Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where to eat in Puerto Princesa

There are lots of cafes and restaurants  for every kind of budget in Puerto Princesa. While they do have kiosks at the  NCCC mall, I recommend you try something you won't find in Manila. Here are my recommendations for breakfast, lunch, dinner and merienda,too!

Breakfast: Neva's Place
Our hosts at Audissie recommended this place to us and it was a delight to find this cafe hidden inside a garden. I love the native ambiance and paintings and sculptures by local artists scattered around.

Food is delicious and affordable. The Longsilog costs only P70 and I appreciate the use of fresh veggies as a side dish instaed of plain achara. The yummy pizza is just around P120.

Haim's Chicken Inato
An outdoor resto that distinguishes itself from your usual Chicken Inasal places by its creative use of indigenous materials. Each table is found under a native hut which has pictures of tourist spots to see in Palawan.

They have an abundance of seafood here that's why they use lapu-lapu for their sinigang! Their specialty  the chicken inato is delectable and only  P75. Most everything in Palawan is very affordable.

I was amused by their restrooms which incorporated a lot of discarded wood and tree stumps in their design. Check out the gnarly frame of their mirror!

They also have a pension house, Balay Inato, but they looked like your ordinary rooms, no artsy, indigenous design.

The only problem some guests may have is that most restos in Palawan do not have air conditioning.

Jo's Chicken Inato
Another outdoor chicken inasal resto which has huge servings at very affordable prices. Some folks might not like the taste of their chicken, though. It's basted with coconut oil which gives it an unusual flavor. Order the special halo-halo to cap the meal!

Heavenly Desserts
The only place we dined in that had airconditioning, Heavenly Desserts was quite new when we tried it out and it showed. It's like a Starbucks dipped in pink and purple and food was more pricey than usual. While the pasta and the desserts were indeed heavenly, the menu is limited and the rice meals we ordered were disappointing. The barbecue sauce totally overwhelmed the flavor of the shrimp and the macaroni side dish was totally unnecessary. Fresh veggies would have been better. 
I do hope they've fixed their ventilation problem by now as the smoke from the the kitchen reached their restroom when we ate there.

Lucky for us, we got a whopping 20% discount as one of their first customers! I wish them good luck and hope they use honest feedback from their customers to improve their resto. I sincerely wish them well. 

Dinner: Ka Lui
Ka Lui is the premiere destination restaurant of Puerto Princesa and even the whole of Palawan, according to the Lonely Planet books. The whole place is a feast for the senses, from the artworks that surround you to the colorful garnish that decorate your plate. 
The place is always fully booked so you must have your hotel or pension house reserve a table for you as soon as you can. 

While the food servings are small, they are reasonably priced. I never thought I'd eat raw tuna sashimi (P150) but it looked so good I just had to try it.

We ordered the Ka Lui special which may vary from day to day. Note that while it is served family style, it is only good for 2 and only 2 cups of rice are included. A fellow blogger has a detailed description of their experience here

This is one of their rice meals for P185

This was my favorite meal of the night, stingray in coconut cream (P150)! Absolutely unforgettable!

Surprise! We got free dessert at the end of our meal! I don't know if they do this for everybody but it sure was a welcome treat that made it more memorable.

Note that they cook the food as you order so it may take a while so you might want to explore the place and take lots of photos or check out their scarves and banig bags for sale.

Check out Ka Lui's website to see their entire menu and pricelist!

Twinx was also fascinated by their restrooms and took pictures of the whole place!
This was my family top pick for value and taste. It always looks full but we didn't have a hard time to find a table even without reservations. The ambiance is like Gerry's Grill transported to Palawan. Food is for sharing and the staff quick and efficient. As I said before, if you want to impress, dine at Ka Lui, but if you want to pig out, go to Kinabuch!

Seafood chowder

Gising-gising, seafood and kangkong  in spicy chili and coco cream. Hot!!!
Baby back ribs. This was the last dish to be consumed. I thought it was bland.
 Best dish, crab in butter and garlic. We had a hard time finding crab. Locals say they don't catch crab when there's a moon out , because they get thin crabs, which is the opposite of what my Mom knew.
Kamarikutan Cafe 
This is the best place to go to for a quick bite because it's just a few minutes away from the airport. Have a sandwich(from P50) or their brewed coffee(P35). My top pick would be the pasta dishes which is good for 2 (P120)
I love the ethnic inspired design! Note the sugar and milk containers for the coffee above.

Many thanks to blogger Renee Rose for the wealth of info she shared in her blog which became our guide book to Puerto Princesa.


Ailee Verzosa said...

wow... ang daming food... hehehe i also want to go there!!!

mojacko said...

yup, no choice kami but to eat out kami pero mura lang lahat sa palawan! you should definitely go before you all migrate!

Lou said...

Anong charap! mon dieu,just looking at those dishes makes me hungry! and the huge shrimps, and sinigang, and the crab in garlic butter... I'm keeping that itinerary on top for my next visit!!! merci beaucoup, pogi! you knew I loved everything you posted-food in particular! tantiexox

royjen12 said...

Ride the ROYJEN from Sabang to El Nido. Enjoy island hopping, snorkeling and fishing along the way. Fresh seafood meals are included at no extra charge. http://royjen12.blogspot.com

happybluethoughts said...

I love Ka Lui's! Lovely food, lovely place.

Btw, patrons also go to Kinabuch for tamilok.

mojacko said...

uh, yes, they offered us the tamilok and the crocodile meat but we weren't feeling adventurous. thanks for visiting!

babylhot27 said...

ey, mojacko! thanks for linking my blog.. ;-) tamilok? what's that? read some of your blogs, they are all nice and full of insights. :)) keep on blogging! cheers! B-)

mojacko said...

thanks for all your help! your blog was really helpful! tamilok is a wood worm that's a delicacy in puerto princesa. the restaurant will serve the worm raw.

Anonymous said...

pls give us top three restaurant to eat in Palawan 4 dinner n nightlife too tnx

mojacko said...

Hi anonymous,
I can only recommend Ka Lui for the ambiance and Kinabuch for the affordable food. I don't know about the nightlife in Puerto Princesa.
Haim's chicken inato is also value for money.

ROYJEN said...

The Tiki Restobar on Rizal Ave. has great food and drinks, music videos and a super live band starting at 8:00 pm.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed with my eating experience at Balai's Pension Chicken Inato. They gave us the menu and we ordered tocino meal and bacon meal, at the imprinted price of 125/ set. Then tasting it, thereâ??s no extraordinary even the juice they served, is tasteless. Then as we payed, we got surprised. Our bill that must be only 250, became 370. What the! They said the regular meal is at 150 then juice of 35. I asked to show me the price as such in their menu list, but failed to do so, coz thereâ??s none of such! So clear, they are fooling people!! I asked for their manager, but said their manager has just not yet arrived. I called them up to follow up my terrible experience, but the manager does not exist on the other side of phone. So beware of Chicken Inato, expect the misadventures of relaxation and dining here at Puerto!

mojacko said...

^Sorry to hear that. You should email the management. I guess we're lucky our experience was better. But I do hope the rest of your stay in Puerto Princesa was better


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