Ube Lumpiang Ubod and more delicious Philippine regional dishes offered in this Puerto Princesa restaurant (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last July 17, 2019)

Puerto Princesa is no longer just a jump-off point to Palawan’s many islands.

The city now boasts of several cool things, like Palaweño Brewery and the secret Nagtapon Beach, just 45 minutes away from city proper.

Right smack in the middle of it all though is Balayong Grill & Bar: Island Cuisine Grillery. Located in Best Western Plus The Ivywall Hotel, some 10 minutes away from the airport, this open-air establishment recently revamped its menu to “Focus more on regional Filipino cuisine,” according to Executive Chef Rex Tomen who originally hails from Pampanga.

The new items include Piaparan Chicken, which is a good introduction of Mindanaoan cuisine. Piaparan is a classic Maranao dish: meat or seafood, in this case, chicken, cooked in coconut milk and grated coconut.

Shrimps in Coconut and Lemongrass meanwhile highlights the delectable Palawan shrimps. According to Chef Rex, Palawan food is really “focused on seafood since it’s surrounded by the sea. The seafood here is so fresh.”

The Ube Lumpiang Ubod features the very of-the-moment ingredient purple yam-flavored wrapper instead of the usual plain one, wrapping the sautéed vegetables and hearts of palm tightly.

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