[Puerto Princesa] ► Chao Long Beef Stew: My First Taste of Vietnam, But I Tried It in Palawan

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"The noodles taste unfamiliar. Deymn! Bagnet-loving tongue, you need to learn more food and grow up!"

[PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES] ▬ It was a rainy morning when I arrived in Palawan for the first time via Puerto Princesa International Airport. The urge to eat was subtly eminent. I spent my first hour in Palawan searching for breakfast. What happened next was a personal history.

CHAO LONG

[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ FIRST TIME TO SEE (AND EAT) CHAO LONG


▬ Chao Long Beef Stew: My First Meal in Palawan ▬


#PUERTOPRINCESA


AFTER CHECKING-IN AT THE HOTEL, I IMMEDIATELY looked for a place to eat. The hotel owner helped me find the direction to a certain toro-toro. I found the latter but it looked unattractive. The lugaw and arroz caldo they serve weren't appetizing for me. So I made a left turn to Burgos Street and found a restaurant that looks neater than the others I've seen.

 GRACE CHAO LONG

[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ GRACE CHAO LONG MENU


I asked their best seller and the lady who is assisting me pointed the bone noodles and beef stew. The two are also the most expensive. I picked the latter. It was served hot. On a tray, I was given two separate servings: a bowl of noodle soup and a plate of weird ingredients (for me) that's so unfamiliar.

The soup was dark orange so I thought this might taste like bulalo or the local miki noodle soup of I L O C O S

ILOCOS

and A B R A

ABRA


. Uh! I sipped the first spoonful of soup and it was deliciously unfamiliar. It tasted like a sweet tomato paste mixed with other spices then served hot. 

The noodle strands also look and taste so unfamiliar to me. I can not figure out what it was made of.


The Add-Ons are Foreign and Weird to My Pinakbet and Bagnet-Loving Palate


I NOTICED SOME INGREDIENTS SEPARATED IN A single platter. I honestly didn't know what to do to those extra ingredients. I was well aware that what I ordered was food so I concluded that the extra ingredients on the plate are edible and it doesn't kill.

I picked one piece of that white thingy and tasted it. It tasted raw. I just mixed it with my chao long beef stew. But the other green thingy made me feel I am a goat grazing in hunger at the grass fields. So I didn't mix it although I smelled it many times. Aromatic!

CHAO LONG

[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ WEIRD ADD-ONS FOR MY ILOCANO TONGUE

CHAO LONG

[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ THE NOODLES TASTE UNFAMILIAR. DEYMN! BAGNET-LOVING TONGUE, YOU NEED TO LEARN MORE FOOD AND GROW UP! LICK MORE FOOD!


Because I was so curious, I asked the lady what are the 'extra thingies' she gave me. She explained everything. I learned that the white thingy is a monggo sprout she referred as togue (she pronounced it 'to-ge') and the leaves are 'mint leaves(?)/ment levs(?)—not 100% sure if it was mint leaves because she pronounced it 'ment-levs', like, seriously, yes it was.


A Vietnamese Influence

THE OWNER WAS KIND ENOUGH TO EXPLAIN to me the history of the chao long in Puerto Princesa. He asked me if it is my first time to eat. I said yes then he started telling stories.

According to him, Palawan used to be a home to many Vietnamese refugees (well, I was aware of that but I didn't know the Vietnamese left some legacy on food here).

He told me that most of the chaolongan[s]—a place to eat chao long or where chao long is served—in city were put up by the Vietnamese people then inherited by the Filipinos. Now, Filipinos in Palawan can cook Chao Long! ▬ end

GRACE CHAO LONG

[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ GRACE CHAO LONG ALONG BURGOS STREET


► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This post is filed under the category "Food and Cuisines." To see more posts from this category, scroll down and look for the "More Posts from this Category Food and Cuisines" section below.

[2] The information posted on this article is based on a first-hand personal experience. The descriptions and my reviews may vary from your experience.

[3] All maps I used on this post are the works of Eugene Alvin Villar and Mike Gonzalez published on Wikipedia. Source: 1 | 2 |

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