Being in an island full of wonders and nature that is Batanes, our first order of business was to eat lunch specifically in D’ Island Lodge & Restaurant (D’ Island). This is because we saw its name pop up quite a few times when we were searching on the internet for the top places to eat in Batanes. Thus, we had to try it for ourselves to see what the fuss was all about.
Our first impression of D’ Island is that its interiors is simple which is consistent with the theme of the entire island. Most of their furniture are made from wood and the walls are painted orange to complement it. The place does have an air conditioner (as seen in the photo below) and electric fans, but, during the time we went there, those were not needed as Batanes’ weather was cool similar to the average temperature of an air conditioner.
For their food selection, D’ Island has a few Filipino classics like Calamari, Sweet and Sour Fish, some Japanese dishes as well like Beef Teppanyaki, Sea Food Tempura and, of course, their Ivatan classics selection. Certainly, since we were in Batanes, ordering those Beef Teppanyaki is a no brainer! Oops! I meant the Ivatan food!
As we focused on ordering Ivatan food, we started with the TURMERIC RICE (PhP 100/ $2.16) that is good for sharing. It’s a plain rice covered with turmeric, the “root of a Curcuma longa plant.” According to some research, Turmeric is one of the healthiest foods ever as it is used as an anti-inflammatory agent that treats different kinds of conditions like hemorrhage, chest pain, etc. Turmeric is also more known to be used as an ingredient in making curry and mustard. Now, that is informative! Now that we know that it’s good for the health, what does it taste like? Well, the turmeric not only gave the rice a yellow color, but it does have that ever so slightly ginger taste to it and a sticky feel. Overall, it gives the plain rice a little bit of flavor to it.
One of our main dish is LUÑIS (PhP 250/ 5.39). According to the locals, it is their version of Adobo which has no soy sauce and pepper. Luñis is basically just like a crispy porkchop with adobo cuts. It does have garlic sprinkled on it to give it more flavor, but it’s as simple as it can get. Honestly, I was expecting more from it.
My disappointment quickly turned to joy as soon as I tasted their famous COCONUT CRAB (PhP 1100 per 500g/ $23.711 per 500g). We had the chance to see the coconut crab alive before it went to our hungry mouths and stomachs as it was shown to us. For a little background, it got its name from its usual food which is the coconut.
Here are a few things which guaranteed that the coconut crab is superior than the typical crabs I’ve tasted in the past:
1. It has enormous fat.
2. Its main body has less bones, but has more meat which is really nice.
3. The taste of the crab’s meat has a hint of coconut taste.
3. Once its bottom part is cracked open, you’ll be in awe that it houses a lot more fat.
*When you also eat this, please make sure to keep your blood pressure in check to prevent high blood. If you have a history of high blood pressure, better not eat the coconut crab.
This expense if good for 3 people, so each person has to spend only PhP 483 (or $10.47). Yes, if you’re going to eat coconut crab, it’s much better if you’re with someone to share it with. Share not only just the food but also the expense.
D’ ISLAND LODGE & RESTAURANT IS REASONABLE
Overall, I really enjoyed the food from D’ Island (well, except for the Luñis). Although the coconut crab is really delicious, we have to take precautions by making sure that we seldom eat it and we try to pair it with the health beneficial turmeric rice. My only gripe is the the coconut crab’s steep price. However, it’s understandable in the end as it’s somewhat difficult to catch. When we return to Batanes, I hope we can eat here again.
If given the chance, will you eat the dishes that we’ve tried? Which among the dishes made your mouth water the most?
D’ Island Lodge & Restaurant
National Road, Brgy. Kaychanarian, Basco, Batanes.
Contact No.s 0908-851-0656 (Smart); 0907-509-1571 (Smart); 0999-992-9918 (Smart); and 0917-801-6699 (Globe)