Bilao at Palayok, Puerto Princesa


A mere walking distance from the airport, we decided to eat here, after checking in around lunch with a flight in the mid-afternoon. It was recommended by our tour guide, but we had no idea what to eat here, though she did mention something about the seafood.

So we walked to Bilao and Palayok (Winnowing Basket  – Bilao, but also used for a lot of other stuff like displaying items, carrying goods, etc. Clay pot – Palayok, what the standard cooking instrument used to be until metal came along) and was surprised to find the inside cozy. It was mostly made of wood, and other artifacts scattered in the view made it like a veranda of somebody’s home. They had cottages for sitting, a koi pond, some seats on the floor (apparently common here). It was relaxed, airy, and homey. All good.


Upon recommendation of the waiter, we ordered seafood in coconut milk and crispy kare-kare. I noticed as well that this is one place where they like mixing different kinds of seafood together. I feel cheated with this kind of set-up because I really don’t like squid unless it is fried. But since this was clams, shrimp and crab, I didn’t feel cheated 🙂 I don’t eat kare kare either, but since this is crispy, I assumed that it would taste just like lechon-kawali, with a bit of sauce. 🙂

It took about 45 minutes for the food to arrive. Which is way too long. Luckily, we  checked in early, otherwise we would have been rushing through lunch. The food arrived, and they look damn good.

Coconut fish stew :)
Coconut fish stew 🙂

First, I tried the shrimp in the coconut mix, and it was okay. I moved on to the kare-kare and happily found that the sauce does not taste so much like peanut (which I don’t like in sauces). A little bland, but nothing the weird bagoong or fish sauce couldn’t fix. So I was happy. Then I attacked the crab! It was one of the most succulent crabs I have had! Sweet, juicy and just right. Heaven 🙂

I ended up finishing most of the crab, and the last of the kare-kare. This last place we ate at has to be the best in all the restaurants we tried. Except for the horrible waiting time. But it felt worthy of wait. I wish we could have tried more of the restos along this street. They were hard to notice and looked like bars from the outside. But ought to try. Seriously. 🙂



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