Palawan Series Restaurant

Eat Your Way, Barefooted, at Kalui

Wednesday, July 18, 2012Ryan Mach

Don't feel weirded out when waiters at Kalui ask you to take off your shoes before they lead you to your reserved seat inside. It's part of what makes eating here a unique experience. Eating barefooted, that is. You'll feel the coolness of the wooden floor sooth your feet as you sashay your way past diners and real fruits tucked on posts and bamboo tables.

The festive interior and subdued lighting allow for a pleasant eating experience. Customers can choose a traditional dining set-up (chairs and table) or a more homey one (low tables and soft cushions for seats). Located at 369 Rizal Avenue in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, KaLui Restaurant is owned by 57-year old Luzerino Oliva. Locals and guests fondly call him Ka Lui (Brother Lui), thus the restaurant’s name.
"I'm not sure about the inspiration of their design. It's not purely Filipino," I observed, looking around, barely moving from my seat. We had just finished an exuberant dinner. It's almost 10 in the evening, yet the restaurant was showing no sign of slowing down. Waiters were moving to and fro, taking orders from customers who had just arrived.

"Probably Asian - a touch of Indian but definitely tropical," my friend Dan commented, he himself was highly satiated with what we've eaten, so as the rest of the gang.
With their ample serving, you would think that they tailormade each dish for sharing. Our order included succulent hipon halabos, smoky roasted mackerel, tasty fish dipped in coco cream and eggplant coated in flour. Looking at the menu, everything on offer seemed to be a winner. Combine these delicious mouthfuls with fresh buko juice and you may end up having a full stomach.
Round-the-block queues and fully-booked reservations prove that Kalui hit on winning recipes. But it's not just about the food - the overall design and the very homey ambiance make the place special. I recommend checking out the area at the back near the comfort rooms where a mini-stage ringed by a wooden veranda does serve as a cozy hang-out. Right beside it is a small gallery that features different artworks like paintings and sculptures.
*It goes without saying that making a reservation is a must if you want to try this restaurant because they are proving extremely popular.
*Make sure that you leave room for their complimentary dessert (fresh fruits served in fresh buko).
*First-timers are encouraged to try "Kalui Special of the Day," a set meal good for 3 people
*For reservations, you can call their land line: (+048) 433 2580; mobile no. 0947-7617191 or 0948-7232522 Or, e-mail: Visit their website.
*And oh, don't worry about the price, it's very affordable.

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