April 22, 2014


When I started asking around friends who have been to Puerto Princesa, Kalui Restaurant is the first thing that they blurted out that we should try. Even when I searched the web for where to eat in Puerto Princesa, Google always gives back Kalui.

My friend gave me the number of the owner of Kalui and told me to send him a message so we can reserve a table in advance. Because this place is jampacked both during lunch and dinner time; Kalui is that famous.

We took a trike from Legend Hotel to Kalui and I was about a 10 minute drive. We were greeted by the guard who ushered us in. It was just 6:30 pm but the place is full of tourists, Filipinos and foreigners alike.

One of the servers welcomed us  asked us to remove our footwear, he then instructed us to put it in one of the drawers that served as shoe lockers. We will be barefoot all throughout our dinner; this is necessary to keep the wooden  floor of the restaurant maintain its clean and well-polished condition.

Kalui’s interior is very native Filipino with very relaxed mood lighting. A lot of Palawan wood carvings can be seen everywhere. But what I adored about this place are the paintings all over the restaurant which are made by local artists and every piece is also for sale. Kalui is definitely an artists and art-lovers haven.

I noticed that the paintings were dominated by this artist named Elay (pronounced just like Eli or “i-lai”). I tried researching about him or her on the net but can’t find some information about him/her. I really love the subjects in his paintings, they depict mostly daily Filipino activities and are very Pinoy.

At the back of the restaurant on your way to the comfort rooms you will notice an area that may serve as a stage, I don’t know if in-house performances are being done here, but I think it is perfect for any act like poetry reading, small plays,  solo acting and acoustic music playing.

Kalui has limited food variety to choose from and consist of seafoods and vegetables only, sorry no pork or beef entrees here). At first I thought Kalui would be pricey because of its popularity and the fact that it has become a must when you’re in Puerto Princesa. I was surprised that the menu items are affordable (We paid more at Badjao Seafront). We ordered the Kalui Special of the Day Set, which is already good for two persons and costs only Php 435 (around US$ 10)! That such a value for our money, seriously!

The Kalui Set of the Day included:

Fish Rolls in Coconut Cream & Lato
Fish Steak (catch of the day)
Veggies of the day (eggplant)

While waiting for our food,  one of the servers went up to our table and with a pan in his hand, and he suddenly picked the fillet of fish from the pan onto our plates. Yes from the pan straight to our plates!  It was unconventional but probably it was their way of saying that their food is freshly cooked and you get to enjoy their  dishes when they are still hot and fresh off the stove.

You might think that the serving is not large enough, but we got so full from what we ordered. I loved the fish roll and the  deep-fried, lightly battered, tempura-style eggplants and  the fish steak; I can’t remember though if it was  tanigue (mackerel )or talakitok (cavalla, jack o trevally)

There is also a complimentary dessert of fresh fruits placed in a coconut shell and sprinkled with muscovado sugar.

fresh fruits sprinkled with muscovado sugar (complimentary dessert)

Everything was good and we both enjoyed our dinner at Kalui’s. Our around Php 500-worth dinner (for two) was of best value: price, quality, taste and ambiance-wise.

After dinner, we still wanted to stay to wait for the feeling of fullness to settle, so thought of having coffee near the stage area. While we were enjoying our coffee, we got to chit-chat with a group of men, whom we later found out are barangay captains (government officials) from Valenzuela. All of them including Mayor Gatchalian attended a conference in Puerto Princesa, but we were not able to meet the mayor because he was still eating when that transpired between us and the barangay captains.

It always crossed my mind while we were in Puerto Prinsesa, to go back to Kalui’s, say maybe for lunch, because of how much I like their food but there are other restaurants that we must try. Well, maybe Kalui will be one of the reasons why we should visit Puerto Princesa again and soon.

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

Read about my Puerto Princesa Travel Diary blog posts here:
Go & See:
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Kuyba Almoneca, Your Alternative to the Palawan Underground River
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, & - Puerto Princesa Baywalk
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Palawan Special Battalion WWII Memorial Museum
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Emerald Playa Beach & Nature Park
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Dos Palmas Island Resort
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Where to Buy Souvenirs
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour Part 1
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour Part 2
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Irawan Eco Park and Zipline
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Crocodile Farm and A Peacock I've Never Seen Before
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Mitra's Ranch & Baker's Hill
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Binuatan Creations Handloom Weaving 

Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Badjao Seafront Restaurant
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: KaLui Restaurant
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Bona's Chaolong
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Kinabuchs Bar & Grill
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Rene Saigon Vietnamese Specialties
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: White Fence Country Cafe

What I wore:

Puerto Princesa Travel Diary:  The Legend Hotel Palawan
Puerto Princesa Travel Diary: Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn

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  1. Hello, i have been reading your travel diary about Palawan and find it really useful as we are also planning a trip there end of May. Thank you for sharing your detailed account and generous tips! I also find the 600/person city tour quite expensive. We are 9 in the group, so even if I believe Bryan would be a trusted guide, am afraid its not practical for our group to go around in tricycle. Would you happen to have any transpo suggestions for our group? Would also appreciate if you can suggest must visit places we can squeeze within 9am to 4pm time frame. Hoping to create beautiful memories in PP as you have... thanks to your help :)

    1. hi, thank you so much for reading my blog posts, I think Bryan can also help you look for a van service to accommodate your group, but that would cost you a little bit more... based on my research van rental cost around Php 2,000... but not going with a tour group gives you more freedom when you want to leave a certain destination and where you want to go...

      I haven't posted the other parts of our trip but on our last day we also did another day tour that included Irawan Eco Park (where we did the zipline), Binatuan Weaving Creations, Baker's Hill, Mitra's Ranch (though nothing is much to see here) and Crocodile Farm. I enjoyed Emerald Playa too.

      Do also try to eat at Bona's Chaolong, Rene Saigon Vietnamese restaurant, Kinabuch and Kalui :-)

      You can specify with the driver where you want to go, like what we did, I already written down our own itinerary.


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