I must admit that besides being the residence of my good friend Jeman Villanueva, my knowledge of Cavite pretty much revolves around Emilio Aguinaldo and Marian Rivera– and that pretty much is how I’d probably describe the place–home of the brave and the beautiful.
But as I found out recently, Cavite is also home to some pretty interesting cuisine, such as the “Lawlaw,” “Pansit Kawit” “Mutya ng Cavite” and my favorite the “Caladracas.”
So if every you’re visiting Cavite and plan on going on a food trip here are my 7 Picks of Original Cavite Dishes you must try!
- CALANDRACAS – A popular soup in Cavite City that uses ham hock stock as base and has carrots, potatoes, cabbage, chickpeas, chicken, gizzard, chorizo, and sotanghon then seasoned with patis Tanza.
- Mutya ng Cavite — The rich creamy soup is originally from the old 7 Sisters Restaurant, owned by the Sabater family in Marulas, Kawit. Consisting of mussels, crab, clams, and shrimps, it shows off the fresh seafood catch available in Cavite. If you love seafood, then this is something you must really order.
- Fried Lawlaw- A Cavite City special. This Crispy deep-fried may have a funny-sounding name but the tiny fried fish fillet is no joke to make. “It is so hard to fillet that fish, only one small restaurant in Cavite City has been doing it since the 1800s. Crunchy like chicaron that’s a bit salty, but perfect with rice and dipped in spicy vinegar.
- VALENCIANA – Since no Pinoy meal would be complete without rice, how about a dish that is a complete meal in itself. Valenciana is a typical dish from General Trias, it is similar to the Spanish paella with chorizo de Bilbao, chicken and pork but with coconut milk to give it that creamy taste.
- Pancit Kawit/Pancit na May Puso ng Saging. Okay I’m just torn about these two pancit dishes I decided to include them both. Pancit Kawit or Pancit Pusit has that unique dark shade of the noodles from the squid ink. It is topped with squid rings, grated green mangoes, and scallions, the squid ink gives it that distinct “fresh sea” flavor while the Pancit na may Puso ng Saging, is a bit on the sour-sweet side. This Caviteñean pancit uses combination of bihon and miki bihon cooked in achuete with small slices of pork and thinly sliced green beans, carrots and cabbage. Instead of calamansi as souring agent, Pancit Puso is served with thinly sliced puso ng saging (banana blossom) cooked in generous amounts of vinegar. The pickled puso is mixed into the pancit to achieve alternating bites of salty pancit and chewy, sour-sweet puso.
- The Adobong Imus– It may look more menudo than Adobo because it uses atsuete instead of soy sauce. It is slow-cooked in vinegar, annatto oil, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. This manner of cooking Adobo has been an old Cavite tradition.
- Pancit Malabon. Surprise! Despite popular knowledge this favorite pancit dish actually originated from General Trias and began back in the day when General Trias was still called San Francisco De Malabon. Made of glass noodles, shrimps, smoked fish and eggs mixed with shrimp sauce and topped with chicharon, this version I tried is a bit more “saucy .”
These are just seven of my picks but there are a lot more original Cavite dishes you have to try, and the great news is you can find them all in one place–at the Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park!
Executive Chef Vill Purificacion and his team gathered the finest fare from the various towns and put them all together in a menu which will be available at the Fishing Village every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting this November 18 and will be served daily beginning December 22.
Island Cove’s “Taste Cavite” menu is a showcase of indigenous ingredients, history, and tradition. It is a one-stop Cavite food tour. “Being located at the mouth of Cavite, Island Cove should be the gateway of all things Cavite,” points out Managing Director Gilbert Remulla who hails from Imus. “We’d like everyone to know how rich Cavite cuisine is. We are serving the food of our childhood. A lot of the restaurants that offered these specialty dishes are no longer around but we want to bring the food back. We’ve also sourced dishes which are proprietary from other restaurants,” he continued.
With this delectable line up, you don’t need to travel far and journey throughout the province of Cavite. The relaxing ambiance at the Fishing Village enhances the feeling of being far away from the urban chaos. The cluster of bamboo huts standing on water facing Manila Bay is an ideal dining destination for balikbayan relatives visiting for the Christmas holidays. And all it takes is a quick drive through the Manila – Cavite Expressway.
Check out their complete menu below:
TAMALES – P300 A Cavite City native dish with galapong or glutinous rice flour mixed with corn meal, chicken, pork, and salted egg then wrapped in multiple layers of banana leaves and steamed.
LAWLAW – P300
TAHONG CHIPS – P200 A Bacoor original. Deep-fried, crisp mussels chips made of flour, spices, and salt.
CALANDRACAS – P200
TALABA AT ENSALADANG LATO – P600 Fresh Bacoor oysters served with seaweed salad and vegetables in season.
MUTYA NG CAVITE SOUP BY SABATER – P600
BACALAO – P500
ADOBONG IMUS – P450
AFRITADANG GULAY NA MAY BABOY – P450
VALENCIANA – P450
PANSIT WITH PUSO NG SAGING – P450
PANSIT MALABON – P450
PANSIT PUSIT – P450
PANSIT LUGLOG WITH TINAPANG TUNSOY – P450
KAKANIN PLATTER – P300
BLACK GULAMAN WITH GATA – P225
Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park is located in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite only 20 minutes away from Mall of Asia. For more information, log on to www.islandcovephil.com, call (046) 434 0210 or email [email protected]
Check out Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park on social media : https://www.facebook.com/IslandCoveHotelandLeisurePark, http://instagram.com/islandcovephil, http://twitter.com/islandcovephil.