While on vacation, I completely threw my diet out the window. I’m pretty consistent when it comes to choosing the food I eat. But I’ve realized now that once you throw in a vacation into the mix, everything goes Phhhhffft from there. I know that’s not even a real word. On the upside, I guess that’s the advantage of trying to be disciplined when it comes to diet and exercise, once in a while you’re allowed to cheat and take a sabbatical from all the calorie-counting.
We tried lots of food and restos in Palawan. But what I’ll include in this post are the more unusual dishes that you don’t exactly encounter everyday. While we were at the Crocodile Farm and getting acquainted with the hundred or so crocs that inhabit the area, we took a quick break in a nearby eatery conveniently located within the compound. The lady asked us if we wanted to try some of her crocodile sisig. We agreed, and in about 5 minutes, she served us this hot plate.
Judging by the miniature crocodile details that adorn this plate, there is no mistaking this is indeed Croc meat. 🙂 It’s so in-your-face it’s almost funny. Or terrifying, it depends on who’s eating. The meat was chopped in tiny chunks and cooked sisig-style. Sisig is a popular Filipino dish where the most common types are made up of pork chunks (liver and some parts of the pig’s head I believe) and drizzled with pepper, salt, vinegar, calamansi and other spices. It is best served sizzling hot, and served with a bottle of ice-cold beer.
We took our forks and we dug in. Surprisingly, the meat is quite tender and doesn’t taste at all like anything you’d imagine crocodile meat would be. I guess at the back of my head I was imagining some sort of tough leathery-like rubber texture. HA. No weird smells too. It was quite a yummy and delectable dish. Even the little girl liked it.
That evening, we went to Kinabuchs, which is one of the popular restaurants in the city. The look and feel of the place is similar to Gerry’s grill. There’s a huge projector that shows videos of car racing and other sports-related stuff that I didn’t pay much attention to. We were so game to try some more local fare that when we opened the menu, our hearts sort of took a mini nosedive. Most of the food was a mix of what you can already find everywhere else. It’s a good thing we took our time to really scour page after page because only then did we get to discover a few hidden jewels in the menu.
The Gising-gising dish that you see above isn’t actually local Palawan fare but we just had to balance out all the rest of the exotic meats that comprised our dinner that evening. It served as a good palate neutralizer. We also requested to hold off on the chillis for the sake of the little girl.
This dish above looks like your regular fried and breaded calamari, but it’s actually tamilok, which is a wood worm found in mangrove trees. This is a delicacy in Palawan and is best served raw and “kilawin” style. But for the evening we tried a more appetizing version of it. We opted for the cooked version as we were hesitant about consuming anything raw that evening as it might not sit well in our tummies. For some reason, I found that this dish has a weird aftertaste. I thought I was the only one but everyone else in the table had that weird look on their faces as they chewed on the meat. I wasn’t too happy with this dish but the little girl on the other hand, kept shouting “yummy!”. And knowing how difficult it is to feed toddlers I will keep my sentiments aside. If she likes it, then that’s all that matters.
This dish is the Crocodile adobo. Now this one is a winner in my book! I can’t get over how tender and succulent the meat is. I can so eat this everyday!
The next day after our underground river cruise, we walked to beach front resto for our lunch and we saw this along the way.
A stand that sells fresh tamilok for P100 per serving. They prepared the dish and brought it over to our table.
Here’s the husband sizing up the huge gray worm before the big “attack”. I myself tried two tamiloks and I can honestly say that the raw version definitely tastes better than the fried version. Fresh tamilok even tastes better than oysters! I kid you not! It’s really good! And no weird aftertastes. You just have to get over the idea of sliding that slimy thick worm into your throat.
In case you didn’t know, I was born with a pretty adventurous appetite. I normally don’t get squirmish in these kinds of scenarios. In fact, I get excited with the idea of trying exotic eats. But if I were to draw the line on what not to put in my mouth, I will have to draw the line when it comes to food that still moves, breathes and can potentially jump off my plate. To that, I will say HELL NO. I will have to be pretty darn drunk to be able to pull that off. But then again, you know what they say…never say never. 🙂
A dash of vinegar with calamansi goes well with the tamilok
Later that evening, we made reservations for one of the nice restaurants in the island popularly known as KaLui. The owner’s name is Lui so that pretty much explains the whole thought-process behind the name. Here are some interior shots.
No footwear allowed inside. We had to keep our sandals in this drawer. I love the look and feel of this place! I love the native decor, the mood lighting and the very homey vibe. I highly recommend this place. Although they don’t serve any of the exotic food that you’ve seen in the photos, the food is fresh, delicious, well-prepared and healthy. Definitely a must-try when you hit the shores of Puerto Princesa.
And this is where I will have to apologize…we were too famished that evening that we forgot to take photos of the darn food! LOL. A failed attempt at food blogging. Haha. Oh well, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Make sure to include it in your itinerary when you’re in town. Another restaurant worth trying is the Badjao Seafront restaurant. Again, we failed to take pics as we had a flight to catch. We just zoomed into the resto and basically inhaled all our food. Lovely ambiance though. Ideal for family get-togethers and romantic dinners.
This is the last of the Puerto Princesa series. It was a lovely experience. You can read about some of the highlights of this trip here and here. I look forward to visiting the other parts of Palawan next time, specifically Coron and El Nido. I heard those places are quite the gems 🙂