The room was nice and clean, staying consistent with their Le Blanc theme as everything was bright white—from the walls to the sheets. The bathroom was spacious and had the basic necessities for a comfortable stay; toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, and shampoo were all provided. Clean towels were also readily available for use.
Also, one of the best things in the room was how the lighting could change the mood. The lights were strategically placed in order to give off different vibes. From relaxed, lively, to sexy, there’s a lighting fit for all. Anyway, messing with the settings of the light and checking out the small details of the room made me hungry so I headed down to their bistro where my friends and I had an absolute feast.
First of all, the selection on their menu was crazy. They have meals, snacks, and drinks from different corners of the world, all prepared by their in-house chef. The rainy day had us all shivering so we just had to get their beef soup, with the marrow still intact. The bowl was overflowing with assorted ingredients all drenched in the amazing soup where the beef had been sitting.
We also got kare-kare. A dish that some people hate, and some love. Luckily for us, we love the peanut-y dish. Paired with salty bagoong, of course. The meat was tender, and the sauce just made everything inside it, extremely delicious. Determining whether what I got was a vegetable or meat was almost insignificant as everything was flavorful.
We also tried the Asian wings because it seemed like an interesting fusion between a very Western dish and a very Eastern style of cooking. Let’s just say there were no regrets in getting this once. Admittedly, the wings were a bit lacking in size but the flavor…the flavor was simply delicious! A mix of salty, sweet, and a plethora of unexplainable flavors just hit your taste buds in the best way possible.
The fried eggplant with pork, however, is not one to be overlooked. This had a more powerful presence in your mouth, filling it with porky goodness and the right amount of heat. The beads of sweat from the heat are like little repentance beads to save you from each sinful bite you take. The eggplant properly balances out the strong flavors of the pork but is by no means bland.
Possibly the most interesting dish we had during our stay, was the okonomiyaki. We were quite full by then and were slightly discouraged to see how thick the okonomiyaki was. But we gladly offered whatever space we had left in our stomachs in order to eat mouthful after mouthful of the okonomiyaki. Needless to say, it was terrific.
All the ingredients worked in perfect harmony to carefully embrace your mouth with a taste of Japan.
Last but not the least, was the sizzling bangus sisig. We ate this first from all the meals but I had to give it its proper spotlight for being so delicious. The piping hot fish, with a fresh squeeze of calamansi was glorious, to say the least. It was in your face, yet subtle at the same time.
After dinner, I was able to find my very much needed peace and quiet. I was well rested and felt rejuvenated. I took some time to walk around and spot the place, and even went for a swim. Their facilities and amenities were all fully functional, but their food is really what makes me want to go back. Overall, I had a very pleasurable stay. I entered as a tired and haggard student, but left as a composed and rested individual.
Le Blanc Hotel
3 Taktak Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
Contact: (02) 509 1840