02 Oct2007

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The Kapuluan Vista Resort in Pagudpud was a “surprise” physically, but it also surprised us from a food and garden perspective. A quick walk about the small property revealed a lush garden filled with lemongrass (tanglad), basil, flowers, vegetables, etc. Clearly the owners must be avid cooks, or vegetarians, or simply garden enthusiasts. At dinner, we ordered from a simple but refreshing menu that featured a mixture of local and more Western dishes. We had 4 different pastas that evening and while they were all uniformly overcooked (we were warned that the noodles may have been left in the water too long), we looked beyond that usually fatal gaff to the competent sauces, the fresh herbs, the beautiful presentation, and the fact that we were quite literally, in the middle of nowhere… If the pasta was of a better quality and cooked al dente, I would say this kitchen could realistically compete with any other resort in the North, as far as Italian style food were concerned. The pesto was made with an abundance of freshly picked basil leaves and it reeked of the herb and olive oil. We also had a spaghetti Bolognese, a garlic with herb pasta and a pinoy style pasta with hotdogs and a super red sauce. Axe the last one but if that is your desire, they have it. We also ordered two empanadas and I quite liked the vegetarian version, though it could have used something to punch up the flavor. To end the meal, we had an order of bananas with a butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream…Excellent! And doubly excellent since ice cream would definitely be tough to purchase in these parts…

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For breakfast the next morning, we ordered tapa, chorizo, fried dried fish, an eggplant with corned beef concoction and all of these were brought to our table beautifully plated with lots of plain or garlic rice, nicely fried or scrambled eggs, with good Ilocano vinegar and fresh herbs to garnish the plate. The breakfast got very high marks, except that the eggplant with corned beef was a touch strange. At any rate, I strolled some more and found a larger vegetable and herb garden at the back of the property… it seems the very strong winds and rather dramatic climate changes here (for the tropics) wreaks havoc on the garden. Alma is still trying to figure out how to grow the most hardy plants but as far as I could tell in June, the garden was doing quite nicely. Here are more photos of the food and gardens. Kudos to Mike and Alma, with some practice, the food should become surprisingly good for folks who simply may not be expecting it in this remote location.

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A really lush bush of sweet basil…

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Organically grown eggplants…

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A wonderful clump of lemongrass or tanglad…

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Flowers from seeds sent from California or points west…

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Chorizo…

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Eggplant with corned beef…

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Tapa…

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The Fried Vegetarian Empanada…

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Herb and Garlic Pasta

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Pinoy Spaghetti, complete with red hotdogs…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. paulipocket says:

    The food looks delicious and tasty. and not to mention it’s healthy. Im just wondering on the prices of the food especially the pasta. Could you give me the range of prices of the food if not the exact amount of it? Thanks marketman. Great review!!

    Oct 2, 2007 | 3:53 pm

     
  2. Blaise says:

    Yes, the past a looks a little soggy.. That fried empanada is interesting..

    Sigh.. Sigh.. The weather makes me feel gloomy, and your posts make me hungry.. I want some tapsilog! ;P

    Oct 2, 2007 | 3:57 pm

     
  3. Marketman says:

    paulipocket, sorry, I normally note the costs but I checked my Ilocos notebook and didn’t bother to write them down. I think dinner, with 4 pastas, 1 dessert, 2 empanadas and several drinks was roughly PHP1,500 or PHP375 each. It was a good deal, in my opinion. Oh, and breakfast was included in our room rates…

    Oct 2, 2007 | 4:26 pm

     
  4. elaine says:

    I think the corned beef with eggplant looked interesting(I do appreciate a little fusion….I looove pesto but it’s a frustration to grow basil. Overall, based from the photos, the place seem to be a must-visit for our next up north getaway. Hopefully soon!

    Oct 2, 2007 | 4:56 pm

     
  5. F1foodie says:

    I love the shredded “cheddar” cheese on the Pinoy Spaghetti in place of the grated parm of the other pasta dishes. Now that’s what I call attention to detail. Looks like a dream of a place to go to.

    Oct 2, 2007 | 7:12 pm

     
  6. Katrina says:

    Oops! Please ignore my question in the comment I left in your last post. You’ve answered it here. :-) The fried fish with egg and garlic rice up top looks like a perfect start to a morning!

    Oct 2, 2007 | 7:36 pm

     
  7. Apicio says:

    Got stranded once in a logging camp close to Apari where our only ulam for weeks was dilis that we deludingly called delicious. We would have welcomed mealtimes with less dread and reluctance had our cook heeded some creative serving suggestion such as what’s shown in the first picture.

    Oct 2, 2007 | 8:16 pm

     
  8. mikel says:

    great article. hope these guys get some business after your fun stay.

    Oct 2, 2007 | 11:50 pm

     
  9. tulipfleurs says:

    Gosh! Everything on the plates look soooooo delicious Market Man . . . and I’m sure they were! :-) I could go for all of them especially the fried veggie empanadas! The presentation is also wonderful. The fresh herbs as garnish give the plate a nice finished touch. Gives me an idea now too! Take care . . . now my stomach is growling for the food! :-)

    Oct 3, 2007 | 12:42 am

     
  10. Maria Clara says:

    Quite surprise they have vanilla ice cream – considering their location and ice cream does not travel well. They must have kept the ice cream in an ice box or styro foam container to make it through their place. Their dried fish plate up on the first photo has all the appeal. Nice plating and place. The name of the resort has classic Hawaiian flare.

    Oct 3, 2007 | 2:21 am

     
  11. dhayL says:

    Very nice presentation I must say! The herb pasta looks deliscious and now I’m craving for fried daing! hhehe
    That pinoy style spaghetti is definitely “very pinoy”, sa kulay palang pinoy na pinoy na! :) Na-miss ko tuloy ang purefoods/swift hotdogs, hehehe

    Oct 3, 2007 | 6:57 am

     
  12. CecileJ says:

    Nice, nice! The fried veggie empanada looks good and looks like it tastes good as well. Take a bow, Mike and Alma!

    Oct 3, 2007 | 8:58 am

     
  13. Bianca says:

    I’m a big fan of Kapuluan’s Garlic & Herb pasta with Chicken! They use heavenly sweet tomatoes! Their chicken burrito & quesadilla are really yummy too! A big bowl of pasta costs P200-250 & their big burritos cost P250-300. Reasonable prices for a resort and I think their food is much better & costs the same as other resorts in Pagudpud. For drinks, you have to try their Lambanog Margarita & Calamansi Freezee…. so refreshing! My friends love having Corned Beef+ Talong for breakfast (I don’t eat beef!). I usually order the Ilocos Longganisa breakfast.

    Feb 25, 2008 | 6:21 pm

     
 

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