Part 3 of 3. Ivatan Food
The bad news is dining choices are far too limited in Batanes. The good news is you won’t have to deprive yourself of good food while you are on your dream vacation in these enchanting, wind-swept islands.
Lunch at Nakabuang Arch, Sabtang Island
Served family style on breadfruit leaves, our very enticing lunch consisted of lobsters, steamed fish, mixed veggies and pork adobo. The servers were friendly and the portions were large (proof – we were not able to finish all the dishes even if we worked up a big appetite climbing all those hills and those endless jumpologies).
The fantastic meal was served with seaweed soup that tasted of — what else but the — sea. The consistency of the soup was similar to a boiled, semi-dissolved, shredded gulaman bar. Market stalls along Abad Street in Basco, sell these dried seaweeds in small packs, perfect for bringing a piece (and the flavor) of Batanes back home.
The yellow rice, locally called “supas” came in big heapings. Supas, according to DAR-Batanes’ website is an Ivatan delicacy where ordinary rice is cooked and then sauteed in garlic, slices of turmeric pulp and pork. The turmeric is added to give this rice delicacy its distinct flavor and yellow color.
For dessert, we had biko, another sweet rice delicacy.
Bunker’s Cafe, Basco, Batanes
A few steps away from the Basco Lighthouse and a perfect spot for watching the sunset, Bunker’s Cafe is a “must go to” place if you are in the capital town of this province.
Our plan was to take a quick snack while waiting for the sun to set in the horizon. A bite of their turon which was fried to a perfect crisp was enough to glue us to our seats and to convince us to have dinner there instead. The crunchy turon would have been perfect with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream!
Here is what we had for dinner (minus the grilled pork which disappeared in just a few minutes).
Do not be disheartened by the Zs in this resto’s name. The food that they serve is guaranteed to awaken your palate. This unassuming restaurant near the intersection of the National Highway and Abad Street has the best chicken afritada I have ever tasted. And the Lunis (Ivatan dried pork adobo) is heavenly (read: you will go to heaven because it is cholesterol-laden, but it really is a must-try if you are in Batanes).
You might also like my other stories on my Breathtaking Batanes series: