This was perhaps the most unusual mix of location and dinner fare I have ever experienced. Our hosts on the island of Culion continued to look out for our meals even when we returned to the main town of Coron. We were asked if we would like to eat fresh local lobster and we enthusiastically agreed. They said it would be cooked and served at the home of a family friend in town… That evening, we were taken by tricycle to a road near the edge of the sea. We had to pass through very dark and narrow passageways on large old planks of hardwood over stilts. While the homes were rather large in size and quite comfortable looking, I did quickly realize we were in a neighborhood where folks probably did not hold titles, if you know what I mean. In fact, the whole area was built on stilts over shallow water. With a flashlight held by our host for the evening, I concentrated on the wooden planks, avoiding any loose ones or large gaps which I am genetically pre-disposed to fall through, much to my own embarrassment, not to mention everyone else heading to dinner that evening…
After about say 60-80 meters of walkways, we arrived at a gate and entered what was a fairly large compound at the edge of the sea. They had the prime location with direct sea views and in addition to a large home, they had a small nipa hut for meals. Fantastic! I am increasingly of the mind that life is about collecting various experiences and this is definitely one of those that make it into the personal album of meals… Already laid out on the table where several medium and small sized steamed lobsters. Purchased alive earlier in the day from a seafood dealer, our hosts explained that these were typically “put to sleep” by immersing them in really cold water, then wrapped and airfreighted to Manila and international destinations like Hong Kong and Taiwan. The lobsters were superb, perfectly cooked and served with lots of melted butter. Several lobsters were oozing orange coral… Yum! Where was my gout medicine when I needed it?!
We also had a massive bowl of calamares that had tender meat yet the crispest of skins, aided by some Japanese panko or breadcrumbs.
There were medium sized prawns in some tomato sauce and green chillies.
A side view of the “dining gazebo.”
A large lapu-lapu (bought alive and flipping) that was served slathered in mayonnaise.
And some fried rice to be enjoyed with all of the above. With several bottles of ice cold San Miguel Light, it was a terrific meal. Many thanks to Emie and Beth, our generous hosts for the evening, for sourcing all of this wonderful seafood and cooking it so nicely. And to Tonette, for arranging for this dinner. Maraming Salamat!