Mid last year saw many social media accounts showing depressing pictures of d*mall devoid of any life with boarded up shops and restaurants. The lack of the normal throb and pulse of life was, along with the rest of Boracay, giving us all the impression of the Island being like a ghost town.
But fortunately for the local community, Island icons such as Aria and Lemoni Cafe always remained open during the typhoons, enforced closure and this awful pandemic. When the lockdowns became really harsh, they were still there doing their best to serve the community.
It’s so good to see that Aria continues to serve an amazing array of some of the best Italian dishes you could ever wish for, and Lemoni Cafe is a place where you can have breakfast, lunch and an evening meal, and never tire of being in this delightful restaurant.
Now it’s great to see the Hobbit Tavern, Valhalla, CYMA, Thai Basil and Chopstick have opened up again, sadly though for me, is that Ole has not – I’m missing not only their food, but owner Steve as well... he’s weathering this storm out in Manila for a while.
The Hobbit Tavern’s convenient corner spot has always been a great place for sipping a cold beer or cocktail and watching d*mall life walk past and Thai Basil has consistently served up some of my favorite Thai dishes over the years. Chopstick Korean restaurant is always a good option for alternative Asian fare. CYMA, a Greek Taverna, has just expanded their seating and added a nice little bar for an ouzo or two.
For some reason though (and it can only be the food), I’m always drawn to Valhalla when I’m really hungry. Being the lover of meat that I am, their steaks are as good as you can get anywhere on the Island. It’s always good to gaze at the mural on the wall to see many old friendly faces. We’ve had some great times in this restaurant...
Being a hot day and lunchtime, I opted for their steak salad, a delightfully light but delicious mix of strips of medium rare beef with mango, ripe cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives and some delicious blue cheese. The lettuce was crisp and a little virgin olive oil and touch of balsamic vinegar complemented everything perfectly.
Claire had a dish from the special lunchtime menu and chose the Humba, a tasty native pork dish, which she said was really excellent, as well as being extremely good value for money.
After lunch and sitting on the beachfront at EPIC restores some normality back to Boracay life again, and it continues to draw in a good crowd with its great food, drinks, and of course, music. Sunsets and beyond here are a great way to finish off the day.
In many different ways, life has been somewhat difficult for much of Boracay and its residents. But the community here bounces back time and time again. At the heart of that, d*mall has always been one of the best places to catch up with friends both old and new.
Thanks for another great day.
Life’s good ... 🌴🍷