Palawan may be known around the globe for its remarkable beaches, but the culinary adventure you can experience in the crowned “best island in the world” is also one that shouldn’t be missed out on. An island rich in natural resources, Palawan also never fails to delight the palates of its visitors. Everything there just tastes better. The fruits are sweeter, and the seafood? Always divinely fresh.
WATCH: Palawan from Above and Below, a Stunning Video of The World’s Best Island
Celebrity chef Sau Del Rosario shares the same sentiment too, towards Palawan, that when he was tapped by Best Western Plus’ The Ivywall Hotel in Puerto Princesa to craft the menus of their two flagship restaurants, Balayong Grill and Bar and Anibong Restaurant, he couldn’t resist the offer.
We got to check out these two restaurants during our recent trip to Palawan, and here are some of the dishes they offer.
Balayong Grill and Bar
Found within the property of The Ivywall Hotel is the casual al fresco dining destination, Balayong Grill and Bar—a perfect go-to restaurant for a chill night out in Puerto Princesa. A small stage can be seen at one end, ready to host live music. The place was packed with locals and tourists when we were there, as the special night brought in big music acts Itchyworms and Rico Blanco, each offering their own kind of stellar performance. DJ Joyce Pring hosted the celebration.
And the food at Balayong, crafted by none other than Chef Sau Del Rosario, aims to represent the best Palawan has to offer, with a modern tapas twist. Here are some of the dishes we got to try:
This is what Balayong is all about. Comfort food, drinks, friends, and good, live music. The open-air setting of the restaurant, beneath the breeze of trees and some mood lights really set a perfect ambiance to boot. You’ll really feel the Palawan soul here.
Our personal favorites: Crispy Pata, Squid Rings, and Beef Salpicao.
If you’re looking for a more homey setting, within the establishment of The Ivywall Hotel is their in-house restaurant, Anibong. Named after an exquisite native Palawan palm tree, Anibong Restaurant also seeks to make its guests feel the same warmth and comfort the tree would for anyone who would come to rest beneath its shade.
Although Anibong’s menu extends beyond the Filipino cuisine—covering Asian and Western offerings as well—it’s the warm Palawan heart at the core of the restaurant that makes this place worthy of a visit.
Here are the dishes we tried and loved:
Slow Cooked Pork Adobo
Ox Tail and Ox Tripe Kare-Kare
Choice of Sinigang Tamarind Soup: Prawns, Salmon Head and Belly, or Pork
Pan Grilled Salmon in Lemon Dill Sauce
Sushi and Sashimi Platter
All Meat Pizza
New York Cheesecake
Our personal favorites: Pan Grilled Salmon in Lemon Dill Sauce, Sinigang na Hipon, and Slow Cooked Pork Adobo.
Where to find these: The Ivywall Hotel
If you’re traveling to Puerto Princesa, your experience can’t be complete without the ideal home away from home to stay in. Balayong Grill and Bar and Anibong Restaurant are housed within Best Western Plus The Ivywall Hotel, right in the heart of Palawan’s charming capital. The Ivywall Hotel is merely 10 minutes away from Puerto Princesa’s International Airport, surrounded by everything you’ll need while you’re in the island.
Here’s what we loved. An affiliate of the international chain Best Western Hotels and Resorts, The Ivywall Hotel provides excellent service, amenities, and overall ambiance. From the minute we stepped in at the hotel lobby, we were charmed not only by the warm reception by the hotel staff, but by the place’s tasteful design everywhere you look—it’s modern yet simple, with elegant touches of traditional Filipino materials that say, “We’re proudly Filipino.” The Ivywall Hotel was built by DataLand, Inc., the same property developer behind The Silk Residences in Manila and The Olive Place in Mandaluyong.
The 120 guest rooms of the hotel—from deluxe rooms, couples rooms, family rooms, to suites—are as cozy as hotel rooms can get. You might want to set your alarm volumes up to make sure you get up. You’ll find it hard to leave your comfy bed—at least that’s what happened to us.
But walk around the five-story building and you’ll discover the hotel’s complete amenities. Swimming pool and pool side bar, a gym, a spa, a souvenir shop, and function rooms for events and meetings. And don’t forget Anibong Restaurant and Balayong Grill and Bar too, to complete the whole Puerto Princesa staycation experience.
Traveling to Puerto Princesa soon? Restaurants Anibong and Balayong Grill and Bar, plus The Ivywall Hotel are all waiting to give you that lovely Palawan experience you seek.
Best Western Plus The Ivywall Hotel
Balayong Bar and Grill