Isla Naburot: A Foodie’s Haven

As shared in my previous post, our dining experience in Isla Naburot was so satisfying it requires a separate post.

my Continental breakfast

my Continental breakfast

Isla Naburot’s room rate is at Php 12,000 per night and inclusive of 3 meals.  It’s expensive, yes, but the experience is definitely worth splurging on and the food is so good it in itself is worth coming back to.

Food is served buffet-style in the main hall.  Once it’s ready a staff would ring a bell to remind their guests that it’s meal time.

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the main hall, with its lovely views of the beach and islets

Note that drinks are not included in the room rates, but you can charge it in your room (at the main hall is a board where they tally your drinks expense).

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Day 1, Lunch

What makes Isla Naburot’s food special is its home-cooked style of cooking.  Our lunch consisted of grilled fish and squid, green mango and tomato salad, and blanched kangkong (swamp cabbage, Ipomoea aquatica).  Ginataang tahong with kalabasa and malunggay (mussels cooked in coconut milk, with pumpkin and moringa leaves) was our soup while dessert were the sweetest and freshest mangoes.  This was also the first time that I tasted the very fleshy Managat fish, which according to the owners, is one of the most expensive type of fish in Iloilo.

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Our lunch was really good.  I’m not a fan of unriped mangoes, but their mango and tomato salad wasn’t as sour as I thought.  The grilled chicken was tasty and cooked just right, and so was the squid.  The kangkong was also perfectly blanched.  The soup was new to me because we usually don’t cook our mussels in coconut milk, but it was surprisingly good.

Day 1, Merienda (PM Snacks)
Come mid-afternoon, after our swim, the owners approached us to ask if we want some bitso-bitso.  It is a kakanin (delicacy) made from glutinous rice, coated in sugar then deep fried, so it’s crunchy and chewy at the same time.

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I haven’t eaten bitso-bitso since I was a child, so I really enjoyed this treat.

Day 1, Dinner
Dinner was miso soup, salad, grilled pork and shrimp, pancit, and turon ( turrón de banana) for dessert.  I’m not really a fan of miso soup so I took only a few spoonfuls.  I’m not a veggie person too so I just picked hard boiled eggs, carrots, lettuce, and avocado for my salad ingredients.  The grilled pork was good while the shrimp was a little overcooked.  The dessert was very delicious.  I loved how they wrapped each turon so thinly so it was very crunchy.

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Pardon the photo quality.  It was too dark so I had to use flash.  Still, it was a memorable experience to dine underneath a crescent moon, with tropical views like this.

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Day 2. Breakfast
Breakfast was mostly fruits.  The main photo of this post is of my breakfast, which consisted of fruits and bread.  Papaya is one of my least favorite fruits, but the papaya in Isla Naburot was sweet and not overripe.  The mangoes as usual were sweet and the banana was also not overripe.

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Later, they served omelette.  The other thing I appreciate about the food here was the presentation, say the fresh flowers like this hibiscus.

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So pretty.  The omelette, though needed more salt.

Day 2, Merienda (AM Snacks)
It’s also interesting how in a secluded island like Isla Naburot, they have a steady supply of fruits, which made me think that their price isn’t that expensive considering they had to bring everything, including drinking water to the island).  At the main hall were fruits in season like mangoes, indian mangoes, banana, pineapple, papaya, and santol (cottonfruit, Sandoricum koetjape).

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I chose indian mangoes for our morning snacks.  This is my favorite mango variety since it’s always sweet and perfect when dipped in bagoong alamang (shrimp paste).

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Yummy.  And again, looked at how the staff presented this nicely.

Day 2. Lunch
While our one-night stay was inclusive of only 3 meals, the owners asked us to again join them for lunch before heading back to Iloilo (I thought it’s because my friend and they have common friends).

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They served kadyos (Pigeon pea) soup, which really pleased my friend because she’s been craving for one since we landed in Iloilo (kadyos is a favorite Ilonggo dish), pork barbecue, bean sprouts, salad, and to my delight, the flavorful and fleshy Managat fish.

We had fresh crabs too and it was really good.

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And thus was our dining experience in Isla Naburot, the island with a soul, which is also a foodie’s haven.

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