Budget Eats : Binalot

Early this year, when I was creating my list of restaurants that I would like to try for 2011, Paul gave me a great idea -- why don't I challenge myself in finding budget-friendly places that will be able to give me a complete meal for P180 or less? I guess he noticed that majority of our savings really do go to food and it's really time to spend wisely. I was definitely up for the challenge.

Thus, I officially launch a new series here at Frannywanny.com called Budget Eats!


Today, I start with Binalot, a popular food chain that I've been forever curious to try. For the past years, I've been seeing a lot of my colleagues having their lunch wrapped in banana leaf -- it's our Pinoy-version rice toppings with a generous serving of rice and their choice of meat served with salted egg and tomatoes. Binalot has been known for their rice meals and how successful they have been with their menu line-up can be seen with the numerous branches that have been growing like mushrooms.

One afternoon, Paul and I decided to accept the invitation of Joy, Binalot's Marketing Manager to have lunch at the new Binalot branch in California Garden Square in Mandaluyong City. Incidentally, this is also the nearest branch already to our home.

Good thing, Saturday traffic was pretty light that we got there in time for our lunch date with Joy. Thanks to the recommendations of fellow bloggers, I had made up my mind on what to get prior to arriving at the restaurant. I was craving for beef with salted egg that is why I went for the Bistek Walastik (Php. 83) while Paul got the Tapa rap Sarap (Php. 89). Joy also got the Sisig na Makisig (Php. 75), her favorite No Bones Daing na Bangus (Php. 85) and a bowl of Sinigang with a Bang (Php. 80) to share.As you can see, Binalot has a thing with giving catchy names perhaps for easier recall.

binalot bistik

The Bistek Walastik had a huge serving of plain rice topped with chunky beef steak. What really got me to love this was the salted egg and tomato mix. I just love having a piece of salted egg and tomato with my beef steak in every scoop.The beef was juicy yet I would have loved it if it had more onions and sliced in smaller strips.

binalot tapa

Paul, on the other hand, obviously enjoyed his Tapa rap Sarap. How'd we know? He has so quiet as he was busy enjoying his meal that he finished the entire thing in minutes. He loved it because it was very tender and it has a hint of spice due to the chopped sili.

binalot sinigang

We shared a bowl of the Sinigang with a Bang that has the perfect kick of sourness. I love the pork cubes and veggies found inside. This is a great comfort food after a long busy day at work or on a cold rainy day.

sago't gulaman

For our drinks, we had the Sago't Gulaman (Php. 15). This is Paul's favorite drink and while I can get pretty picky, I enjoyed chewing on the soft sago balls mixed with sweet chewy gelatin. It was not too sweet too which was perfect for my taste.

binalot leche flan

For dessert, we had the Leche Flan (Php. 45) which was very creamy. It makes a sweet ending to our simple budget-friendly meal.


A meal at Binalot will cost you a little more than Php. 150 per head and you already get your own rice topping, drink and dessert. Now, that's what I'd call a budget find! Furthermore, with every meal, you get to support the numeruos communities who have been working hard in providing those amazing banana leaves used in our rice meals. Now, not only is it friendly to the pocket, it makes you socially responsible too. :)

Thank you Joy for the Binalot treat! :)

*photo credit: Paul Ang

Check out your nearest Binalot outlet near you!

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