It’s always exciting when a new restaurant opens on Panglao, even more so when the restaurant is managed by a young enthusiastic couple who exhibit a great love of all things culinary and have a deft hand in the kitchen. Villa Formosa has been operating for several months now and we have been somewhat tardy in doing this review but we finally got around to it. The restaurant is located in the Villa Formosa Resort on the left hand side as you head towards the Dumaluan Beach. Don’t be put off by the high walls and gate because hidden behind this not over-welcoming street appearance is a well laid out open air restaurant nicely positioned next to a sparkling pool. Featuring a small open kitchen and sporting a wood fire pizza oven, guests can watch the kitchen staff and head chef/owner Mattias bustling about preparing the night’s gourmet delights.
The menu is a well thought out eclectic mix of some classic italian offerings but its often best to leave the decision making to the Chef as he knows what is in season and what has come in (often hard to get items). There are also black board specials each evening so there is no shortage of choices. The restaurant also offers a competent wine list but nothing out of the ordinary. A few ‘go to’ dishes are the antipasto, always fresh and lively accompanied by fresh crusty bread, quality olive oil and balsamic. The gnocchi, when available, is divine and shows a real passion for Italian cuisine.
Service in the restaurant is always impeccable as Mattais partner, the ever smiling and lovely Matet is in full control of the front of house and has trained her staff exceptionally well. Like all good Italian meals it’s a good idea to leave room for desserts (not always easily done) as the kitchen can produce some absolute classic dessert dishes.
It’s difficult in the food review world to make predictions about a restaurant because of the fickle nature of the industry but we think Villa Formosa is worth watching in the future as the owners and their love for the cuisine will certainly make an impact on the Bohol food scene. We can’t wait!