Breaking: Circle Hostel Baler has a kitchen

December 05, 2015

Book your The Circle Hostel - Baler accommodations through this link

Okay, not exactly breaking news. The Circle Hostel - Baler has been operational for many months now. I'm just really ecstatic about this hostel amenity, and given a choice between Circle Hostel La Union and Baler for a surfing/beach trip, I would most likely choose Baler for the kitchen alone.

There's just so many possibilities when there's a kitchen. At 6AM, the first thing I did after dropping my bags on my bunk bed was to take a tricycle to the market to buy ingredients for a quick omelette breakfast. This is what we did for the three days we were there. (Related: I crashed Kira and Alex's Baler trip) I wish I took photos.

And when you luck out, you might just happen to be checked in at the hostel at the same time with, I don't know, a chef. Rafa and Raff, cousins and the latter a chef, were the ones who volunteered to cook dinner. They made us chip in PHP 120 each for the market costs. (This is less than SGD 4, now that I think about it)

Apart from the photos I will post below, I think I only missed taking a photo of the REALLY delicious ensaladang talong at mangga.

Are you ready???

First, let me ask you. When was the last time you were served tuna and octopus sashimi at a hostel? I'll give you 3 seconds to think about that... Okay, time is up! I'm super excited, especially by this photo. We had bowls and bowls of these pretty looking things and I have four words for you--FRESH FROM THE MARKET.

They are not plated attractively but this yellow fin tuna was extremely tasty and grilled to perfection! I went back to this serving plate three times. My mouth is watering just looking at this photo.

Seafood marinara made with real tomatoes. I bet if they had enough time, the guys would also make their own pasta from scratch! I said I wouldn't touch the pasta because I was eating so much rice with the grilled fish but when I got a plateful, I couldn't help but go again for a second helping. #sadlifechoices #not

Banayad Whiskey is a local liquor that can be bought from Kusina Luntian. We couldn't buy our own bottle since the restaurant is apparently closed during off-peak season weekdays, so it was a good thing Rafa had this in the hostel fridge. Again, another perk of having a fully functional kitchen.

And what good is alcohol without pulutan? There were still many leftover tuna that Raf was able to whip up two more plates of seared tuna. *insert thumbs up emoji*

For dessert, we had the newly launched-then smores. I repeat, Circle now has smores. It was such a lovely, lovely mess. You have to try it!

I love the idea of a kitchen in a hostel because of the infinite choices a guest would now have in terms of what to eat. It's always nice to try the raved restaurants of a certain place, but there's also a good sense of bonding that happens in a kitchen. I say that for the whole group I was with, because those who didn't cook/help cook were the ones who washed the dishes. Then, we all had a great time over stimulating conversations with other guests at the hostel.

Blurry photos ahead. I got too excited with the smores!

And the best part was, we didn't even had to spend that much money for it. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that all these were less than 4 dollars.

If ever you find yourself at The Circle Hostel Baler, I can only hope you guys could all luck out with chefs and/or homecooks staying there at the same time as you. It's definitely a fun and different experience to have!

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