12.28.2017

White House Beach Lounge : STILL The Ultimate and Hippest Chill Out Lounge in the Island

Family-owned and Family-run resort by the Tirol family in the early 90's, Built by Leonard and Nenette Tirol, it started out as literally as a "White House" the family's vacation house (Puting Bahay) in what we now know as Station 1 which is the most prime portion of the island. It was one of the first known establishments in Boracay. I remember this was the "place to be" for happy hour and sunset cocktails back then when I used to frequent the island with friends and it STILL remains to be LIT until now. I was so excited to revisit it now with my family in tow.

White House Beach Lounge now offers an all-day dining, chilling and lounging area where you can relax, enjoy the breathtaking view of the sea and sample their delectable and eclectic Filipino and International dishes.  Newly refurbished and renovated, the look now is clean and luxurious yet maintains the chill vibe inspired by Blu Marlin Ibiza.

Their kitchen is run by renowned celeb chef Martin Jickain who curated a menu that focuses on a fusion of asian and continental creations inspired by his travels.

What makes the WHITE HOUSE Lounge experience unique? It's all found in the SMALL DETAILS... cold towel upon arrival to feel refreshed, controlled music volume so it's never too loud and "in your face" allowing you to really enjoy great conversation (one of my pet peeves), a fully attentive and friendly staff plus an automated button available at your table so you can just press to order/pay your bill..


 I wanted to cleanse from all the drinking the previous night so I stayed away from alcohol first and settled on a nice watermelon shake to start.


Every time  I see TRUFFLE FRIES on the menu, I feel compelled to order it because let's face it, who doesn't love this? Truffle makes everything taste better. 


Henri approves! 


ANGUS SAMPLER- 3 Juicy Australian Angus Sliders that comes with different sauces - blue cheese, BBQ sauce and a regular cheeseburger



We also sampled their famous Four Cheese PANIZZA which is always hit with kids (and adults as well...
 It's a thin crust rectangular pizza cut into strips with shredded romaine, homemade chili oil and salsa on the side.



Step 1 : Get a bunch of romaine lettuce and some salsa and spoon it on one edge of the panizza strip....



Step 2 : Ready, Set, ROLL until the edge.



Step 3 : Dunk in Chili Oil and Voila! ENJOY just like how Sofia did.

I had to save the best dish for last... *drum roll please*


KIMCHI FRIED RICE 
OMFG!  This was a real STAND OUT WINNER DISH! I say this with much enthusiasm and feeling! This was THE BEST DISH we had there (and possibly one of the BEST food discoveries during this trip!).  It's mild-spiced kimchi fried rice topped with slightly sweet braised beef and a perfectly poached egg.


 The hubby and I enjoyed this tremendously that I feel like it deserves more than one picture. I imagine it would be the BEST HANGOVER MEAL that you can share because the portion is huge (good for 2 pax for sure) . The choriburger just got some serious competition. 
 Up close and personal with the Rice and the melt-in-your-mouth Korean Beef

 TIP : This is best enjoyed by cutting through the poached egg and letting the silky velvety yolk flow through the beef and kimchi rice like lava. Lami kaayo (super delish in Bisaya).


Their manager Civi and I chilling by the newly refurbished pool in the background while exchanging notes about the resort and his journey into discovering the world of Bitcoin (if you are interested on it, follow him on IG @bitcoins_and_boardshorts). 

HappIEST Hour Alert : They offer it ALL DAY from 7 am to 7 pm. 3 Local beers for Php 165 and 50% on all cocktails. Come on over for a beer or two, or three or MORE! Haha!

Cheers,
Pattie

WHITE HOUSE LOUNGE 
Station 1, Boracay
Website : whitehouseboracay.com
FB : www.facebook.com/WHBoracay/
Email : boracaywhitehouse@gmail.com
Telephone : +63 36 288 3675
Mobile : +63 917 595 5995 (Globe)    +63 999 880 2736 (Smart)   +63 922 861 7134 (Sun)


12.27.2017

Kasbah Boracay : A Taste of Morocco on the Island

KASBAH has already earned it's place as one of the Must Eats when you're in the Island. It was opened in 2008 by an English couple who fell in love with Morocco and its culture after a memorable trip there. With a few pieces of furniture that they brought back from their trip and an idea of putting up a small restaurant in mind, the couple started the first (and only) Moroccan joint in the island and in country in fact. Since then, they have been consistent in giving diners a unique and fantastic dining experience.


Kasbah is strategically located in Station One and has one the best views of the famous Boracay Sunset. I came over around 4:30-ish to enjoy their Happy Hour and some Mezze (appetizers). 

One can never go wrong with some refreshing Mojitos and Mezze with this view, right?

Sharing with you what we had from sunset to Dinner... Enjoy!

Kasbah Hummus (Php 160.00)
A nice and welvety puree of chickpea combined with cumin, garlic, tahini and harissa

Harissa Chicken Wings (Php 295.00)
Moroccan version of "Spicy Wings" with preserved lemons and harissa dressing
The Harissa-  a paste made of garlic, chillies, olive oil and salt which definitely added a nice fiery kick to the chicken wings. Woot!  

Gambas Marocain (Php 410.00)
Huge Prawns cooked in a garlic chermoula sauce (a classic Moroccan marinade which is a delivious mix of fresh herbs - parsley, cilantro and garlic, earthy spices and preserved lemon to add acidity) served with a small side salad

Seafood Tagine (Php 235.00)
A stew of fish, prawn, squid and mussels in tomato sauce and saffron. You definitely have to order a Tagine when you're here because it is such a classic Moroccan dish. It is a slow-cooked stew made in a special earthenware also called a Tajine. 

Merguez Sausage
Moroccan Spiced Lamb Sausage (Php 450.00)
This was smoky and flavorful but a tad bit dry. I love how the sauce accentuates the sausage though. It was perfect in between bites of the soft pita.

Spaghetti with Meatballs (Php 235.00)
One of their kid-friendly offerings which was a hit with my two little loves. This is their version of the classic Spaghetti and (lamb) meatballs. For a momma like myself,  I really appreciate specialty restaurants that offer kid-friendly meals with a twist! 




Sofia and Henri with the look of satisfaction from their enjoyable Moroccan pasta. Both their plates were wiped out clean.


 I personally loooove Moroccan cuisine because of its incredible diversity, it's a mixture of cultures and nations - Arab, Moorish and Mediterranean influences. It abounds with a contrast of both strong and subtle spices plus intriguing flavor combinations.


KASBAH offers that and so much more.  They host out-of-the-box events such as Baroque Interstellar Recorder Nights, Live Art Sessions and even Circus Acts to give you a truly unique and exotic dining experience. Stephen Lu, Kasbah's really cool manager, notes that "It's not just about the food but the over-all experience". We will surely keep coming back. In fact, we plan to spend our New Year's Eve dinner here in a few days.


'Til then. Cheers to the New Year!
-Pattie

KASBAH BORACAY
Station 1 Boracay Hway Central, Boracay, Malay, Aklan
*It's right beside Discovery Shores*
Telephone : (036) 288 47 90

Instagram : @kasbahboracay


11.06.2017

A First Timer and Non-Surfer's Guide to SIARGAO : EATS and ACTIVITIES




I have heard a lot of buzz about Siargao, known as the "Surfing Capital of the Philippines" for quite sometime now and I was so curious as to what this island has to offer even to a NON-SURFER like myself.  My husband planned a business trip here last week and I had to grab the opportunity to see the place myself and discover the so-called MAGIC of this island.

TIPS

1.  GET A DIRECT FLIGHT. A few years ago, there were only 1-2 flights a day to Siargao via Cebu Pac. From Manila, you would have to fly to Cebu first and then from there fly to Siargao. You would techically already waste a full day just travelling to get there. Thankfully now, SKYJET already offers a direct fight there! And I believe Cebu Pac will be offering direct flights already starting December. Woohoo! The ticket will cost you about Php 10,000.00 per pax. We got ours with a 20% discount because we used a specific credit card so do watch out for those credit card promos.

Flying Time : 1 hour and 20 minutes



2. RENT A MOTORBIKE. This is the best way to get around the island.
    Rental Fee : Php 500.00 per day


Our ride the whole trip

3. BRING CASH. ATMs are hard to find around the island so it's best you already come prepared. There is an ATM outside the Airport though so you can also get from there as well before heading to your resort/hotel.

EATS

1. KERMIT SIARGAO

Kermit's Restaurant serves hands down THE BEST Italian Cuisine in the island.  The place gives a true and authentic island feel and vibes. It's located off the main road making you trail the inner roads to find this gem. They have two dining places; one is a more chill-out casual setting with low tables and even hammocks (mostly for just in-house guests) and the other is the main dining area with an Al Fresco side. We are so fortunate to have met Gianni who was a gracious host to us with lots of stories to tell about the island and how Kermit came to be. He has truly found home and love in Siargao.



Cold Cuts and Cheese Platter
Php 280.00
Always great with Vino ofcourse (can you spot my glass?)

Signature Pizza : Four Cheese  (Parmesan, Provolone, Gorgonzola, Brie) with Mushrooms

Here at Kermit's, you customize your PIZZA and choose your own toppings. This was their recommended flavor, their bestseller : 4 Cheese Pizza. Most guests order it with Parma Ham but I opted for mushroom instead since we already had some charcuterie. It did not disappoint! I love the texture and lightness of their dough and the unique combination of the cheeses (the gorgonzola was the took the flavor up a notch!).

Papardelle all' Antonio Php 400.00
Freshly made pasta with fresh shrimps in garlic, tomato sauce and chili
My husband was totally blown away by this pasta dish. He said he will keep coming back just for this dish alone!

I love that they make everything from scratch from their bread, pizza dough, pasta and their drinks. They use only the freshest local ingredients from the local market and combine it with imported ingredients from Italy.

*** NOTE :  The place best packed almost every night for dinner so be sure to make a reservation to secure a table! 

... Oh and do yourself a favor and get yourself a GWAPITOS shirt for pasalubong! They have their main store (a nipa hut filled with their GWAPITOS merch) just beside the Main Dining area. 



Kermit Restaurant Siargao
Purok 5, 8419 General Luna
Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte
Contact # +63 977 856 33 21
Website : www.kermitsiargao.com
FB : www.facebook.com/kermitsiargao
IG : @kermitsiargao

2. AVENTINO'S PIZZA

Quick Trivia : Aventino's Pizza started in Cebu and not in Siargao. Mr. Ben Orozco bought it to the island in 2012. It started with just one branch and because of it's success they now have 3 branches in Surigao.


Their Branch near Cloud 9 


Our tummies only had room for 1 pizza and the sure choice was their signature TRICIA Pizza which is their bestseller.


It is a thick pizza made out of 3 layers of thin crust pizzas : (1) Meat (2) Veggies (3) Cheese.

 TRICIA PIZZA Php 360.00
3 thin crust pizzas = 1 thick pizza
According to Ben, "thin na naging thick", get it?



A quick snap with Ben, owner of Aventino's, who took time to tell us this pizzeria started and gave us more recommendations on activities to do in Siargao. Say hello to him when you see him around. They have a couple of villas at the back for rent which are so reasonable. We stayed their during our last 2 nights!

AVENTINO'S PIZZA
Poblacion, Purok  Dos Siargao Island
General Luna, Surigao Del Norte
Facebook : www.facebook.com/AventinosPizzaPasta
IG : @AventinosPizzaPasta
Mobile : 0918 338 8961


3. SHAKA
When in Siargao, definitely SHAKA! This healthy nook had me at smoothie bowls. They serve breakfast all-day food in a casual and hip setting along the main road where you can enjoy the view of the sea.

BOM DIA 
Their signature POWER SMOOTHIE that's packed with anti-aging properties plus energy and immunity boosters that will definitely put you in the best mood~ 
Acai + Mango + Banana + Pineapple + Berries + 
Coconut Milk + Homemade Vegan Granola + Fresh Fruits + Grated Coconut


SUPER BOWL
Natural Yogurt + Island Fruits + Quinoa + Vegan Granola + Honey + Grated Coconut

GREEN OUT
Kale + Saluyot + Spirulina + Cucumber + Pineapple + Ginger + 
Mango + Honey + Granola + Grated Coconut

SHAKA BOWL
Tourism Road, Cloud 9
General Luna, Surigao del Norte
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/shakasiargao/

4. BRAVO
One Word : POMADAS for Php 50! Yes you heard it! Fifty Peso Pomadas, need I say more?  And I don't know if I'm a lightweight but after having just one, I got a nice hit already (if ya know what I mean!). YAAAAS!


Oh and if you happen to be there on a Wednesday, you get FREE TAPAS with their drink/s! Wooot!
Bravo is also known for their Spanish Tapas and Paella (that you must order ahead!). 

We went there again for lunch and tried their food ; 


Tuna Tataki 

Pork Curry 

Bravo Restaurant
Tourism Road, Barangay 5
General Luna, Surigao Del Norte
Contact # +63 905 395 54 93

5. MAMA'S GRILL
If you want a cheap no non-sense dinner of simple grilled meats and rice, you must make a stop here when while in the island.

What to order?  Veggie Kabob, Grilled Fish (we had a medium sized lapu-lapu for only Php 250.00 the next night. I just forgot to take a photo!), Grilled Chicken, Grilled Longganisa/Chorizo



We had all of these for less than Php 500.00. Truly a "sulit" (value for money) meal!
One of the best discoveries I had was Siargao's freshly baked Pan de Coco (Bread with Coconut Meat). OMG! You shouldn't miss out on this merienda. I found two stalls that set-up their little make-shift oven by the roadside every afternoon (around 3:30 pm onwards) located right beside the Town Church.

6. PAN DE COCO

Php 5.00 = Happiness. I'm serious!


One of the best discoveries I had was THIS : Siargao's freshly baked Pan de Coco (Bread with Coconut Meat). OMG! You HAVE to get a hold of these heavenly buns while you're there.  I found two stalls that set-up their little make-shift oven by the roadside every afternoon (around 3:30 pm onwards) located right beside the Town Church.







It's best when it comes just right out of the oven and you excitedly sink your teeth into the really hot bun which will let out steam on your first bite (warning: it may burn your tongue so be careful and give it a few blows first). Lami!


ACTIVITIES  

I had a notion that Siargao was all about SURFING but it's totally more than that! There are tons of activities you can do from lounging around and chilling with your choice of poison, sharing with you what we tried there;

1. SURFING - Well, it IS the top activity here so I figured I might as well give it a shot. It also been on my bucket list for a long time.  I channeled my inner Moana.  "....See the line where the sky meets the sea, it calls me... " admit you sang that!

I popped my surf cherry. It was my first time to surf EVER EVER and I'm glad I experienced it here in the island. The going rate is Php 500.00 per hour to rent the surfboard and have an instructor with you.  Thank you to my instructor Mau! I had an awesome time. I am now a convert, are you even surprised? It was AMAZING!

* Millenials hear this : You can even hire someone for Php 300.00 per hour to get your IG worthy shots while surfing! hahaha!






2.ISLAND HOPPING -

The wonderful and awesome host Gianni (you won't miss him. He is the friendly Italian dude that warmly welcomes everybody) arranged this for us. Siargao's islands are truly worth seeing. You may course your bookings through Kermit's Resort.

We joined a special group that day for the Island Tour. We were 13 in all (12 girls one guy - the hubby was the only thorn amongst the roses). Half of them came to island alone. Most were mending and healing from a past relationship and others just wanted to seek adventure on their own. Well, they came to the perfect paradise.

Price : Php 1,000.00 which includes the tour of three (3) islands aboard their famous MARAJAW boat and an amazing local lunch of seafood, meat, rice, noodles and veg at Daku Island. Oh and it includes booze (beer and softdrinks) as well!

Time : 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

First Snap aboard the MARAJAW



1st Stop : NAKED ISLAND (It's called Naked because it literally does not have trees and just bare!)


2nd stop : DAKU (which means Big/Large in Bisaya) ISLAND where we had our sumptuous Filipino lunch


Veggie Kabob which was a big hit!

Sinuglaw (Kinilaw + Inihaw) - Kinilaw is my absolute FAVE! 

Assorted Grilled Meat/Chicken and Fish

Fresh Tropical Fruits for Dessert


Last Stop : GUYAM ISLAND where we had our Complete Group Picture (missing in the pic was Mai (our guide) who took this picture. 

3. YOGA
There a lot of places offering yoga classes but for those with their personal practice like myself, the world is my practice space. Always a joy to practice by the sea.

Places offering Yoga Classes : Greenhouse, Buddha, Kermit's, Lotus Shores 
Usual Group Class Rate : Php 350.00 per class


Taken at Bayud Resort





4. MAPUPUNGKO TIDAL POOLS and BLUE LAGOON
Unfortunately, we had no more time to do these tours because of the limited amount of time we had but this just gives us more reason to come back! These were two other recommended tours that are a must in the island.



Siargao what have you done? You've cast a spell on (the non-surfer turned surfing fan) ME. The island boasts of not just excellent waves but relaxed island vibes, great food, pristine undiscovered beaches and a practically unlimited supply of pan de coco and fresh coconuts.

I will be back. for sure.

"Til my next wave.

Siargao at 6 am. See you soon.

- Pattie