3 Boracay Restaurants We’ll Definitely Miss—Temporarily
In the hope of restoring the glory of this once splendid paradise, the government decided to shut down operations of the top tourism draw that is Boracay Island for the next six months. Such a sudden change has left resort and restaurant owners, local employees, and island dwellers with a mixed feeling of optimism—that the island will finally be cleaned and rehabilitated—coupled with frustration at the loss of business.
Before we finally say good night to our much beloved Boracay, the best we can do right now is to pay homage to the restaurants that fed us and made us feel at home while relishing the fine stretch of white sand across the island.
Island Chicken Inasal
As one of the first restaurants to make a name for itself in Boracay, Island Chicken Inasal has long been the go-to place of tourists and locals for lunch and dinner. Guests who are looking for the comforts of Negrenese grilled fare know exactly where to go.
Aside from the famous Chicken Inasal, this homey foodie spot is also known for its version of Kansi, a classic Ilonggo beef soup best described as part bulalo and part sinigang. One slurp of this soup can send you up to cloud nine.
Owner Nina Bustamante shares her thoughts on the island’s closure, “Initially, I was shocked and in disbelief. I welcome the need for rehabilitation of the island, but I feel everything was rushed and stakeholders weren’t given enough time to prepare. I was wondering how I would support my staff when most of our income comes from tourists, and I was worried how I would be able to help my staff survive for six months.”
Initially, she planned to relocate her staff to her family business in El Nido, Palawan but most of them didn’t want to leave their families behind even for a short while. D’Mall, where the restaurant is located, was generous enough to offer a discount on the monthly rental, which helped her decide to just stay open and try to survive the hiatus.
“This is the first time in history this is happening, and we really don't know what to expect. Old timers are actually looking forward to enjoying Boracay. We, like most Filipinos, are survivors and will make the best of this temporary closure,” she adds.
While Boracay is a popular chill beach spot, it can also appeal to your adventurous self. For those looking for a different kind of fun, Kasbah is the place to be. It has that exotic Moroccan vibe that speaks to your Mediterranean-loving soul.
Complete with day beds and colorful throw pillows, this vintage restaurant located at Station 1 offers diverse North African fare. A bite of the Lamb Tagine with vegetables while gazing over the majestic Boracay sunset is a scene anyone would want to savor. But all good things come to an end, albeit temporarily. Kasbah already shut its doors days before the official closure of the island.
Stephen Lu, Manager of Kasbah, expressed his displeasure at the government’s rather rash decision. Although the intention is, of course, the betterment of the island, he believes that the action was poorly planned and badly timed. What mainly concerns him is how to tell his staff the unfortunate news that will hugely affect their livelihood. Up to this day, Stephen and the rest of Kasbah’s workforce are still uncertain about how to deal with this eventful change. While going down the emotional road of reminiscing, he gladly shares with us the one thing he’ll miss about the place—meeting new people and giving them a memorable experience they can only find in Kasbah.
If souvlaki’s your thing, Cyma is your nirvana. This tavern at D’Mall near Boracay’s beachfront is expert in all things Greek, both food and feels. People flock here for a taste of Greek favorites like Roka Solata, Moussaka, and the classic Tzatziki paired with pita bread fresh from the oven. A literal feast for your palate, no trip in the lush tropical shores of Boracay is ever complete without stopping by Cyma.
In its more than 12-year existence, Cyma has seen Boracay transform through the years. It has witnessed people from all walks of life come and go, from Bora’s early glory days to its heartbreaking last moments. While we give the island the rest it rightly deserves, there are several Cyma branches in the metro that we can always visit for our Greek cravings.
Catch one last glimpse of Boracay on the pilot episode of Beached hosted by Maggie Wilson and Marc Nelson this Sunday, April 28 at 9:00 pm on Metro Channel.