Restaurants located in shopping malls seem an anachronism yet many countries are starting to embrace the concept and in some instances ‘signature’ restaurants are starting to raise their heads in more upmarket shopping malls. We are not talking about fast food outlets but ‘real’ restaurants.
Obviously owning a restaurant in high traffic environment has its advantages not to mention an environment that has all day air-conditioning. The down side however, is having to work within the trading hours of the mall and the lack of an ‘individual brand’.
The signature restaurant in the Island City Mall is without question The Prawn Farm, a well appointed modern restaurant with a sophisticated ambiance (with glassed in kitchen) and well trained staff. The Prawn Farm is one of the few restaurants in Bohol that have successfully bridged the divide between value dining that appeals to the Pinoy community and quality competent dishes that would attract and satisfy most international diners.
On our most recent visit to the Prawn Farm we decided to broaden our horizons beyond the seafood offerings, which are usually very good, and try our luck with some meat dishes. The restaurant’s menu is extensive and offers a nice balance of platters (seafood and meat), individual dishes as well as soups, vegetables and of course a selection of rice dishes. Our choice? Baby back ribs in oriental sauce, beef and broccoli, kari kari and rice. The ribs were beautifully cooked with the meat falling of the bone. The sauce seemed heavy handed and possibly commercial however the overall dish was very good. The beef and broccoli was again well cooked with tender meat strips and crispy broccoli. The kari kari was the only let down of the meal with most of the pork meat being more fat and sinew than meat which made the dish cloying and unappetising. Possibly we have been spoilt with Gerarda’s offering.
Overall if you are visiting the ICM and need a change from the plethora of fast food offerings, The Prawn Farm is a real option for a lunch or dinner. It would be nice to see more restaurants in Bohol that tick all the right boxes like The Prawn Farm. The Prawn Farm represents a sophisticated dining environment and you could easily forget you are in Tagbilaran which is a somewhat run down city.