Several years ago I went to Maldives and stayed at a 5 star resort. The place was beautiful but the food was shockingly expensive and mediocre at best. Balesin Island Club can compete with the one in Maldives and the food is priced reasonably and quite good to boot.
We had the buffet breakfast at the Balesin Clubhouse and it was just the kind of buffet that I liked. The choices weren’t overwhelming and most of the food were excellent. They only have a buffet spread if there are more than 100 guests at the resort.
I almost didn’t try the ham since I usually find it too sweet but I was curious how it tasted since the ham was made with pork belly.
Here’s my plate filled with all their meat dishes sans Spam. The corned beef and breakfast sausage were good but the bangers sausage was fantastic. It had a stronger flavor which had no hint of sweetness which reminded me of English breakfast sausage. I only got a small piece of ham to try.
This was my second plate of ham. My first bite of ham made me swoon with pork joy. The texture reminded me of fresh corned beef made with beef belly. Tender, cured pork which wasn’t too sweet nor too salty layered with a little fat that melted in my mouth. The skin wasn’t crunchy but the flavor was sublime. Words can’t describe how much I loved this pork belly ham. I wanted to find a container and pack the whole piece to bring back to Manila. Whoever thought of using pork belly into ham is a genius!!!
When I go back to Balesin I will eat this ham with toasted pan de sal or baguette slathered with Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese. Then I will cut a few pieces to be added to an omelet. Then I will eat more ham with just the skin. And for dessert I will have some mangoes with ham.
I tried both kinds of mini cinnamon rolls (with ham) and was surprised to like the pale one more.
I didn’t like the bibingka. I found it too doughy.
The clubhouse served a special preview of their soon to open Italian restaurant at the Toscana Village.
If their pizza was any indication of the other dishes in the restaurant I can guarantee that it will be a big hit. I’ve NEVER ever eaten a pizza with a crust this thin. I could barely hold the slice without the crispy crust breaking. The thin crust made the tomato sauce, cheese and toppings just stand out more. I could easily finish an entire pizza by myself. After the ham this was my second favorite dish during my entire 3 day trip.
Most of the villages in Balesin had only one restaurant each. Balesin Village had an additional dining spot called BALESIN FISH FUN. I took this picture from our villa.
We weren’t able to catch a fish so one of the waiters just did his magic and procured one for us.
All of the seafood comes from Manila except for the lapu lapu which was caught in the waters surrounding the island. The management wants more fish and other species to come to their waters before they catch them for food. It’s their way of creating sustainable seafood for the long term.
I admire how they skillfully cut the coconut into pyramids but I hated the soup that tasted neither like chicken or coconut. It was cloyingly sweet and it reminded me of atchara (pickled green papaya). Strange huh? Needless to say I didn’t touch the soup.
I don’t eat pinakbet but my friends raved about it.
The squid could have been more tender and flavorful.
The giant tiger prawns were cooked to exact timing and were succulent.
The crab was quite tasty too.
It was a shame that the fresh lapu lapu was fried in not so new oil. It would have tasted much better grilled.
Check out my other posts on Balesin Island Club.
Snapshots of Balesin Island Club (iPhone photos)
Balesin Island Club – Balesin Village
Balesin Island Club – What We Ate at Balesin Village
Balesin Island Club – The Balesin Spa
Balesin Island Club – Mykonos Village
Balesin Island Club – St. Tropez Village
Balesin Island Club – Phuket Village
Balesin Island Club – Costa Del Sol Village
Balesin Island Club – Bali Village