Coco Beach: Doña Lina Revolving Restaurant

Friday, August 3, 2012

Originally, Tapioca and I planned to have a romantic dinner by the beach. However when they showed us the menu, it was plain boring and not too enticing. We checked out other restaurant's menu and found Doña Lina's five-course dinner to be more appealing. Now the problem was, that restaurant would only open if there would be a minimum of 6 persons who will sign up for dinner. Tapioca and I told ourselves if we're lucky other guests would sign up. If not, we can still continue with the dinner by the beach. The next morning, the Coco Beach staff told us our reservation pushed thru as there were other 5 guest who signed up as well. Great.

Dona Lina was the first revolving restaurant in Puero Galera. It boasted of a 360 degrees view of the resort. It's a fine dining set up where the kitchen was built right in the middle of the restaurant. You can have the privileged to watch the chef as he prepares the dishes.

We arrived late for dinner. Apparently, Chito - the boatman from the fishing trip had been waiting for us to fetch the snorkeling equipments. Since we were asleep the entire afternoon and our phones didn't have good signal we completely forgot to return it back to him. So when he reached the beach we were surprised to see another boatman waiting in behalf of Chito. Apologetically, Tapioca went back up to the cottage to pick up the gears. It took him forever to get up and down the hill and that's why we were late. Now the restaurant was on the 4th level of the tower and we have to climb all the way up. You can just imagine how tired Tapioca by the time we got seated.

. . . sweaty Tapioca still all smile

There were no electric fans in the resto and also the humidity was not helping at all. Poor Tapioca had to bear all the heat. He was sweating so badly. I kinda wish he could take off his polo but of course we have to consider the other guests. Since it was night time we can't really see or enjoy the view.

farnese vini sangiovese . . .

It was humid that night therefore all I really wanted was some ice-cold coke. Unfortunately the only thing they offer were wines and bottled water. It's like they're really pushing us to get some wine. I'm not used to drinking wine but didn't want to spoil dinner with just plain ol' water. We asked if we can order just half a bottle but they only have wines by the bottle. No choice we ordered a bottle of their cheapest wine. Mind you, it ain't cheap at all. It was just the lowest price amongst the wine list.

. . . snooty Jellybean

Akala mo kung sinong sanay na uminom ng wine. Feelingera! Tse! Bwahahaha! The wine was sorta bitter but we think it's better that way than being sour na parang vinegar.

fish fillet with warm vinaigrette . . .

Fresh tuna fillet dressed in tangy vinaigrette with a hint of mustard. The wine did wonders into this simple fish dish that went so well with the vinaigrette. And that hint of mustard was made more pronounce. Now I understand why we must have wine. It heightened my senses which made the dining experience unforgettable. I have never enjoyed wine not until this encounter.

. . . baguette

While waiting for the next course, we nibbled on these freshly baked and served warm baguette. Tapioca loved this bread. It was crusty on the outside but soft on the inside. I'm not a fan of baguette and I don't like crusty bread as it leaves my mouth dry. But with the wine, I had a change of heart. As soon as I emptied my first wine glass ramdam na ramdam ko yung pag-rotate ng floor. Like inch by inch. Although I must say it's not really nakakahilo. As I said the wine was doing something to my senses. Okay, ako na ang feelingera. But pramis feel na feel ko talaga yung espirito ng wine. LOL!

homemade carrot soup . . .

Puree of fresh carrots with cream, parsley and croutons. Err, the croutons were missing. Nevertheless, the soup was mouthwatering. Light and creamy and very smooth. The carrot was definitely the dominant ingredient in this dish and it gave a delicate trace of sweetness. I can drown myself in this soup. It's that good! Tapioca and I kept dipping the bread in the soup and savored its goodness. We wiped our soup bowl clean and emptied the bread basket. I wanted more but this was just the second dish. We still have three more dishes to go.

. . . here's mr. chef preparing the salad 

tomato bacon salad . . .

The first two dishes were outstanding and this salad fell short in comparison. Yes, the greens were fresh but really there's nothing special worth writing home about.

. . . tournois rissini de paris

Prime Brazilian tenderloin with lavish demi-glace and mashed potato. The demi-glace looked more like gravy to me but regardless the star of the dish was the meat itself. Thick piece of succulent beefy goodness that was buttery soft, flavorful, oh so juicy and cooked to perfection. As usual mine was done medium while Tapioca had medium rare. Both of us were very satisfied and felt like we're in steak heaven. We agreed that the price we paid for this dinner was all worth it. The mash potato was equally good and so did the gravy. I loved it even more with the wine. As we relished each bite of our steak we realized we're down to our last glass of wine.  We thought we would never be able to finish an entire bottle by just the two of us. By the way, the steak was huge and I needed to make room for dessert so I gave what's left on my plate to Tapioca who happily finished everything.

Now its time to cap off the wonderful dinner with dessert. I watched the chef as he prepares the last course. It was a very easy dessert. First, he melted the butter in a pan. Then, he added some orange and mango juice, some white wine, sugar and sliced mangoes. Lastly, a big splash of brandy and  flambéed the whole thing. Then he set them up in a serving plate and finished it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Viola!

mango flambé . . .

Yummy! No one can go wrong with this dessert. I can definitely try this at home. I just need to be careful with the brandy though.

. . . after dinner picture-picture

We were so delighted with this dinner from Doña Lina's. From the excellent food to the top-notched service, everything was remarkable. Every time our server would picked up the empty dishes they'd politely ask us about the food. We found it really nice that they asked our opinions about it. After dessert, the chef himself went to our table and asked how was dinner. We were more than glad to meet him and talked about the amazing food, the resort and the repeat customers who kept coming back to Coco Beach. Certainly, we'd love to do this again (if budget permitted).

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