Exotic Dinner at Kinabuchs

Trailing my own didactic tour of the Philippine Outback is yet another gastronomic adventure at Kinabuchs. The enormous tavern has an extensive 13-page food and drink menu to match. My own guesstimate of people inside the compound is half-a-thousand. The staff appeared tense. However, they managed to get on top of things.The guys in our group were drawn to the outre. Their curiosity for tamilok, the woodworm, which turns out to be a mollusk, has not ebbed away. Passing up the ceviche, they zoomed in on breaded tamilok. The fresh lato aka ararosip (seaweeds) was more enticing.

Crocs Adobado

There’s no way they can ever make me eat crocodile meat even if it looks tame. They say it tastes like any other meat. Thanks. But no thanks. What started as a pinch of crispy pata and a sip of bulalo progressed to a bone meal. There are not enough superlatives to describe the two popular Kinabuchs fare. They sure know their meats.I tried their bam-i, a Cebuano style noodle dish. It’s supposed to be eaten with bread, like the traditional pancit and tinapay or mami and siopao. It’s similar to the “pinasarap na pancit” we’d cook for special occasions, the kind with more sahug (ingredients) and a combination of different noodles.

The hubby raved about the succulent fish panga. Basing on the leftovers, the gising-gising, a dish of ground pork, shrimps, water spinach and chili, lacked appeal.

Including a few bottles of beer and rice, the dinner for 10 costs 3,200Php.

Kinabuchs Grill and Bar 348 Rizal Avenue, Bancao Bancao, Puerto Princesa City Tel. #: (048) 434-5194/95

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved

Dinner at Ka Lui

The Palawan food adventure continues at Ka Lui. Ka Lui is closed on Sundays; we were lucky enough to have booked a reservation on a busy Saturday. Ka Lui kinda looks like Ka Inatô. They come from the same tree apparently, though Ka Lui is more of the sosyal type. Slippers and shoes are not allowed inside, but diners obligingly follow the tradition. The very creative minds behind the resto’s original concept unfailingly impress the discriminating diner. Between 1 to 5, I give Ka Lui a perfect 5 for ambiance.

As expected, our table overflowed with food. We had fresh seafood galore. The crispy fish tail with battered carao (a variety of banana) was superb. Ditto for the seafood sisig. The fish cordon bleu with mashed guacamole (avocado) had a unique taste, which I enjoyed.The grilled stuffed squid was on the dry side. To put it bluntly, there’s nothing special about it. However, the crab in gata (coconut cream) was awesome, the best of the lot! The gata, herbs and spices added much to the flavor of the juicy crab meat. I relished the firm texture of the genuinely fresh crab.We still had the appetite for fresh fruits. I never knew that a simple topping of muscovado sugar on fresh fruits could do wonders. I loved my mango-ginger shake even if the ginger was overwhelming. My friend’s dragon fruit shake lacked zing in his own opinion.

Fresh fruits sprinkled with muscovado sugar.

Palate-cleansing mango-ginger and dragon fruit shakes.

Ka Lui houses a gallery and a souvenir shop with quality artisanal crafts. The Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation Princess silk sarongs made by marginalized women in Palawan are gorgeous and versatile.

Even the powder room is so artfully done.

Our check for the dinner was 4,200Php. Still reasonable for the great service and ambiance plus the satisfying seafood for ten famished people.

Ka Lui 369 Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City Tel. #:(048) 433-2580
Reservation is a must.  Lunch is 11:00 AM and dinner, 6:30 PM. and 8:30 PM, Mondays to Saturdays. Closed on Sundays.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved