February 19, 2020

Hibiscus Pizzeria and Bar in Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Diet-Friendly Food & Lady-Approved Cocktails

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  • Hibiscus Pizzeria and Bar in Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Diet-Friendly Food & Lady-Approved Cocktails
  • Hibiscus Pizzeria & Bar is the in-house restaurant of Hibiscus Garden Inn, a popular choice of reasonable accommodation among foreign travelers, particularly Europeans, in Puerto Princesa. It is a destination for those in search of wholesome food options and delicious bar drinks fit for casual hangout sessions.

    We are confident that Hibiscus will be the next best cocktail bar in Palawan.

    As a restaurant, Hibiscus prides itself on upholding local products and producing homemade dishes. You’ll find that most of the items on the menu feature seafood and rarely meat—a homage to one of the town’s major industries, fishery.

    With a view of Hibiscus Garden Inn’s swimming pool, the main dining area of Hibiscus is furnished with couches and native furniture.

    An air-conditioned dining room is one of the newest enhancements to Hibiscus Pizzeria and Bar.

    The most popular item of the restaurant is pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. The pizza dough is handmade, while most of the ingredients are sourced from the local market. To maintain the authenticity of their Italian-style pizza, however, some ingredients like cheese are imported.

    The Pizza of the Week features different pizzas weekly, unique from the regular pizza menu, to offer something fresh to frequent diners. The featured pizzas change every week, but if you, for instance, would still like to eat the ones that have disappeared from the menu, you may still request it from them as long as the ingredients are available.

    The Pizza of the Week at the time of our visit – Tomato, Mozzarella, Parma Ham, and Arugula Pizza

    Aside from the pizza, another notable category on the menu is the tuna raw fish items. The first among our top picks is the Kinilaw à la Tahitienne (Php 240).

    Kinilaw à la Tahitienne (Php 240)

    Kinilaw is a popular regional delicacy in the Philippines made with raw seafood and usually vinegar dressing. Hibiscus’ version is given a Tahitian twist, with added coconut milk and cucumber cubes. It is fun to take mouthfuls of the tuna and cucumber at the same time because both have fresh and refreshing flavors.

    Our top pick!

    Another highly must-try is the Tuna and Mango Tartare (Php 240). The shape of the tuna tartare makes every bite succulently firm and smooth. Complementing its texture is the fresh ripe mango cubes, with a sweet and tangy flavor that makes the dish all the more enjoyable.

    Tuna and Mango Tartare (Php 240)

    Meanwhile, the combination of garlic and olive oil in the Fresh Tuna Carpaccio with Garlic and Olive Oil (Php 240) features a slightly spicy and pungent kick, and extra texture.

    Fresh Tuna Carpaccio with Garlic and Olive Oil (Php 240)

    Aside from the delicious tuna dishes, another healthy choice is the Homemade Ravioli (Php 320), made with seafood, spinach, and mushroom, fragrant and freshly made in-house.

    Homemade Ravioli (Php 320)

    As a bar, Hibiscus aims to be the best cocktail bar in Puerto Princesa and then eventually in the whole Palawan.

    The daughter of the owner, Joy Blaselle, leads the bar section of Hibiscus.

    Currently, the bar section is led by the owner’s daughter, who concocts pure original cocktails. The flavors of the Signature Cocktails (Php 320) are diverse; however, they are mostly on the sweet and fragrant side. The drinks have a strong kick but they are easy to drink because the flavors of the alcohol are also potent.

    L-R: Rosie, Rambutan, Pandan, and Gin & Tonic, all priced Php 320 

    In terms of visual appeal and lady-approved flavor, Rosie is the headlining cocktail, featuring sweet and smooth flavors with a slightly tangy kick. Rambutan is another sure charmer with its sweet, thick, and creamy with citrus flavor notes.

    Other highly recommended drinks are the Pandan, made with homemade rum as the base, and the Gin & Tonic made with spices that are not common in the Philippines.

    Hibiscus Pizzeria and Bar is open to non-hotel guests; however, we also strongly recommend that you spend a night of two at Hibiscus Garden Inn to fully enjoy the laidback atmosphere of the place. The atmosphere of the bar also becomes turns more romantic at night due to the lighting of the bar.

    How to get here:

    • Hibiscus Pizzeria and Bar is inside Hibiscus Garden Inn, sitting on a major street near the Palawan Provincial Capitol.
    • If commuting, a tricyle anywhere around the capitol can take you to Hibiscus. From Palawan Provincial Capitol or Junction 1, it costs only Php 10 to Php 15 (regular fare/shared ride) and takes 5 to 10 minutes.
    • It is also possible to walk from Junction 1. It takes 20 mins.


    This first appeared in Philippine Primer’s Japanese and English Magazine February issue.
    Written by Rei Leaño

                 
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