When we think of having chicken for lunch or dinner, it’s always ‘gravy’ that comes to mind. But Balai (Brunch by Cafe Plus) had a better idea.
On my 32nd birthday, I invited some special friends over dinner at Balai. At first, they thought I was inviting them to our small space so I quickly clarified that I meant Balai at A.S. Fortuna, Banilad (the restaurant right across Fat Dois).
In its quite secluded location, Balai is a refreshing hangout for couples, cliques, and families during brunch and dinner. When I first visited this place (based on a foodie friend’s recommendation), I was ecstatic because it felt like home, except it has more tables and dining chairs inside and out.
Inside, the soft lighting made the ambiance cozy. On a wall on your left, you’ll see a huge floor-to-ceiling mirror, which created an illusion of spaciousness to the place. And the ornate furniture pieces added a homey feeling of familiarity to Balai.
Now it’s time to tackle what I think is Balai’s main attraction: the DIPPING SAUCE!
The most beloved and requested item on their menu is their grilled chicken with two sides (options include rice, flat bread, and fries). Each grilled chicken order comes with four different dipping sauces. While the chicken tasted OK, I couldn’t say the same for the dipping sauce.
Truth is, the chief reason I keep coming back to Balai is their Sahara sauce. Spicy, thick, and consistently delicious – I’ve never tasted this sauce anywhere else in Cebu. It’s my favorite among the four dipping sauces. And the best thing I discovered? You can ask for seconds on the sauce!
I usually enjoy grilled chicken without gravy or dipping sauce but after I’ve tried Balai’s Sahara sauce, I could only think of one place to satisfy my chicken meal craving: at Balai.
Neil likes the savory and not-so-spicy Farooj Special sauce while I am crazy about their slightly fiery Sahara dip.
Not yet sold on the idea of replacing gravy with a dipping sauce? The next time you’re craving flame-grilled chicken for brunch or dinner, drop by Balai and find out for yourself why it should come with a Sahara dipping sauce. Grilling starts at 11am until 10 pm daily.
I do not work for Balai so I won’t make money off its popularity, but I’d be glad if my recommendation proves helpful to you. So, try it, and let me know what you think.
Balai (Brunch by Cafe Plus)
Address: AS Fortuna, Banilad, Mandaue City, Cebu
Contact: (032) 3162467 | Instagram | Hours: 6 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. (daily)