Sunday, September 6, 2009

Asa ta mokaon ron?

There's been quite a spate of new restaurants opening in Dumaguete just this past month: there's the newly renovated Kamalig Restaurant that has relocated down the same street but this time very near the Boulevard; there's Chicken Dinagyang which took over the place that Kamalig left, also along Katada Street; there's Sultan's Place beside the newly opened Hotel Nicanor along San Juan Street; and just this week, Ka' Waway along Ma. Cristina Street, just a few steps away from popular FoodNet and Boston Cafe. Italia is also just around the corner but Italia's prices are just too steep for Dumaguete that's why the place is nearly always empty.

According to the waiter, Ka' Waway is named after the owner's son. The owner, by the way, also owns two other restaurants in Dumaguete, Highway 10 and Chicken Ati-atihan. A special feature of Ka' Waway and Highway 10 is the unlimited rice for some orders, a sure hit with rice-loving Dumaguetenos. Chicken Ati-atihan looks kind of run down, though, while Highway 10 and Ka' Waway are noticeably well attended to in terms of interior decoration. Highway 10 is airconditioned and reminds me of a restaurant in Manila (forgot its name) where the floor was checkered black and white vinyl and the food servers were on roller skates. Ka' Waway is an open air place, with a fiesta atmosphere, lots of lights and ceiling fans. I liked the native thingy (was it very thin bamboo?) they wrapped around the posts and some walls.

This is a blurry cellphone photo of Ka' Waway's menu cover. It says "Native Pala-Pala Resto" which reminds me of a saying in Bacolod that goes, "Sa Bacolod ang pera ginapala-ginapiko" alluding to the abundance of wealth in Negros Occidental. I think this is not what is meant by a Pala-Pala Restaurant but when I asked two waiters what pala-pala meant, they didn't know either.

One waiter said it had something to do with having a big fishpond, or a big sea-pond perhaps, as a lot of seafoods were featured in the menu. They have tuna, tangigue, tarugho, bangus, mamsa, maya-maya, lapu-lapu, blue marlin, tuna belly, et al, which you can order su-to-kill, which means sugba-tola-kilaw, or you can have it deep fried or sizzling. They also have nilasing na hipon and squid something together with talaba.

Another interesting feature in their menu is that they have specialties from all over the Philippines like Native Fried Chicken ng Davao, Native Fried Chicken ng Tayasan ( a municipality in Negros Oriental), Pochero ng Bukidnon, Kare-Kare ng Cavite, Bistek Tagalog, atbp. We had the sizzling Pampanga Sisig (without egg please). It was hot, oily and crunchy/rubbery, as sinful sisig should be.

It was a busy night for the waiters who were practically running as the place was jampacked. I am amazed. Dumaguete is changing indeed. Time was when Dumaguetenos preferred to eat at home, as it is so much cheaper than eating in restaurants. Buy fresh and cheap produce from the wet market, cook it at home and voila. Gastric needs satisfied.

I like change. So I'm wondering, where to eat next Sunday?



Tried to google what 'pala-pala' means but it was to no avail. Thankfully, there's Facebook and my foodie friend, Carla G., who enlightened me, "It's where you pick the fresh fish and other seafood you like and have it cooked the way you like it done." Ahh! Ok, now I understand! Thanks, Carla. :-)


Vk-mahalkaayo said...

kalami ani, puro seafoods.

kadaghan ng makaonan dha sa?

mga lami kaayo, maglibog na lang asa kaon.

sana makauli di maglain akong tyan, aron ko makakaon maayo.

thanks for sharing.

nerak seyer said...

ling pala-pala here means makeshift native huts or shed