Good news foodies, 7 Eleven is cooking something specially for you!
The pioneer of convenience stores, 7 Eleven, takes a level up to bring you convenience and deliciousness at the same time through their ready-to-eat meals.
The power team of 7 Eleven Philippines and the famous Chef Claude Tayag joined forces to give you a line of premium meals that promotes Filipino cuisine and offers customers healthy and restaurant-quality meals. According to 7 Eleven’s president Victor Paterno, “It made perfect sense to partner with Chef Claude as he is one of the foremost advocates of Filipino cuisine to the world. He knows exactly how to bring out familiar flavors we know and love and every dish from his kitchen can be considered work of art.”
The humid summer afternoon of April 28, 2014, 7 Eleven Philippines took me to Bale Dutung or House of Wood, the house turned restaurant of Chef Claude in Pampanga, to witness the launch of 7 Eleven Chef Creations hosted by Pop Talk’s king, Tonipet Gaba.
7 Eleven Chef Creations meals take you to a better culinary experience as they advance your average ready-to-eat meals to healthier and tastier versions. The ingredients used by Chef Claude Tayag for these meals are made sure to be fresh, natural and are slow-cooked to bring out that distinctly Filipino taste.
The two men of success, Mr. Jose Victor Paterno and Chef Claude Tayag.
Victor Paterno, president and CEO of 7 Eleven Philippines, was nominated for the 10th Asia Business Leader Awards of CNBC. The ABLA recognizes exceptional business leaders in Asia. In 2012, he was also awarded as the SGV Master Entrepreneur Award by Ernst & Young.
Chef Claude Tayag, a known Filipino artist and handy chef, is also the author of Food Tour, which was awarded the Best Philippine Culinary Travel Guide in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2007. Together with his wife, Mary Ann Tayag, he manages a by-reservation Filipino restaurant named Bale Dutung. The restaurant Bale Dutung has been voted by bloggers as one of the Philippines’ top five restaurants, making it also to the Miele Guide 2010 & 2011 as one of Asia’s top restaurants.
Both award-winning individuals to name. I can’t believe I met both of them at Bale Dutung! What a starstruck moment for The Food Scout.

The Food:

Pulled Pork with Adobo Dip (Php 95)
Rate: 4/5
This Pulled Pork with Adobo Dip is a deluxe version of adobo features tasty morsels of twice-cooked pork. It’s good enough on its own, but it also comes with seasoned sauce on the side that you can use to flavor the pulled pork to your liking. 
The first thing I noticed about Chef Creations’ packaging is the easy to remove seal on its plastic tray. The portion has more rice, more than the usual. The price (Php 95) for an adobo meal is already the most expensive among Chef Creations meals. Below 100 is still within the average worker’s budget. I like that they separated the sauce, which you can also pour on your rice, the typical Filipino’s way of eating rice. Basta masarap ang sabaw, solved na! Shredded pork makes it easier for anyone on-the-go to finish his/her meal in a jiffy. Taste of Chef Creations adobo is a taste of home.
Pork Sinigang sa Kamias (Php 75)
Rate: 5/5
Slow-cooked pork bathed in a tangy broth of fresh kamias, gabi, kangkong and green chili. This traditional dish is best enjoyed warm, with heaping spoonfuls of rice. 
No added preservatives, the first impression of tasting this Pork Sinigang sa Kamias. No waste campaign pushes as everything on the plate is edible. The pork has no bones at all, you can close your eyes while munching and swallowing. Upon tasting the veggies, malulutong na kangkong suddenly popped through my head. They tasted very fresh, straight from the kitchen. Of course you cannot compare the sinigang to a restaurant but the convenience of getting one for the price of Php 75, you’re getting more value for your money.
Pakbet with Bagnet (Php 89)
Rate: 4/5
A vegetable and meat combo considered a staple dish in the Northern regions. Munch on sauteed fresh vegetables, made more flavorful with alamang (shrimp paste). Crispy bagnet slices tops off the dish to give it a savory bite. 
Will you look at that generous serving portion, great for hungry Filipinos who love stopping by 7 Eleven convenience stores. If you happen to leave your packed lunch at home, you’re confident that there’s a 7 Eleven nearby for a fresh Pakbet with crunchy Bagnet.
Starting MAY 7, 2014, you guys can head to the nearest 7-Eleven store to try these 3 fresh porky recipes by Chef Claude Tayag. Speaking of fresh, these 3 dishes are cooked and delivered daily to 7 Eleven stores.
After trying 3 dishes from Chef Creations, I closed my notebook, pulled out my bag and semi-packed my things thinking it was all over. But no, there was more!!!
That was only the “appetizers” of our Bale Dutung trip. Chef Claude Tayag and his wife Mary Ann prepared more dishes made out of what everyone loves, Lechon!
Unfortunately, lechon isn’t part of the 3 dishes of Chef Creations. You really need to take some time to visit Bale Dutung for Chef Claude’s special lechon.
First way to eat lechon, slicing its crispy skin. Their lechon skin had that extra crisp everyone wanted. It’s a crowd favorite! The crisp won everyone’s hearts with fats spilling over our tongues.
From my seat’s perspective, I saw how Mary Ann was very skilled in managing people despite under pressure. The smile on her face lightens up the room, especially her staff.
More dishes from my lunch at Bale Dutung…

Ensaladang Pako
Lechon Tortilla
Second way to eat lechon, the Tortilla Lechon. Shredded slices of lechon meat turned into a classy dressed up wrap with its Claude 9 special oriental sauce.
Sinigang na Lechon
The third way of eating lechon was my favorite – Sinigang na Lechon! Speechless! The sour sinigang was fantastically cooked.
Lechon Sisig
The fourth way of eating lechon, whew I couldn’t breathe anymore.
Let’s do this, Lechon Sisig!
Kare-Kareng Dagat
All-star seafood Kare-Kare in peanut sauce, a picture perfect dish. The added texture of real peanuts mingling with fresh seafoods on my plate. I wanted to clap after trying chef’s Kare-Kare!
Hands down to this Filipino dessert made with yam, coconut, egg yolk in water buffalo milk. Leaving this dessert is a heartbreaker. 🙁 I must go back to Bale Dutung for Paradiso!
Now I know why Anthony Bourdain, the famous American chef, author and host of CNN travel and food show “No Reservations”, fell in love with Bale Dutung. His positive reviews about Bale Dutung is not just a tale.

The Ambiance:

Bale Dutung is Strictly by Reservation only!
Combining food with its ambiance, that’s what you call breathtaking. You feel like home surrounded with greens, rough surfaces of stone, wood and capiz. The province of Pampanga gets even better because of Bale Dutung.
Thank you so much 7 Eleven and Chef Claude Tayag for an afternoon of Filipino culinary delight! 🙂
Heads up foodies!
Mark this date, May 7, 2014. 7 Eleven Chef Creations will be available at all 7 Eleven stores!
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Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout
711 Chef Creations
Budget: PHP75++

Originality 8/10
Packaging 9/10
Taste 9/10
Cost 9/10
Overall 8.75/10
Bale Dutung
Location: Villa Gloria Subdivision, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines
Contact: (+63 45) 625-0169 / (+632) 668-4038
E-mail: [email protected]
Budget: PHP2000++

Food 10/10
Ambiance 9/10
Service 10/10
Cost 8/10
Overall 9.25/10