Coron: Food Joints

Here’s a list of random food joints in Coron Palawan with a short description and a sampling of their food. I rolled all of them in one post because it’s too short to make them into individual posts.

Caffe Camo

calamares/sisig

This is the first joint we ate at in Coron. They have a wide selection of food and as they are a cafe, they serve coffee. The problem is that a lot of the items were not available and I dunno how often that happens. The sisig was a little bit too salty but I guess it is cooked in such a way that it should be paired with a lot of rice as most Filipino dishes are. But anyway, I loved the calamares even if I hated the cloying thousand island dressing.

Coron Bistro

mexican chicken/vegetarian pizza/french onion soup/phil

Coron Bistro is a bittersweet ecstasy. With a rather moody attendant, I was in the brink of losing my patience several times. However, they have a kitchen with all the elements of making magic. One look at their menu and you are sure that this is no ordinary restaurant and their cook is no ordinary chef. With French influences, their prices can be more expensive than other joints but they still have cheaper options. For instance the Mexican chicken that I ordered is 210 pesos and it can be good enough for two if served with rice. Even the other restaurants had viands of 200+ even if they’re not fancy so it’s not bad. Just stay away from rib eyes and the like or you’d end up overspending. The French onion soup was delectable and the Mexican chicken was mind-blowing. The vegetarian pizza could be better but you know what, they have oil with chilis in the counter and that made it a lot better. I recommend this joint because they take food seriously. Just remember to allot more waiting time as they cook your meals fresh.

Amphibi-ko

ika fry/vegetable tempura

After noticing that most restaurants in Coron has tuna sashimi on their menus, I thought maybe it would be fantastic to order one. After all we are very near the sea. I finally chose Amphibi-ko, a Japanese restaurant, for my helping of tuna sashimi. I was really disappointed that they did not have any fish! Can you believe it? I don’t think it’s their fault because I asked every restaurant I ate at and each said fish is out of stock. I simply ordered vegetarian tempura and ika fry which was refreshing. But it’s kinda hard to be pleased when your expectations are not meant.

On a lighter note, Amphibi-ko is the only restaurant I went to with a view. They have a spacious dining area so it is best for big groups. It is also a good place to have your photos taken. Others Coron restos are not tastefully decorated or simply too cramped to be appreciated. This restaurant definitely has a more relaxing atmosphere.

Centro Coron

grilled salmon head

Centro Coron is just across our inn. We had coffee many times at their neighboring coffee shop named Coron ZY but that would be saved for another post. This restaurant features a buffet breakfast with 3-4 viands such as lumpiang shanghai, maling, corned beef, tuna omelette and etc. Fried rice, pancit canton and hotcakes are also a part of the buffet. At 150 it doesn’t seem bad but I am not a fan of buffets especially if I don’t find a singular viand appetizing. I check theirs several times and it seems like everything is too dry yet too greasy. Anyway, their lunch menu seems more promising with special Filipino dishes such as kalderetang kambing, Bicol express, adobong kambing, inihaw na liempo and other classics. Still we didn’t try any of those. What we did try was the salmon as they are the only one who has that in Coron. Phil and I shared it and skipped rice for that meal. I think it’s Phil’s first time not to have a fillet so he was a little bit squeamish. hahaha. Nonetheless, we were crazy about it.

Lolo Nonong

bicol express/nilaga/ fruits

With 4 little huts that can accommodate a group of 10 and a separate main hut with 4 long tables, Lolo Nonong’s is another spacious restaurant that can be more relaxing than the small ones along National Highway. They have Filipino dishes like menudo, adobo, sinigang, nilaga and others that you often find in bigger carinderias in Manila. It’s a lot cheaper than most restaurants in Coron. Our meal was not served hot and the Bicol express was missing chili. I was also a little but scandalized that a ripe mango costs 50 pesos per piece! So even if the food was cheap, we paid around the same just because we wanted to be healthier.

Up next, more food from Coron!

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Coron: Vegetarian Options

This post is a compilation of vegetarian food options available in Coron Palawan. As to why an omnivore would do something like this, who dare ask?! hahaha!

Let’s start with the sign that started it all. This is a food joint you can find when you walk to the market from National Highway. Maybe it’s Real street I can’t be sure but I do know it’s near Seadive Tourist Center. I wasn’t able to sample anything there but it certainly looks promising!

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Next, Coron Galeri is one of the groups responsible for arranging your tours and tours often come with free lunch. I was just about to ask what happens if they have a vegetarian guest but I saw the sign up sheet. I gotta say that I am impressed.

I guess they have encountered a lot of vegetarians especially that there are so many foreigners in Palawan. When I inquired what they actually serve, I was told that it’s often sauteed vegetables in season and salads. Below are vegetarian side dishes that came with our lunch but we didn’t actually sign up as vegetarians. I’m thinking that a bit of curry/ketchup/teriyaki or something would all make these simple side dishes quite grand.

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From Coron Bistro along National Highway, I saw French onion soup (request to omit the cheese), vegetarian sandwiches and vegetarian pasta. Phil ordered vegetarian pizza but it has cheese. I suppose you can also ask them to skip that. Actually I think there are many viands that can easily be converted to a vegetarian meal but you have to order in advance and maybe explain it thoroughly.

Most of what you order will be prepared or cooked fresh so it wouldn’t be much of a bother to make such requests. I wouldn’t advise it though if there is a long queue.

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Manneken Pis is also a bit like Coron Bistro. They have vegetarian sandwiches, pasta and pizza. I love it that you can choose what to put in your sandwich because people really have different tastes when it comes to veggies they put on their sandwich. I hate cucumber in mine for instance. For breakfast, they have muesli, pancakes and a wide variety of fruits. I bet there are other things I missed so do check it out when you go to Coron.

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If you got tired from Italian and Filipino cuisines, there’s also Amphibiko which serves Japanese food. They have teriyaki tofu, tofu in salt and pepper and vegetable tempura. I bet it will be a very satisfying meal if you ordered tempura and teriyaki together!

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Foodtrip is a carinderia near the market. Facing the tourist center it is towards your left. There they have fries, sizzling mushroom, lato (seaweed) salad, green salad and vegetarian vegetables. I think the others would be good for snacks but I wouldn’t recommend their salad unless you would be pairing it with something else because their dressing is not very good. I’d go for the sizzling mushroom and vegetarian vegetables because they have good chopsuey. I’m assuming it’s close to that. I also saw a lot of vegan pasta options but I wasn’t able to try their pasta so I dunno if it is any good.

It was a short trip so I was not able to do much but I suppose this will do for now and I suppose there will be other times to round up everything vegan in Coron (perhaps with a lot of help from others who’s been to or who’s planning to go).

For Evan

Coron: Coron Galeri Lunch Menu

Coron Galeri is one of those who can arrange tours for you in Coron. I will write about them in my travelog but for now, it’s time for food!

Most tours are arranged with free lunch. While you still have a choice, leaving it to them is much better because they will prepare your meal just before you eat. More or less, they will alternate viands depending on the type of tour. Most will be charcoal grilled on the boat including pork, squid, chicken, fish and crabs.

As for side dishes, it’s either lato (seaweed with onion and tomato) and ensaladang talong (grilled eggplant with onion and tomato). You will have your own dipping sauce bowl with soy sauce tomato and onion.

Most of the grilled items were perfect though the squid has been overcooked that it is a bit hard to chew. On our first day, I wasn’t very satisfied with the serving but the two other days were quite generous that we even had leftovers. I think the sauce is rather salty. It would have been better with a little bit of vinegar and sugar. And of course, I really craved chili that Phil and I did try looking for siling labuyo in their market.

food stash and preparation (I’ll pull this off in the future? grilling on a boat!)

grilled squid and grilled chicken

bilao of crab

ensaladang talong and grilled fish

Lastly, they do have vegetarian options and I will write about that more in my vegan Coron post. Alright?

If you are addicted to having drinks other than water, I advise you to buy that before going although it wouldn’t be cold. You can also pack chips and desserts that you can enjoy before or after lunch. For people who are very particular about condiments, I think ketchup, chilis, vinegar, sugar, calamansi and garlic just might make your tour a gastronomic one. Cheers!

Coron: Manneken Pis

I was alone when I first checked out Manneken Pis and after one look around the little shop, I knew that it’s where I want to have my grand meal before flying back to Manila. I’m not sure what exactly it is that I found alluring. It could be the beer and wine on display. It could be the cereal boxes, the fruit baskets, the slices of cakes or the kinds of cheeses and meats on the counter. It’s like they have everything to make magic happen.

Left, that’s me waiting for the restaurant to open.

Weird as it may seem, we enjoyed their fruits and ice cream and chocolate mousse on our first visit. They wonderfully go together. The mousse at 40 pesos is sweet, chocolaty and a little bitter. The other item is a combination of mango, strawberry and vanilla ice cream with slices of apple, mango and banana, topped with chocolate syrup. I was so happy with their dessert that I thought about how possibly I can have it in a regular basis.

Next, we went there for a little merienda that ended up being too heavy. I ordered a plate of tuna sashimi as I was surprised that they have it when most restaurants we ate at didn’t. Phil had the homemade burger served with fries. The burger was perfect and the fries was not at all ordinary but the sashimi was such a disappointment. It was just so wrong that we were so near the beach yet we were served frozen fish. I say they should ditch that and stick to what they’re good at.

Phil and I also ordered a sandwich that we brought to one of the boat tours but I wasn’t able to take a photo of it. Finally, for our grand meal before going to the airport, Phil picked out artisan bacon + slices of tomatoes and cucumber + eggs + toast with buttter and marmalade.

Meanwhile I decided to have a cheese and meat sampler with milano + parma ham + pepperoni + salami + gruyere + cheddar + feta + edam that we paired with mild jalapeno by Tabasco. I knew it was a pretty big order but the thing is I have been wanting to sample a cheese platter since my 29th birthday. I just had to give in. As it was for breakfast, we each had a cup of brewed coffee. We also had a medium-sized cup of chocolate mousse for dessert.

As expected, the plate was too much for us that I was able to bring a big lot of it home. Before I actually offered it to anyone Karla discovered it and enjoyed it with the rest of the family so it also doubled as pasalubong. It was grand indeed. Happy birthday to me!

Coron: Foodtrip

Foodtrip is a humble carinderia near the public market. Facing towards the tourist center, it’s to your left. Apart from the welcoming attendants they have, the fact that they have a wide selection of viands you can order is also a big plus. This joint is also quite reliable especially for people who want to have a leisurely breakfast. Most boat tours start at 8 or 9 and many restaurants will still be closed at the time. Foodtrip, on the other hand, is open 24/7.

The American breakfast they served may not be that good but all of the silogs (Filipino ricemeals) were lovely. We especially fell in love with their beef tapa that we ordered many times during our stay. I told the owner that if they only had brewed coffee, they would be perfect. The owner did assure us saying that they are planning to have a coffeeshop/shake stall in the corner. It’s lovely that they are planning to expand but I hope their breakfast goods stay the same. The gising-gising or spicy mami and their lomi is very popular with the locals so I tried it. It was too peppery for my taste and not the kind of spicy that I love but it’s good when you simply want to have soup with your meal.

dangsilog (danggit) & lamsilog (lamayu)

gising gising (spicy mami) and American breakfast (bacon, eggs, toast, butter, marmalade)

longsilog (longganiza) & tapsilog (tapa)

We ordered German franks that ended up as hotdog but at least the sizzling gambas was okay.

I also gave the chef’s recommendations a shot as I really loved their breakfast but both viands, pork in garlic and olive oil and seafood medley were not what I expected. Those were a bit pricey and the vegetable side dish turned out to be a few slices of cucumber and tomato served with the horribly sweet thousand island dressing (Filipino style). If I were you I’d stick to their breakfast viands. However, it is also a good place to have a beer because aside from being cheap, their dishes are quite tasty making them perfect as beer match.

Sagada: Food Joints

Salt and Pepper

Exhausted, cold and tried, we settled for the nearest food joint we can find. Salt and Pepper looked inviting though we haven’t heard much about them online. We ordered nilagang baboy as it seemed most apt considering we went for a dip at Bomod-ok falls. The soup was very tasty and you can really tell the vegetables were fresh just by smelling the soup. The chunks of pork did taste good but it was very difficult to chew and may not have been boiled long enough. I ordered garlic vegetables and was disappointed that it turned out to be just kangkong. I wasn’t expecting any kind of meat but I kinda thought it would be more like chopsuey. It took such a long time but we were too tired to complain and we were just happy when the food finally arrived. I suppose there is no need to explain why I skipped taking photos of the food. *wink*

Bus Stop Snack Umbrella

Here I was enjoying coffee, suman and pancakes served near the bus stop. It’s the cheapest snack you can have! Quite filling too if I may add.

Haddeku Cafe

I was expecting people to be cranky because everyone was hungry and we were always missing meals during our whole truth but the truth is nothing like that happened. I just love how I captured exhaustion in pictures after every tour. haha!

I ordered tinola and Phil ordered Fried Chicken. I think the soup was fantastic or maybe the weather is really helping me love all kinds of soup that you can order. But anyway, I loved the three’s order of chicken curry and Benj’s order of vegetable curry even more than the chicken. I guess a little spice cannot possibly hurt in cold nights.

Below is Haddeku Cafe in the morning and the other photo is the group who enjoyed the bonfire for a few minutes before heading home. It still wasn’t manageable even with a fire nearby.

Kimchi Restaurant

This little Korean joint got me really excited because I had been craving for some time. When I checked it out I saw the part where there’s mostly Filipino food first but when I flipped it, Voila! Samgyupsal in Sagada! I was disappointed as there were only two side dishes that came with an order of samgyupsal but I am still recommending this place for many reasons. Firstly, it is the only Korean joint in Sagada (or so I thought). Next, most shops have curfew so they can close as early as 8 or 9pm. However, this joint is open as late as 2am depending on how many customers they have. If you plan to drink all night and if you don’t have plans of going trekking the next day, it’s perfect. I kinda love what they did to the place too. I like the bottle caps and pieces of furniture they have. It would also be nice to photograph. Lastly, the whole group first noticed the resto for their blasting reggae music. So I guess there can be dancing, chilling and just sliding, if you know what I mean.

We shared a few bottles of beer with 2 Canadians. It was lovely. We had no photos taken but I kinda like it that way.

Miscellaneous

That is Jeffrie, our main guide holding a kilo of Etag (smoked meat)/small bottle of blueberry wine and the group during our short lived drinking session. We tried out etag soup from Lucky Shanghai and paired it with wine and beer. Yum!

Cheers!

Sagada: Lemon Pie House

We were almost turned down for the third time but thankfully the cook accommodated us saying we should only choose breakfast items or any of the chicken viands so that he wouldn’t have a hard time preparing. He said it’s because he’s alone but it was already our third visit so again I am not used to establishments turning down customers.

We wouldn’t have come back if the place wasn’t so intriguing. Just look at lemon yellow wall outside. Almost every corner is picture perfect so people who loved posing for the camera would love it here. It also helps that there are few people so you wouldn’t be so conscious when you pose and take shots repeatedly. In fact, we were the only ones there at the time.

Told you it was only us. Maybe they do fill up the place during peak season. I hope so!

mat, table and throw pillows/ Jodi, me and Phil

That’s Phil’s order of Spicy Chicken, Benj’s order of longganiza and my order of fried chicken. Again, there was nothing spectacular about their food and it took very long before our orders arrived but anyway they have big servings and it’s still better than junk food.

I end this post with a slice of lemon pie! Phil wasn’t the one who ordered it but he loved it had at least half of it. prick! hahaha!

Sagada: Vincent Cafe

This was where we ended up when the cook of Lemon Pie House was not available. Phil ordered longganiza and I ordered sausages as it was for breakfast. Mine turned out to be hotdogs. We also sampled Nina’s hearty arroz caldo (chicken porridge) as it was a very big serving. Though we did not enjoy it very much trying out new restaurants is always interesting. Most of the restaurants here got attitude. haha!

Perhaps I forgot to mention but we were with Elaine, Benj, Fia, Nina and Jodi.

That’s Phil and me. (picture from Benj!)

picture outside, picture of food and Nina smoking

Sagada: Log Cabin

Phil and I weren’t with the rest of the group when they made reservations for Log Cabin so we had to go there the next morning to order. I was thrilled to see that it was really a Log Cabin! I was also glad that I went there in the morning because I could take as much photos as I want. It was perfect because the restaurant was deserted. Besides, it’s a lot easier to take photos with sunlight than in the evening. I loved the combination of paintings, statues/sculptures, signage and china around the main dining area.

Log Cabin is most popular for their Saturday buffet. Just like Yoghurt house, it is all over the net. There are so many people who want to try out their buffet when they visit Sagada that you need to make reservations. Actually even if you plan to eat a la carte they still recommend ordering in advance. Apparently it is to ensure that your dinner will be on time. A deposit is also required. I don’t think it’s too much of a bother as you can simply do it before or after breakfast. Our pictures suck because we went there after the cave connection tour which took 5 1/2 hours underground! I guess we were tired. haha!

We shared a bowl of tomato based soup. I had chicken paprika served with home fries and cucumber salad while Phil had roast pork with buttered vegetables and mashed potatoes. The serving I thought was too much for Filipinos. We could finish it but maybe it wouldn’t be the good kind of full. Maybe foreigners would find it just right but I can’t really be sure. All in all I was disappointed. The soup was quite ordinary. The chicken was nondescript and Phil’s mom can whip up better pork chops. The mashed potatoes which had curry would have been something but it lacked salt.  But even if that’s the case, I still want to try the buffet the next time I go to Sagada. Yes there will be a next time!

me + cat + round stone bench + fire pit

Kisses!

Sagada: Bana’s Cafe & Resto

Bana’s Cafe & Resto is another popular destination and while it is not as picture perfect as Yoghurt House, it sure did please me more. It still was not mind blowing but at least I loved some items and did not feel bad after having a meal there. It was too bad that we weren’t able to try out their lunch and dinner menu. If their breakfast was quite alright then I thought maybe their meals would be equally good or even better.

The corned beef looked yummy but the thing is I don’t like ordering canned goods from restaurants and as it was not stated it’s homemade I kinda just skim at those items on the menu. Their onion tomato and cheese omelette was also good except that I would have loved it with rice and I kinda crave meat for breakfast so it still was not perfect.

I particularly loved the longganiza but I think the serving was too small; too small to be full and too small for the price.  I think Nina’s order of Bana’s Favorite with bacon, toast, eggs, marmalade and butter plus some slices of fruits on the side otherwise known as an American breakfast was quite promising. I did want to try it but as I said life was so short there. (Nina offered many times but I thought too many people asked to have a sample of her order that maybe she was not able to eat as much as she would have so I said I was already full.)

The banana pancake at 80 pesos was certainly a treat. It was served with lemon honey syrup and had big chunks of banana thus its rounded shape. We were told that it is only for one person but I think a group can share it if it’s only for dessert. This is also where I tried the local civet coffee otherwise known as alamid and I was disappointed that it tasted like regular brewed coffee at 200 pesos. Elaine’s order of Bana’s Café Mocha at 80 pesos tasted better! Anyway I loved their breakfast the most out of the other joints we tried out while in Sagada.

That’s me pointing to a cat. Why do Batibot chairs look so rustic? I loved that little corner and it would have been perfect for a smoke only if I still do smoke.