The food adventure in Palawan begins. After checking in at One Rover’s Place in downtown Puerto Princesa, just a few kilometers from the airport, we boarded a (4-seater) tricycle to head over to Ka Inatô, our traveling buddy Alain’s choice for lunch. He had a pleasant and memorable experience in the restaurant in a recent trip.The uniquely-designed resto is capacious. The tables are set apart, so that each table has comfortable space and privacy.
The menu consists of their signature chicken inatô and popular Filipino dishes with a flair all their own. Inatô means “to feel at home with”, but geez, I can’t eat chicken (too scared to take the risk this time), so I settled on express sinuglaw, while my nine traveling companions each had one. I felt blessed to be in the company of 4 restaurateurs, a chef, gourmands and plain gluttons. They ordered more food to try out.
The express sinuglaw, a dish of fresh seafood kinilaw, grilled pork strips, squid and kakang gata (pure coconut milk) is ambrosial. I’ve tried sinugba in Cebu in the past, but this fusion dish is really something. The flavors are light, the chili is mild, just right to enhance the natural taste of the seafood and grilled meat.
The balalong, a not so simple dish of mixed seafood, gabi, malunggay (moringa) leaves and squash slices in fragrant tanglad (lemongrass) broth is like a stylized dinengdeng, so good with very Asian flavors. Definitely, I’ll try copying the dish at home.
The names of the menu entries are catchy. ‘Walang kamatayang pancit” turns out to be a flavorful pancit with Vietnamese rice noodles, peppered seafood, beansprouts and mint leaves cooked in what tastes like oyster sauce.
We felt like stuffed sausages and it was still our first meal in Palawan. Our check amounted to 2,800Php — IMAO, for 10 people, quite reasonable.
Ka Inatô National Highway, Barangay San Manuel, Puerto Princesa City. Tel. #: (048) 434-1721
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