After resting in our room in Vest Pension House in Bohol, my companions and I decided to check out Island City Mall and to grab a late lunch. Going to the mall was easy; we just had to flag down a passing tricycle near Vest's entrance. Fare was P40.
If I'm not mistaken, Island City Mall is the biggest mall in Bohol. From what I saw when we were there, most of the food joints in the mall were the typical restaurant chains you see in Manila. I wanted to try a new restaurant, as going all the way to Bohol then eating in the usual restos seemed lame. There were some food court stalls that sold Boholano food, but since the whole vacation thing was our treat to our senior companions, I wanted a food place that was a little more formal. If we had more time, we could have been more adventurous and tried non-mall restaurants to get a taste of authentic Boholano food while enjoying the view. As it was, we had to make the most out of our situation.
Thankfully, when I craned my neck, I caught sight of The Prawn Farm Grill and Seafoods in the upper floor. Prawn (or shrimp) is a magic word for me, so bingo!
Prawn Farm did not disappoint. I wish they had a branch near our place here in Manila.
We ordered the following: Pochero, Lechon Kawali, Pancit Sotanghon, Shrimp Balls of Fire, Pork Sizzling Sisig, and Buco Shake.
The pochero was different from what we expected. We were expecting a tomato-based stew. What Prawn Farm serves is the Pochero Visayas, which is similar to bulalo or nilaga. The pochero comes in a huge bowl and is big enough for 5-6 people. There are chunks of meat, corn, and cabbage.
The lechon kawali is tender and crunchy. Not greasy and not too fatty.
The pancit sotanghon has a lot of vegetables and seafood, making it tasty. The sotanghon itself is of good quality; the strands do not break easily.
I really enjoyed the shrimp balls of fire. The balls are meaty and dense, unlike some seafood balls which are mostly flour. They are not greasy even when cold and are still yummy even without the sauce (I ate some of the leftover shrimp balls later on, still tasted good).
The pork sisig is served already mixed, with mayonnaise, chopped chili, and bell pepper. No need to add calamansi juice and soy sauce or seasoning. I'm a big fan of mayo, chili, and bell pepper, so I like the Prawn Farm sisig, but if you are sensitive to chili or prefer your sisig to not have mayo, better tell the waiter upon ordering.
The buko shake is served in a cute glass with a piece of cherry for adornment. Sweetness is just right. Very refreshing.
By Manila standards, the food here is affordable (I'm not sure if it is still affordable by Bohol standards, where the cost of living is lower). Prices are similar to Manila restaurants. Our bill total was P1240 -- not bad for good, satisfying, filling food for four people. We took home some leftovers so the food could actually be good for five people. Here's the breakdown of the cost:
Pochero Visayas - P245
Lechon Kawali - P205
Pork Sizzling Sisig - P205
Pancit Sotanghon - P145
Shrimp Balls of Fire - P185
Plain Rice - P15 each
Buco Shake - P65 each
The restaurant is spacious and classy. The wooden tables and chairs add to the sophisticated look. The lights give a warm glow and are nicely complemented by natural lighting coming though the glass walls. There are lots of seats available and stairs lead to an upper level where seats are more private.
The textured walls near the entrance of the restaurant gives the place a modern vibe and a couch is available for waiting patrons.
An open kitchen lets the diners see the kitchen staff busily preparing the food. Electric blue lighting adds a modern accent here and there.
There are also aquatic tanks and a display where you can choose fresh seafood. Some tanks are empty though.
The tables are already set. All the needed china and silverware are laid out and the table napkin nicely folded.
Service is good and efficient. It does not take long for the ordered food to arrive.
CleanlinessThe place looks clean and very orderly.
The Prawn Farm Grill & Seafoods
Upper Ground Level, Island City Mall