SUBO is a Filipino restaurant serving reconstructed Filipino food by Chef-Owner Jian Sacdalan, located along Calle Remedios in Station 3, Boracay. Former chef Sunny de Ocampo may have moved on to other projects, but the Subo concept lives on in the island.
The design and interiors are unlike any of the restaurants I’ve seen in Boracay. It's not your typical kanin sa kaldero-sabaw sa palayok kind of Filipino restaurant. Subo takes inspiration from well-known Filipino dishes and serves them in not-so-familiar ways.
Here’s what to expect at Subo Boracay…
Their interiors are cozy and reminiscent of an old Filipino house.
The base of the tables are up-cycled Singer sewing machines.
And the chairs are similar to the ones in old houses too.
The servers are even dressed to match the theme of the place.
Laing Fish Balls (₱ 380). Coconut fish balls stuffed with yam leaves, fried tilapia, and chilies.
A unique take on Bicol’s laing. We especially loved the presentation of the fish balls looking like they were huge pearls.
Croquettas (₱380). Sticky pork croquettes, caramelized red cabbage, and pineapple.
Try to get a bit of everything in one bite for a full experience. The combination of the tart pineapple, the sweetness of the pork, and the crunchy red cabbage makes for an interesting set of flavors and textures.
Beef Buko Puso Salad (₱ 620). Coconut, banana heart, beef tapa or prawns, green beans, cucumber, tomato, fried shallots, garlic, chili, and Asian herbs.
Subo’s version of a Filipino salad. We loved this! I would honestly never have thought of using buko and puso ng saging together as ingredients. It's a good way to use Filipino ingredients in a salad.
Paro-Paro (₱ 760). Inasal butterflied chicken in achuete oil, turmeric, and lemongrass & chilli, with papaya atchara relish and crushed peanuts.
This is one of Subo's bestsellers, and for good reason. You can't visit Panay Island without having at least one version of a chicken inasal.
Chicken Binakol (₱585). Native chicken cooked in coconut water served in a coconut shell.
Great soup to have on a gloomy day. We found the chicken to be tough, but that's to be expected when eating native chicken.
Seafood Kare-Kare (₱780). Mixed seafood in achuete peanut sauce with banana heart, snake beans, eggplant, baby choy sum, and okra.
We loved that this dish was not drowning in sauce. The seafood was definitely the star of the show here.
Bagoong Rice (₱320). Rice tossed in shrimp paste.
The bagoong rice worked with all the dishes but is best paired with their kare-kare.
Sorbet (Cucumber and Coconut) (₱120). Frozen fruit juices mixed with home-brewed lambanog.
The taste of lambanog was very prominent in the cucumber sorbet. It’s not too strong though…just a slight kick to start your afternoon.
Leche Flan (₱180). Creme caramel cooked with coconut milk.
The use of coconut milk gave this leche flan an almost custard-like, creamy texture. This is not for those who like their leche flan with more body.
Mango Queso Cake (₱200). Fresh mango cheesecake with crushed butter cookies and mango coulis.
I always say it’s not a Filipino restaurant if there’s no mango on the dessert or drinks menu. Subo’s Mango Queso Cake is not too heavy and generous with the mangoes.
Don’t miss out on their Pineapple Apple Shake (₱135) as well. It pairs nicely with all the dishes and cleanses the palate.
After our meal, we were treated to a folk dance number by the staff. Apparently, this is a well-known tradition for Subo’s guests.
They serve the bill in this old clothes iron.
We loved the whole vibe of Subo. Their attention to detail is commendable–from the interiors down to the cutlery–everything is well-thought of. This is the best place to bring your friends from overseas if you would like them to have a completely different Filipino food experience.
Don’t miss out on their Laing Fish Balls, Buko Puso Salad, Seafood Kare-Kare, and Coconut Sorbet. Budget about ₱ 1,000/head.
The only down side here for some locals is that what they serve is not really representative of Filipino food since it's deconstructed to a point of confusion. Ultimately, it's up to you to try, taste, and weigh in on the debate.
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P.S. You can ask for a degustation menu if you reserve your table in advance.