Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario

This establishment’s name—Sulyap—couldn’t have been more apt. It’s a cafe, restaurant, and bed and breakfast rolled into one, which promises to give a sumptuous “taste of the past” through its delicious food and beautifully built rooms and dining spaces.

Located in San Pablo City in Laguna, Sulyap Gallery Cafe, Boutique Hotels and Restaurant sits in a two-hectare lot which reimagines Filipino cultural heritage.

Stepping into Sulyap (which translates to “glance”) is like going inside a time machine which transports you several centuries back. 

In Sulyap, the devil is in the details. From the huge brass gate which greets guests, down to the way its traditional Filipino Cuisine are served, as well as the historical Antillan architectures, all the senses are engaged when you’re in Sulyap. It’s a total experience.

Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario

Sulyap’s main attraction is its famous gallery cafe and restaurant. Its most popular food are traditional dishes such as kulawo (made out of either eggplant or puso ng saging) and pinayti (made out of micro-shrimps from Lake Palakpakin cooked in coconut milk). A personal favorite is their kare-kare.

As Sulyap is also a B&B, it’s also known for its colonial era hotel architectures. Four of its five restored casa are perfect for an overnight or weekend stay for travelers and tourists. Rooms are just the right size, they are cozy, and the surrounding is quiet and allows for a restful time.

More importantly, the rooms’ classical design of capiz shell windows, hardwood flooring, and wooden furnitures, all contribute to the “glimpse of the past” vibe of the whole place. There’s also a nice swimming pool at the end of the lot’s vibrant garden should guests feel the need to take a dip.

What I like about dining at Sulyap is that guests can check out the museum while they wait for their food to be served. The museum is full of antique collections such as wooden furnitures, ceramics, and religious artifacts. Fun fact: The owners of Sulyap used to trade antiques before they decided to focus on the resto and B&B.

Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario

Just beside the Sulyap Museum is a grand function hall which shares the same classical vibe and design. Different sorts of events, from weddings to parties, can be organized inside the hall.

What elevates the experience from dining in Sulyap is the customer service. I’ve dined there multiple times and I’ve never once been disappointed. In fact, I commend the crew members for recognizing me every time I go back there.

Pro tip: The prices of the food at Sulyap could tend to be pricier than usual, but every peso is worth it. Also, try not to go there during peak hours (11:30am to 1pm or 6pm to 8pm) if possible as it could get a bit crowded, especially if there’s a holiday (like Christmas).

I haven’t had the chance to stay in one of its rooms, but I have been given the tour of the rooms. And at around P5,500 per night, it seems to be worth it.