Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Only Worthwhile Places to Eat in Basco, Batanes

If there was one disappointment in Batanes, it'd have to be the food. Not to say that I didn't find the food yummy... I just expected more. Perhaps I compared it too much with other provinces in the Philippines.

Why the disappointment?

  • Limited food choices. There were only four notable ones (below). 
  • Prices were steep--as if dining in Bonifacio High-Street all the time. 
  • Long lead times. Ordering hours ahead was needed. At least one hour prep time, too!

    Here are some of the places we ate in... and rotated throughout our trip, outside the tours.

  • 1. Ivatan Pension Inn
    We ordered the Pension Ivatan Platter to try local specialties: Batanes lobster, coconut crab, cuttle fish, flying fish, among others. It's good for 6-7 people. My personal favorite was the fried lumpia.

    The seafood was alright. It tasted like, well, the sea. I was never a seafood person...

    Ivatan Platter: Php 1,800
    Good for 6-7 people
    Look! The shells of the crabs and lobsters are so spiky and hairy!

    2. Casa Napoli
    Surprise! There's pizza! My favorite was the Garlic & Cheese. Up to this day, I'm not sure if it was good because we were just hungry or we didn't have too much of a choice.

    The fried sweet potato mojos that came with the chicken was yummy. The chicken was so-so.

    Casa Napoli menu. Pizzas range from Php 270 - 370.

    3. Octagon
    Home-cooked comfort food. The nilagang baboy soup was memorable. Perfect for a chilly afternoon while watching the sunset. While at it, you could feel the soup's oil coagulating on your lips. Hehe.

    Preparation time was extra long. Patience, indeed, is a virtue. 

    Click here to enlarge menu!

    4. Pacita Fundacion Nature Lodge
    Thank God for this place. Aside from having the best accommodations, they had the best food for all meals, including dessert! Food tasted legit and you can see that it was carefully prepared. Restaurant quality! Have your meals while overlooking the majestic view!

    Some of the meals I won't mind having again:
    Breakfast: Ivatan longganisa / Corned Beef (with garlic rice!)
    Lunch / Dinner: Turmeric Chicken
    Dessert: Cheesecake (super cheesy!)

    Click to enlarge menu!

    Don't worry about not being able to find these places. All the locals know them. Besides, there's only a handful anyway. You can get there via your hotel's transportation or through tricycle.

    Lastly, if you happen to see local delicacies, go ahead. Indulge! At first, it'll seem like the normal kakanin we're used to in Manila... but ingredients are mostly sweet potatoes! Also, notice how the corn is extra small and slimy! 

    Hopefully there will be more restaurants in Batanes for tourists soon. Wouldn't it be nice to have more food choices, and serving time wouldn't be that long? There's so much potential in the food industry there!

    For those who've been to Batanes, do you have any other suggestions? Please add to the list!

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