If you visit a province, it is customary to taste their native dishes and delicacies. The moment we arrived in Tagbilaran, we made it a point to find a restaurant that offers Boholano or Visayan dishes at the very least.
Mahogany Food Court serves just that! This particular restaurant, or carinderia as we Pinoys (Filipinos) call it, is just a short ride away from the Tagbilaran Port and is near the Plaza Rizal Park. The restaurant is very reflective of the life in the province: simple and leisurely. A breath of fresh air for once from those touristy and mainstream restaurants that I see everyday, Mahogany lets you take your time and really enjoy their home-cooked dishes with no fuss.
One of the dishes that we ordered is Balbacua which is basically oxtail that had been simmered until it is tender! This is actually their version of the Bulalo in the Luzon area.
This gelatinous seaweed is agar-agar or Guso as they fondly call it. RIch in protein and iodine, guso is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Flavorful in itself, the sourness of this Guso salad perfectly complements an order of grilled tilapia or liempo!
This is what I enjoyed best because I love to eat innards! The dish above is called Paklay which consists of beef, goat or pork innnards such as tripe, liver or heart that are sauteed and cooked with ginger. Just leverage your expectations though because in some parts of Visayas, Paklay to them is merely meat or vegetables cut into strips. So if you are to go to the Visayas region and order Paklay, better ask first if it is the Paklay with just the meat and vegetables in it or with the innards, just to make sure that you got the right dish! If you are familiar with the Papaitan of the Ilocanos, that's basically how it tastes like just without the bile or the stock.
We also ordered other dishes like the pansit and kaldereta plus 7 cups of rice for a group of 7 but after all had been added up, our total bill was just a mere Php 300! That also included 4 cups of their creamy caramel coffee sold at Php 5 per cup which really tasted caramel! Where can you get nowadays a nice cup of coffee that's only worth Php 5?? And to think that they stand true to their claim that it what their offering is indeed caramel?? It was a real blessing!
Do not expect something fancy from Mahogany Food Court because it is far from that description. But if you like to experience the Boholano / Visayan culture through their dishes as cooked by the locals without putting much pressure on your wallet then Mahogany is the right place for you!
MAHOGANY FOOD COURT
(add) C. Marapao St. Cor. E. Butalid St., Tagbilaran City