One of the great pleasures of revisiting Boracay is the eats. For an island no more than 10 square kilometers, the place offers a wide range of international cuisine, establishments wooiing diners with new flavors and treats. After the sun goes down on White Beach, it’s a heady experience wading through restos and discerning which ones are worth the visit. I was fortunate enough to visit for a writing assignment. Appropriately, food was the topic so even though stuffing your face day in and day out to gather notes on the food is hardly the way to really enjoy the eating experience, I’m grateful for the opportunity. Here, I write about Ka-on and Ambassador in Paradise, two dining destinations on the island worth revisiting.
Years ago, a popular donut brand advertised its croissants to the strains of French music to convey authenticity. In the same vein, a popular coffee brand showed a couple sipping their instant coffee in lieu of café au lait with Paris in the background. Then, there was also a time when two French-themed bakeries went head-to-head to stage their version of the French Revolution, armed with baguettes and French bread. You’d think by now a lot of Filipinos would be more familiar with French cuisine but ask the casual foodie what his/her favorite French food is and most likely you’d get a blank stare. Or pray you don’t get “French fries” for an answer.
Well, that must be because we don’t really have French influences in our culture, including our cuisine, much in the same way as our neighbors such as Vietnam and Cambodia have, being French territories in the past. Much of what the casual foodie knows about French food points to either the ‘Filipinized’ taste of French breads and pastries or the gastronomic treats that sound intimidating to the ear and even more so to the pocket. Which is why an invitation to sample French comfort food at Cuillere in Serendra at Bonifacio High Street, came as a refreshing and welcome experience, sans pretensions and intimidation.
I’ve always had a penchant for Thai food ever since I’ve encountered it a long time ago way back when Flavors and Spices, one of the pioneers of Thai cuisine in the country, was around. Then, there was also the more mainstream but nonetheless delicious offerings of Sukhothai. I had this notion that it’s pretty hard not to like Thai food because for all the differences it had with local fare, there are some striking similarities – the use of a shrimp paste, nam pla, for example bears strong resemblance to our bagoong and patis. Some of the flavors are also familiar – the liberal use of lemongrass or tanglad, lime juice, chilis and coconut milk.
It’s not everyday that I hanker for Thai food but I somehow lament the fact that it’s not as commonly available as before. Until I found out that there’s a Thai restaurant along Pasong Tamo that serves great Thai food – Thai Sticks ‘n Steaks. The blurb outside says its cuisine is inspired by Sukhothai. Don’t let the funky name fool you, the food is really very good. So come inside and let’s taste what it has to offer.