Thursday, July 30, 2009

Liebevoll Buffet - Boracay




Lievbevoll is a restaurant located at Station 1 along the beach. It's one of the few that offers buffets at an affordable P250 per head. The buffet is usually set up as early as 6 PM on the beach, even when it's raining. Drinks, like in most Boracay establishments, are expensive. Fresh buko juice fetches P100 per order.













Their food ranges from good to great (the sopa de ajo is really good, also the baked oysters). The seafood is fresh. The grilled liempo was tender and juicy. The pasta, I heard, was spicy good. Their adobong pusit is also good (and I don't normally eat adobong pusit). Desserts are papaya and watermelon slices. Unfortunately, they seem to offer the same dishes every night. I guess the upside to that is they really don't have any reason not to perfect the cooking if they're serving the same dishes.

Another upside in eating here is that kids six years and under eat for free. Some restaurants follow the three feet tall rule, see.

If all one wants are baked oysters, shrimps in garlic butter sauce and some crabs, this is a far cheaper and thus better option than shopping for seafood and having it cooked in D'Talipapa. And for P250, you get soup, salad, rice, pasta, chicken, miscellaneous seafood and meat dishes. Service is good, the staff are friendly and on a good night, there is a sandcastle lantern to make your evening more magical nearby.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

D'Talipapa

D'Talipapa is considered a must dining stop in Boracay. The main hook is being able to shop for the seafood you like and then choosing a carinderia-style restaurant to cook it for you.

I'm sure it's a great come-on for foreign visitors but Manilenos are already used to the concept (Dampa and Seaside). However, seafood here is still cheaper than the ones sold in Manila. At the time we went there (mid-July), oysters can be had for as cheap as P25/kilo while clams sell for P50/kilo. Monster crabs sell for P300/kilo and lobsters (depending on size) start at P800/kilo. Vendors will even tell you if their lobsters came from Palawan and everything is guaranteed fresh or alive.













The seafood market closes at 8:00 PM so diners should be there way before that to be able to shop and haggle at their own pace and have ample time to wait while dinner is being cooked, and then enjoy it.

Some restaurants only cook bought seafood and do not offer a la carte menu (like the famous Plato D' Boracay and the one beside it, the two nearest establishments to the market). Some also offer cheaper cooking rates plus a la carte menu (like Angel Wish Dish) with meals averaging P140 (rice/other carbs plus main dish).

Is it really cheaper to eat here? Not necessarily. I believe a bigger group of people benefit the most from the system since more people will be chipping in the expense, and more people will be sharing the food. Unless your hotel/inn has a fridge or cooking facility, vacationers won't really like bringing home their leftovers. Plus, you may want to eat something else the following meal/day. Also, some buffets offered by the beachfront restaurants can already give someone her shrimp, crab or oyster fix.

While waiting for your meals to be prepared, you can shop at leisure and haggle to your heart's content in the many stalls in D'Talipapa. It is the cheaper alternative to shopping over D'Mall. From souvenir shirts and key chains to shell and pearl jewelry, bathing suits and sundresses as well as footwear, and even musical instruments and home decor, all can be seen and bought in D'Talipapa. What's greater still is that the prices of the goods here are very affordable and competitive, considering Boracay is a high-traffic foreigner destination. Shirts for kids and babies can be had for as cheap as P70 while big shirts cost between P180 to P240. Sundresses and wraps average P180-250. Necklaces that cost P200 at department stores can be bought here for as cheap as P40-80. And the cloth chandeliers with bright, festive prints can be bought for 5 for P100. As a fellow vacationer would say, "Presyong divisoria!"





D'Talipapa can be reached via tricycle through the main road for those who don't like walking. Most drivers charge P50 per trip, however. And unfortunately enough, getting to D'Talipapa from the beach during the rainy season may require some wading through flood or balancing/stepping on makeshift bridges and sand sacks.

There are also other dining choices in D'Talipapa, like Andok's and Mang Inasal franchises. There's also a mini-grocery there and vegetable and fruit stands so vacationers can really take advantage of their hotel's cooking facilities and just shop for ingredients but cook the food themselves. That way, they can really eat grandly but not so expensively.

Pasalubong items like piaya and pastillas and other goodies can also be bought here. And in everything you're thinking of buying, make sure you go around the stalls first before buying because some really offer the same products at cheaper rates. Every peso saved translates to more disposable budget, after all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Angel Wish Dish Restaurant - D'Talipapa



Angel Wish Dish Restaurant is located at D'Talipapa, just around the (left) bend from the more famous Plato D'Boracay. They offer an a la carte menu as well as cooking service. They also charge less than Plato for that service (about P20-50 difference per kilo), for example, they only charge P100 for baking a kilo of oysters while Plato charges P130 for it.

We never did get them to cook bought seafood for us because we already enjoyed their a la carte menu. Their servings are good for 2-3 and their beverages are also cheaper compared to Plato.


fish sinigang (forgot what fish)


pepper steak, must try! costs around P140 (with rice)




the calamares (crispy squid), P80 per order, big serving
and the batter isn't greasy and the dish remains crispy;
calamansi juice costs P40


forgot what kind of steak this was


chicken tinola, i'd have wanted more broth
but it was delicious just the same


I really found their food delicious and value for money. They're still not as cheap as Andok's or the alley carinderias in Boracay but spending less than P200 per meal per person is already cheap in Boracay standards. Their food has that homecooked quality. Their place is small though (i'm not sure if there are more seats upstairs) and can only comfortably accommodate around a dozen to twenty people.

If ever we'd go back to Boracay anytime soon, i'd certainly make their resto my second home!

Paradiso Grill - Boracay

Paradiso Grill Restaurant in Boracay is a beachfront restaurant located at Station 1. It's one of the many offering relatively affordable breakfast meals (at P80 per order) along the beach.









Service can be quite slow (but then again, we were the first customers at around eight in the morning so they were really just cooking the fried rice). We ordered the tapsilog (pictured above with the pork cubes) which tasted both like tapa and tocino and the longsilog (pictured above, a must try because the sausage has that hint of beer which gives it a very distinct and unique taste). We also ordered hotsilog but had to return the dish because the hotdog tasted a little sour (usual problem with hot dogs that were not defrosted or refrigerated right). The staff duly apologized and replaced the order with something else we preferred (they offered to cook hot dogs again but we were scared the whole batch would taste the same). What's more, they asked whether our son has ingested some of the hot dog which we really appreciated because it showed awareness and concern.

So yeah, i'd say the service is commendable.

And the rice serving is just really huge! We couldn't finish our own plates, let alone our son's.

During regular dining hours, the restaurant offers seafood fare.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Decadent Choco Chip Cookies

as sinful as Neiman Marcus Cookies (received in e-mail)
=============================

Ingredients:
1 (500 ml) cup butter
340 g chocolate chips
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup white sugar
250 g grated Cadbury chocolate
2 cups blended oatmeal
2 large eggs
1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder
1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
1.5 cups chopped nuts (optional)

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add chocolate chips, grated Chocolate and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees (180 C).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sunset Turo Turo Restaurant


Sunset Turo Turo Restaurant is located at Station 2, at the entrance to D'Talipapa. It's beside Sunset Beach Resort and Culpepper Lodge.







They offer trays of seafood you can choose from before they cook it but they also have an ala carte menu you can order from. The servings are good for two to three. We ordered shrimp sinigang, grilled liempo, rice and fruit shakes and paid around P650. The food tasted great!

Cyrstal Cove Island

Crystal Cove Island is usually part of the route most island hopping tours take in Boracay. The boats dock there for free but passengers need to pay P200 each to be able to enter it.

The view is great up the island and guides assist everyone around the area, especially going through the caves (1 and 2). One has to duck walk his way to Cave 2 though.









It's a photographer's dream since there are many buildings made of interesting rocks and stones and the view must be breathtaking when it's really sunny. There is even a pavilion for receptions.

Cebu Pac Goes Half-Price

Cebu Pacific is celebrating its first anniversary of operations at NAIA Terminal 3 via a 50% off seat sale. Selling period is only till today, however, but travelling period is September 1 to November 30, 2009.

Just check out the site for more info.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

FishBar Boracay

Located at D'Mall, we agreed to have lunch here after being told that they offer minestrone soup. Plus, they offer fish fares which we thought would be a healthy way to start our vacation in Boracay.






We ordered their bestseller Beer Batter Fish and Chips, Minestrone Soup and Crispy Adobo. The fish was wonderful indeed, you can taste the freshness of the fish and the beer batter was not overpowering. But the minestrone soup was only so-so, and the adobo was certainly not crispy. Their portions are big however and they do offer table/service water if you don't want to buy bottled water.


sorry, we were super hungry na eh!


the minestrone soup

For the above plus one rice, we paid P740.

Would we go eat there again? Maybe... but it wouldn't be first in mind if we're looking to eat fish.

White Beach de Boracay

White Beach de Boracay Resort is made up of two kinds of accommodations. The first is beachfront, right on top of Yellow Cab, and is newer and more expensive. The second one is 2-3 minutes away from the beachfront rooms but is less than a minute's walk from the beach. The landmarks near the alleyway used to get to the garden-view rooms include MaƱana Restaurant (supposedly best Mexican place in Boracay) and Starbucks.

Both are located in Station 1, where the sand is finer and is very near D'Mall, where shopping and dining is lucrative.


beach-view rooms atop Yellow Cab and Havaianas


garden-view rooms; a little flooded during rainy
season due to drainage problems in Boracay


part of the garden, hammock included

Contacting White Beach is pretty easy, as they have a YM pingbox in their multiply site. After depositing your downpayment, they will e-mail an acknowledgment reply with rules and other terms relative to your stay.

Checking-in means that you direct your tricycle driver to take you to Station 1 on the main road and to let you off at Radio Boracay, cross the road then walk up the alley towards the beach and then turn left to where Yellow Cab is. Or you can also get off in front of Crown regency on the main road, navigate the alley across and turn right at the beach to where Yellow Cab is. You pay the remainder of your balance before you are shown to your room.

We got our room for P1,200 (off-peak rate) and it was big enough for 3 persons, with a queen-sized bed and a single bed. There was hot water in the shower (but we couldn't increase the volume of water coming out of the showerhead) and cable TV reception is not that good (some channels had static). The room was clean and very spacious, but we also had an issue with the lighting in the room (because it was very dim and muted). At night, coming to and fro is not an issue because the alley and garden are both well-lit.





Being tucked away from the main beach makes the garden-view room we stayed in perfect for resting. It's generally quiet there. But White Beach Resort staff are on hand in case one needs anything because they have quarters at the back.

The rains, when we were there, brought about two hassles. The flood (but at least it's not muddy water, it's really just rain water that's pooled in the area, and it actually comes and goes depending on how heavy the rain is, and whether it's high tide or not) in the surrounding area and the leak inside our room. They were not bad leaks even, but one was directly over the bed (near the edge) so we used my son's pail to collect the drip.

We didn't ask the staff for a change of beddings but we asked for extra towels to use. They also provided a small bar of Safeguard soap. The trash can is inconveniently located outside the room, at the porch, but it was still the wisest place for it to be to avoid ants and flies.

They also provided a thermos of hot water and mugs every morning. And they cleaned out the trash every other day.

And since there weren't anybody checking in after us, they allowed us to leave our stuff in the room to have lunch before we checked out officially at 1 PM. And after our stay, I got a text message from Mr. John Tupaz asking about our stay and wishing us a safe journey.

I seem to have mentioned a lot of things that might scare other clients off. Still, I actually would highly recommend the place for other budget travellers like us. Depending on one's comfort levels, of course, I still think that the resort is a good find and the garden view rooms preferable, specially during peak season where the beach itself must be noisy and very crowded.

Plus, I appreciate the fact that the resort staff put sand & gravel sacks for us to use going to our room, considering that it must have been a lot of effort when we were the only occupants they had in that area. Plus, they did offer us the use of their beach-view room for two nights (till the intended occupants arrive) but we opted not to be displaced in the middle of our vacation.


the view that greets you after coming out
of the alley
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