Virgin Beach Resort (San Juan, Batangas)

For a hungry stomach on a road trip to the well-known stretch of beach in Laiya, Batangas, there’s one important thing to remember — it’s difficult to find a good place to eat in San Juan or along the entire stretch up to the main row of beach resorts. The first pick, and it turned out great (thank you, food gods), is the Virgin Beach Resort (San Juan, Batangas).

When we said it’s difficult to find a good place to eat, we’re referring to stand-alone restaurants or fast-food chains. There is, of course, a perfectly good reason for this — Laiya is teeming with resorts that naturally serve food. People don’t take a break from the Metro jungle to eat at a fastfood chain, do they? We ended up in one of the best beach fronts you can find in Laiya, the Virgin Beach Resort.

It would be very interesting to know why they named it Virgin Beach Resort. It’s a resort, “a place that is a popular destination for vacations or recreation, or which is frequented for a particular purpose.” It’s a beach. Laiya is one of the finest stretch of beaches that this side of the island has to offer. It’s a virgin, uhm, a virgin beach. It might be descriptive of the well-maintained beach or to the fact that it’s not exactly open to the general public.

For all we know, it could refer to something else entirely different, but for this post, we focus on something other than the beach or the cottages. It’s all about the restaurant and the food.

It’s easier to forgive a beach resort if the food is ordinary. After all, the primary reason for the visit is the beach. One of the main reasons, at least. If it were otherwise, if the primary reason for the visit is the food, then might as well go to a restaurant. Happily, there’s nothing to forgive about the food at the Virgin Beach Resort.

We are not picky with food while at the beach and many of you may share the same sentiment. Get a fresh fish, do some cuts across the body, throw in salt and throw on the grill. Or a simple pork liempo with pepper and salt to taste on the grill. Or kinilaw. Throw in some boiled potatoes and we’re happy.

Of course we would be very much happier with something extra. Just like what we got at the Virgin Beach Resort.

Let’s start with the salad. There’s the Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. It looked good, just like any other salad. A happy mix of bright colors. We didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary. This is, after all, a beach.

But something wasn’t right with the salad. With raised eyebrows and with repeated nods, we expressed surprise that the salad was good. Really good. We could end the meal right there and conclude that food at the Virgin Beach Resort tastes good. It was just the starter. We moved on to the other plates served on the table.

While we were waiting for the food, seated on the open-air restaurant with a blissful view of the Batangas sea, the Club Sandwich came next. Then arrived the Grilled Pork Chop, soon stripped to the bones. The Pancit Canton, just the way a good canton should be.  The Shrimp Pasta, al dente.

All amazingly delicious. So much so that we asked the staff who the chef is. An experienced chef, we were told, and we would have gone talk to him to personally thank him for preparing great food for the guests. He was there except that there was some sort of a meeting with the manager. We moved on and continued our search for the Palm Beach Resort.

Now that we know we could always drop by Virgin Beach Resort to enjoy the food served in its restaurant, even if we’re not overnight guests, we no longer mind that there are no fast food chains found in Laiya. We hope we’ll enjoy the same great food the next time we’re back.

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