Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reminiscing Palawan

Last February, my beau Richard and I went to the island of Palawan for vacation. All the places we went to, the beach, the restaurants, the nooks and crannies, are all great! But one of the most memorable place we went to was Baker's Hill. True to its name, it was a bakery on top of a hill! More than a bakery, it was a slice of heaven for me. The owner turned the place into a vast, gorgeous landscape garden with character statues that adds charm! The baker and the nature-lover in me could not bring myself to leave. Just like a kid, I remember wanting to just stay and live there!

I bought from the bakery one of my favorite pastries: pianono. And in Baker's Hill, they bake and sell it 12 inches long! Finishing it in one seating was quite a feat, but it was as delicious as every pianono I remember eating in my lifetime.

I also love the "miniature cakes" displayed at the store! So adorable!


Another stop we had in the island was Vietville. Prior to traveling here, I had no idea that I was looking at a piece of Asian history. Vietville started out as a place where some Vietnamese refugees went to the Philippines after their country came under communist rule. After several years, some of them went to the States when the U.S. agreed to grant them asylum. But some of them decided to stay, built a place for Filipinos and tourists to sample authentic Vietnamese cuisine...and so the Vietville Restaurant came about!

The restaurant has a very simple, yet homey interior. It feels like going inside a bahay-kubo, which is how it looks like, actually. It was deserted when we came in, since we were there at 9:00 in the morning! But it was nice to have the whole place only for us... lots of time to take pictures without nosy onlookers. :)

Richard and I went here on our last day in Palawan, right after we just had buffet breakfast at the hotel. With stomachs still full, we decided to give it a try and ordered a light meal. One of the best sellers they recommended was the beef noodles. It was a little too spicy for me, but the thick, firm, folded noodles was very intriguing! I love the French baguette, with its crusty and chewy exterior. (I just wondered how Vietnam got influenced by French cooking!) Richard, being an undying fan of everything spicy, absolutely loved the chili paste condiment! I've been trying ever since (without luck) to search for its recipe.


Another restaurant we went to was the famous Ka Louie. Since Palawan is an island, I was not surprised that most of the dishes this restaurant offers are sea foods. Our new friend T, who was one of the locals here, honestly revealed that the food here wasn't as great as its popularity, but any travel in Puerto Princesa would not be complete without stopping by Ka Louie. So we gave it a try.

I like the ambiance of the restaurant! It's cosy and sophisticated at the same time, with touches of locally grown bamboo and wooden furniture. You have to remove your shoes or sandals before entering, since no footwear was allowed. They have this organized shoe boxes for safe-keeping, but telltales has it that some footwear gets stolen!

Now about the food... Since I love everything sea food, I honestly love the lapu-lapu and how they cook it. The calamari though was a little too tough... an indication of being over-cooked! But altogether, it was a nice dining experience for me. I would've loved to linger more if we're not scheduled to a round of beer at Kina Butch, another restaurant and bar nearby! :)

I love Palawan...and its local flavors! I'll be back, hopefully real soon!


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