JAMBALAYA is located next to Cabungan bungalows right on the beach. It does not look much but once you step inside you are in for a treat as there is free internet for customers, a book exchange, the coldest beer on the beach and wonderful food that you cannot find anywhere else in the country. It is a ramshackle native hut on the beach and the Scottish guy, EEZY, runs it with his wife. He spent several years in Louisiana and the dishes are Cajun, the coffe is original and the music is Cajun. We ate here regularly and although there is not much of a choice on the menu, it was excellent. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Favorite Dish: Jamabalaya rice---try it real spicy
We have eaten here several times over the years and Lucy, the owner specialises in delicious seafood and has seafood buffets during the tourist season. In the off season you will have to order seafood in advance so she can buy at the local market. On offer now os BBQ chicken and rice for 99 pesos. There is a circular bar by the beach or you can sit at a small table facing the beach while you drink and enjoy the view of the bay.
Relax in this native built restaurant and enjoy their food. The owner is friendly and they are the same people with the bungalows nearby. update 10 june '12. We ate here again on our recent visit and found prices had increased dramatically and the portions seemed to be a little smaller. This is probably due to it's competitor, Judy's Place closing down. There is a happy hour every afternoon from 3-6 pm. The bungalows in the garden are nice, surrounded by plants.
The food and service at the Jambalaya Cajun Cafe in Port Barton was not bad.
It was not good. We thought it was GREAT!
We thought it well worthy of a mention because it was one of the best restaurants we visited in our entire Philippines Trip. Yvonne and I had been travelling all over the Philippines for 5 months. We stopped off in Port Barton for only one week. We stayed at Green Views Resort and ate in all the restaurants.
All the local people and other foreign tourists we met in Port Barton highly recommended this place in the middle of the beach called The Jambalaya Cajun Café. We did not really know what the word Cajun meant, but we had heard of the catchy song called Jambalaya. The restaurant certainly looked colorful and inviting enough from the outside, lots of informative signs.
Actually, before we even got to Port Barton we met two Israeli backpacking couples, and a funny comedian guy called Stubs from Holland in Puerto Princesa who had already been to Port Barton. They all told us to definitely go check out the mega cornflakes at Jambalaya. They said it was the best bowl of cornflakes they ever had in their lives! We were intrigued and looked forward to a decent bowl of cereal.
The first few days in Port Barton we ate out at other cheapy places. Then we found out that Jambalaya had freshly baked western style sugar free bread from their own oven every morning. They sell sandwiches only can’t buy a whole loaf. Real bread though wow. It is usually all sold out by 2pm! Imported Italian Coffee, perhaps a little bit expensive for a Latte though 150pesos but they do grind their own beans and you do get free chocolate chip cookies! Super chilled ice cold drinks. The coldest beer in town definitely. Sugar free real fruit juices and creamy milkshakes.
Yes it was true the massive mega cornflakes bowl is packed with over 12 different ingredients. An assortment of various cereals and fresh fruits etc served with a jug of fresh ice cold milk. The sort of thing you would expect in a 7 star hotel. Truly the king of kings when it comes to cornflakes. Great value at only 250 pesos per serving.
Jambalaya is run by a Swiss couple. A friendly enough guy called Easy and his German speaking wife Melee who is also the one and only Cook at Jambalaya. The smallish restaurant is cozy. The walls are decorated with vinyl L.P. record sleeves from Louisiana U.S.A. more colorful informative signs and many thought provoking quotes: my favorite quote was: I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it! And Yvonne’s was: The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
The highlight of Jambalaya is definitely the quality and freshness of the food. But Juna theTuna the waitress and trainee manager also deserves a mention. Hello Juna hope you get a chance to read this story. Juna impressed us with her command of English, her friendly welcoming smile attentive to detail. Always checking if we were all okay. If we need anything just press this bell she would say. She was always repeating the orders and never once misunderstood us or got the order wrong. Juna was genuinely interested to know where we came from, we let her know that we live in London England and told her stories about our hectic lifestyle, she told us of her plans to travel in the future. We told her how lucky she was to stay here in Port Barton!
On our last night we treated ourselves we booked a table at Jambalaya for 6pm. So we could catch the amazing orange purpley sunset. While enjoying the eclectic mix of music, which included early reggae calypso, Beatles songs, downhome blues, a bit of classical, Motown, some nursery rhymes (weird) and hardcore authentic 1930s Cajun fiddle music. We enjoyed a Pina Colada and a La Bomba cocktail, best Pina Colada ever, and the coolest looking glass for the La Bomba.
Juna surprised us with a free complimentary serving of homemade hot pita bread with freshly made humus and olive dip. Then we ordered two Cajun Fish Filet Specials which came to our table after a wait of about only 30 minutes. Served up on a sizzling hot cast iron plate. That was a small but adequate portion of Jambalaya with mixed veg with an amazingly large piece of perfectly cooked fish. It was Jackfish. We squeezed the juice from a calamansi fruit over the Cajun spiced fish. It was quite amazing compared to other fish we had eaten in the Philippines, for a start there were no bones to pick thru, the fish was not in the least overcooked. The Jackfish had a succulent super fresh texture and taste. Melt in your mouth. Simply delicious.
After the satisfying meal. Juna asked if we would like to sign the Jambalaya Guestbook! We happily volunteered to have our photo taken, and wrote something nice. The Guestbook is full of positive comments and photos of the many satisfied customers that have enjoyed dining at Jambalaya over the last few years. If in any doubt about eating at Jambalaya just take a look at their Guestbook! The proof is in the pudding. Actually we’re too full for pudding!
We decided to end the evening with a few more cocktails this time we tried the Mrs Sippy cocktails, a great way to end a fantastic memorable evening.
They also had a fantastic selection of wines on display but unfortunately that was beyond our budget.
All in all Jambalaya proved to be value for money. You get what you pay for.
It was not too expensive. Thanks to all the staff at Jambalaya for making our stay in Port Barton a memorable one.
Marcus and Yvonne Richman, London, U.K.
Favorite Dish: Breakfast: Mega Mix Cornflakes and a REAL Latte
Lunch: Tuna Mayo Sandwich and a Banana Milkshake
Dinner: Cajun Fish Filet Special and Ice Cold Beer
We had our breakfast here and they did prepare our food for lunch during our island hopping.
Owners are very friendly are are always ready to help each of their guests.
Their added service:
I saw some foreign tourists renting masks and snorkels at the counter too...
We came across this place while walking in the rain and it looked like a good place to stop and eat and keep dry! Their menu was up on the wall and looked very colourful. The prices seemed very good too, so we had no trouble in ordering food that sounded yummy! The waiter was a very energetic guy who had the music system on quite loud and was singing away to all the latest top 40 singles! It was funny to be literally in the middle of nowhere and yet be listening to music that we knew of and to have our Filipino waiter singing along too!
This was the first place we had dinner in and it was where we learnt about the long waiting time for food that we would be experiencing the rest of the trip! We were about to scream after 40mins of waiting and then it finally came! The waiter seemed unfazed by everything and just carried on singing!
Favorite Dish: I had special fried rice which was certainly NOT 'special' and completely bland and stodgy:( My friends had chicken adobo and pork adobo. They both said it was ok, but a little tough and salty. We had heard that the fish curry was the best dish there, but they didn't have it that time, so a few days later, we went back.
This time I had one of the dishes on their special board (I had obviously not learnt my lesson when it came to 'special' things there!) and ordered the seafood spaghetti with garlic bread. My friends ordered the fish curry, chicken adobo (again!) and a Thai coconut and vegetable soup. My spaghetti only had taste of the seasoning they went a little overboard on, but the squid was too rubbery and I just couldn't finish it, there was no point it seemed. The chicken adobo was received well, the soup was delicious but way too much and the fish curry was as good as we had been told, but again, way too much of it!
So do please try this place out as even though it does seem hit and miss there it has a good vibe and if nothing else, you can listen to some good music!
I had passed this place several times and it looked quite classy compared to the beach restaurants we had been going to. My friends suggested we eat there for my birthday as a treat! So we went there in the evening and had some great food! We shared chicken adobo (are you seeing a trend here!), grilled fish, chicken curry and seafood. We also had our first calamansi juice, which is a twist between a lime and lemon. The fruit is very small balls, smaller than clementines and they are green. It was really sour and definitely needed some sugar, but we finally knew what it tasted of and continued to buy them but squeeze them into our rum and cokes…very tasty!!!
Favorite Dish: The waitress’ attitude was lacking, no smiles or anything really, so that would be my only negative thing to say about the place. They have an inside area and a garden outside so nice for all year round seating. Again, the time you need to wait for food is loooooooooong!
Go here for a special dinner and some good food!
Right on the beach front, this restaurant has an extensive menu of both foreign and Filipino dishes as well as breakfasts, desserts, seafood, fruit shakes and alcohol! We asked what ‘Busero’ meant and we were told it meant ‘diver’. This could make sense as in Spanish ‘buscar’ means ‘to search’, so to an extent, a diver is always searching for something. I have yet to check the meaning myself though.
Open front restaurant where the beach dogs can come and join you (if you so wish!), the cockerels roam around freely and you can observe the children playing on the beach, watch the sea come in and out and in general, feel like you’re in paradise! One of their many coconut trees in the evening is full of bats, so keep your head low!!!
Favorite Dish: I had quite a few things here, including the ‘American Breakfast’, banana shakes, gambas in a tomato sauce and tuna spaghetti! All were very very good. The prices were reasonable and the portions large. But once again, the time you wait for your food to arrive is painfully long and I got my breakfast one day quicker than my banana shake! Basically, there is no hurry in these parts. When they feel like doing something, they’ll do it, otherwise you’ve got to wait and that’s how it is!
The attitude of the girls there needs a little improvement as there were very few smiles, but I realized the day I was leaving Port Barton, that they were actually very nice and we had a good conversation with them…so maybe I judged them too quickly.
I would definitely go back here for the food and drinks, the view and the bats!!! Well maybe not the bats!!!
We first saw this place as we came in on the jeepney as it made a quick stop to drop off deliveries and I remembered reading about it, so made a mental note of where it was. Later that night we stopped by to get some banana and mango shakes and the staff were very friendly and polite. We ended up adding some rum to the shakes for something more exciting and staying a few hours over what we had originally planned! But we were on holiday and so time was non-existent! Well that is, until the electricity gets cut off at midnight!
Ayette's Bamboo House Restaurant is run and owned by a lovely lady called Bernadette. Her daughter is Ayette, hence the name of the place! Her family also runs one of the jeepneys that ply the Port Barton-Roxas route, so you can always come here and ask for information about that too!
The restaurant has a covered area and an outside part which is dotted with flowers, plants and trees. It really is a cosy hideaway once you're inside the gate and the staff, as I already mentioned are helpful, friendly and very polite. The only negative thing I have to say, and this goes to all the restaurants in Port Barton, is that the drinks and food take SO long to arrive. I don't think this is because there's a shortage of hands in the kitchen as there always seem to be many people around, but I'm not quite sure what it is down to? Maybe it's because they are using gas appliances over electric, but it shouldn't be! We were often left waiting 20-30mins for the shakes and 40mins for the food.
Favorite Dish: We tried so many different things on the menu, from stuffed crabs, calamares, banana and mango pancakes, fish curry, chicken adobo, breakfasts and different drinks that we must have enjoyed it because we kept going back for more! They open around 6am for breakfast to catch those people taking the 730am jeepney and this works perfectly as no-one else is open at that time!
I came here for dessert on my birthday. I really wanted a banana pancake but more crepe style than American thick pancake style which is how they usually serve them. My friend asked if we could have it crepe style without me realising and so it was a lovely surprise to see it come out exactly how I like them! I thought that was a lovely thing for them to do. Then one of the children came up to me with an apple as a birthday present! Super nice of them!
They have a shop attached to the restaurant where the prices for certain things are exactly the same so you don't need to sneak in a bottle of water to the restaurant thinking it will be more expensive there! Tried and tested!
I definitely recommend this place for reasonably priced food, good atmosphere and nice management and staff. Thank you Bernadette for looking after us so well!
You can cook food at the cottages of Greenviews Resort that has a kitchen for each hut. These kitchens are provided with utensils which you can use. After fishing or just simply buying from the market will allow you to prepare dishes for the entire group.
This place is only gets going in the season and is run by an English guy and his wife, popular happy hour. Like a morgue in the off season.
Cagayan restaurant is set back 2 blocks from the beach behind Elsa's. It serves precooked meals and has an extensive menu. Simple place, friendly people, ideal for those on a tight budget
Nice restaurant with Phillipino food and Pizza, has also a book exchange.
Favorite Dish: Fish Kinilaw, fish marinated in lime with ginger and chili.