With its stunning white sand beaches, the majestic Underground River, and other breathtaking views, Puerto Princesa City is undeniably a piece of the Palawan paradise. But after all that island-hopping, water sports, touring and the like, there is always one best way to end your day: dining at the best place there is!
This is what Balayong Grill & Bar offers foreign and Filipino tourists alike: an al-fresco dining experience within the confines of Palawan's modern midscale hotel, the Best Western Plus: The Ivywall Hotel. Here they serve delectable local cuisine made with signature meat and fresh seafood ingredients straight from Palawan’s morning catch.
And in case you're wondering, balayong refers to the Palawan cherry, one of the popular attractions that can also be found in the city of Puerto Princesa. Locally, it symbolizes femininity and love.
But enough of that, because Balayong Grill & Bar is prepping up their newest lineup of dishes that will surely make you fall in love with this Palawan resto! To give you a peek, here's a first look at the scrumptious fare.
For starters you can try out the Ube Lumpiang Ubod (P225). Three rolls of sauteed vegetables are wrapped in thin ube or purple yam crepes, served with a cup of peanut sauce and bits of cashew, one of the well-known products of Palawan.
Other ideal starters are the Shrimps in Coconut Lemongrass (P180/Solo; P350/Sharing) which has the sour tangy flavor that Filipinos love in their soup; the Steamed Mushroom Parcels (P250) made with Puerto Princesa’s oyster mushrooms steamed inside a banana leaf; and the Pako & Lato Salad (P225) which combines the pako fern and lato seaweed with sea grapes, watermelon, and tomatoes to make up a bowl of salad served with coconut vinaigrette.
For the main course, of course Filipino meals are never complete without rice, but even better is to pair your dish with fried rice. The Tinapa Pineapple Fried Rice (P150) blends the saltiness of tinapa or smoked fish and the sweetness of pineapple, both subtle enough in taste and texture to still complement whatever dish it is paired with.
As for the Filipino dishes to go with your rice, you can try the Piaparan Chicken (P240). Rich in texture and flavor, this Maranao dish is made from native chicken braised with coconut milk, turmeric, and chili with dessicated coconut on top.
Kissed by the grill are fresh seafood as well as skewered meat barbecues. Just a look at their Grilled Lapu-Lapu (P120/100g) and you know it has been grilled to perfection. Thoroughly cooked and very tender, this dish almost melts in the mouth!
Other grilled goodies like the Shrimps (P180/100g) and the 3-Cut Pork BBQ Skewers (P175) are also paired with the Nam Jim sauce, a Thai dip that resembles the sour flavor of vinegar, which, as many Filipinos know, is just perfect for their inihaw.
A medley of fresh seafood turned into a Filipino kare-kare dish is just something you can’t miss at Balayong. This Cashew Butter Seafood Kare-Kare (P400/Solo; P750/Sharing) is elegantly served on a platter with the vegetables, prawns, squid, shellfish, and other seafood available for the season, surrounding the homemade cashew butter sauce. Of course you also get bagoong to complete your kare-kare meal.
The Beef Salpicao (P220/Solo;P425/Sharing) is a flavorful affair between the beef tenderloin strips, fried and confit garlic, and the shiitake mushroom sauce. Every bite is seeping with the sweet, salty, and ‘garlicky’ combination of flavors.
Up for dessert are three confections each with its own sweet profile. Taste the sweetness of the tropics with the Mango Sago (P150), which is a fluffy coconut and lemon infused cream tapioca pudding crowned with the diced pieces of mango.
Another decadent treat, this time crowned with Parmesan crisps is the Ube Halaya Mousse (P150). Its light purple yam base mashed with cream and milk is a light assault of sweetness to the tongue complemented by the subtle saltiness of its cheese toppings.
Balayong also puts a twist on the popular Filipino dessert halo-halo by adding one peculiar topping: fire. This flambeed dessert from their original menu called the Flaming Halo-Halo (P250) is sure to impress diners with a “wow” factor.
To complete your Balayong experience, there's also the Cultural Dinner Show featuring the Indak Palawan dance group performing a variety of Filipino folk dances.
So if you're planning to make your nights in Puerto Princesa as memorable as your activities by the day, Balayong Grill & Bar is the place to go! Just a few minutes away from the airport and you can get your fill of authentic Filipino cuisine and cultural experience.
Balayong Grill & Bar is located within the vicinity of the Best Western Plus: The Ivywall Hotel, Rizal Avenue Extension, Puerto Princesa, Palawan. For more information, you can visit their Facebook page, or contact them through this number: (048) 416 5100.