Thursday, August 22, 2019

What Mary Loves: Amorita's New Saffron Dishes

Bohol is one of my favorite islands in the Philippines. Aside from its chill vibe and beautiful beaches, I love that this place is a gold mine for sea urchin. But I found another reason to like Bohol. And that's Amorita and its scrumptious new dishes at Saffron.

Hello, Amorita
Amorita is one of the luxury resorts situated in the famous Alona Beach in Panglao. It sits on top of a cliff giving its guests a wonderful view of the beach and sea. 
We caught an early morning flight to Bohol and got to the resort a bit too early but we were well assisted by the staff, from the airport pick up service down to the seamless check-in.
We were given refreshments and cold towel to welcome us as soon as we got to the lounge area. 
Since our rooms were still unavailable, we stayed at Saffron where we had some light snacks and coffee. 
We also got to indulge in Amorita's popular Mango Popsicle which was nothing short of divine! It tasted just like pure mango!
I was surprised that Amorita was running in full capacity in August considering that it is one of the lean months for resorts. Hence our rooms were still not available come noon. 
To pass time, we had lunch and feasted on Chorizo Fundido (PHP380), Tuna Poke (PHP400), Gado Gado (PHP310), Salmon Thermidor (PHP860), Laksa (PHP520) and Barbecued Pork Ribs (PHP940).
The Chorizo Fundido and Tuna Poke are some of Saffron's newest dishes and both were great!  
I liked the grainy texture of the baked quezo de bola dip cooked with chorizo for that smokey flavor. Make sure to enjoy it with garlic bread so that it won't be too cloying. 
The bowl of tuna poke served with crispy wonton chips is an excellent starter or snack. The raw tuna was prepared Hawaiian-style giving the fresh fish chunks that nice sweet yet savory flavor. 
One healthy dish you should try is Saffron's Gado Gado which is an Indonesian dipping salad served with fried cauliflower, cucumber, beans, potatoes, eggs, pineapple and peanut dressing. Each bite I got was packed with different textures which left me wanting more!
Its prawn laksa is definitely no joke as it was bursting with so much heat. One tiny sip of its spicy coconut seafood soup made me want to finish a pitcher of water. My companions who love hot dishes thoroughly enjoyed this though. Having low tolerance to spicy food really leaves me at a disadvantage. 
One of my fellow travelers got the plate of barbecued ribs and it looked really tender. 
I loved my plate of Salmon Thermidor. The baked salmon was moist and had this lovely contrast with the slight crisp of the cheesy thermidor. The salad on the side balanced the saltiness of the crust and made it easy for me to finish my plate in no time. 
I also liked that Saffron's Calamansi Juice (PHP210) wasn't sweet at all and served with sweetener so that guests can adjust it based on their preference. But I recommend going for fruit shake instead as it only costs PHP20 more and it is more refreshing. 
We got to check in around 2:30 p.m. and we were ushered to our rooms one by one. Ours was located on the third floor of the building across Saffron.
The Junior Suite (≈PHP15,000/night) could comfortably fit 2 guests. Equipped with two twin-size bed, cable television, spacious bathroom, mini refrigerator and sofa, one is guaranteed to have a relaxing stay. The shower and toilet are also split which is great when you're sharing the room with someone.
Mini bar is also complimentary and water is refilled every day. Basic toiletries are also provided. 
We noticed some bikes on our way to the reception area and decided to take a quick ride. Bike use is complimentary to all guests. The same applies to other activities such as archery, soccer, kayak, paddle board and the like. 
There's also a small gym across Saffron for those who like to work out or burn some calories.
Its breakfast spread is limited but covers the basics. My favorites were omelette with cheese, bacon and mushroom, sausages and sweet plantains. 
I like that they have dishes for kids too!
Our second lunch was a feast to remember as we got to try the other new dishes of Saffron. 
Aside from Chorizo Fundido and Tuna Poke, we also got to try Seafood Bisque (PHP240) which was a lovely medley of various seafood creating this thick soup topped with red pepper piperade. 
The Cheese Burger (PHP520) was massive! Thick US ground beef patty with pickled red onions, tomato, and lettuce served with fries, this was definitely one filling meal!
And speaking of cheese, Saffron's Bacon and 3-Cheese Macaroni (PHP500) was an easy favorite. The baked casserole topped with brie and crispy bacon is every cheese lover's dream. I would have loved this more though if there were more brie and bacon to go around. 
I found Beef Kebab (PHP500) to be a bit too steep considering that one order only has two skewers. But this Australian beef tenderloin dish would tickle your taste buds pink. It was oozing with beefy flavors beautifully complemented by chimichurri in every bite. I was also pleasantly surprised with how tender the meat was. I had a terrible experience with Australian beef before and usually steer away from it. But this one was stellar.
And if you want something more Filipino, you could never go wrong with Chicken Inasal (PHP290). This rice bowl topped with boneless chicken thigh in vinegar and annatto marinade is one of the dishes I'd surely order again. 
Do check out the Seafood Hawaiian Pizza (PHP550) if you are dining with family or friends. I never thought salmon gravlax and pineapple in pizza would work but this was great!
We capped our meal with scrumptious slices of Tablea Chocolate Cake (PHP260) and Yema Cheese Cake (PHP290). 
The Tablea Chocolate looked so sinful but it was not overwhelmingly sweet. Made with local chocolate, tablea, it had that dark chocolate taste to it which was enhanced by Chocnut cream and whipped chocolate ganache. 

But if you prefer something lighter in flavor, Yema Cheese Cake is your best bet. It has that macaroon taste to it as the cake has coconut crust. 
Full from our heavy lunch, some went for a nap while others toured around Panglao. I decided to explore Amorita's vast resort and walked towards its hidden cove.
The hidden cove is Amorita's private access to the sea. It is not very popular to guests as it is filled with corals which can be dangerous if you do not have water shoes. But if you prefer to lounge in a quiet and secluded place, this is a nice spot for you. 
My friends and I planned to try archery in the afternoon but the time slot we were eying was already taken by another guest. And since there was only one archery board for all guests, we had to cut this from our list of things to do. 

Kayaking was also crossed out from our list as it was low tide in the afternoon. Note that there are no stationed hotel staff to assist you with water activities so take extra precaution and grab a life vest. 
We ended up swimming by the pool in front of Saffron and it was actually a nice idea. We literally owned the pool divided into three deepness levels. 
Best to keep your 5:30 p.m. free for you to enjoy complimentary cocktails by the cliff side of the resort. This too is available to all guests. 
Friday dinners are also great as it means Friday Roasts!

Aside from the usual meats, there are also other dishes like pizza, pasta station and a few more. The spread may not be extensive but good. 
And the best way to enjoy your meal is with some cocktails!
You can also have your dinner by the cliff for that extra romantic vibes. Do contact Amorita for its set menu to secure a table here.
Our checkout was a breeze as well. We called the front desk to help us with our luggage as our room was on the third floor and quite a walk to the lobby. The staff arrived within 10 minutes and assisted us all the way. 
And here's a little peek of Amorita's popular Pool Villa (ranges from PHP27,000-32,000/night):
Amorita may be one of the pricier resorts in Panglao but you definitely get your money's worth with the service and perks you get from staying here. And despite running for over a decade, the resort is well maintained and perfect for very particular travelers. 

For inquiries, contact Amorita here or click here to book. 

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