In any kind of travel, food comes as a major factor and come on when visiting a place. At Costa Pacifica in Baler, this is exactly true. We were there for a total of two nights and all dining, from breakfast, lunch to dinner was at the resort’s restaurant, Beach House. Here’s a rundown of the dishes and a drink that I really love.
READ MORE: Discovering Costa Pacifica’s allure
Note though that Beach House menu is Filipino comfort food with international and well known dishes that Filipinos are quite familiar with. Most of the food served to us was Filipino cuisine but with a typical Baler twist: pako, baby fern leaves that grows abundantly in the nearby forests, served in many of the dishes as a main or side ingredient.
Instead of slab like pork that was grilled and cut, this one reminded us of the Korean samgyeopsal. But its only in form that it has similarities. This one was marinated and grilled as a barbecue. It’s flavorful and have a good balance of meat and fat. It was so good that many of us were having than just a few pieces and even asked if the other table won’t eat theirs. Served for lunch when we arrived in Baler after a long drive.
Grilled pork ribs
This is another grilled item but served as a meal with java rice, sauce, a small salad and a piece of pineapple. It was served on our last dinner in Costa Pacifica. Another recommended item which is tender and flavorful. With the many dishes served that night, I was specifically eating more of this.
Traditional kare-kare with pako
It’s only the addition of pako that makes this traditional Luzon dish become a Baler favorite, well, as far as Costa Pacifica is concerned. But then, it’s the very tender meat, the velvety skin and ligaments that makes me love this dish. The peanut sauce plus the sweet-salty sauteed bagoong makes it a delight to eat.
What makes this an interesting dish is the addition of tasty and garlicky Baler longanisa to an otherwise plain pako sautee. I prefer eating it as an appetizer to better appreciate the complementing flavors. Add some spicy hotness and you’re in for a delicious treat.
Tuyo, itlog at sinangag
You can’t go wrong with this dish. If the Visayas, especially Cebu has danggit, Baler has binuklad na dilis. It’s butterflied small fish that looks like anchovies then dried and are usually sold in the market. But fry it to a crisp and complete with sunny side up eggs and garlic rice and you have a winner. Crunch. Crunch. But don’t forget spicy vinegar. If you have sinamak from Bacolod or Iloilo, so much the better.
Pizza with Baler longganisa and pako
Ah. The pizza. The delicious pizza. Not the usual ingredient but great. The hint of garlicky sausages, the melted cheese was just wonderful. The pako, an added texture. But, the crust is just so good, crisp outside and not rubbery. It was one of the best dishes served at the resort. I must have eaten four slices (or five?) because it was r-e-a-l-l-y g-o-o-d.
Pako salad is a familiar dish served not only in Baler but in other restaurants, especially in other Luzon provinces. But, I guess, what makes this stand out is because of three ingredients: salted eggs, binuklad na dilis and the bagoong vinaigrette. It’s really a play on flavors and textures, with the crunchiness of the dilis making a good impression. And because the bagoong is intense already on its own, you just use it sparingly.
One of the most ordered drink at Costa Pacifica. They give this as a welcome drink but you can also order it as either a juice or as a shake but the former is still better. It’s just refreshing, especially during a hot and humid visit. It’s also a good combination that actually makes it stand out. During meals at the resort, I always order this one.
I usually have my suman (budbud in Cebuano) dipped in sugar. But once you’ve tasted the one from Baler that is dipped in peanut butter, but not just any kind of peanut butter, but the one made by Nanay Pacing. It’s a great combination that might change the way you eat your suman in the future.
080 Buton St., Sitio Labasin
Sabang Beach, Baler
Aurora, Philippines, 3200
+632 519 4249 +63 917 844 8371