FOOD | PHILIPPINES | PUERTO PRINCESA
A hidden beach dinner
After spending the whole day touring the Underground River, we really wanted to eat a good dinner to end off a great day! Viktor mentioned about his craving for lechon kawali, the popular crispy pork belly dish. Being in the Philippines and not having lechon, is like going to Vietnam and not have Pho. The hunt was on!
We came across a link on When In Manila, which listed the Lechon Kawali at Blue Palawan Beach Club as one of the 10 Must-Try Delicacies and Dishes in Puerto Princesa. Located conveniently at the Hidden Beach, The Blue Palawan Beach Club is not too far from our hotel – about 15 minutes away. What, another beach to add on to the list of beaches we’ve visited and lechon? Awesome!
We took a tricycle to get there for P150. Our friendly driver, Glenn, waxed lyrical about the local cuisine such as lechon, crocodile sisig (“Tastes like chicken!”) and halo-halo, and didn’t push us to buy tours or anything, unlike the typical tricycle drivers. Once we reached our destination, he told us that we could text him later to pick us up after dinner back to the hotel. What a great service!
Badjao seafront restaurant
Blue Palawan Beach Club certainly didn’t disappoint. The restaurant was decorated tastefully, with a great beach vibe and smooth chill house music playing in the background. There were already a few guests who were enjoying their drinks and soaking in the infinity pool facing the Hidden Beach (not that hidden, eh?). Since we were there early at 5 pm, we thought of having a couple of appetisers and drinks for happy hour before having a proper dinner and the reason why we came here – the Lechon Kawali.
As soon as we entered the restaurant, the staff greeted us and showed us to a table just by the pool.
The Hidden Beach
After enjoying our beer and appetisers, we decided to check out the Hidden Beach. It was low tide when we walked along the shore. The sand wasn’t as we expected; a bit sticky and mushy. So we didn’t venture out too far down into the beach. The entire length of the beach spanned for quite a distance, with just the two of us. Not a surprise that we felt like we owned the beach – the mood was so serene and tranquil, with soft breeze blowing to cool us down. After some time a kite surfer and his friend joined us at the beach, and the purpose for the barriers out in the water made sense! The hidden beach is probably a kite surfer’s dream place with steady wind, but almost no big waves at all.
We didn’t get to see the beautiful sunset view that we were hoping so much for. It wasn’t the best weather to be at the beach today but we made the best out of it, taking photos for keepsake. We even spotted some pulsing brown jellyfish on the shore!
The food and service
We decided to have the chili and garlic squid (P225) with fried potatoes (P180) for our appetisers. The squid was simply grilled with their special blend of garlic, spices and peppers, and came served sizzling on a hot plate! The fries were delicious too. Made from real potatoes, they came served with a dip of spicy mayonnaise, which had a nice kick to it. We finished our food in minutes in spite of their generous portion!
After drinking way too much on our first night in Puerto Princesa, we decided to take it easy. We ordered for the watermelon juice, and a mojito. Not sure if cocktails are their strong suit here, but the mojito didn’t meet our expectations and taste nothing like other mojitos we had in our lives. The mint leaves were over-muddled and we were quite sure they used lime cordial. Pretty disappointed with the drink. After waiting for about 20 minutes, our waitress came back with the Lechon Kawali (P520)! The portion was big enough to feed 3-4 hungry people or more! The skin was really crispy and gave a nice crunch when bitten into, and the meat was so juicy and flavorful.
It was a total guilty pleasure, to be enjoying this! Given that there were just the two of us, we really tried our best to eat as much of it as possible. The resident cats helped us to finish it too. We ordered a big bowl of mixed green salad (P260) to lighten up this otherwise heavy meal, and to get some nutritious food into our system.
The Lechon Kawali is definitely a must-order for anyone who dines here, as well as the chilli and garlic squid! While we were not impressed with the cocktails that we ordered, we truly enjoyed their fresh juices and the food that we had. Service staff was very attentive, and friendly without being intrusive. The music helped to set the tone for the night as well, giving a relaxing and chill vibe. We would definitely return to dine here when we come back. Best if you bring along more friends so that you could order for more dishes and share the big platter of lechon too!
- Atmosphere 75%
- Food 70%
- Service 70%