I’m from the South yet it was my very first time to visit Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park a few weeks ago. It was great timing too because they were set to launch “Taste Cavite” in a few days. It was an exciting food trip as they presented authentic Cavite cuisine.
We were greeted with one of the finest views in Cavite. A serene place perfect for family outings and gatherings as well as celebrating special occasions. There was no hint of “amoy lansa” even though it was called the “Fishing Village”.
Executive Chef Vill Purificacion and his team gathered the finest fare from the various towns and put them all together in a menu which will be available at the Fishing Village every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting this November 18 and will be served daily beginning December 22.
To start off the Cavite Food Festival, they prepared the following appetizers which we all loved and consumed in just a few minutes. Not that we were so hungry but all perked up our senses as well as taste buds!
A special Buko refreshment which quenched our thirst. There’s nothing like that to take off the heat from the sun’s glaring rays!
Tahong Chips, specially deep-fried, crisp mussels chips made of flour, spices, and salt.
Loved that it’s not “malansa” and stayed crispy even after an hour it was served. Best dipped in the accompanying vinegar, onions and chili but for me, it tasted perfect even without it!
Fried Lawlaw, tiny fried fish fillet which was the talk of the whole group. We were all joking about the name but we can’t deny that it was one of the best we’ve ever tasted! Crispy, salty, best paired with a cold bottle of beer… and yes, white rice!
Main dishes came next and we were all eager to grab a spoon and eat but of course, we had to take shots of each one before anything else, hahaha
Mutya ng Cavite, consisting of mussels, crab, clams, and shrimps, it shows off the fresh seafood catch available in Cavite. It’s also the most personal fave of Managing Director Gilbert Remulla who hails from Imus.
I was kinda hesitant even to try a sip of the oh so creamy coconut soup because I’m allergic to clams. But it was so irresistible and I can control myself once I feel itchy, hahaha.. Fortunately, no manifestations so I went ahead and scooped a cupful of everything! By far, this was the most flavorful seafood dish I’ve ever tasted! The combination of “gata” and my fave seafood tahong and shrimp was what made it to the top of my list!
Gilbert Remulla mentioned that it brings back fond childhood memories and it’s originally from the old 7 Sisters Restaurant, owned by the Sabater family in Marulas, Kawit.
Bacalao, a Spanish-influenced dish wherein they used dry-salted labahita or surgeon fish cooked with vegetables, Spanish chorizo, garbanzo, and annatto oil.
This was another hit with the group! We kept asking for rice hahaha. Salty because of the “labahita” and again aside from being a main dish, this can also be best paired with cold beer and as a pulutan. I kept coming back for this dish and when rice came, I was altogether happy!
Then came the Valenciana! Though with similarity with the Paella, this was one of the pride of those from General Trias, Cavite. Consists of chorizo de Bilbao, chicken and pork but with coconut milk.
Adobong Imus with no soy sauce! Yep, you read it right! It doesn’t taste like the usual adobo but it doesn’t mean that it’s not yummy! First time for me and I honestly liked it better than the usual, hahaha.. It is slow-cooked in vinegar, annatto oil, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. “This manner of cooking Adobo has been a tradition, since the time of my lola,” said chef Vill who proudly declared that he is a full-blooded Caviteño.
Desserts served were also famous “Kakanin” from Imus, Cavite such as the “Sapin-Sapin, Kutsinta and Puto”.
There were many other dishes that were served that day but I’ll only mention the names here and let your imagination entice you into coming over to Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park to have a #TasteCavite food tour of your own.
You can also try the Bacoor’s shellfish stars in the Talaba at Ensaladang Lato (fresh Bacoor oysters served with seaweed salad and vegetables in season), Rosario’s famous tinapa which takes centerstage in Pancit Luglog (thick rice noodles) with Tinapang Tunsoy (a small fish) or what is locally called Tinapang Salinas, Cavite City delicacies which includes the Tamales (galapong or glutinous rice flour mixed with corn meal, chicken, pork, and salted egg then wrapped in multiple layers of banana leaves and steamed).
They also have the Calandracas, a popular soup that uses ham hock stock as base and has carrots, potatoes, cabbage, chickpeas, chicken, gizzard, chorizo, and sotanghon then seasoned with patis Tanza. Another General Trias specialty, the Pancit Malabon with glass noodles, shrimps, smoked fish and eggs mixed with shrimp sauce and topped with chicharon began back in the day when General Trias was still called San Francisco De Malabon. Pancit Kawit is better known as Pancit Pusit. The dark shade of the noodles is from squid ink. It is topped with squid rings, grated green mangoes, and scallions. Another noodle dish from the same area is the Pancit na may Puso ng Saging, a Caviteñean pancit using a combination of bihon and miki bihon cooked in achuete with small slices of pork and thinly sliced green beans, carrots and cabbage.
Those looking for condiments to enhance the flavor of dishes can try the Patis Labo and Heko, a dipping sauce made from shrimps, only available in Tanza.
With this delectable line up, you can travel far and journey though the province of Cavite with your taste buds. The relaxing ambiance at the Fishing Village enhances the feeling of being far away from the urban chaos. The cluster of bamboo huts standing on water facing Manila Bay is an ideal dining destination for balikbayan relatives visiting for the Christmas holidays. And all it takes is a quick drive through the Manila – Cavite Expressway.
The “Taste Cavite” menu will be available at the Fishing Village in Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting this November 18 and will be served daily beginning December 22.
Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park is located in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite only 20 minutes away from Mall of Asia. For more information, log on to www.islandcovephil.com, call (046) 434 0210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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