Monday, December 12, 2016

The Island Cove's Fishing Village Is the Perfect Spot for Your One-Stop Cavite Food Trip

One of the best things about traveling to different parts of the world is that you have the opportunity not only to take in majestic sights and sounds but to also taste some fantastic and unique dishes that every place has to offer. Think about it, nothing beats having steaming hot batchoy inside an Iloilo batchoyan, digging into a freshly-roasted lechon in Cebu, or sipping hot bulalo in the cold weather of Tagaytay. The list goes on and on...

Cavite is one province whose food hasn't gotten that much attention. The Island Cove's Fishing Village would like to change all that by introducing the best of Cavite cuisine with their new Taste Cavite Menu - a wide selection of dishes coming that showcase Cavite's indigenous ingredients, history, and tradition. It's a Cavite food tour that's only a few minutes from SM Mall of Asia all gathered in a single spot.

The dishes that are featured in the Taste Cavite Menu come from various Cavite towns and is carefully conceptualized and prepared by Chef Vill Purificacion and his team. The dishes is available at the Fishing Village every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting November 18 but the Fishing Village will be serving these delicious dishes every day beginning December 22.

Now let's look at the some of the dishes that Cavite has to offer...

Here's a map of the Fishing Village so that you don't get lost. It's quite easy to see the huts sitting at the top right corner of the map. It's a huge place, so just remember you have to go to the Fishing village that's overlooking Manila bay. 

If fishing's your fancy then that's one activity you can enjoy here at the Fishing Village. All the rules are shown above in case you'd like to plan a fishing trip after enjoying some yummy food.

As a Cavite City special, the Fried Lawlaw (Php 300) is small, deep-fried fish fillet that's simple, delicious, and crispy. I really loved how crispy and beautifully seasoned these little pieces of fish were. They weren't too oily and were perfect with the tasty vinegar mix that the Island Cove concocted themselves .

Chef Vill marvels at the difficulty of preparing this dish because "It is so hard to fillet that fish, only one small restaurant in Cavite City has been doing it since the 1800s!".

These Tahong Chips (Php 200) are so addicting. Tahong chips are deep-fried, crip mussel chips that's made with flour, spices, and salt. The Fishing Village definitely gave justice to this Bacoor original by making such a tasty, crispy dish. It's not malansa so don't be afraid to dig in!

This rich, creamy bowl of soup is the Mutya ng Cavite by Sabater (Php 600), an original favorite from the old 7 Sisters Restaurant owned by the Sabater family in Marulas, Kawit. It's a soup that's cooked slowly to allow the flavor from the mussels, crab, clams, and shrimps to develop. I personally love how creamy this soup was and the rich seafood flavor. Give me this dish and a huge bowl of rice and I'm one happy camper.

The dish is both Chef Vill's and Managing Director Gilbert Remulla's favorite dish because "it brings back memories." It's also my personal favorite dish because the seafood was delicious and that broth was just a symphony of beautiful flavors in my palate. I highly recommend this dish!

The Calandracas (Php 200) is a popular Cavite City soup that uses ham hock stock and is filled with carrots, potatoes, cabbage, chickpeas, gizzard, chorizo, chicken, and sotanghon. The soup is seasoned with patis Tanza to give it a distinct Cavite twist. Personally, I find that this soup to be a nice, local take on the traditional chicken soup - warm and refreshing.

The Pansit Kawit or more popularly Pansit Pusit (Php 450) is noodles that have a darker shade because of the addition of squid ink. I've had squid ink pasta and paella a number of times before but this was the first time I had squid ink pansit and I loved it!

This dish was so delicious that it quickly became my second favorite dish of the day after the Mutya ng Cavite. The perfectly cooked squid rings on top along with the grated green mangoes and scallions help bring this savory dish together by adding a nice sour kick. You should really add this to your Taste Cavite bucket list! 

I only wish there were more squid rings on top.

The Pansit Malabon (Php 450) is a General Trias specialty that consists of glass noodles, shrimps, smoked fish, and eggs mixed with shrimp sauce and topped with chicharon. As the lore goes, the roots of this dish began back in the day when General Trias was still called San Francisco De Malabon, thus where it gets its name from.

It was nicely seasoned and has an intense garlic taste to it which is how I love Pansit Malabon.

The Pansit with Puso ng Saging (Php 450) traces its roots back to Kawit, Cavite. It's a Cavitenean pancit that uses a combination of bihon and miki bihon that's cooked with thinly sliced puso ng saging and a generous amount of vinegar to give a beautiful mix of textures from salty pancit to chewy, sweet-sour puso.

What you immediately get out of the dish is the strong vinegar flavor, the nicely cooked puso ng saging, and a nice garlic hit. If you like puso ng saging, you'll love this and I recommend you try out this unique dish.

The Valenciana (Php 450) is a General Trias dish that traces its origin from the Spanish paella with loads of chorizo de Bilbao, chicken, and pork but with a Cavitenean twist - coconut milk. I found it to be quite a sweet version of Valenciana because you can really taste gata and turmeric in each bite. The pork, chicken, and chorizo gives it a nice salty flavor to balance out the sweetness.

"It's something that I've always been familiar with, we had it at all our fiestas and family gatherings, " recalled Gilbert Remulla.

The Bacalao (Php 500) is another Spanish-influenced dish that's typically made with salted cod back in Spain. In Cavite, they use dry-salted labahita or surgeon fish that's cooked with vegetables, Spanish chorizo, garbanzo, and annatto oil. It's full of flavor but I did find it to be quite salty so it's just perfect when you have a nice big bowl of steamed rice when eating this dish.

The Adobong Imus (Php 450) is slow-cooked in vinagar, annatto oil, bay leaves, and vinegar. It doesn't have any soy sauce in it, which is how most restaurants in Metro Manila cook adobo. I actually like this version of adobo better because it adds a very earthy flavor and isn't too salty. The adobo they make in the Fishing Village was really tasty.

The Afritadang Gulay na may Baboy (Php 450) is another dish from Kawit and consists of stir fried vegetables with sweet potatoes, pechay, bell peppers, and sauteed pork. It's no joke that this dish was named Afritadang Gulay because you can really taste the vegetables in the dish. The pork was also very soft that it's just so easy to eat.

The Kakanin Platter (Php 300) served at the Fishing Village hails from Imus, Cavite. The Kalamay Bunalejos from Indang, which had just the right amount of sweetness and had a nice caramel flavor, and the Sapin-sapin, soft, creamy and delicious, were both my favorites from the Kakanin platter! They were loads of yum on a plate and nicely cooked.

The Tamales (Php 300) is a Cavite City native dish with glutinous rice flour mixed with corn meal, chicken, pork, and salted egg that's wrapped in multiple layers of banana leaves and steamed. It's very savory and was a crowd favorite.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Tamales but the other foodies I was with loved it and said the Island Cove's version is pretty good. I'm probably the odd one out here so go ahead and try it out.

Food Quality: 4.5
Service Quality: -
Ambiance: 3.5

Overall Quality: 4.0

I recommend that you really do consider Island Cove's Fishing Village as the next spot for your next food trip, whether that be with family or friends. You don't have to travel that far to get there and the very calm waters in the village is a welcome reprieve from the bustling streets of Metro Manila. The carefully prepared Taste Cavite Menu is so good that it'll really get your palate going.

"Being located at the mouth of Cavite Island Cove should be the gateway of all things Cavite," says Managing Director Gilbert Remulla, an Imus native. "We'd like everyone to know how rich Cavite cuisine is. We are serving the food of our childhood. A lot of restaurants that offer these specialty dishes are no longer around but we want to bring the food back. We've also sourced dishes which are proprietary from other restaurants!"

Are you ready to have a taste of how rich Cavite cuisine really is?

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    Chef Jay
    Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. The author did not pay for any of the dishes mentioned in this article. This, however, does not impair the unbiased opinion of the reviewer. 

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