Island Cove serves Cavite’s culinary pride + My top 10 food picks

I lived in Cavite for a year when I was studying at De La Salle University – Dasmarinas, but I never knew that Cavite ha rich and flavorful dishes to offer.

Island Cove is a paradise in Kawit, Cavite. They offer a very relaxing and serene ambiance for the family and kids to enjoy. They are also serving Cavite’s Culinary Food Pride named Taste Cavite every Friday to Sunday starting November 18 and in December 22 they will offer it everyday.

It was really a great experience and privilege to be one of the first to taste Chef Vill Purification’s master piece as his team find the rarest and finest Caviteno Cuisine and put into a new menu. Not everyone knew that I am a Chef myself that’s why I am so picky when it comes to food, I have a very keen taste buds and it was my very first time to do a food review after 2 years and this was really a nice come back, because I got to enjoy a very delicate and scrumptious food and got to know its history.


I listed my top 10 food favorites from Chef Vill Purification’s Menu. I graded it as 10 as my least favorite and 1 as my super duper love.

island-cove-cavite-taste10.  Tahong Chips

I am not fond of tahong, but I love munching up on tahong chips, but I find the vinegar with a lot of onion overpowering to the chips. But, this chips is worth the try indeed!


9.  Afritadang Gulay na may Baboy

This dish is from Kawit, Cavite and is a stir fried pechay, sweet potatoes and bell pepper  and sautéed in pork. I love the richness of the dish and how the pork is so tender you can easily munch on it. I think they should have serve more of the veggies than the pork.


8. Adobong Imus

It’s my first time to see and taste an Adobo without soy sauce, but what I love about it is that it has a very distinct taste that makes this Adobo apart from other Adobo’s in the country. You’ll still taste the sourness and the different spices that the Adobo we used to eat, but the difference about it is the Annatto oil which gives a little twist on it.

Chef Vill shared “ The manner of cooking Adobo has been a tradition, since the time of my Lola”.

7. Tamales and Bacalao

Tamales is a glutinous rice flour mixed with corn meal, chicken, pork and salted egg and wrapped in multiple layers of banana leaves and steamed. I haven’t tried this dish since I was so stuffed with a lot of food served to us yesterday, but my mom insisted that it’s delicious and that I should try it.

Bacalao uses dried labahit or surgeon fish cooked with veggies, Spanish Chorizo, Garbanzo and annatto oil. I have a low tolerance with salty food that is why I ended up pairing this to Valenciana and it taste so good! (More rice please!)


6. Valenciana

This General Trias native food is very similar to Spanish Paella with chorizo de bilbao, chicken and pork, but what makes this dish very distinct is that Chef Vill put coconut milk on it, which compliments Bacalao. But, don’t worry you can also enjoy Valenciana alone or with pork and chicken.


5. Pancit Malabon

Pancit Malabon originated not in Malabon, but in General Trias becasue before it was called General Trias it was known as San Francisco De Malabon and they have been making this pancit since 1800. What’s super distinct about this Pancit Malabon of Cavite from Pancit Malabon of Malabon is the smokey taste of Pancit Malabon of Cavite because their tinapa or smoked fish is from Rosario’s a famous tinapa in Cavite and uses Tinapang Tunsoy (a small fish) or locally called as Tinapang Salinas.


4. Calandracas

is a soup based food which uses ham hock stock, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, chickpeas, chicken, gizzard, chorizo and best seasoned with patis Tanza, but I think even if you’ll not put patis Tanza it’s so rich is in flavor and best for kids who are sick. (this is based on my own opinion)


3. Pancit Pusit or Pancit Kawit

I can say that this is a local version of Pasta Negra, the noodles has darker shade because of the squid ink. It is topped with grated green mangoes, squid ring and scallions. This is so new for me and I super adored the taste because it’s not “malansa” and best eaten with green mangoes.

2. Pancit Puso and Mutya ng Cavite

is served with Puso ng saging or banana blossom which is cooked with generous amount of vinegar. This dish is best way to stabilize your palette after you have eaten a lot of food and the best way to eat it is by adding a lot of banana blossom to the pancit.

Mutya ng Cavite GCR’s (Gilbert Remulla, Managing Director of Island Cove) ultimate favorite among the dishes served. Mutya nf Cavite is a creamy soup based dish with a lot of different seafoods like mussels, crab, clams, crab and shrimp. It is a slow cooked to perfection and is originally from 7 sisters restaurant which is owned by Sabater Family of Marulas, Kawit.

This 2 dishes super got my attention and I’ve eaten it twice in a row haha!


1. Kakanin (Kutsinta, Sapin-Sapin, Puto and Kalamay Bunalejos)

I love kakanin and most of the kakanin that we buy here in Manila is not as good as what I’ve tasted in Cavite (this is not an exaggeration). The kutsinta is not so sweet and rubbery and best paired with niyog, Sapin-Sapin melts in your mouth, but is not too dense, the puto is not the usual one that you can buy in the market which is airy and fluffy, and lastly their Kalamay Bunalejos is like bucayo, but much tastier and less sweet.


My ultimate favorite: LawLaw

I don’t really like fish, that’s why I am so amazed when I almost ate 2 plates of lawlaw. The name itself is so funny, but don’t under estimate it because this fish requires great skill in filleting and only 1 small restaurant in Cavite has been doing a great job in filleting it since 1800’s. I think this is best paired with sinangag (fried rice) and eaten bare hands (yum!). LawLaw is tasty even without the secret vinegar recipe of Chef Vill, but the best with it.

Did you know? 
That GCR (Gilbert Remulla) will soon named the crispy fried lawlaw on my behalf and it will be called LawLaw ni Arcee. (I think he was just kidding about it, but I’d love to be lawlaw’s ambassador haha! 1 year supply of lawlaw will do.)

Prices of fish and other seafoods.
Prices of fish and other seafoods.

If you want to taste the Cavite’s Culinary heritage you can check out Island Cove. The “Taste Cavite” Menu is available at the Fishing Village every Friday to Sunday starting November 18 and will be served daily starting December 22.

Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park is located in Binkayan, Kawit, Cavite and it’s 20 minutes away from Mall of Asia. For more information, log on to, call (046) 434 0210 or email

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