Palawan: Art & Food at KaLui Puerto Princesa

Tired and hungry from our half-day Puerto Princesa city tour, we requested our driver and tour guide to drop us at KaLui where we have a lunch reservation.

I've been trying to book at this restaurant since we arrived in the city but I only got a confirmed booking on our third day. On the same day, we are flying back to Manila in the evening so no way we could come for dinner. When the reservation staff told me there was an available table for lunch, I immediately confirmed. I promised myself not to leave Puerto Princesa without dining in this restaurant which was highly recommended by our friends. People who have been to this restaurant will tell you that your trip to Puerto Princesa is never complete without dining at KaLui. And so we did and it was truly amazing.

We were greeted at the entrance with smiles and were received warmly by everyone. We were politely asked to take off our footwear and the staff showed us a locker where we can keep them. Diners wouldn't mind barefooting because the wooden floor was well-polished and super clean. It is also customary in many provinces in the Philippines to leave your footwear at the doorstep especially if you are visiting someone else's house. I think that the latter was the reason behind this practice.

KaLui was to our refuge. It was noontime and it was quite hot and sunny outside but inside this nipa hut (Kubo) restaurant was cool and pleasant. The triangular roof both tall and steeply pitched allows warm air to rise while the handmade wooden and bamboo floors and woven bamboo mat (sawali) walls allow air to pass through hence the cool temperature inside the restaurant. No air conditioning is needed, electric fans suffice on a really hot summer day. Nipa hut or the Bahay Kubo in which this restaurant is modeled is the iconic house of the Philippines and it is cleverly designed to beat the tropical heat. You can say it is an architectural feat of the indigenous Filipinos since the pre-colonial days.

The restaurant was also very cool in an artsy kind of way. Every corner is filled with art collections. Some are for sale although I am not sure which part of the collection was for sale because I didn't ask but surely it sparks the collector in me. I know I can't buy any to carry back to Manila due to a limited baggage allowance. Solution: I took many photos of this native restaurant which I doubt I will find somewhere else unless Ka Lui or Mr. Lui if I guess the name of the owner correctly, will decide to branch out of Palawan.

Dining area with tables for two with small flower arrangements using flowers called birds of paradise

Restaurant counters

More of the dining area

way to the ladies toilet

Gallery Wall

Even the ladies' toilet lounge is filled with many art pieces

Ladies' toilet lounge area

so is the garden, no corners spared.

Not only the whole restaurant was treated as art here, but even the food was also a work of art. The type of art that has been perfected by the chef.

The food they offer here is freshly caught and in-season seafood and vegetables harvested from their own garden (as I was told)

We ordered their KaLui Special of the Day set. It says it is good for two (if you have a big appetite) but was enough for all five of us to share. We only added a bowl of rice and a plate of fried calamari as requested by the kids.

We started our dinner with some warm clam soup in clear broth and some seaweed salad.

Fish roll in coconut cream

Tuna Fish steaks

Fried Calamari

Prawn in lemon butter sauce

Vegetables of the Day (eggplant, banana plantain, and sweet potato)

For our drinks, we ordered Bukoconut which is chilled coconut juice, iced tea, and mango juice.

We cannot stop raving about the food to each other. Everything served to us was delicious coupled with a wonderful ambiance supported by excellent customer service, we are truly one happy lot of diners.

If only we can dine again at KaLui on the same day, we definitely would book for dinner.

After a hearty lunch, we finally decided on our course of action for the next and our last three remaining hours in Palawan. The debate: To go or not to go on a DIY island hopping tour at Honda Bay.

Learn all about it in my next blog post here.

KaLui Restaurant
369 Rizal Avenue Puerto Princesa City Palawan
(Opens Daily Save Sundays Lunch 11-2 pm; Dinner 6:00-10:30 pm )
Reservations Requested:
(048) 433 2580
Mobile No:
- +63 928 753 9621
-, or
- Ask your hotel front desk to call KaLui

My Yellow Bells

Carla is a lifestyle blogger based in Dubai who's thankful to call this ever-evolving city her second home. The pages of this blog are filled with stories about her expat life in the sandpit. It features dining and travel adventures in and around the city and beyond. It also features food recipes, parenting tips, and fashion style.


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