BULAN is a new artsy foodie find in old San Juan. The 3 story house was part of the famed JoLiza antique store complex ... now taken over and turned into a resto by Mylene Aguilar , sister of famed "Anak" crooner - Ka Freddie.
The Chef ?
- Antonio Aguilar , 15 years in Sweden mastering Euro food fare.
It sounded interesting, so on a lazy Monday night, I ventured out of my Makati comfort zone and drove straight into the neoChinese chaos of Wilson street . We were soon enough in BULAN - Indonesian for "moon" , or "king to the Kzhars".
The door was immediately impressive.
Then we stepped into a resto-mansion littered with art, antique and other Nepal/Tibet artfare.
Everything is on sale. It is possible to order a steak - medium rare , and then take home a Tibetan door or a deco art painting.
The air though, was reeking with the scent of citronella. I felt like a giant mosquito dying by lethal injection. I called the manager/server and requested that they remove the citronellic scent which to me is ambient katol. Major turn -off .... I couldn't focus on gustatory delight since my nose was being assaulted by the citronellas strongly pungent scent.
The food came and was typically bland. Swedish nga yata talaga ...
It's a good thing that I called for reservations because there were a grand total of 7 guests , the two of us plus 5 other people in another table. The resto is designed to seat greater than 150 people.
Eye candy was better than the food itself.
There were so many interesting collection displays. The novelty of the place kept me pre-occupied. The staff were very kind and attentive.
Then came the bill. Pesos5000 ++ for just the two of us ....
You try it na lang. Give it a chance and judge for yourselves.
I myself will probably not be back there in a long while.
I hope things get better - they have a formal opening in a few weeks.
# 3 Gen. de Jesus St. near corner J. Abad Santos St.
San Juan, Metro Manila
Tel: (+632) 725-8496