There are not a lot of ‘fine dining’ options on Bohol. In time this will change as more money inevitably follows the tourism investment hot spots and more up market resorts attract discerning visitors looking for that special place in the sun…and at the dinner table.
CU Restaurant in Alona certainly strives to offer fine a dining experience. With a well kitted out restaurant, slick and welcoming staff, a great (predominantly) European menu and a nice selection of wines, the restaurant has all the hallmarks of fine dining. It’s a shame then that the food is good but not great but more of that later. Our experience was on a pleasant evening with another couple which afford us the opportunity to see (and taste) a reasonable selection of the menu.
My partner and I chose Paprika Chicken and Green Curry Prawns respectively and our dinner companions chose a Schnitzel and a Salmon Dish.
Prior to our meals arriving we were served beautifully (complimentary) crusty bread and pretzels and directed to the salad bar. It’s nice to see fresh crisp vegetables and salad offerings as often restaurants in Bohol concentrate on the ‘carnivore’ end of the food chain with little hope for those vegans amongst us (we are not of that faith) or those who are trying to diet (trying….unsuccessfully).
Our main courses arrived, welcomingly all at one time and welcomingly hot. As reported in previous reviews the propensity of Bohol restauranteurs to ‘ad-lib’ the delivery of cold food is more the rule than the exception. So full marks to CU on breaking with Bohol tradition.
Each meal was beautifully presented and of perfect serving size with the exception of the schnitzel which was a monster of a meal size wise, actually enough schnitzel was offered to keep two german counts happy for a week. So to the real test of a fine dining restaurant, the taste.
On a positive note, in each instance our meals were prepared from excellent ingredients and presented with a deft touch but sadly there was little in the way of taste in each dish. The schnitzel was well seasoned but could have been offered with some optional sauce as the thickness of the pieces meant that they were somewhat dry and tasteless. On the other hand the paprika chicken was swimming in sauce yet it was hard to tell if any paprika had been added. The salmon was the highlight of the selection, however once again the sauce lacked ‘zing’ or any depth of flavour.
The Green Prawn Curry was a valiant attempt with large and numerous well cooked prawns but discerning Asian aficionados would baulk at the cloying canned or horror of horrors ‘powdered’ coconut milk. Why, oh why in a country so bountiful in coconuts must a restaurant use processed coconut milk. Also why not ask the patron if they like the curry mild, hot or super hot?
Readers may think we are damning CU with faint praise, however this review is more about constructive criticism. When the stars line up, good service, nice ambience, reasonable value a bit of magic it’s a shame when the food lets the establishment down a tad, especially when it’s obvious that they can do better.