Boracay, in all its hot and humid glory, is a great place for ice cream, cocktails, shakes and ice cold beer. It’s necessary to cool down while staying hot in this tropical paradise. Plus it’s cool.
So why in Guan Yu’s name am I eating bulalo in Boracay?
Bulalo is the most unlikely food one can enjoy in Boracay. Don’t get me wrong though. I love bulalo. I have high praises for Batangas bulalo. It’s just that hot soup plus hot weather equals, well, either you get desensitized or uncomfortably hot. I mean, barbecues are fine, no matter how hot it is, especially if you wash them down with beer. Soup? Unless you’re sipping cold ramen, which is best during summer, but I digress.
On our first night in Boracay, we were famished and craving for something big enough to sate our appetites, so we just popped in some place and ordered whatever we thought was great.
Incidentally, the main feature of the restaurant was bulalo.
Smoke Resto is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant at D’Mall Boracay (they have another branch just at the back alley of D’Mall). It’s quite small, just enough to accommodate a large group and several pairs or so, and one would even mistake it for a mere sidewalk food space. But what the place lacks in space, it makes up for with the menu.
While the goodness of the Batangas bulalo rests on its perfect blend of beef, marrow, and vegetables, Smoke Resto’s bulalo soup screams “beefy broth overdose.” That’s because with this baby, the broth is the first to go. It’s thick, not as marrowy as our Luzon counterpart but flavorful enough to fill you up and crave for more beef. Sabaw pa lang, ulam na.
Other stuff we tried in succeeding visits were:
Sizzling bulalo, perhaps the only thing in the menu that rivals the bulalo soup. The beef is the juiciest I’ve ever had in the sizzling category, and the marrow oozing from this dish is top notch.
Like I said.
Here’s an interesting plate of chopsuey.
It was only during my most recent trip to Boracay that I learned Smoke Resto is quite popular among tourists. Many enjoy its bulalo – hot, steamy, marrowy shanks and all – as comfort food, the cure for a terrible hangover, and that constant growling of the stomach that comes after a night of drinking and partying. It helps that everything is served hot and fast.
Visiting this quaint and inexpensive-looking restaurant is a must for those who want a quick and filling meal, people who miss home-cooked food while enjoying their vacation in this hot island.
As for me, well, why am I eating bulalo in Boracay? Never mind if it’s hot in here, I’m hungry. Besides, we’ve eaten here quite often, so I might as well.