The year’s finally ending and I know everybody’s already excited for the Christmas break. It’s just nice to chill and relax before the start of another year, right? And that super hayahay feeling of eating and drinking whatever you like while you’re in a heated jacuzzi, or beside a pretty pool, or by the sea. Okay, yeah, we need a break!
Thankfully, just recently I have been invited to join a group of travel and lifestyle bloggers/vloggers to experience and enjoy Sundowners Bolinao. (Thanks again, Dodj!) We had a fun tour around the beautiful municipality of Bolinao and tried different yummy dishes from around the place and one of the yummiest is of course in Ciao – a Filipino-Italian restaurant conveniently located inside Sundowners Vacation Villas.
Ciao Pizzeria by the Sea is owned by Johan Aberlanc who’s also a chef in France. The restaurant boasts the famous Italian pizzas and pastas with a fusion of our favorite Pinoy dishes. Johan definitely know what we Filipinos love most, huh?
I honestly was very curious of their versions of these dishes, and finally I got to try some of the interesting items on their menu and their best-sellers. We got 11 menu items here that we highly recommend:
This one’s probably my best bet for appetizer or for pulutan with light beer or even Coke. Haha! This platter of chicken bites is not your ordinary buttered chicken. Flavored not only with butter but certain spices as well which made it even more tasty.
Double-Patty Bacon Cheeseburger
Looks yummy? Gladly, it is indeed! Two beef patties, bacon chunks, melted cheese, and lettuce sandwiched with soft buns and partnered with crispy potato fries. What’s more to ask?
Fried Chicken Wings
Though not really a Pinoy recipe, we can’t deny Filipinos love for crispy chicken wings whatever the flavor it’s served with. Ciao’s platter of chicken wings were just regular, classic crispy fried wings, however, still tasty. You can choose from either 6-pc or 12-pc platter for the fam (or just for yourself, why not?). served with a bonus potato fries.
The pork barbecue is one of the most Instagrammable/photogenic dishes from Ciao. For restaurant features like this, we usually take almost 30 minutes (and more) taking pictures of all the dishes, but the group was already hungry, so I needed to do the shots quick! Finally when it was time to finally, actually, eat, I realized the bbq is not just a photogenic dish, but also one of the tastiest pork barbecue among all the resorts I’ve been at (even it’s got a little bit cold already lol).
Pork sisig is one of my most favorite Pinoy dishes EVEEERRR. I love them so much, I don’t think I can judge and rank them for a special post of “Top Sisig in PH” or whatever. Lol. Ciao’s Pork sisig is, of course, one of their best sellers especially during the nights or “happy hours” where people love to drink and just chill. Their sisig super yummy, not too crispy which is, in my opinion, why it is best to be partnered with rice. It’s not too spicy as well, so if you’re not a fan or chilis, it’s okay. However, you can always ask for extra chilis and calamansi from the staff anyways.
The mixed pansit is actually pansit bihon and pansit canton in one platter. In the usual Pinoy handaan or celebrations, pansit is never absent. So it is just a “msut” for Pinoy restaurants to serve their versions of pansit.
Who doesn’t love sinigang? Sinigang is a Pinoy recipe for soup or stew known by its sour and savoury taste. Its most often associated with tamarind, like this one. Like pansit, sinigang is also always expected in every Pinoy restaurant around the country or even outside. Ciao’s sinigang made my day.
Ciao’s bolognaise will remind you that the restaurant is not just your ordinary Pinoy resto. It also offers authentic Italian dishes like pastas and pizzas. The usual recipe for Pinoy taste is sweet, but in Ciao, expect a more Italian flavor.
Same with the bolognaise, Ciao’s carbonara is yummy as well. It’s just better if you eat it right away. (Make your photos good real quick!)
We ordered two interesting pizza flavors, and one of them is the carbonara pizza (which I actually filmed being done, watch it in my IG story Bolinao 2019). It smells super good and yummy, it made me hungry. It’s also cheesy, and the bacon toppings is, in fairness, generous.
What I lvoed more is the the sisig pizza (also best if you eat it while it’s still hot). Maybe mainly because I love sisig. Anyways, sisig pizza is interesting, made me curious, and when I finally got a taste, it actually didn’t disappoint. One of the dishes I’d order again!
Because Ciao loves you, and wants you to experience the best of your staycation, they let you make your own pizza! For as low as Php280*, you can feel like a chef and make your own version of Italian pizza!
Interesting menu, huh? My fave was the bacon burger and the sisig pizza. If you are visiting Sundowners the soonest, these are their must-tries! Plus this wonderful glass of mojito personally mixed for me by Johan (thanks again!). I super loved Sundowners Bolinao, and one of the reasons why is that they are home to Ciao Pizzeria. The restaurant offered not only good food, but a super nice view of the beach and the villas. The staff are nice and friendly, too!
Our lunch was great, and I also have to mention Ciao also can make your nights more fun! They host live acoustic nights every Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for you to enjoy your weekend stay!
*rates are as of November 2019
This article also appears in What to Eat PH.