On the peaceful island retreat of Amanpulo, the amazing food is the only thing to draw you away from enjoying the snow-white sandy beaches, gently rocking in your hammock or dipping your toes in the clear blue sea….
As Amanpulo is a totally secluded island and it takes an hour to get there by plane, you’re limited to the restaurants on the island. But actually you’re not limited at all as there’s plenty of choice in order to vary your time there. The hotel has four restaurants to choose from, and though one was closed for refurbishment, we still didn’t find returning to the same place repetitive. In my opinion the best quality food came from the main Clubhouse which served breakfast, lunch and dinner…
Every morning for breakfast I had a plate piled high with fruit, I just love mango and will eat it at any opportunity when it’s perfectly fresh. There were lots of other breakfast options of course, full English, Filipino breakfast, waffles…pretty much anything that you fancy.
The Clubhouse menu slightly varies for lunch and dinner but at both meals there are options for Western dishes, Asian specialities and local favourites.
In the hot weather I craved light food and enjoyed yellow fin tuna sashimi…
A local favourite of kinilaw, a ceviche made from marinated tuna, calamansi juice, ginger and coconut milk.
A fresh crab from the nearby island of Manamoc served with sea grapes and louie dressing.
Preferring more meaty options Mr S opted for dishes such as chicken wings and Wagyu beef tenderloin from the grill.
Of course, every single meal was punctuated by a dish of ice cream or sorbet made from local fruits.
Dinner at The Clubhouse included an atmospheric serenade on the guitar and the opportunity to try more local options from the menu.
Such as Lumplang Shanghai (crispy spring rolls) with ground pork, shrimp and sweet chilli.
Escabeche lapu-lapu, a whole grouper with sweet and sour sauce, caught that day by local fisherman.
Take a turn down a sandy path and you’ll find a secret Picnic Grove….
Open only for lunch, you can dine with your feet in the sand in this beautiful and relaxed restaurant.
After devouring pizza from the wood-fired oven or fresh fish and an assortment of salad, you don’t need to put your shoes back on as you can head straight out on to the beach afterwards.
There was also the Beach Club restaurant, which we visited on our first night for sundowners…
The Beach Club also served breakfast, though the menu was the same as the Clubhouse and I found the fruit was better quality at the latter. The Beach House was great for lunch, serving a menu of tapas with a wide open view of the Sulu Sea.
You’ll notice that due to the island’s size and the limited number of guests, the restaurants always seemed a little empty. But rather than feeling a cold and lacking in atmosphere, the welcome greetings of the staff and the beautiful surroundings meant we still felt a warmth and convivial ambience.
Daytime at the Beach Club meant tapas and tacos!
Soft floury wraps stuffed with shrimps and salsa and doused in citrussy lime…
Plump mussels served in their shell…
Spicy prawns in a rich tomato sauce…
Tuna tartare in a crisp taco shell…
A piquant taste of chorizo.
And a deliciously crunchy calamari.
Dinner at the beach club introduced one of Mr S’s favourites:
Paella brimming with juicy seafood, fresh off the boat. The service at the restaurants was also excellent, extra chairs were bought for our camera and bags, fans were bought over when it was overly hot. A real testament to the care and attention given to guests was when my salad was too salty and the food and beverage manager came to talk me about it herself the next day at breakfast.
As well as all these amazing restaurants, Amanpulo offers the opportunity for some incredible private dinners. We had booked a sunset cruise and barbecue on our own private beach but when high winds meant our beach barbecue was cancelled, the hotel more than made up for it by moving us to one of the salas in the Clubhouse. Who wants sand in their food anyway!
I was worried that the privacy of our special meal might be compromised by still being in the Clubhouse but actually we were quite far from the restaurant and we had our own private chef and waiter.
Enjoying avocado ceviche…
A beautifully barbecued sea bass…
And a whole lobster!
I was far too full to enjoy my dessert of baked bananas and chocolate sauce!
As you can see, even with one restaurant closed, in our five days at Amanpulo we were able to enjoy so much variety in food, from international classics, to Asian flavours and local specialities…there was no chance of getting bored with the food at Amanpulo.
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