We weren’t there for the bees. We were there for the food.
When we stopped at Bohol Bee Farm on the way to the resort, we knew that given our very hectic itinerary, we only had enough time for lunch. At the back of our minds, however, we still hoped that we could join a bee tour while waiting for our orders to be served. Unfortunately, the latest tour had already started and the next one won’t start until a couple of hours later. We agreed to just drop the idea and enjoy the rest of what the place has to offer.
Bohol Bee Farm is a privately owned resort and hotel but it is best known for two things — their restaurant and their organic farm. It was my third time in Bohol and I said to myself that I would not let it end without making a stop here for lunch. Perched on a cliff a kilometer from the main highway of Panglao Island, it is not very easy to find; a place that you need a conscious effort to get to. And those who make an effort are rewarded with a fantastic, healthy dining experience. The restaurant is hidden at the very end of the area, concealed by trees and their crawling branches. To get there, we had to walk across a lovely garden that sets the tone and the rustic atmosphere.
When we reached the restaurant, we were greeted by friendly staff, one of whom asked us to pick a table. We chose the one on the edge so we could have a great view of the beach. Unfortunately, the view was blocked by the overgrown trees, which was fine. (Of all things that could block a view, we’re definitely okay with trees.) There’s a staircase that leads to the beach at the base of the cliff but only hotel guests are allowed access to it.
The waitress handed us a menu, which gave us a difficult time because we couldn’t pick for they all sounded intriguing. At one point we considered the buffet but since there was 4 of us and 2 children, we figured we could just order what we want ala-carte and let everyone have a taste of each. And that’s what we did.
Right after making orders, we were given a plate of complimentary squash bread with mango and pesto spreads. I’m not a bread person but I fell in love with this bread! It was very tasty, almost sweet, that it actually did not need any spread. But the spreads themselves were really good. The bread was enough for lunch under normal circumstances for they were quite filling.
When the main dishes were served, we weren’t surprised that they came with rice and salad. The kids were shocked, however, that the rice was red and the salad covered with colorful flowers. The kids immediately picked the flowers and asked, “Tito, are we supposed to eat this?” to which I replied, “I have no idea.”
No matter how hard we tried to brainwash them, we couldn’t get the kids to try the red organic rice because it’s pretty new to them. We didn’t want them to throw tantrums early on the trip so we ordered a plate of plain rice, which was served immediately. But not with another quirky twist. The rice was topped with camote bits to the delight of the kids. This time, the kids included myself.
The honey-glazed chicken and the grilled fish were both good. Not spectacular but good. The chicken was well-cooked and had a sweetness that lingered for a little while after swallowing. The fish was really tasty and smoky. I was expecting the slice of fish to be dry as in other restaurants I had tried in Bohol but this one was a bit tender and juicy. Everyone loved the fish — even the kids. The crab in coconut sauce, however, was a letdown.
The salad was superb with or without flowers, and the honey mustard that came with it was heavenly. The freshness of the leaves and the sweetness of the dressing created this weird, addictive combination that I had never had before. I loved, loved, loved it.
After a hearty meal, we decided to walk around the resort. My niece is vain at an early age and she wanted me to take a photo of her at every picturesque spot she could find at every angle imaginable. But when she got tired, she begged that I buy her a scoop of ice cream from the Buzzz booth by the entrance to the resort. The Buzzz Ice Cream is also operated by Bohol Bee Farm. Like the dishes they serve at the restaurant, the flavors of the ice cream were just as curious with malunggay, spicy ginger, and tomato the most offbeat. I tried malunggay, my niece avocado, and my not-so-adventurous nephew mango. Another interesting bit, the cone the ice cream sits on is made from dried cassava.
When it comes to taste, the food at Bohol Bee Farm delivers. But its taste is not what actually makes this place worth trying — it’s the overall dining experience of which taste is just a part. The presentation is intriguing, the food healthy, the atmosphere cozy, and the service topnotch. It would have been much better had we joined a bee tour but even without it, it’s the kind of dining out that kids and adults alike will surely enjoy and remember for a long time.
How to get to Bohol Bee Farm: If you’re on a packaged tour or staying at a resort on Panglao Island, you can simply ask your driver to stop at Bohol Bee Farm for lunch on the way. If not, you may take a tricycle or habal-habal from the airport but I have not tried either. I asked around and found out that the cost is P200 roundtrip. You can also ask Bohol Bee Farm to pick you up for free at the airport. Contact details below.
Bohol Bee Farm
Ms. Vicky Wallace
Dauis, Panglao Island, Bohol
Opening Hours: 6am-12mn