Foggy Mountain Cookhouse in Baguio is the Secret We Should've Kept to Ourselves

When food-tripping in Baguio, you can either go to the places tourists typically flock to, or you can explore further and unearth a tastier treasure. In our recent Baguio trip, our shovels struck gold with the Foggy Mountain Cookhouse—a house-slash-restaurant serving Mediterranean-inspired gourmet food. It is owned by Chef Babes, a self-taught cook whose passion for the craft led him into opening up his abode to total strangers and serving them delicious, home-cooked food.

Perched near the mountainside in San Carlos Heights, Chef Babes’ house exhibits that warmth and rusticity characteristic of most of Baguio, a two-story structure of woods and whites. The living room is filled with a jumble of knickknacks, perhaps collected from the chef's travels, and the adjoining terrace boasts of a scenic view of the foggy city below. This alfresco area serves as the perfect spot for visiting diners, a place to gather and partake of a delicious feast that is lovingly made, set amidst a splendid backdrop. For the ambience alone, Foggy Mountain is an instant winner.


The cookhouse accommodates only a few persons at a time (probably 24) and is open only for lunch (1:00AM – 3:00PM) and dinner (6:00PM – 11:00PM), so a reservation at least 1 day prior is required. Pre-ordering is also highly encouraged, as chef babes decides which of his signature dishes to offer depending on the availability of ingredients, and he prefers using only the freshest produce.

My friends and I started quite happily with some homemade bread squares and a salad made with lettuce, watercress, carrots, olives, and orange vinaigrette. The bread kept hunger at bay while waiting for our meats, whereas the salad refreshed us with its tangy, sweetish, and minty tastes. If you love cinnamon, order the Cookhouse Iced Tea (PhP150/pitcher), which comes spiced with it, complete with real bark.

Porchetta (or rolled pork belly) has become a trend lately in Manila, but who are you complain when something as mouthwatering as this plate is laid down in front of you? Chef Babes’ version (PhP500) is studded with raisins and topped with cheese, providing just the right touch of creaminess. The meat is juicy and moist, the skin delightfully crispy. It comes with a serving of delicious Spanish brown rice.

The Brick-Oven Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb (PhP600) was almost as enjoyable—the lamb has been marinated overnight in Moroccan spices, cooked medium rare as the chef recommended, and then cut into bite-sized portions. Delicious lemon zest salsa and feta cheese kissed the meat, and there was also a side composed of Middle-Eastern veggies that shouldn’t be ignored.

Another dish worthy of trying—especially if you’re a meat lover—is Chef Babes’ Grilled USDA Chuck Eye (PhP600). Seasoned simply with herbed salt, the beef was flavorful; however, it could be more tender. Cubes of beef are arranged atop mashed potato, then smothered with gravy. A typical steak plate—yet somehow, it feels much more than it is because of the location.

The unexpected favorite was the Chicken Parmesan Pie (PhP550). It wasn’t as pretty as the other dishes, but believe me, underneath that crusty cloak of polenta and parmesan is a beautiful fusion of mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil, and expertly-cooked chicken thigh fillets. Each bite sent me to delirious happiness (read: basil addict), and I loved the fact that the crunchy top breaks into a juicy surprise inside. I highly recommend this dish.

But apparently, surprises weren’t over yet. Entered Chef carrying our Pumpkin Pie—an insanely good dessert made of creamy, grainy pumpkin puree topped with roasted marshmallows and whipped cream. I swear, my dessert junkie friends blocked me on Facebook when I uploaded a photo of this, LOL!

Service was excellent and what made our experience more memorable—aside from the delicious food—was the way Chef Babes warmly welcomed us. I wish we could’ve stayed longer to chat, but I’m sure Chef would be busy preparing for his dinner guests.

If you seek a delicious meal in an intimate, family-friendly set-up and a dreamy ambience, you should definitely visit Chef Babe’s home, the Foggy Mountain Cookhouse. The foggy landscape, the chef’s hospitality, the sumptuous food, and that feeling of being invited into somebody’s home make up the perfect formula for an amazing dining experience in Baguio. Chef Babes gets plus points for keeping his own garden and trying to provide healthy dishes, and more, more points for making sure his prices don’t make wallets cry too much. It’s definitely worth not going to the usual Baguio food trip route.

Foggy Mountain Cookhouse
172 St Joseph Street, San Carlos Heights, Purok 24, Baguio City
Budget: around PhP500/head

Have you tried Chef Babes' cooking? How did you find it?

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