As we entered the restaurant, my inner Filipina jumped with joy. I loved the interiors! Even if they kept the design simple, the jeepney wall and the seaside view really made it pop.
Being an infamous kid with a habit of sleeping in, I wasn't able to catch breakfast. So it's no surprise that I'm starving. Another thing I'm known for is to order way too much than I can consume which explains the really long list moving forward
CORDOVA EXPRESS  ️️️️️
Vegetables cooked in coconut sauce made it so creamy and delish! Loved how it was seasoned just right. Flavors blended really well too Loved the presentation as well 🏻
BAKED SCALLOPS [P160] ️️️️
Soft and juicy scallops topped with cheese and garlic. Yum!
TALABA [P160] ️
Good thing I didn't eat this one. It had a malansa smell and taste. My friend even had a bad stomach ache the day after
KINILAW  ️️️
Average. I've tasted better.
TINOLANG HALAAN [P170] ️️️
The ginger was a bit overpowering.
GRILLED TUNA PANGA ️️️️️
Super juicy and flavorful tuna! Very recommended 🏻
GARLIC RICE PLATTER [P160] ️️️️️
A cup of garlic rice costs P45 each but a platter costs only P160 and it's already good for five people. Super sulit!
CORDOVA COOLER ️️️️️
Pitcher of mixed orange and mango juice with calamansi and watermelon. I loved how they drop a few pieces of fruit to make it look even more tropical
BANANA TURON [P115] ️️️
Sweet and crispy turon paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Turon was huge but not the best I've tried and the dish could use another scoop of ice cream.
BUKO PIE [P95 slice • P750 whole] ️️️
It took a while before our orders arrived. But to be fair, the staff did inform us that it would take approximately 20 minutes before our orders are served. Service was okay. They even provided candles to drive away the flies. I'm not sure if the place is really visited by flies often or if it's due to the rain these past few days.
Lantaw definitely had a few hits and misses. Aside from the baked scallops, cordova express and grilled tuna panga, the dishes were on the average side. Although a good thing about this place is the affordability of their dishes. Servings are for sharing but the price can be easily shouldered by one 🏻
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The view from Larena Triad is just spectacular. It offers a vantage view of the triad of the other islands namely Negros, Cebu and Bohol. To be honest, we came all the way here just for the view and it's really beautiful Although the sun was piping hot during our lunch visit, the breath of fresh air gave a relaxing feeling.
As for the food and coffee, they were average. We were traveling in a big group so we opted for their catering services. Nothing special about it.
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Just before we ended our last night in El Nido, we visited Las Cabañas just to see the sunset. The place we stayed had several mountains and limestones that covered a portion of the sky, hindering us from enjoying the sun's beauty.
To get there, we took a 15 minute tricycle ride worth P150. One tricycle can fit up to five people so it's only P30 each. Not bad considering the reward of a spectacular view.
Before reaching the beach, going down numerous steps is required. Upon arriving, we saw a sea of people dancing around a local band playing really good music. It was really tempting to just stay there and party the night away🏻
Bad news: There was an island that covered the sunset!! So we had to go up to see the whole view. The flight of stairs was no joke. It made my legs really sore since we literally ran up to catch the sunset. Good thing we found a perfect spot along the highway that overlooked the sea. Absolutely mesmerizing! A perfect way to bid El Nido goodbye.
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A room for two costs around Php3,000 only. Although it says room for two, three people can easily share one. The bed is absolutely heavenly! As soon as I laid down, I was immediately knocked out. Bathroom is great as well. Pretty spacious and heater works just fine. The room fee includes free breakfast for two already (even if the selection is not that great).
The location is perfect for tourists since the hotel is along the main street. It's easy to call for a taxi to go anywhere. Also, there are several convenience stores and restaurants nearby.
Too bad I wasn't able to try their amenities like the pool since I was on an overnight business trip
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It was already 10pm and we still haven't had dinner. We were supposed to try STK but it was closed already. Good thing Yayoy's opens until late! We were too famished so we ordered quite a lot.
TINOLANG TANGIGUE [P180] ️️️️
Great broth! I liked how they served extra soup on the side. One order of this is already good for 5 people. Sulit!
TUNA BELLY ️️️️
Really juicy tuna belly. I liked the spiced vinegar that came with it 🏻
BICOL EXPRESS [P120] ️️️
Yayoy's version of bicol express was quite different. It had a mix of different vegetables including sitaw, eggplant and okra. The flavors were okay but I'm not a huge fan of okra and eggplant which is why I'm giving it 3 stars only.
SHIMPS IN A BASKET – GARLIC BUTTER [P280] ️️️️
Generous serving of very garlicky buttered shrimp. I'd recommend this to garlic lovers but there were a few pieces of shrimp that were slightly overcooked.
GRILLED SQUID [P150] ️️️️
Loved how their grilled squid had stuffings inside. Although they were only onions and other spiced vegetables, it was still good.
SAN MIGUEL LIGHT ️️️️️
I know it's crazy to give 5 stars for a bottle of beer but it's justified. It was my first time to try BBZ or Beer Below Zero. The beer's temperature is already below zero degrees but it stays in liquid form . . .
Until you hit the bottle with your fork. You know it's perfect when bubbles and crushed beer ice floats up. Best way to enjoy an ice cold beer without diluting it 🏻
*The tuna belly was already ransacked when I took the photo and I forgot the soup and beer
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Meat is freshly grilled on a per order basis so do allow 20 to 30 minutes before food is served.
PORK BELLY [P90] ️️️️️
Perfectly grilled! The pork belly was flavorful and juicy even without their special sauce.
CHICKEN BREAST [P75] ️️️️
The size and taste of the chicken breast is comparable to those from Mang Inasal. Same quality for a cheaper price! I liked how they semi-sliced the chicken to bite size pieces for easier deboning. I think it's very considerate to the customers.
TUNA BELLY [P300 for approximately 400g] ️️️️️
Nicely charred on the outside but soft and juicy on the inside. Marinate was on point as well.
All our orders were cooked and served satisfactorily. Their special sauce is on the sweeter side - something I'm not used to when eating grilled dishes. Nonetheless, it was a great dinner. I'd choose Yakski over Mang Inasal on any day.
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Gringo’s been a few blocks away from my office for quite some time now and I thought that it was finally time to give it a try. Considering it was already past eight when we got there, I was quite surprised to see that the place was packed on a Monday night.
Upon entering, we were greeted by a modern Mexican vibe. Wooden tables, red and green accents and window mirrors gave life to the place.
As Gingo would say, “Chicken, Ribs and Friends”. Without even thinking, I immediately went for the original chicken. My friend wanted another dish plus dessert so we also got an order of quesadillas and dessert.
GRINGO ORIGINAL CHICKEN | [P365 • Half Chicken with Three Sides] ️️️️️
Our choice of side dishes: Mexican Rice, Buttered Corn, Marbled Potato Salad
Say hello to the baked chicken recipe that started it all for our favorite amigo Gringo! It’s lemony, herby and muy, muy manly! Soft and juicy chicken wrapped in its spiced flavorful skin made my taste buds jump for joy. The side dishes went really well with the chicken too. Although I was a bit alarmed when I saw that some parts of the chicken were pink The staff reassured me that it was not undercooked but just an effect from their marinate. The order comes with free dips so make sure to request them in case they forget.
🧀 TRUFFLE QUESO QUESADILLAS [P145] ️️️️
Three beautiful triangles of quesadillas packed with a generous serving of cheese inside. A simple dish executed well.
MANGO CREAM STICKY RICE [P165] ️️️
I was pretty convinced that I was going to be served with something white and yellow so I was very surprised to see it brown. To put it in simple terms, it’s biko topped with mango and tapioca, drizzled with their sweet sauce and coconut milk, and served with a scoop of mango ice cream. It was a little bit too sweet for my liking. I’d recommend adding a few more spoonful of coconut milk to balance everything out.
Our bill was around P750. Not bad for great comfort food. But to be honest, since I don’t have a dragon’s appetite anymore, sharing a half chicken with three sides with another person would keep me bloated through the night 🏻
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Papaya island was actually not on the list for Tour C. However, due to the angry waves during the day, we were not able to go to the other two stops. Our fellow tourists were quite disappointed and requested to visit a beach with lots of palm trees instead. Fortunately, the boat crew and tour guide were happy to comply.
P A P A Y A I S L A N D
Papaya island is right beside Seven Commandos Island. A giant limestone mountain stands in between to separate them. Similar to Seven Commandos, Papaya island is rich with palm trees. Palm trees = coconuts! Yay for buko juice! The island also has beautiful white sand which is perfect for picture taking.
If you walk further down the beach, you'll find a tree swing. We also saw several dogs roaming around the beach which was perfect. I even got a photo with one!
© Unisse C for my dog and handstand photo.
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As Inagiku would say it, “Dine in Zen”. The restaurant embraces nature in all its essence. Each culinary masterpiece is treated as an expression of life itself and draws inspiration from nature. Diners can indulge in the tastes of authentic Japanese cuisine and enjoy the restaurant's redefined cosmopolitan setting with refurbished interiors, including the sushi bar, teppanyaki counter and private dining rooms.
My Aunt Jen and Uncle Rob were visiting for the holidays and they invited me and Unisse C for dinner. They were staying at Makati Shangri-La and asked us to come over since our office was just a block away. I’m so glad that they invited us not only because we’re happy to see them but because the food was amazing as well. Although let’s save the verdict for later.
Buffets are for Saturdays and Sundays only so when we visited on a Thursday night, we almost had the whole place to ourselves. Service was good but Uncle Rob thought otherwise. He said that if the staff did not know how to entertain their guests well, then he does not like the place. But I think they did a pretty good job by serving the food on time, changing our plates as requested and attending to our needs well.
As I glanced through the menu, I was shocked to see the prices I almost did not order anything until my Aunt started to. In the end, we ordered quite a lot for four people to consume
AGADASHI TOFU [P390] ️️️️
Deep fried bean curd with tempura sauce
Tofu was nice and soft despite being deep fried. Included were a few pieces of fried asparagus and eggplant that provided texture to the dish.
MISO SHIRU [P160] ️️️️
To be honest, I cannot differentiate the taste of Inagiku’s and Yabu’s miso soup. It tasted almost the same.
| SPIDER MAKI [P730 for 4 slices] ️️️️️
Soft shell crab maki 🦀
Absolutely in love with Inagiku’s spider maki. I was surprised to see the whole crab served on the plate! It may be really pricey but definitely worth it.
| SHAKE MAKI [P410 for 6 slices] ️️️️️
The salmon roll was nice and fresh. No fishy smell at all.
| GINDARA MISO YAKI [P1,400] ️️️️️
Grilled silver cod with miso paste
The star of the night! I would have never imagined that fish could taste this good. Every bite packs a punch of that sweet and salty miso flavor. Skin was nicely charred while the meat was soft and buttery yet it held it shape so well. Cannot recommend this enough 🏻
WAKADORI [P840] ️️️️
Spring chicken with teriyaki sauce
Even though Uncle Rob kept complaining that all he ate during his visit was chicken, he still ordered chicken. I had a few pieces to taste and it was quite good.
To cap the night off, we also ordered a bottle of wine to share. I am no expert when it comes to wine but my Aunt and Uncle said it was pretty average. Regardless, I loved the food here and will be back in the future to try their buffet. Inagiku’s has some of the best quality Japanese dishes I’ve tried so far so I do recommend it 🏻
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Squidos was just a three-minute walk away from our hotel. It was our last day and we did not want to walk too far just to have lunch. Plus, as soon as the New Year walked in, El Nido looked like a ghost town Most of the tourists left and several restaurants were closed.
SHRIMP CURRY [P240] ️️️️
Shrimp was nice and plump and the curry was good. However, it was not as flavorful as the other shrimp curries we’ve tried from this island.
SHRIMP IN BUTTER AND LEMON SAUCE [P200] ️️️
Shrimp itself was good since it was not dry. However, the butter and lemon sauce was a little bit off for me.
BREADED CHICKEN [P220 1/4 KILO • P350 1/2 KILO] ️️️️
Yummy breaded chicken! Nothing beats a nicely fried breaded boneless chicken. The breading was flavorful and the chicken was juicy.
PORK STEAK IN PEPPER SAUCE [P180] ️️️
Not enough pepper for “pepper sauce”
PORK SINIGANG [P280] ️️️️
Broth had a nice blend of sour and salty. There was a generous serving of pork meat and veggies as well.
Overall, it was a great last meal to cap off our vacation here in El Nido. Til next time!
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