Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ocean Restaurant @ Club Paradise Palawan [Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner]

There are only 2 outcomes when dining in an exclusive restaurant in an island — great or meh. Why? You will go hungry if you don’t like what the exclusive restaurant serves and this time, exclusive doesn’t mean members only but rather, the only choice you have. More often than not, you won’t have any problems if you are visiting an upscale resort like the Club Paradise Palawan in Coron. Ocean Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also serve a variety of cuisine. Will it be also the case this time? Read on.

For breakfast, they are open from 6am~930am. If you have a scheduled activity earlier than that, they can pack your breakfast for you (maybe a sandwich, not sure) so you can have breakfast on the way to where you are heading. If you are staying for the breakfast buffet spread, more or less, it's included in the room rates already. To get an idea of what they usually serve during breakfast, check out the list below (The selection we had during our stay. It could change from time to time.):

Different kinds of fresh breads (with butter and jam, on the side)
Potato hash brown
Baked tomato w/ parmesan
Fusilli in caper cream sauce
Zucchini fritters
Baked tuna
Alia oglio w/ capers
Fried bangus
Beef steak tagalog
Garlic fried rice
Steamed rice
Egg station (Have your eggs cooked the way you like it)
Cheese selection and cold cuts
Cereal station
Fresh fruits
Coffee / Tea

During my first breakfast, I was scheduled to head out for my island hopping activity around 630am so I had time to eat around 6am. I had rice, tapa, longanisa, and egg. The tapa was a bit on the chewy side but the rest was superb! I just had light breakfast because I was riding a speedboat on the way to the mainland. The local coffee they served was also good but eating this Filipino breakfast spread was made even more special by something that cannot be achieved even if prepared by a 5-star Michelin chef. You know what’s that? The view. Yes, the tapa might be a bit on the stubborn chewy side but everything else was great!  The view while eating the breakfast makes you think out loud — thank God for this wonderful life that I get to see this view you made and enjoy all these food.

The second breakfast was the day I was leaving. I had a wonderful leisurely breakfast that day as we were scheduled to leave around 1030am. We had enough time to kayak around the island and have a wonderful breakfast around 8am. Overall, breakfast at Ocean Restaurant? Just like any other restaurant in an upscale resort but with priceless views!!

Lunch offerings may vary. Depending on the number of guests left on the island (remember, they also own the restaurant so they more or less know how many people are staying for lunch and how many are doing activities outside the island), they would either offer buffet, set menu, or ala carte. They are very flexible. If they are serving buffet but you just want to have a light lunch, check out their menu (I have a photo of it at the bottom of this post). If you are hungry, either go get from their buffet or if not available, check out their set menu. I highly recommend the set menu. Why? At first, I didn’t know there was a set menu. I was looking at the ala carte menu and was planning on ordering the ribs. It costs around 495. Later on, I saw the set menu and opted for that because for just around 1299, you get soup, salad, sausage, pasta, ribs, dessert, and fresh fruits! I’m pretty sure you won’t want anything else after that.. it's a feast fit for a king! Here's what we had on the set menu we got:

Clam Chowder - We are very much used to the creamy one but Club Paradise gave it a little twist, more of their own version of it. It was more of a semi-clear soup with a greener hue (It's more vegetable based) and I loved every single sip of it! Plus, adding bay leaf actually gave it a distinct flavor. A word of caution, they serve their soup fresh from the kitchen so IT IS PIPING HOT! Just the way I want my soup to be. Who wants my cold soup anyway?

We were also given bread and butter after which it was followed by salad.

Cobb Salad - Similar to the salad we often eat in Manila. Nothing very special except that the veggies were crunchy and fresh. For a lot of us, freshness of the salad matters a lot. Wasn't able to finish this because we were looking forward to the next course. Haha!

Corn Chip Crusted Sausage - This appetizer was actually unique because the sausage was wrapped with bits of corn chips all around. It was both visually and palate-fully appealing. It comes with a citrusy salsa-like siding and it was a good match with the crunchy sausage.

It was actually my first time to try out a calamari pasta and it was yummy! The white sauce is very creamy and I love the sun-dried tomatoes! Perfect as I prefer white pasta over red.

Hickory Glazed Pork Belly with Pan Roasted Potatoes - The pork belly was very tender and juicy, the rib sauce they served it with was a perfect match! This dish was the one I was originally planning to order and it didn't disappoint! Take note that this is perfect with rice so forget about your diet first! As the server jokingly said, they do not allow "diets" in the island!

On top: Mango mango mango ; Below: Halo Halo Turon
Mango Mango Mango Cheesecake - Yes, you read it right! It's Fresh mango, mango coulis (puree) and mango ihassi. You might think that it's mango overload and too sweet but actually, it tastes just right. Do take note that it is a size of a mini-cake (usually the small sized cakes served in coffee shops) so the serving is really generous. We were served one each, we ended up taking the other whole to our room. So happy they allowed!

The halo-halo Turon is definitely a must try! Who would have thought that halo-halo can be made into a yummy turon? If we thought the mango dessert was good already, this one was our unanimous favorite!

In addition to the set menu, we were also served fresh fruits - watermelon, pineapple and mango. Because we were already very full, we had to have it wrapped and enjoyed it in the room during snack time.

Overall, the set menu in Ocean Restaurant was really filling and good! It may seem pricey but when you want a quality full course meal and to get to try most of the dishes that Ocean Restaurant offers, their set menu is perfect. You get what you pay for, as they say. For this one? You get MORE than what you pay for.

I forgot to mention before that during lunch or dinner buffet spreads, the food also varies. One buffet was Italian and another was Singaporean. I think the other meal I tried was the Japanese themed buffet. Again, the fact that I have nothing bad to say says a lot. Remember my other reviews here? Yes, If I have something bad to say, I will say it. But honestly, on buffet spreads, you can't like them all. It all depends on your preference. What we usually can describe are our favorites and an overall view of the food served. While some buffet may have a million of dishes in place, they may not be as quality as a smaller selection. I know you get my point.

What made our last dinner buffet special was the fact that they set us up a seat for two by the beach. You heard it right.. Mr unromantic (me) scored some (pogi) points care of the Ocean Restaurant team by setting a dinner by the beach, under the moonlight and some cute circular lights. The food initially was served to us by their very proactive servers but later on, we decided to get food on our own by the buffet spread. Remember my super nice breakfast view experience? This is the evening version of it. Cool breeze, soft powdery sand, music from the sea, and alone time having dinner with my wife. Think of it was one of those you see in magazines or movies. Dinner for two by the beach. Guys, It's real here. It happened to me and it can happen to anyone who will visit this island! It’s a perfect dinner date! I don’t know what else to add to improve it (other than it being a perfect proposal site *hint*)? I can’t think of anything else to add to that perfect dinner that will be forever remembered.

By now, you’d know that the ONLY restaurant in the island is the ONLY thing you’d ever need and more! Who’s expecting those surprises? If you want to make sure you surprise your wife, a kind request to one of their many courteous staffs that you’d want a dinner date by the beach setup will surely be granted. Yes, the Ocean Restaurant restaurant in Club Paradise Palawan might not serve 5-star Michelin food offerings but what they serve is food with quality, vegetables that are fresh and views you can't get anywhere else in the world, regardless if it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner! It’s a meal worth having with priceless memories that will stay with you and your loved one forever — something money cannot buy.

Want to know more about this restaurant?
Ocean Restaurant at Club Paradise Palawan (Website)

Ocean Restaurant Menu

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