There’s something special about dining by the seaside on a balmy evening. Unfortunately Tagbilaran City doesn’t offer too many opportunities for this type of dining but it does have the Bohol Tropics Resort which provides accommodation for tourists as well as a well as a lovely outdoor bar and restaurant on the harbour shoreline.
Walking down to the restaurant through tropical landscaped gardens and welcomed by smiling staff set a great mood for the evening.
The international menu is extensive ranging from Hungarian Goulash to hot Thai curries and Filipino favourites. The drinks list is also extensive with an impressive array of beers, spirits and liquors but only three “house” wines. A fairly common experience in the Philippines which, sadly, has yet to discover the delights of good wine.
To start the evening my dining partner and I shared an appetizer of Mixed Seafood a la Tropics (250p) one of the more expensive items on the menu. The seafood was fresh and good quality and set in a lovely sauce but a heavy-handed batter rather dampened the experience.
In our experience of dining in the Philippines courses can come fast and furious with the second course often arriving minutes after the first so we now make it a policy to order one course at a time which also gives us the opportunity to judge serving sizes. Sometimes I’m sure the “good for one” (which you see on some menus) refers to a serving size appropriate for an elephant.
Round two consisted of Grilled Pork Chop with Smothered Onions (120p) and Steak of the House – Tenderloin (200p)
When the dish arrived I was a bit surprised that my “smothered” onions weren’t more caramelized but then rather relieved that they had retained some bite to balance the monotonously sweet strips of pork. Definitely a dish for sweet tooth locals.
My partner’s steak was tender but heavily marinated. Being served on an 80’s style sizzling platter ensured that the requested “medium rare” status didn’t last long. This order included a Cream of Asparagus Soup which tasted suspiciously like it was freshly out of a can as did the gravy. The advertised bread accompaniment didn’t arrive. Both meals were quite modest in serving size.
While the food proved somewhat disappointing the evening was rescued by
a team of helpful, smiling staff who managed that fine line of being attentive but not lingering and a small band pumping out mellow, jazzy tunes creating a relaxed and laid back atmosphere.
We’ll be back…how can you resist that location – but next time we’ll ask a few more questions about the dishes!