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Hiro's Cafe: Hospitality+Good Food=Great Experience
We ate some of our meals at Hiro's Cafe instead of going back to Batanes Seaside Lodge & Restaurant. Hiro's is owned and managed by the Manager of Batanes Seaside, Ms. Lydia Roberto who is a very busy woman. I understand she heads the Batanes Hotels & Restaurants Association, and is also the Manager of Batanes Airlines. As a multi-tasking manager, she sometimes meets us at her restaurant for meetings re: our tour schedule. Our meals were part of the Package Tour arrangement so we didn't have to pay for our meals, but we paid for extra drinks.
I noticed that guests of various lodging places ate their lunch and dinner there. They ordered the P120 value meals or ala carte.
Favorite Dish: I like their Ginataang Tatus (Coconut Crab in Coconut Cream) and Pancit BatoRelated to:
- Family Travel
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Shanedel's: Good enough
Alelie (daughter of Dely) was in charge. We had to pre-book our meals. We had our first taste of coconut crab here. Coconut crab is a must!!! Their fried lumpia was very good, they said it had fish in it. They also grill their fish well, not overcooked. The surroundings had a view of the public beach, beside the dining area is a karaoke.
Casa Napoli was closed the time we were there. I was quite disappointed since I've been reading about it and wanted to eat there.
Favorite Dish: coconut crab
fried fish lumpia
Doque's Grill Haus: Good enough
There wasn't much choice as the Italian restaurant (Casa Napoli) was still closed when we passed by. This seemed like the only restaurant open aside from the pension inns' restaurants. I didn't like the cat that walked around, under our chairs, under the table, brushing past our legs. The owners shooed him away when we complained.
Favorite Dish: At least the food is hot. Grilled fish was good and chicken also yummy.Related to:
- National/State Park
SDC Canteen: Fast Food
It is true that unless you want to wait long, you have to make prior arrangements for meals in Batanes (like we did at Shanedel's and Batanes Resort). But there's a couple of places we went to where the food is served pronto, albeit a little cold. Its called fastfood. They're much cheaper than what you would pay at Shanedel's or Batanes Resort.
One is the candy-colored canteen at St. Dominic's College (SDC). It's next door to the Provincial Capitol and in front of a police station. There's no sign outside the building. They also have cakes and bread.
Honesty Cafe: Under renovation
I have heard so much about this shack called Honesty Cafe where no one attends to you, just pick whatever you want and drop your payment in the box. Of course I wanted to see it for myself. But when we got there, there was no shack. Instead, there was this unfinished structure, the owner was there sawing some piece of wood that will become the window frame. He said he's doing the work himself that he's not sure when he'll finish.
We were disappointed that the novelty of the shack is gone. But the owner assured us that the honesty system will still be used once the new place opens.
Casa Napoli: Itself An Ivatan Landmark
Along Abad street, the main avenue of Batan Island, sits a grocery store whose second level is home to the island's one and only restaurant offering foreign cuisine. Taking the character of Batanes, the restaurant itself hosts only five two-seat tables: three inside and two al-fresco. Visitors are encouraged to eat at the porch for a view of Abad Street life which is altogether reflective of Ivatan's easy-going life. Store times are irregular based on the schedule of Ruel, the one-man crew of Casa Napoli. If he's had a full day and week, he may just shut down for some rack time, even on Saturday nights. To be sure, call or send him an SMS on the number below. Don't be surprised if he asks you to wait a few minutes as he takes a quick shower or if he asks for your order on the phone. That's just how it really is! While he waits over you, don't hesitate a conversation with Ruel. Like any Ivatan, he is very warm, friendly and honest (as in sincere). Dons a great chef's hat as well!!!
Favorite Dish: Any seafood-tired palate can hope to restore its taste buds with an authentic italian pizza, complete with imported and authentic ingredients like salami and Mozzarella cheese (yes, salty and sticky Mozzarella cheese in this far-away group of islands!!!). The Casa also offers honest to goodness brewed coffee (a break from the instant coffee from Batanes Resort) manufactured and purchased from COSTCO, USA.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Shanedel's: Fresh Tuna
Dinner consisted of fresh seafood: coconut crab, lobster, tuna steaks, with tuna sashimi (they had caught three large tuna that day) as the highlight—everyone’s favorite.
Favorite Dish: Tuna sashimi. Note that we had this only because they had a fresh catch that day, this is not a daily occurenceRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Casa Napoli: When you tire of fresh seafood, it happens
Having had our fill of flying fish, coconut crab, and lobster, we decided to have what we thought was to be our last real meal on the island at Casa Napoli. The owner was a seaman on an Italian vessel where he learned to make Italian dishes from the ship’s Italian cook. The meal of pasta and pizza was wonderful, simple yet flavorful, and like all meals on the island, inexpensive. As a fitting end to our Italian dinner we had cappuccino and espresso.
Favorite Dish: The three cheese pizza was excellent--at par with the top pizzas in Manila!Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Kamote fries is better than french fries!
Favorite Dish: Definite must eat food in Batanes are Sweet Potatoes! It's literally sweet. Best alternative to fast food french fries in Manila, but way healthier!Related to:
- Women's Travel
Paypanapanayan: Fast Food
This canteen has a tongue-twister of a name. It serves the usual home-cooked, local dishes. Friendly staff. Cheap, cheap food.
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