Punong Gary’s Place
Located in Silay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines, Punong Gary’s Place is a great for fine dining and magic.
Not a sponsored post.
Here in Bacolod City, or in Negros Occidental, we don’t really have a fine dining restaurant. We do have some upscale joints but nothing comes close except the outdoor experience offered at Punong Gary’s Place.
First Time at the Punong Gary’s Plaec
The first time we went to this place was four years ago, when it was not yet opened to the public, for an intimate wedding where my husband and I were principal sponsors alongside with the Benin couple who owns the place.
Yesterday, we had a double date with friends. The place still looks and feels as magical and mystical as before, except that now, there are tables and comfortable chairs under the trees for the diners.
When they started the restaurant, it was Joey Benin (more popularly known as the former bassist of the Side A band) who did the cooking. Now, I was told by his wife Bing, that they already have a cook, but everything that they serve is still Joey’s recipes.
Getting to the Punong
There is not much that will tell you about going to Punong Gary’s Place.
Once you are off the highway in Silay, you will tread a rough road that will pass fields on both sides. After several meters, you will enter a canopy of greens–different trees and tall bamboo plants mixing and swaying in the cool summer breeze.
Then you will pass by a long strip of mango orchard. At the end, the cars will be parked and then you will be greeted by heavy doors and a black board with the name Punong Gary’s Place written in chalk.
Punong Gary’s Place Food
Okay enough about the place. Needless to say, it is one of a kind, a destination dining place that jumps right out of a dream. But since it is a restaurant, let’s talk about the food.
Since I have said that we don’t have a fine dining resto like this in Bacolod, this is one of a kind and you will not get the experience elsewhere. Their lunch and dinner fares consist of five courses–from appetizer to dessert.
Sometimes, they hold special events with a 7-course dinner and wine. Prices would then vary.
When you go inside the property, a staff will usher you to where you are supposed to be seated. I noticed that the tables already had the names of the person who made the reservation. So it is imperative that you call or text for reservations to make sure that you have a place and of course, you have food. Otherwise, you will waste your travel coming here.
At our table, each one of us had a print out of the day’s menu. Since our friends were not due for another hour, we ordered the kids’ food ahead. We had the chicken fingers meal, which was served with rice and some fries on the side. This was P375, which our two kids shared, as they did not really eat much. They finished the rice, though.
The appetizer comes as a plated set, followed by the salad, and then the soup. I did not really time the serving, but I could say, there was a 10-minute gap in between them, just enough time for your to chew your food properly and let it settle before you get the next course.
The main course took a bit longer, though, maybe 15 minutes? I am not sure anymore as we were busy talking. hehe
For the main course, you get to choose from several offerings that cover pretty much what people would like–beef, pork, shrimps, mixed seafood, pasta, fish, and chicken. The meat and poultry choices came with rice.
I had the slow cooked pork belly in red wine sauce while hubby had seafood pasta in lemon cream sauce. Our friends Emil of Bike Stop Bacolod Bike Shop and Leia, meawhile, had pan seared sea bass with lemon butter cream sauce and cheddar stuffed chicken parm. Everything looked good and tasted pretty amazing.
I have to warn you, though, that the servings are quite small, except for the main course, which is okay. Bacolodnons are not that used to this kind of dining, which is rather common among the French. So if you are used to unli-rice kind of meals, this might make you feel bitin.
However, for me, since food is served on a pace, you will find yourself satisfied after each course. At the end of the meal, we were happy. In my case, I no longer needed my afternoon snack, as I still felt full. That means, I had good quality food–not junk, because I didn’t have cravings afterwards.
I would like to mention that we were given a round of cucumber lemonade drinks on the house. You can also order more as well as many other drinks on the menu. These are charged separately.
Over all, our friends and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Punong Gary’s Place. We were refreshed by nature and we were satisfied with our food. It also helps to come here with good company, as your conversations will totally add to how you enjoy your meal.
WARNING: If you really want to appreciate your visit here, don’t rely so much on the quantity of the food, which we can get in those buffet Bacolod restaurants in the mall. You come here to experience the place and enjoy good quality food at your leisure.
You come here to experience the place and enjoy good quality food at your leisure.
Okay, there’s another side to the story why Punong Gary’s Place is more expensive than any of your average Bacolod restaurant or even hotel.
This is not just a business–it’s a social enterprise. Meaning, the owners are not just in business for profit but they are also in business to help their community. If you will read their story on their Facebook page, you will pretty much understand why they have designed their business this way.
I am sharing it here:
PUNONG was birthed out of a desire to serve and give back.
Together with our passion for creating sumptuous meals and providing excellent customer service is our vision to provide employment to people in our surrounding community in order to end the cycle of poverty.
Our employees are from TAKAS, a local community which we support. By creating a platform for harnessing different talents,gifting and potentials,our workforce need not go far in search for a better job to sustain their daily life. It is our hope to see dreams being fulfilled in each of our staff’s life and the generations coming after them.
As a startup and developing enterprise,we aim to offer a one of a kind dinning experience to our customers through good food and relaxing ambiance.Our wonderful attendants are prepared to welcome you with their warm smiles.We are open every saturday 11:30am-2:30 pm.
Punong is the perfect weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life without having to drive a very long distance. Don’t forget to free yourself of unnecessary worries and let the beauty of nature soothe your senses.
HOW YOU ARE HELPING
It is also our desire to share our vision to every person that walks through Punong’s doors. As patrons, your support by dining at Punong goes a long way as it helps sustain the operations of the restaurant.
Likewise, part of the proceeds goes to Takas Youth Community in support of their Clean and Green Project. This project is about converting biodegradable materials into potent fertilizers through vermicompost. The fertilizers produced will go to homegrown farmers who will produce and supply vegetables and other root crops for Punong restaurant.
It is our end goal to develop an organic farm of our own and cook healthy food fresh from the harvest,delivered to our diner’s table,everything served with LOVE.
The staff are polite and helpful, it’s just that during our visit, I couldn’t seem to get one whenever I need something, although there were so many of them. They could also do with serving trays. Our ice cream for six took two servers one and a half trips to complete. hehe
Garden Wedding Venue
Punong Gary’s Place is a very nice garden wedding venue. That is actually the reason why we were able to go there many years ago–to attend a friend’s wedding. It’s not a very big place though, but it can host a nice 100-150 pax wedding party. Just make sure that your guest list is strictly by invitation. There’s no room for gatecrashers here and there might not be enough food for extras.
Punong Gary’s Place Prices
The 5-course meal is at P750 per person. Kiddie meals are available at P375. No outside food and drinks are allowed. Drinks and coffees are served separately. Only cash payments are accepted.
Punong Gary’s Place Business Hours
Wednesday to Sunday
5-Course Plated Lunch from 11am to 3pm
5-Course Plated Dinner from 5pm to 10pm
Thursday to Friday
Tapas and Cocktail Night from 5pm to 10pm
Reservations are required. Call or text 0917-327-1729.
How to Get There
Take the main highway from Bacolod. The corner where you need to make a left turn is already near the boundary of Silay to the next town.
Find Punong Gary’s Place on the map.
Verdict: Is Punong Gary’s Place worth it?
It depends on what you came here for. If you want to appreciate nature, a beautiful landscape, quality food, and with a mindset to enjoy good things, you will get what you pay for at Punong Gary’s Place.
But if you come here ravenous and looking to stuff yourself, then this place is not for you. When we went there on a Sunday, all their tables were full with big groups of people, mostly families. Although it’s not for everybody, there is a market for a place like this. And it’s nice that people here in Negros Occidental now have a choice.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.