Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines May 2016. Often the best food is the local common food eaten by everyday folk. Its nearly always the best value for money and tasty too. I will always try to eat with locals. Not only is it good for the budget but gives one a good insight into local flavours. Here, in Puerto Princesa however the local eating scene is turning out to be pretty poor in terms of value for money and sometimes the quality of the food isn’t that great either.
The portions served up here are so small even a double order won’t satisfy the average Western appetite, and I can’t imagine the Filipino’s being that much different. When ordering pork rice, 50% of the pork is pure fat while another 10 %10 is bone and gristle so actually one ends up with just one mouthful!
Look how small this pork rice dish is. I can even scoop it up in the palm of my hand and that’s before removing all the inedible parts! Average price for this dish is 40 pesos, about 75p. I’d say its worth a lot less than that. Sometimes the order will come with soup – salty and often greasy, quite inedible.
Chicken curry and rice, well unsurprisingly that’s another dish where one gets less than a mouthful of chicken once all the bones have been discarded, and in all cases just a handful of rice..Order a side dish of vegetable and the price shoots up to 60 pesos, about £1.15. By the days end a western appetite here in the Philippines will cost more to satisfy than it does in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and even Cambodia’s Sihanoukville.
Look at how much chicken I got here with this chicken rice dish!
This poor value is across the town and consistent, although I did find a good meal out of town the other day. Yes, this local mamma could see I needed feeding up and gave me a pretty decent plate food of Jack-fruit and coconut curry – only 40 pesos, 75p. Unfortunately its a long stomp to this place every day, too long!
So, sadly I have to rate this town in the top 3 poor value for money eating places in Asia, in-between Vietnam’s Saigon and Thailand’s Chiang Mai.
The alternatives around here are fast food joints. The high street is crammed with them and they’r popular with locals queuing for that Americana experience. Tourists too are queuing for their Western fast food.
Americana in the Philippines…