Lunch at Punong Gary's Place in Silay | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Jan 3, 2017

Lunch at Punong Gary's Place in Silay

Tucked in the outskirts of my hometown - Silay City - in Negros Occidental is a little piece of paradise called Punong Gary's Place. It was once a secret culinary hideaway, but because of its uniqueness, it easily became the talk of the town, the world rather! Awesome places could never remain a secret in social media; hence, I already knew about it before Ed and I went home for Christmas!

The moment we got our flight tickets to the Philippines, I immediately placed a reservation for weekend lunch. Although Punong Gary's Place has gained popularity, it remained a hideaway as it is exclusive to guests with confirmed reservation.

I received a prompt reply in their Facebook Page. Getting a reservation wasn't as hard as I thought. I excitedly noted the important details: Sunday lunch. 11am to 3pm. Table for 10. 5-course meal. 750 Pesos per person. 

750 Pesos! Yes, that is not a typo. Punong Gary's Place is quite an expensive dining spot.

Is it worth it? 

Let me show you.   

Punong Gary's Place Silay

Punong Gary's Place: Where is it located?
If you are not a resident of Silay, you might have a hard time locating the place. It sits in seclusion, patiently waiting to be discovered, in Hacienda Tinihaban. My family lives in Silay ever since, so it was easy for us to find this hidden gem. We took the Silay to EB Magalona road, turned left near Pryce Gas, and drove straight until we reached the signage.

We have arrived.  

PUNONG in Silay
away from the hustle and bustle

vintage door at Punong Garys Place
the entrance to serenity

What is inside Punong Gary's Place?
Art. Nature. Tranquility. 

From the second I opened the old vintage door, I knew I was bound to experience something special. Bali-inspired cottages harmoniously bonded with lush vegetation. Every corner is decked with tasteful art pieces. Every edge is fringed with coconut trees and bounded by fish ponds.

nature at Punong Garys Place
Hello, nature!

art at Punong Garys Place
an intricate wood sculpture in the restaurant

pool in Punong Gary's Place
a lap pool in midst of greenery

art gallery at Punong Garys Place
gallery of art pieces 

duyan at Punong Garys Place
a "duyan" in the middle of the pond 

What is the story behind Punong Gary's Place?
It surely isn't just another restaurant. The humble area surrounded by fishponds was developed and managed by the family of former Side A member Joey Benin. Punong Gary's Place was created with their desire to give back. They employed people from the local community and part of the restaurant's proceeds goes to the Clean and Green project. 

It is "a sanctuary of absolute calm" they say. 

It is HOME; a place to relax, to dine, to help. 

home in Punong Garys Place
Punong Gary's Place is HOME.

sculpture in Punong Garys Place
It is a place of love....

piano in Punong Garys Place
...of music

lap pool in Punong Garys Place
....of peace.

How was the 5-course lunch in Punong Gary's Place?
Amazing! I can't think of a better word to describe my dining experience as a whole. We were warmly welcomed by Ms. Bing and her staff when we arrived. She gave us the option to dine in the main casita or beneath the trees. It was quite windy that day, so my family settled in a covered area near the lap pool.

alfresco dining in Punong Gary's Place
alfresco dining in Punong Gary's Place

flowers in Punong Gary's Place
fresh flowers on the table reserved for me

family lunch in Punong Gary's Place
my family <3

Each of us were given a copy of the menu of the day; a brief introduction to the culinary journey that we were about to take. It made me more excited. Punong Gary's Place offers comfort food with a gourmet flair!    

5-course lunch at Punong Gary's Place
5-course lunch at Punong Gary's Place

Our lunch started with Chicken Liver Pate served with wild berry sauce and crostini. With its smooth texture and buttery flavor, this appetizer is a wholesome reminiscent of foie gras. 

appetizer at Punong Gary's Place
Chicken Liver Pate Crostini

Everyone in the family loved the Asian Fruit Salad! It is made of locally-produced fruits and vegetables tossed in a sweet-tangy Asian dressing.

Salad at Punong Gary's Place
Asian Fruit Salad

I also could't get enough of the Creamy Kalabasa Soup. Who would have thought? I often shy away from kalabasa or squash, but this soup is so hearty, creamy, a little sweet and well-seasoned. Even picky eaters would love it.    

soup at Punong Gary's Place
Creamy Kalabasa Soup

We had 6 options for main course and it was the Grilled Chicken Pesto Parmesan that caught my eye. It is Punong's gourmet version of the well-loved chicken inasal. The tender chicken breast was perfectly char-grilled, smothered with pesto sauce, topped with lots of parmesan cheese (I love!) and garnished with herbs.

main course at Punong Gary's Place
Grilled Chicken Pesto Parmesan

These are the main dishes that the rest of the family had. Check out the beautiful plating! 

lamb dish at Punong Gary's Place
Roast Lamb on Mushroom Sauce

pork dish at Punong Gary's Place
Slow-cooked Pork Belly 

fish dish at Punong Gary's Place
Pan Seared Sea Bass 

A scoop of Vanillamasi (vanilla with kalamansi) ice cream drizzled with honey was served for dessert. It has an excellent blend of zest and sweetness; a concoction that refreshed my palate after a burst of savory flavors.  

dessert at Punong Gary's Place
Vanillamansi ice cream

The 750 Pesos lunch does not include a drink other than service water. You can order additional drinks from the extensive bar menu. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are offered. Coffee, wine and beer are served as well. 

Punong Gary's Place Drinks Menu
Punong Gary's Place Drinks Menu

For our family lunch, we opted to have two pitchers of Honey Lemon Cucumber. It is a thirst-quenching drink made of freshly squeezed cucumber with lemon grass and honey. 

Punong Gary's Place Drinks
Honey Lemon Cucumber

So, is it worth 750+ Pesos?
Yes. A big fat YES, if you ask me. The food is good. The portions are quite small that big eaters might be longing for more after the 5-course meal. However, for me, the serving sizes were just right... except for the ice cream. My sweet tooth wished they served two scoops instead of one. 

The whole concept is unique. And to top it all off, the atmosphere is priceless! I would gladly shell out 750 PH Pesos = 55 AE Dirhams for a day in a tranquil sanctuary like Punong Gary's Place.  

Ed and Lady in Punong Gary's Place
Treasured time at Punong Gary's Place
Joey Benin at Punong Garys Place
Chef Joey Benin went out of his kitchen to say hello! He is so friendly and humble. So, I highly advice, when you're in Punong, take the opportunity to meet the man behind the good food and the famous song "Forevermore". ;)

Punong Gary's Place
Hacienda Tinihaban
Barrio San Jose
Silay City. Negros Occidental

Important Note: Punong Gary's Place is NOT open daily. Make sure to place a reservation before you visit. Send them a message in their official Facebook Page or call them at +63 917 327 1729.

This is not a sponsored post. 
Our lunch, however, was sponsored by my aunt. Thanks Tita Jie! ;) 
Opinions in this blog post are my own.

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