BORACAY SERIES : A FOODIES’ PARADISE

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?halowichCOUPLE 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.

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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.       

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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. 😀

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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.

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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…

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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…IMG_4570QUATTRO 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.

IMG_4565BOSCAIOLA, 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.    

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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… IMG_4392

On Tina’s…IMG_4399

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.   

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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.

IMG_4327TIRAMISU, PhP 120+.    This is one of the best Tiramisu I’ve tasted, hands down. 😀  Gabby’s picky palate likes it too.

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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… IMG_4660PORK 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.

IMG_4339SIZZLING 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’).

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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.  1

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…

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45 thoughts on “BORACAY SERIES : A FOODIES’ PARADISE

  1. Sa mga kinain niyo sa Boracay, Doc, pinakagusto kong tikman ang sa Aria, then ‘yong seafoods.

    The price of a 1.5L Coke is the almost the same as the price of the softdrinks here in Au. I won’t believe importing a softdrink from the main island (Panay) to Boracay costs that much! Huhmn, baka gusto ng mga local businessmen that tourists would patronize their locally produced buko juice… Does it goes well with seafood?

    (Nagugutom ako, huh!)

    1. Aria is definitely a must-try when in Boracay, Doc Rj. Sarap food sa Aria 😀
      Regarding that soda, I honestly think that resto owners who hold buffets in cheap price of PhP 250 per pax gets even with beverages’ prices.

  2. Seafood buffet for only 250 pesos is quite cheap. I wouldn’t mind eating seafood frequently if it only cost that much. But with tourists (and resort/restaurant owners) coming in from various countries, it’s not surprising Boracay is catering to every imaginable tastes. A foodie paradise indeed.

    1. Indeed, Dennis. I also like seafoods especially shrimps and crabs but I was expecting of a tastier dishes and more appetizing presentation on the spread. Perhaps something buttered or peppered. Cheap doesn’t mean one cannot be creative in cooking those yummies.

      Other than Italian and Japanese, there’s also Indian, Mexican, Greek and even Moroccan restaurants on the island. I’ll see if I can post one of them soon.

  3. aria was our favorite in boracay too! we had dinner there and i had cesar salad and procciuto and mozarella pasta ata yun. basta it was one of the best pasta dishes i have tasted 🙂

    to the extreme na ang inggit ko sa yo for having this nice vacation…

    1. I brought home a flyer from Aria, Anne. And what you probably sampled was Tagliatelle con tartufo, asparagi e prosciutto di Parma (homemade tagliatelle with white truffle, asparagus and parma ham). Sarap talaga sa Aria. I’m missing the taste, the ambiance, the food already 😀

  4. thanks for sharing these photos doc. i wont be able to visit boracay this year as i featured it last year. one of my longest series too. the ambassador hotel was still under construction during that time, now it’s there! beautiful!

    1. i actually browsed blog and net sites including yours eskapo 3.0 about boracay. and i must state, your posts gave me ideas on how to explore the island, even for a while, and what to expect on the beach. thanks, dong ho.

  5. waaa namiss ko tuloy ang boracay! bat ang mahal naman ng coke nyo? meron dun mga sari sari store. P40 ata nabili namin. yes, masarap nga ang sinigang ng andoks. minsan jan kami nagpapadeliver sa ofc eh hehe 😉

    aria!! saraaap! di ko na try yung lemon cafe. sa pagbalik ko (sana) hehe! btw doc, na try mo real coffee? 😛

    1. hi dyanie! that coke really was so overpriced! it’s their way of getting even with the cheap buffet price.

      so andok’s manila also has that sinigang (or same menu) too? good. good…

      try lemon i cafe on your next visit to boracay 😀

  6. Waaaah! I missed Boracay even more with your food posts!

    I love Aria. I usually choose the table closer to the beach. Sarap, sarap.

    On Halowich, that’s one hell of a bowl. It was huge. I’ve never seen like it. When I saw “Andok’s”, I can’t help but laugh out loud. I remember the times when we’d go “tipid” during our Bora trip and all we’ll eat are dishes from Andok’s. LOL!

    How about the famous choriburger? Were you able to try one?

    1. it’s almost exactly a week since we’re there and we’re missing the island already. it’s really that attractive and too hard not to be missed.
      sadly, we didn’t explore the rest of it. we haven’t been to station 3 or the farthest end of station 2. but we enjoy station 1 and d’mall of course. boracay has too much to offer and few days of vacation are really not enough; we have to find time (and budget) to go back in the near future.

      halowich iced treats are uniquely refreshing. it’s better than those fruit shakes.
      andok’s is such a relief on the aching wallet, LOL.
      …we didn’t try the choriburger. at least there are more to look forward to on our next visit 😀

  7. Sana magkaroon ng branch ang Halowich dito sa Manila. Parang hawig ang itsura ng seafood pizza sa Pizza Hut yung Quattro Formaggi. Super overpriced yung Coke, sobra!

    1. we also hope too, akrebley. halowich will surely be a winner too here in manila.
      …quattro formaggi is different from other pizza for it has no toppings other than cheese. it’s our son’s favorite, our too. try it on some pizza restos here like amici in greenhills, makati or tomas morato. their version’s also good! brick-oven baked too.

  8. It’s also one of my guilty pleasures whenever I’d be at the beach — eating so much. I was wondering why you tore into pizza when I was expecting seafood images. Si Gab pala LOL! The sisig and sinigang look so delicious. The sweet concoctions seem out of place, but as I told you, who can resist eating what we like when we are feeling good at the beach? Not even me.

  9. We also enjoyed Aria and Lemon-i Cafe when we were in Bora. That Andok’s sure looks worthy of a visit next time. We had buffet breakfasts and dinners compliments of our hotel when we were there so we weren’t able to sample a lot of food, which makes another visit a must! 🙂

    1. Wow, good to know that we have the same taste when it comes to food choices.
      Aria and Lemon i cafe are really 2 of Boracay’s finest while Andok’s menu is super friendly for the budget conscious and taste isn’t bad either 😀

      If I may ask, what hotel did you stay in Boracay, Rico?

      1. We stayed at Boracay Tropics. Like you guys, we prefer nonbeachfront hotels because we really want to relax. And we certainly had that there. Beautiful hotel, friendly and accomodating staff (we ask for fresh towels everyday during our five day stay, which they did) and we immensely enjoyed their breakfast buffets!
        I’m missing Bora already!

  10. .. the seafood buffet is indeed affordable but the 1.5L coke – a rip off, kaya tap water na lang! lol.
    .. anyways, it is quite expected that establishments will jack up their prices whether it is food or services in tourist spots like boracay.

    1. rob, c’mmon, if you have afforded to enjoy palawan without us, perhaps we can be your guide when you visit boracay next year, LOL. mura lang hourly rate ko, may discount ka hehehe… there are lots of non-meat dishes there for you to indulge.

    1. hello witsandnuts! no, we didn’t try any crepes last week in boracay. although i spotted le saint michel crepes there (was that the name of the resto you’re referring to?)but failed to sample the famous crepes in the island. at least it’s an added reason to come back and revisit the beach in the near future (i wish it’ll be soon, we miss it already).

  11. asparagi e prosciutto di Parma (homemade tagliatelle with white truffle, asparagus and parma ham).

    that’s it!!! i want to have this again… i heard they have aria in tomas morato? and subic? is this true?

    1. you’re kidding me, anne? did i hit it right? wow! 😀 it’s one of those “chef suggestions” on aria’s menu… got to try it next time. endorsed mo eh. 😀 as i was informed by the waitress who served us, aria, according to her, is only in boracay and hasn’t landed in manila’s (shores?) resto spots. i haven’t seen aria in tomas morato; i’m not sure kung mayroon ngang branch doon; i’ll check it soon.

  12. Doc ano ba yan, ginutom mo na naman ako sa photos mo! There are lots of new resto na pala sa Boracay, it’s been 7 yrs when we visited there grabe kakainggit, parang ang sarap bumalik. Pag kami napabalik sa Bora dahil sa’yo yan hehehe. Hay favorite ko yun seafood naglaway tuloy ako at syempre yun walang kamatayang sisig hmmm tsalap. Dami ko ng namiss pala sa Boracay series mo…..medyo busy kasi eh. By the way, pogi pala yun may nakasuot na starbuko hehehe bagay na bagay sila ni Ms. Tina 😉 pero si Gabby mukhang halo parang halowich ba pinaghalong doc at tina LOL

    1. hi missy! you can’t blame me if boracay’s calling you, hehehe.. ganun talaga ata iyong islang iyon, may gayuma, LOL. 😀 the island is so gorgeous and hard to resist.
      …and if i may say, ms. sardonyx, you’re very keen on details as you have read the print on my shirt 😀 sa comment mo, sana you won’t say that you have blurred vision. if so, try pressing Fn and F9 on your keyboard, hehehe… Gabby’s really adorable and i’m sorry for his being cute, i just cannot blame genetics, hehehe 😀

  13. After reading this third and fourth series of your Boracay adventure, I felt that my next destination should be this beautiful island getaway. You certainly had a grand time with your wife and son.

    The food looks spectacular! I felt I have gained an extra 5 pounds just viewing your luscious photos of culinary delights LOL.

    Congrats for having a beautiful wife and an adorable kid 😉

    1. salamat, dennis. your comments are really appreciated 😀
      go give yourself a favor : visit boracay whenever possible. i know you’ll make a wonderful reportage about that place. it’s so lovely to resist. so fascinating to ignore.

    1. i also knew, i surfed the net wala nga.
      ..i and my college classmates before had tried aresi near abs-cbn before. ravioli and other pasta and pizza were good. i heard their chef was the daughter of actress gloria romero who played ‘halimaw sa banga’ long ago. (may trivia pa, LOL) 😀

  14. I’m from Switzerland and I had a wonderful time in Boracay. Trying to find the email address of “halowich by red bean”, seems impossible. Anywone can help? Thanks in advance 😉

  15. Pizza = mouthwatering! How I wish I could visit Boracay this summer. Actually, we’re planning na, but the problem is ung promo nalang sa airline. Meron pa kaya piso fare or atleast 200 seat sale sa cebu pacific ngayon and ang travel period is mga April-May 2013.

    I want to try halowich din! ang laki ng bowl and its great na good for sharing na. I can’t even finish one bowl, di kaya ng tiyan ko bwahahaha kahit matakaw ako.

    Thanks for sharing your post and pics. Nabusog ang mata ko! :))

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