One of our very first emails received when we started this site was from a reader who implored us to review the Bohol Bee Farm. For various reasons it has taken us longer than we would have liked but we had the opportunity to review the restaurant the other day. This is not to say that we hadn’t visited the Bee Farm before but we were usually with guests and the visits were usually part of a quick day tour of Panglao and Bohol.
The Bohol Bee Farm is one of the first truly substantial tourism offerings in Bohol and is an inspired mix of organic farming principles, local handicrafts and value added food items such as home made ice creams, pestos etc which attracts huge numbers of domestic and foreign visitors alike.
In our opinion a visit to the Bohol Bee Farm is a ‘must do’ when visiting Bohol. On a sustainable and economic development note Vicky Wallace, the owner operator of the Bee Farm is an inspiring, hardworking individual who is honestly committed to the development and support of the poor and disadvantaged people of Bohol.
So what’s it like dining at the Bohol Bee Farm? First off we were taken aback by the expansion Vicky has made to the dining area over the last few months. The restaurant now extends further along the cliff face and incorporates a number of seating options both ‘alfresco’ and inside.
The one word that springs to mind when looking at the overall offerings is ‘colourful’. This describes the vibrant nature of the service as well as the food preparation. The staff are always friendly and accommodating and have an obvious love for the place. One could not ask much more from the setting, perched on a cliff overlooking the ever-changing sea with it’s welcoming breeze makes for a beautiful setting. On the day of our visit we decided to mix up our order somewhat with my partner ordered grilled squid and I opted for the seafood lasagne.
Prior to our meal arriving we were offered complimentary pumpkin bread and comote chips with accompanying mango and pesto butter. Our meal then arrived. My partners squid was of gigantic proportion with tender squid pieces, accompanying colourful salad topped with edible flowers, dressing and a pile of red rice. The squid was nicely cooked in a ‘non confrontational’ sauce we have come to expect in the Philippines, toned down so as not to alienate the domestic palate. It would be nice to see variations on the sauce offered, possibly fresh lemon grass, coriander and garlic? I am sure this would be welcomed by foreign palates that are looking for a tad more ‘zing’ in the flavour department. Note to the Chef, PLEASE remove the beak from the squid heads, its a bit off putting.
My lasagne unfortunately was quite a disappointment. Canned tuna sandwiched between pasta layers and blah cheese with tomato sauce. The portion size was minuscule and worst of all it was served luke warm. Looking around the other tables I noticed most of the patrons (Pinoy) were eating the chicken and or spare ribs so possibly they have more ‘inside knowledge’ than we do.
To summarise. The menu is extensive, the ambience almost perfect and the underlying ethos of the Bee Farm is to be applauded. Is it fine dinning? No. Is it worth a visit just for the restaurant? Again no. But the Bee Farm is much more than just a restaurant so make it a day out, enjoy a pleasant meal, take a tour, buy some handicrafts and have fun.