Aïoli in the Booy District of Tagbilaran City is a very new player in the restaurant scene of Tagbilaran. Situated in the very modern styled 717 Cesars Place Hotel it is a real conundrum of a restaurant.
Why the conundrum? Well, firstly we experienced some of the best customer service we have ever seen in a Tagbilaran restaurant. This is not overly surprising when (after a little research) we discovered that most of the staff had been head hunted from Eskaya Resort. Without question the staff has been well trained and this was evident throughout our meal with our starters actually appearing before our mains and our mains actually appeared simultaneously which is a real rarity in restaurants in Bohol. The decor of the restaurant is modern, fresh and pleasant and the owners obviously have an eye for detail with quality fit out and crockery/cutlery.
The conundrum starts when you read the menu. It is, simply put, the most confusing, convoluted and ridiculously structured menu we have ever seen. After we struggled through the menu we tried the roasted pumpkin and carrot soup which was delicious (and ridiculously cheap at P35). For mains we chose Satay Seafood Medley (advertised as an entree) and White Cacciatore Chicken (again advertised as an entree). The satay was superb but the chicken dish was let down by the use of chicken offcuts with chipped bones, fat and sinew throughout the dish. The conundrum continues as we ordered desserts which were beautifully presented (Cheese Panna Cotta and Creme Brûlée puddings) showing a deft touch of creativity even though the interpretation of each dish couldn’t be called ‘classic’.
This is a very difficult restaurant to review. For the most part they are doing incredibly well for such new restaurant but it really is let down by a confusing menu and the quality of some of the produce used. Would we frequent the restaurant in the future? We sure will! And we hope to see things improve so we can add it to our list of ‘regular’ restaurants where we dine out. So give it a try and give us some feedback.