Will it taste weird? Will I starve in Boracay? What is Filipino cuisine anyway? Although I live in Singapore, home to many cultures and cuisines, I had yet to try Filipino food in my 26 years. This was my virgin experience. And to my surprise, some dishes tasted and looked so familiar!
Take the longganisa for example, a sweet-flavoured sausage. It has a very similar taste to the Chinese sausage (lap cheong), but softer and easier to chew. It’s generally served with eggs and garlic rice on the breakfast menus.
There’s also the Pork BBQ Skewers, which is the larger, more succulent version of the Singaporean satay. With larger pieces of meat, this dish is generally served with rice for a proper meal. And there’s the Sinigang, a sourish soup that tastes exactly like Tom Yum soup, but without the spice. Good for those with a low tolerance for spicy food!
The Batchoy, a noodle soup, is similar to the Singaporean Bak Chor Mee both in taste and look.
There’s also the Pancit Palabok, a dry noodle dish. Although the presentation reminds me of Mee Siam, it tastes very different. The Palabok is slightly sweet, and the noodles of the ‘soggy’ type – good for me, but not for those who prefer harder noodles!
We also tried the Crispy Pata, a crunchy pork dish. Mmm… The skin was crispy and the meat, tender. I really enjoyed this dish!
Although we tried to eat more of Filipino food, Boracay being a tourist hotspot offers plenty of international cuisine too. There are Chinese restaurants, Spanish restaurants, Japanese restaurants and Korean restaurants among others. So you don’t have to worry about going hungry in Boracay! There’s always trusty 7-11 and McDonald’s around anyway!
Here’s where we ate on this trip! I also added some menu photos so you can get an idea of how much food costs in Boracay. Of course, there are plenty of other cheaper eateries, especially those not on the beachfront!
White Beach – Station 1
The more atas stretch of beach, Station 1 has plenty of choices for food.
120 pesos (S$3.75) each for our Tropical Shake and Mango Banana Shake at Jonah’s Fruitshake. Hmm… Kind of pricey for a fruitshake, isn’t it?
White Beach – Station 2
This area of the beach is packed, both with restaurants and people. D’mall and D’Talipapa is also situated here.
Eating with entertainment – Dancing chefs, anyone? We ate a dinner buffet at Boracay Regency’s Sea Breeze Café for 793 pesos (S$24.78) per person, which is pretty cheap for the wide variety of food!
We were caught in the rain while at D’Mall and the nearest restaurant was Hama Japanese Cuisine. We ordered a bowl of ramen to share for 350 pesos (S$10.94) and were sorely disappointed. Green tea was expensive at 80 pesos (S$2.50) a cup and not refillable either!
No photos of the food, but the crispy pata at Golden Courie was scrumptious!
The fast food chain Mang Inasal seems to be the McDonald’s of Philippines, with hundreds of outlets in the country. WJ had the BBQ pork for 82 pesos (S$2.56) while I tried the Palabok for 109 pesos (S$3.40). There’s an option for free flow rice so you really get your money’s worth! We also noticed that a lot of people ordered the dessert, Halo-Halo!
Since we weren’t very hungry, we only ordered the mini burgers for 230 pesos (S$7.19) and fish and fries for 160 pesos (S$5) from Tilapia ‘N Chips to share. The mini fish burger was good! If it’s of interest to you, a Taiwanese tour group came in for an early dinner while we were there.
D’Talipapa is a small wet market surrounded by restaurants which provide cooking services. Pick and buy your seafood (and veges) from the wet market, then head to any eatery and ask them to cook them up in any style you want! I must say it’s quite a good concept, but the endless bargaining makes my head hurt. By the time we settled on the prices from different vendors, it was close to 9pm and I was starving. And we still had to check out the pricing from the different restaurants for their cooking services! I advise you to go earlier in the evening, because some of the restaurants started closing at around 9pm.
One of our friends got food poisoning after eating some seafood bought from D’Talipapa, most probably from the sea urchins. So please be careful when choosing the seafood, and make sure they’re fresh!
White Beach – Station 3
My favourite stretch of White Beach, Station 3 is more secluded and less crowded, but doesn’t want for food choices!
We only tried the breakfast at the Tree House Resort & Bar, which was so-so, but the view and décor is awesome!
I had the American Breakfast at 3-5-7 Boracay for 220 pesos (S$6.88), while WJ had the Filipino Breakfast for 190 pesos (S$5.94). The longganisa was deliciousss.
Seeing as it’s such a small stretch of beach, there’s a very limited choice of food here. There are a couple of eateries at the stretch of road behind the beach selling cheap local food if you’re not fussy about the view though!
I love the beanbags at Wahine Beach Bar & Grill, but the dogs… They stared at me while I was eating and I was scared they’d jump at me. I’m scared of most animals, by the way. The others had no issues with the roaming dogs at all.
We spent quite a lot of time at the café at Spider House Resort. The view was great, the vibe relaxed, and you could climb down to have a swim in the sea. I don’t recommend ordering the sushi though. They were served slightly warm.
We had breakfast at Nami Resort on our last day before heading home. I ordered the Breakfast Eggcetera for 300 pesos (S$9.38) which gave me an omelette, toast with jam and butter, a plate of fresh fruits, canned juice and coffee/tea.
With meals at only 85 pesos (S$2.66) at Bagobos Resto Grill, I was surprised to find such a ‘cheap’ place just opposite the airport! I ordered the BBQ pork meal which came with a small bowl of soup, and WJ got the Batchoy. The portion is small though, and you can share 3 plates between 2 people for a more filling meal!
Despite my initial reservations about Filipino food, I ate enough to keep full and found new favourite dishes!