Resort dining can be a hit or a miss. There are resorts that may be great in location, service or design but falls flat when it comes to food. And there are also resorts where you not only enjoy your stay but gives you a memorable food experience that you’ll definitely recommend to friends and readers.
Aplaya, Bluewater Panglao’s restaurant is designed as a huge native hut located just fronting the sea. It can be a few minutes leisurely walk from the villas and rooms that takes you through a lovely pathway lined with golden bamboo and a huge garden. Or you can just ride the golf cart and be there in no time.
A buffet breakfast is inclusive in every stay at the resort. And while it has standard breakfast offerings, three items stand out: puto maya with sikwate, ensaymada and both crispy fried dangit and dried squid. These three are so good that I just can’t have enough of these.
The puto maya and sikwate (steamed sticky rice cake with sweet mango bits plus native thick hot chocolate) is a must. It’s a traditional Cebuano breakfast fare almost similar to Thailand’s sticky rice and mango. It has a hint of ginger and the sweetness of the mango balances the flavor. The hot chocolate is thick and good.
The ube ensaymada (purple yam brioche) is soft and fluffy and is just so good with the right amount of sweetness while the grated cheese on top provides a pleasing counterpoint. It’s actually that popular that the resort even sells it in boxes. I got one and when I arrived home in Cebu, it was gone the next day.
Filipinos so love a good, crispy fried dried dangit and squid. And I am no exception. At Aplaya, its located at the cooking area at the side of the buffet where you can also have your eggs. The dried dangit and squid are just piled on one bowl and you just get whatever amount you want. The waiter then delivers it to your table. It’s so crispy. Not very salty and not oily as well. Pair it with a good vinegar and you’ll be in ecstasy.
The ala carte menu is extensive and there are some items that are also offered in other Bluewater properties. The lechon kawali is really a must as well as the Cebuano adobo rice served in an open bamboo node which I first tasted in Bluewater Sumilon in Cebu. I wrote about these two in detail in this post: Enjoying Sumilon Bluewater Resortâ€™s good food
Because me and a friend stayed for four days, I was able to sample their other offerings. The mami with fried siomai (egg noodle soup with wanton) really stands out. The soup is flavorful but not overpowering. The egg noodles firm and the fried siomai is delicious and huge. It’s good for afternoon snacks or when the weather is wet. The serving size is good for two but I can have it all as its really that good.
The kinilaw (raw and fresh fish slices in vinegar akin to the ceviche in South America) is another recommended dish and is served with coconut milk which really makes it different from the usual kinilaw.
For dessert, two items is a must: the mango cheesecake and the ube kinampay. I’m not so much of a brownie person but the their brownie ala mode is also delicious and chewy. The mango cheesecake is highly recommended. A swirl of mango tops this single serve soft cheesecake. The sweetness of the fruit balances out the flavor. I love the smoothness of the cheesecake too.
It was here that I learned that ube (purple yam) is big in Bohol and it’s in this province, growing in the lowlands of the eastern part of the island, that the kinampay variety is so much prized. Its flavorful and aromatic and is used in ice cream and desserts.
In Aplaya, it comes as a layered dessert, from bottom to top: tapioca, ube halea (ground purple yam cooked with sugar and milk), a second layer of tapioca and topped with coconut macaroon. It’s delicious and the flavor of the kinampay really shines through. A small scoop of ube (kinampay) ice cream at the side.
Dining at Aplaya is a memorable experience. Get these stand outs and you won’t be disappointed. Saturday night is barrio fiesta night with a dinner buffet and its fun as there are native dance performances done by a local college dance troupe that the resort support as well as performance by a local band.
Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort
Danao, Panglao Island
Bohol, Philippines 6340
+63 38 416 0695, +63 38 416 0696
+63 38 416 0697