by Sean Nolan
One of the newest additions to Boracay's latest wave of trendy restaurants and eateries, NONIE'S aims to bring delicious and healthy food options to a culinary landscape that is seriously lacking.
The items on their menu have been carefully crafted with health and wellness in mind. Their take on Filipino classics incorporates healthy cooking techniques that make their food new and exciting but also familiar.
Vegan and vegetarian items are available and they also specialize in a variety of freshly made smoothies and cold-pressed juices.
Owned and operated by Shria and Patrick Florencio, the newlyweds have invested everything they have into this venture, having walked away from the corporate world to try their hand at their own business.
Their vision is to not only run a great restaurant with quality food, but to also be a socially responsible organization that gives back to the local community.
The restaurant is named after and is a fitting tribute to Patrick's mother, Cenona Florencio, or Nonie for short.
The restaurant's interior is cozy and warm and has sort of a green health store vibe that matches the theme of the restaurant.
The food is made from fresh ingredients that are sourced locally within a 100km radius in and around Boracay Island.
This practice, which ensures fresh produce, lessens the impact on the environment and helps to sustain local farmers.
This vegan take on a Filipino comfort food dish is perfect for any time of day.
Chicken Salad (P300). Adobo Chicken breast, seasonal greens, local carabao cheese, topped with house dressing.
This salad was excellent! The adobo chicken breast was cooked perfectly and the greens were nice and crisp.
(Trivia: Carabao is a type of water buffalo native to SE Asia. Cheese made from carabao's milk has a similar texture and taste to a mild feta or cream cheese.)
Lean and Green (P170). Malunggay, calamansi, celery, cucumber, pineapple, apple, ginger.
Liquid Sunshine (P160). Pineapple, mandarin, organge, granny smith apple.
You can taste the pure flavors of each ingredient and since it is cold-pressed, you can feel good about drinking it.
I wish they could bottle this so that we can enjoy it while walking around Boracay.
Pork & Beans (P330). 72-hour Crispy Pork Belly, baked egg and beans stewed with fresh tomato, with freshly baked bread.
A fantastic twist on an English classic! The beans had a nice bite to them and the sauce wasn't sweet like a traditional baked bean dish. You could also taste the fresh herbs and tomatoes.
What made this dish really stand out was the crispy pork belly, made in-house with a process that takes around 72 hours.
Anyone who likes baked beans will most definitely enjoy Nonie's version.
Chicken And Pork Adobo (P420). Grilled chicken adobo, 72-hour Crispy Pork Belly, soft boiled egg, with organic black rice, and Cavite-style adobo sauce.
This was one of the best chicken and pork adobos we've ever come across. A must-try!
The grilled chicken had a nice smokiness that added another dimension to the adobo sauce. Paired with their already excellent 72-hour crispy pork belly, there was nothing not to love about this dish.
Bistek Tagalog (P440). Braised beef brisket, bistek sauce, seasonal greens, carabao cheese, with sweet potato mash.
Another re-imagining of a classic. The beef brisket was tender and the carabao cheese added a nice creaminess to the bistek sauce. The sweet potato mash was a good alternative to rice that really complimented the dish.
(Trivia: Bistek Tagalog is traditionally made with sirloin and onions that have been braised in soy sauce and calamansi.)
Beef & Kimchi Grain Bowl (P350). Braised brisket hash, soft boiled egg, Nonie's kimchi, with sorghum.
It was our first time to try Sorghum, which is a type of cereal grain commonly found in Africa, Austraila, and South Asia. It has a light earthy flavor and is similar to wheat in taste and texture.
The combinations worked really well together and the housemade kimchi added a nice and spiciness.
Fish And Prawn Curry (P440). Catch of the day fish and prawn with organic black rice and homemade curry sauce.
The weakest of everything we tried. This dish was just OK. The curry seemed to mellow and was lacking in flavor and spice, and the fish was overcooked.
(Note: Worth another try? Hopefully they can fix their seafood menu since they are on an island and Roxas City is just nearby.)
Pineapple Pandan Pancakes (P220). Three pandan pancakes topped with braised pineapple and coconut dulce de leche sauce.
One of the nice things about Nonie's is their All-Day Brunch menu items. Our favorite is this unique take on pancakes.
The Pandan Pancakes are nice and fluffy and the coconut dulce de leche sauce is amazing!
Boracay-bound pancakes lovers, take note!
Kesong Puti Cheesecake (P220). Local carabao cheesecake topped with fresh young coconut and seasonal fruit.
Carabao cheese is perfect for making cheesecake. It is healthier and a more environmentally friendly way to enjoy a classic dessert.
Rich and smooth, the cheesecake was surprisingly not that sweet. We like the fact that it comes from locally sourced carabao.
Flourless Chocolate Cake (P220). Flourless chocolate cake, cashew nut and raw cacao nib praline with calamansi curd.
Flourless cakes are either hit or miss. Thankfully, the folks at Nonie's know what they're doing.
The praline and the calamansi curd have subtle flavors and they didn't overpower the chocolate.
Mango & Sticky Rice (P190). Cebuano-style sticky rice with ginger and lemongrass.
A classic Filipino treat. The sticky rice was flavorful and the sweetness came from the ripe mangoes.
NONIE'S is a fantastic restaurant that has great potential. Their sustainable philosophy of keeping things local and as fresh as possible pays off immensely. Their carefully crafted menu fills in a much-needed niche in a place that is short on healthy eating establishments.
If you're in Boracay, give them a try! Vegans, Vegetarians, and Health-conscious Carnivores will all find something to enjoy here.
Go for the Chicken Salad or the Chicken & Pork Adobo. For dessert, try the Flourless Chocolate Cake. Budget about P500/head.
Congratulations to Shria and Patrick and the amazing crew at Nonie's! We wish you all the best of luck!
Live an Awesome Life,
SEAN NOLAN of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We paid for our meal. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Our Awesome Planet Boys-approved! They loved the munggo, meat dishes, and the healthy juices.