Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beyond Davao: Balinsasayaw

If you've read my bio, you probably know by now that one of few things I love doing when visiting a new place is to go on a food trip. I am a firm believer that food, culture, and arts are intermingled. Hence, I never miss an opportunity to sample a place's local cuisine when visiting it for the first time. When I visit Palawan just recently, that was one of the things I had in mind - to explore the culinary offerings of the city. 

And what better way to learn about the best of the local cuisine than from the locals themselves. Since we were not sure where to dine, I approached one of the locals and ask them for recommendations of good places to eat. It was a bit of a scary yet exciting moment when we allowed our tricycle driver to bring us to this place that we knew nothing about because you'll never know what to expect. He ended up bringing us to Balinsasayaw, who according to the driver is a famed restaurant in the city. Got to take the local's word for it!

As it turns out, Balinsasayaw is one of the more popular dining destinations in Puerto Princesa City. My initial reaction upon stepping in is more of awe. The place looks more like a bahay kubo, albeit slightly more elaborate. The setup truly makes you feel like you're dining at home with a relaxed vibe and, from what I've heard, really good food. 
We wasted no time and asked for the menu upon settling down to a table for two. They specialize on seafood, grilled, and Filipino dishes. I also learned that their Bird's Nest Soup was one of the best there is, but we skipped that given that it is a large serving and there were only two of us. 

Instead, we ordered the Steamed Lapu-Lapu and Shrimp with Green Peas. The lapu-lapu dish is remarkable. I love how steam cooking has made the meat really soft and allows the natural flavor of the fish to come out. It did not even need any special seasoning, and you can tell that they did not add too many, because the natural flavor would suffice. As for the shrimp dish, it was all about subtlety. Love that they did not scrimp on veggies for this dish. 

The scorching heat outside also made us crave for a frozen dessert to help us cool off a little bit. And Balinsasayaw's Halo-Halo was the perfect relief from the heat. I've never been a big fan of Halo-Halo but this one I did enjoy digging into. Well worth the P90 (approximately) price tag!

If you happen to be in Puerto Princesa, I suggest you try dining at Balinsasayaw. Scrap that - you should definitely dine here! It's popular for a reason.

Stay tuned for my review of KaLui, another popular dining spot in Puerto Princesa.

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