Batanes: Jmacmae’s Bar and Restaurant

This is the restaurant closest to Rapitan di Vasay, which was where we stayed in Batanes, so most of our meals were from here.

Our first meal here was on our first day. For lunch, we ordered the following:

1 Upland Rice Php 60
1 Fish Fillet Php 150
1 Fern Salad Php120
1 C2 Apple Php 30
1 Iced Tea Php 15
Total: Php 375

This was not the first time that I had eaten brown rice, but I was just surprised that Batanes’ upland rice was kind of glutinous. It’s yummy though, and smelled of pandan (fragrant screw pine).

The Fish Fillet was okay, though I find it a little bland that I had to smother each piece with its accompanying sweet chili sauce. It was crunchy though as it was served hot.

The Fern Salad is a must! It might look unappetizing because of the chopped carrots and tomatoes piled on top, but trust me, it’s really good.

All in all, it was a good lunch.

Dinner time came. We were supposed to dine at Bunker Café, but it was closed because they did not have running water. Since Jmacmae was closest to where we were staying, we decided to again eat here. This particular meal was included in our tour package so we really had no say on what to order and had no idea on its cost.

When the food was served, I was delighted to see the turmeric rice, which is a type of rice dish flavored with turmeric, a spice with a distinctive yellow hue that gives the dish a mustard yellow color. This spice is made from turmeric root, which is closely related to ginger. I read about this when I was researching about dining options in Batanes, and it was nice to finally experience one of my Batanes must-tries.

The chop suey was also good and reminded me of my dad’s cooking, which was really a big compliment since my dad’s chop suey was excellent (Oh how I miss him and his cooking). I also loved the chicken skin of our fried chicken because it was tasty and crunchy, but the meat lacked marination and was not tasty enough. The sweet and sour fish was okay, but not really outstanding. The dessert (banana turon with jackfruit) though was something else – sweet, delicious, and the perfect item to cap our dinner off.

My last meal from this restaurant was my dinner before we left Batanes. Aside from turmeric rice, Batanes Adobo was also included in my “must-eats” and our very accommodating tour guide Kuya Jun offered to order it from Jmacmae and have it delivered to Rapitan di Vasay so I could taste it before I left.

You might be wondering why I was craving for Batanes Adobo. You see, like maybe most Filipinos, I love Adobo, which some consider our unofficial national dish. It is a cuisine marinated and simmered in soy sauce and vinegar. My interest was piqued though when during my travel planning, I read that Batanes Adobo does not use these typical ingredients. What more, it’s dry and merely utilizes salt.

When my Batanes Adobo was delivered, I eagerly dug into it and was not really surprised when I saw that it was dry and looked like deep-fried pork cuts instead of the usual adobo.

Taste-wise, it also tasted like fried pork, except that it was tastier, perhaps due to it being well-marinated in brine.  Here’s a close-up shot.


Lastly, I’ll end this post with a reminder to those who are planning a trip to Batanes. Please do lower your restaurant expectations ambience-wise because with the exception of Fundacion Pacita, the restaurants in Batanes are not the typical city restaurants. Here’s how Jmacmae Bar and Restaurant looks like:


Jmacmae’s Bar and Restaurant is located in National Road corner Castillejos Street, Kaychanarianan, Basco, Batanes. Contact them through +63999-372-0390.


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