Name the seafood of your dreams and you’d probably find it in Palawan whose vast seas are blessed with marine creatures of all kinds.Vegetarians, on the other hand, wouldn’t be too happy living here since their greens come from Manila and therefore expensive, but you certainly can feast on all the fish and crabs you can find.The Legend Hotel, where we stayed in Puerto Princesa, has a good buffet in its coffeeshop from breakfast till dinner. Among these are shown in the pics (clockwise, from left): sinigang na maya-maya sa mangga, alimango sa labong at saluyot, bagnet and kinunot sa pagi.
The restaurants we went to were of high-quality and it would be a sin to miss them when you’re in Puerto Princesa.
A must-see is the Kamarikutan Kape at Galeri whose interiors and ambiance give one no choice but to commune with nature. Its walls are adorned with the works of artists and strewn all over are samples of Philippine crafts and trinkets. The spacious structure is made of bamboo and there is even a koi pond nearby.
On the day of our visit, we were met by no less than the matriarch of the place, staunch environmentalist Dayang Macasaet. She served us their incomparable pandan iced tea paired with nilupak, a banana-based delicacy. We also tried their own coffee blend which was good as it was freshly-ground.Other than this, they have pastas, sandwiches and a variety of refreshments. Their set breakfast, which cost only P130, consists of fresh fruit or juice, coffee or tea, garlic rice, eggs, tomatoes onions and the main course of your choice. Hmm, maybe we can try that next time.
I swooned over the food at Viet Ville Resto! Simply couldn’t have enough of their pho bo kho (beef stew noodles), cha gio ga cua (chicken & crabmeat spring roll), their crunchy French bread with garlic butter and their Vietnamese halo-halo. All are priced at below P100 each. It helps that the cook is a charming Vietnamese woman so you can be assured that the dishes are nothing but the real thang. Next time, we vow to try their tofu sinigang, fondue specials in hotpot, pork barbecue, fresh pancit and other super-yummy specialties.
The resto is inside the Vietnamese Village. Only seven families reside in the Village because most of them (hundreds of the so-called boat people) have migrated to the US or returned to Vietnam.
Another interesting place is Cafe Arturo, a family-run affair where every member of the jolly Banzuela family take turns cooking, serving the guests and cleaning up. No hired help, huh! Most surprising, the food is excellent. The resto’s spacialties include their garlic crabs, pata tim, lengua, blackened lapu-lapu and bulalo steak – all to die for. Incidentally, what is shown in photo is not the restaurant itself but the family house which converts into a function room during special events.
You haven’t been to Puerto Princesa if you haven’t heard of their exotic delicacy, the tamiloc.One night, while hanging out at Kinabuch, one of the more popular bars in town, we were faced with a dare to eat the tamiloc, which is woodworm marinated in vinegar. As they say, you gotta try everything once and it tasted like…phlegm!!
Finally, after hours of snorkelling, swimming and cruising in the open sea, the good thing is that there’s lots of picnic food waiting for you at the shore. We gorged on those heavenly crabs, prawns, grilled fish, grilled pork belly, adobong kang kong and salads. What could be a more perfect summer than all that food plus a majestic view of the blue sea and the blue skies?
Warning: vacations can make you fat ~ ugh!!