This is my 4th post in a series.
I felt I gained 10 pounds kilos after our brief family break in BORACAY last week. You can’t blame me, the island itself is an epicurean paradise; there are tons of gastronomic temptations…
Can you resist this?COUPLE ICE, PhP 260. This is one of Red Bean Halowich’s refreshing delights. Thinly shaved ice available in 2 flavors- either milk or mango serves as the base. We chose mango ice.
Toppings include corn cereals and red mung beans and a ton of tropical fruits -slices of bananas, pineapples, mangoes, watermelons and cherries with a huge swirl of vanilla soft ice cream.
The moment we walked through D’mall in Boat Station 2 and saw Red Bean Halowich’s window display, we never had second thoughts of entering their airconditioned restaurant to try their iced sweet treats. We only ordered that big bowl and a glass of iced tea for Gabby. Couple Ice, second to their biggest serving, is huge enough to be shared by 2 to 3 people. The bowl reminds me of Red Mango’s, except that Halowich’s is more enormous in size and contains ice, not frozen yogurt. Nevertheless, we love it. Ask my family.
While Halowich offers the best alternative to the famous Pinoy Halo-Halo, ARIA for us (my wife Tina, our son Gabby and I) is another must-try restaurant in the island. A vibrant and relaxing vacation in Boracay is never complete without tasting the best pizza and best pasta from ARIA CUCINA ITALIA.
The fast and friendly wait staff who attended to our table told me that Aria is owned by an American restaurateur with some foreign partners; they also co-own Cafe del Sol, a coffee shop beside Aria and a Japanese restaurant located in the middle of D’Mall.
This was my plate from Aria…
Gabby was asking for pizza on our second day at the beach. As we try not to eat anything that can also be found in malls and Italian restaurants and fastfoods in Manila, we sat in Aria and gave in to our son’s request. We ordered…QUATTRO FORMAGGI, PhP 475 +. It’s hard to overlook Aria’s finest woodfire oven-baked pizzas. Aria’s version of four-cheeses pizza is light yet satisfying and flavorful. The amazingly delicious crust is topped with four different cheeses : pecorino, feta, parmesan and mozzarella. Gabby had his smile up to his ears when the pizza arrived at our table.
BOSCAIOLA, PhP 370+. A creamy sauce of mushroom, ham and parmesan cheese on pasta of your choice. We had the white sauce on penne. Wow, sarap!
There are many choices in Aria’s menu that are worth a try. There are insalata or salads, meat dishes, antipasti and other flavors of pizza and variants of pasta. Did I tell you already that Aria has wine selection too ?
What to have for dinner in Boracay ?
A few meters from the shore, as dusk comes to the island, beach front restaurants transform the coast line into a seafood and meat buffet, al fresco dining.
What’s a BORACAY VACATION without sampling the freshest catch from the sea? The spreads, which include fruits and some desserts, mostly cost PhP 250 per pax nett, excluded of drinks. While the price of the buffet is so affordable, would you believe that a 1.5 liters of Coke regular costs PhP 140 (regular Manila price around PhP 37 to 40 only). But heck, we have to try the seafood buffet here even for a night.
On my plate…
The gluttons in us had two rounds of the spread and a plate of watermelons and few servings of maja blanca and other kakanin and that’s it. Yes, the crustaceans are fresh; there were garlic and boiled rice even some pasta and fish dishes include Lapu-lapu and Tuna; there were grilled pork liempo and fried chicken too; there were adobong pusit (squid), crabs, baked oysters and mussels and shrimps which I like the most but sorry there were the usual “lutong-bahay” taste. In simplest terms, there’s nothing special about the buffet we had.
My wife and I have this ordinary rule of thumb when dining out : we try to eat something reasonably priced, that can’t be prepared easily; something gourmet, or unusually present at our table at home. And even though we’re satiated after that seashore pig-out, I still felt a bit disappointed. Perhaps, I was expecting more from the spread. At any rate, try it as well, you might like it. As what I usually post here, ‘to each his own’.
What’s best with our eat-all-you-want- dining in Boracay or elsewhere (including hotels in the Metro), our 5-year-old son still eats for FREE Although he only ate soup and few servings of fruits, we’re still happy that we didn’t pay a cent for his plate.
Another must-try in Boracay is LEMON i CAFE located at the heart of D’Mall in Boat Station 2. This resto boasts of all-day-breakfast ala carte menu, delicious entrees and of course, desserts.
On the afternoon of our first day in Boracay, Gabby was looking for McDonald’s or Jollibee for his favorite staples. To no avail, I and his mom asked him of other food he wanted to chow down. Thankfully, he pointed to a cake on a glass window display from Lemon i Cafe.
TIRAMISU, PhP 120+. This is one of the best Tiramisu I’ve tasted, hands down. Gabby’s picky palate likes it too.
For most travelers like us whose budget isn’t sky’s the limit, finding affordable food places that offer combo-meal that also doesn’t disappoint is so comforting.
D’Mall also has ANDOK’S that offers budget-friendly meals like… PORK SINIGANG, PhP 69. Andok’s big bowl of sour soup of pork and veggies is surprisingly delicious! The string beans, kangkong and tomatoes are fresh. FYI, we haven’t had anything from Andok’s in Manila other than its grilled chicken + gravy + atchara or pickled papaya. Now, we know that there’s more of it than lechong manok.
SIZZLING SISIG, PhP 145. Lipid-rich Sizzling Pork Sisig is one of Pinoy food favorites. Since we don’t eat it on a daily basis, I guess having it on a plate during a (self-declared) holiday is logical enough (*defensive*). Tina and I like this, malinamnam! (tasteful, compared to other restos’).
We also sampled Andok’s PORK BARBECUE, PhP 22 per stick and Gabby was delighted with Andok’s LECHE FLAN, PhP 34.
And I almost forgot, our brief stay in the Boracay was made special each morning with FREE breakfast inclusive of the package we availed from ESCONDIDO BEACH RESORT. A plate of toasts, fried egg, butter and strawberry marmalade plus a cup of coffee is quite simple but good enough to start our days in the island.
When you have a chance (again) to be in one of the world’s best beaches, take your vacation to the fullest by defining your digestive pleasure. If without dietary or health restrictions, go ahead, by all means, INDULGE!
Up next : More Boracay posts…