By Chef Gene Gonzalez
If one is outgoing and a beach person who has to traverse and jump from station to station plus go through different watersport activities, then I guess the most important meal is breakfast that should sustain oneself during erratic and unset hours of eating. For a longer than usual stay, I did find three places worth taking a sumptuous brekky:
Sea Breeze–This is the frontline buffet outlet that the Henann group of resorts seems to market well. Breakfast buffet starts at around 6 a.m. and normally serves at least 500 people a day showing off a great selection of menu items that would one way or the other catch your mood or preference during the start of the day. Choices are immense such as at least 10 to 12 types of breads from housemade multigrain to scones and snicker doodles. Batter breads such as pancakes and waffles along with French toast, are conveniently located beside a large heap of bacon and a leg of homemade ham that is carved to your thickness preference; small section of fish either tuna, sardines, and mackerel packed in oil alternate with tuyo (dried Sprats), crispy little dilis (dried anchovies), and danggit (tiny split and dried rabbitfish). If one does not have their eggs or omelet custommade, then there is a choice of Spanish omelet or scrambled eggs and even topped on English muffins with hollandaise like little Benedicts, a whole lane of salad items, and about eight dressings with fresh fruit are in one long lane. The other side of the lane features a choice of at least 12 breakfast viands that keep the diner confused. Beside this is a chilled showcase with verrines of homemade yogurt and light desserts even fruit gelatins for the kids. I love the guava juice they have as an everyday offering plus the Davao pineapples with their intense flavors, which are mainstays of the buffet’s fruit offerings.
For a breakfast buffet and the reasonable prices they charge, it is small wonder why this is the most talked about breakfast buffet in the island.
Christina’s–Henann flagship for a la carte and bistro style of dining and a hidden secret in Station Two.
The menu selections are immense and there is a special card for their plated breakfast plus a section for some great sandwiches that are quite sumptuous with such unique selections that are only available in this restaurant. The Scandinavian was my choice the first time I had my breakfast here. The plate had a good sized portion of pan seared salmon on top of a crisp rosti of potato, char grilled asparagus, and a light streaking of hollandaise plus a small ramekin of baked beans. On another day, we tried their Taste of Paris, which has French toast topped with melted gruyere, grilled bacon, slow roasted tomatoes, and parmesan crumbled poached egg. There were some sweet plate sets we also tried such as French toast stuffed with grilled mangoes, vanilla mascarpone, and a hibiscus jelly. There is a mini buffet of breads, jams, and spreads plus fruits that rounds out these plated breakfasts. We did stop by for brunch one busy morning and had one of the finest club sandwiches in the island made with their own bread.
Kolai Mangyan–Is a 24-hour place on the highway in Station Two that normally serves locals and hotel employees coming out of their shifts. The budbud special, which is a banana leaf wrapped rendition of pork and chicken adobo is very popular. Another interesting discovery is bulasing, a thick, rich, sour soup typical of balbacua or cow shins meant to defray or neutralize the effects of “vacation inebriation” for tourists that go to this place or the locals who have their bouts with drinking, too. Fried milkfish or daing na bangus and even kare-kare is available even in the morning as the partygoers (turned vampires) have to have a recovery meal before going home to sleep.
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