Spring had come and the sun is starting to peep out. The people of Hong Kong are starting to wear lighter and colorful garments. They can't help but feel excited for what this season could offer as I know a number of people can't wait for their much awaited vacation spree. For some, Boracay is the place to be to unwind and party. So, for my "Wine and Dine" Wednesdays*, I would like to feature D'TALIPAPA situated in the beautiful island of BORACAY.
My vacation leave synced with my man's annual break from the theatre had been approved smoothly that we had planned out a vacation with a bunch of friends at least a month before. As tickets to Boracay and hotels had been booked, I researched for activities to do, places to see, attractions not to be missed, new popular bars and of course, food that we should try out. As I was talking about it to my friend Celine, she had highly recommended this place called D' TALIPAPA ("talipapa" = marketplace/flea market in Tagalog).
Besides this much stuff to see, D' Talipapa is famous for the wet market it holds in the center surrounded by restaurants who offer cooking service. For all of you who don't know the fast growing trend of "paluto" (meaning, "Cooking Service" in Tagalog) in the Philippines, you are in for a good experience if you dine in here. "So how do you do "paluto"?
It makes you feel good when you are in control, most especially of the things where you spend your money on. The idea of "paluto" gives you this unselfishly. You make your own preference of what you want to have for dinner and you do your own marketing. Hogan, being from Samoa and Shanay and Randy, being from Taiwan, we loved the idea that we were presented of a wide array of the freshest seafood the island could offer. And we took advantage of it. It took us almost half an hour choosing. These are the reasons why...
To make decision-making easier (most especially if you're tummy is exercising its own id), consider the following:
1. no. of people sharing - When you visit a country for the first time, it's always advisable to bring a trusted
local with you. It's an advantage when he/she is a friend as they know how the
culture goes in terms of asking for a bargain price in places like this. Since
BORACAY is very much popular to tourists, the vendors tend to keep their
selling price high as tourists find it cheap than anywhere else in the world.
Lobsters, crabs, blue marlins and snappers are naturally, expensive. Everything
else is affordable. My own little suggestion is to go around and compare prices. If
you're going there in a group, it's best to choose a viand that's good for a lot to
share then you just divide the costs.
2. budget - Lobsters range from Php 800-1500/each depending on the size and how fresh it is. Shellfishes
range from Php 80-120/kilo and fishes are priced way different from one stall to another. So,
you really have to budget wisely on this. The cooking service would cost you also as they
charge a minimum of 1/2 kilo so, make sure of how much you would want to buy. For example,
there's just 2 of you who want to try a little bit of everything and buys 1/4 of this and that. Come
to the cooking service, 1/4 will be charged as 1/2 kilo of say, the particular shellfish you want,
for a cooking service. Here is an example of the price list for the cooking service.
So, if I have, say, 1 kilo of fish (yellow fin) and I want 1/2 of it to be cooked into a sushi-mi and 1/2 kilo as grilled, they would charge you P320 (refer to the price list above) still. That's like having 2 kilos of yellow fin for cooking service, instead of just 1 kilo. So, just be careful.
3. Are you willing to use your hands? - Some people hate using their hands when they eat or are just not
used to eating with their hands. This is just but a minor factor to
consider but I know some people would end up not enjoying seafood
intake if this wasn't asked amongst the group. Not all of what's being
sold are seafood anyways, there's a stall for chicken and pork also.
So, you could bring them there too for their own preference as far as
"sharing" is concerned.
4. Medical Condition - More importantly, consider your friends'
medical condition. Make sure that they
know if they're hypertensive or allergic to
any kind of seafood. Crabs, Prawn heads
and Lobster heads are very high in
cholesterol. Hypertensive people may
need to refrain from eating oysters too as
these are aphrodisiacs. The heart of
a hypertensive person may get too excited
in the middle of partying (Remember, you
would always party in BORACAY no
matter what, so take precautions!) which
may lead to angina. Stroke also could be
predisposed by the above mentioned
seafood. (My friend Shanay ain't having a
seizure here, it's just her first time.)
Me and my friends have decided on having "Halaan" (clam) soup, Butter-Garlic Prawns, chicken "Adobo" (because I wanted Hogan, Shanay and Randy to taste authentic Filipino adobo), sweet and sour "Lapu-Lapu" (special kind of fish), Grilled Fish and Stuffed "Tahong" (Green mussels). There were 5 of us and it was more than satisfying that for our last night in Boracay, Hogan requested again to eat there.
What happened after 30 minutes?
Here are some of our happy moments in D'Talipapa after our good meal.
All in all, we paid HK100 each for that much food plus cooking service.
Not bad for 8 people at all, right?
An addition to their "firsts"!
I'm glad that I was able to bring them there.
Thanks Ate Celina Bilbao for this wonderful suggestion!
There you go folks! Just look for this sign in D'Talipapa
for a hearty meal worth of your money.
Bring your friends over here the next time you visit
*Wednesday is my "WINE-&-DINE" day featuring anything about food.
I thought of the shortcut for Wednesday = W = "W" ine
E = and (pronounced as "end")
D = "D" ine