Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ka Lui Restaurant and Kamarikutan Cafe - Palawan Dining Part 1

Local travel has some advantages. I don’t necessarily hold on too tightly to my extra cash! When I travel abroad, I am constantly scrimping, constantly conscious of the budget at hand! Many times, I end up going home with a substantial stash saved up. As heaven is my witness, Myanmar was a rude lesson. I had enough dollar but most of them were “unacceptable” (little scratches, a teeny-weeny ballpen mark, an imaginary fold, etc.) – and I couldn’t withdraw cash from my bank or credit card! I thought I couldn't pay for my airport fees! It was a nightmare! With local travel, it’s almost an unendless pit of resource. I said “almost”. LOL. And this allowed me to spruce up my travel with mouth-watering delights!

We have discovered so many gastronomic gems in Palawan, as we dined from one new place to the next. There are so many great restaurants and eateries in Puerto Princesa. Art galleries subbing as cafes are also en vogue (Kamarikutan, Ka Lui, Dang Maria). But we’ve also realized that this clean-and-green city, in terms of dining, isn’t as cheap as, say Davao, where a buffet can be had for just PhP199. In PP, that’s just a single dish!
Here is 1st part of our waistline-busting, saliva-stimulating gastronomic adventures in Puerto Princesa.

Chicken Inato leg at PhP75 ($1.60)

Sizzling shrimp @ PhP150 ($3.20)

Adobong kangkong (water spinach) @ PhP40 ($0.85) and coke in can @ PhP20 ($0.40) – the cheapest in PP. Some coke in cans are priced ridiculously @ PhP50 ($1.10 - Microtel Inn & Suites).

Balay Chicken Inato along Malvar Extension, a block away from Hibiscus Garden Inn. Their chicken barbecue is stuff of legends. Don't leave PP without trying it.

Balay Inato Pension, located beside the series of sheds of the famous eatery.

Balay Chicken Inato is a compound of 4 to 5 separate dining areas.

Kamarikutan is a popular art gallery-cum-café serving light meals and coffee/tea. They do have full-plate meals but they’re rather expensive. Photography is not allowed inside. Popular singers like Joey Ayala perform several times in a year. This gallery features paintings and mixed art. They also sell CD’s of Palaweno music and local artists playing indigenous instruments. Surrounding the restaurant at the front is a pond housing gigantic (and seemingly ravenous) coy fish. The exterior is a sophisticated parade of bamboo and rattan interiors. It was too bad that we weren’t allowed to take photographs of the place. This place is a personal favorite actually. It’s very relaxing, and the atmosphere is laidback. Friends who love to talk can do lots of that in Kamarikutan.

Deep fried Prawns with Tartar Sauce and Steamed Rice @ PhP125 ($2.70)

Salpicado – tenderloin tips with garlic cloves and olive oil @ PhP175 ($3.75)

  • Gambas Rice @ PhP110 ($2.40). Coke in can is PhP28 ($0.60)

Ka Lui is a Filipino restaurant that, like Kamarikutan, has an art gallery inside. Though most orders are rather pricey, the serving is exceedingly gargantuan – good for 3 persons! Bamboos and dim interiors don’t actually make an intimate restaurant. This is strictly full-house!!! Upon entrance, leave your shoes/slippers at a rack outside, then you will be taken to your table. There is a virtual feast of people, where 60% of the population are foreigners, mostly Caucasians! The atmosphere is relaxed but festive! Though not entirely “expensive”, it’s not for the spendthrift either! If you are a solitary diner, then it will be a problem since serving is big.! We ordered the Ka Lui Special of the Day: fish steaks, prawns, veggies of the day, coco fish roll, rice and a starter, which costs PhP395 ($8.50). We also ordered sizzling seafood sisig and sea catch tempura. Coke in can is PhP35 ($0.75).

Deposit your foot wear here before you are taken to your table. This place packs!

Toilet. Haha.

Ka Lui’s Special of the Day @ PhP395 ($8.50). Coke in can is PhP35.

Sea Catch Tempura @ PhP150 ($3.20)

Sizzling Seafood Sisig @ PhP170 ($3.65). Sizzling sisig is a Philippine dish made from parts of pig’s head and usually seasoned with kalamansi or chili peppers.Variations of sisig can add any of the following: eggs, ox brains, chicharon (pork cracklings), pork or chicken liver, and even mayonnaise. It originated from the province of Pampanga. Ka Lui's version is sort of an alternative as it consists of seafood.

Lato, those grape like sea "weeds"

Birds of Paradise in wild bloom.

Kinabuch is your typical “beer garden”, located along Rizal Avenue, just beside the Provincial Capitol. It has a huge parking space with dimly lit interiors at night.


A turo-turo in Baker's Hill

Next up: Jewel Restaurant at Robert's Resort in Sabang and more restaurants

This is the Eye in the Sky.

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