Thai Curry Crab, Piri-Piri Scallops + More New Eats to Discover at Boracay's Well-Loved Restos

sunny side group, percy seafood
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes ILLUSTRATOR: Warren Espejo

(SPOT.ph) There’s always a good reason to visit—or revisit—Boracay. The sight of the sun and sea does wonders for soothing the stressed-out folk; the adventurous can try their hands at riding banana boats or paraw sailing. And for the food lover, there’s an abundance of dining spots spanning a range of cuisines and genres.

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PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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You’ll find numerous restaurants dotting Boracay’s shores. But The Sunny Side Café and Spicebird, brought to us by Nowie and Odette Potenciano of The Sunny Side Group of Restaurants, remain faves among locals and tourists alike. Since opening in 2014 and 2015 respectively, they continue to serve leveled-up brunch fare and grilled gems albeit in new locations. And they’re still well worth the trip back, whether to reunite with your old go-to’s or to find your new faves from the newcomers on their menu. The Sunny Side Group’s two relative newcomers, Percy Seafood and Hello Sailor, similarly satisfy—the former with seafood dishes given global interpretations, the latter with some of the best cocktails on the island. Don’t miss these new and old eats on your next visit.

Also read: This Boracay Gem Is the Place for Seafood, Drinks, and Stunning Sea Views

Planning your Bora trip? Definitely make your way back to The Sunny Side Café, Spicebird + other Boracay restaurants and try these new dishes:

The Sunny Side Café

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PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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You can’t beat Boracay in the morning; think sunlight peeking from the horizon, the fresh beach breeze, and the sound of the waves annihilating any lingering anxieties (what deadlines?). It’s a sensation best savored in the company of a hearty breakfast or brunch spread, and The Sunny Side Café—which recently also opened a branch in Station 1 apart from its original Station 3 outpost—is the place to go. All-day breakfast eats are aplenty here, employing their own house-made ingredients and components where possible. Tried-and-tested faves include the decadent Bacon and Mango Grilled Cheese (P590) with their own brioche (in thick slices), bacon, and mango jam, and the Kitayama Beef Tapsilog (P650) starring their tender, saucy tapa using beef from local purveyor Kitayama Farms. 

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Savory and sweet worlds collide in the Bacon and Mango Grilled Cheese. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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sunny side group, sunny side cafe, kitayama wagyu tapa
Their take on tapsilog uses Kitayama Farms beef for a tender bite. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

For those on team #SweetBreakfast, Sunny Side Café is also well-loved for their thick, fluffy Giant Pancakes that live up to their name, being about some eight or so inches in diameter per piece—owners Nowie and Odette are all about going big or going home after all. Try the Malagos Chocolate (P590/two pieces), which deliver a robust cacao-y punch, thanks to Sunny Side’s use of local tree-to-bar brand Malagos Chocolate. Apart from these flapjacks you’ll also find French toast also using their homemade brioche; the Ube-Stuffed variant (P450), for one, goes the unexpected route with a purple-yam filling and cured-egg topping for that can’t-be-beat combo of savory and sweet.

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The Sunny Side Café's pancakes—being huge, thick, and fluffy as can be—are not for the faint of heart.  
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

Beyond breakfast eats you’ll also find savory meals similarly in satisfying portions. The Potencianos, along with Chef Natalia Moran, employ local ingredients wherever possible—including botelus mushrooms from Sagada that lend their porcini-esque earthiness to the Sagada Mushroom and Cream Pasta (P450). Also new on the lineup are vegan options no less flavorful than their regular counterparts; the Vegan Chorizo Burger (P390) delivers punchy bites with a plant-based patty that’s part-nutty, part-spicy, and all parts explosive.

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Yup, those are Sagada-sourced botelus mushrooms right there—and they've got an earthiness that brings to mind porcini mushrooms. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
sunny side group, sunny side cafe, vegan chorizo burger
Never mind that it's meatless; the Vegan Chorizo Burger packs a surprising punch. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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The Sunny Side Café also recently debuted The Sunny Side Pizza, a new leg of the brand delving into the craft of great-quality, scratch-made pies. Find them at the roof deck of The Sunny Side Café’s Station 1 outpost, and chill out to slices of Bacon Hot Honey Pizza (P490) with their own house-made bacon; Merguez Sausage Pizza (P490) using merguez from Spicebird for a spunky bite; the Vegan Three-“Cheese” Pizza (P690) that’s gooey and decadent in its own right; and more.

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The Sunny Side Pizza makes their pizza dough from scratch—and its crisp-chewy character is a great foil to topping combos like the gooey Vegan Three-“Cheese”...  
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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sunny side group, sunny side pizza, red onion
...And the subtly spicy Merguez Sausage Pizza. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

The Sunny Side Café is at ​​Station 1 Beachfront and Station 3 Beachfront, Boracay Sands Hotel, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

Spicebird

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PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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Established in 2015, Spicebird recently moved to a bigger space at Boracay’s D’Mall and is a go-to for grilled meats, seafood, and other eats lent feistiness by their punchy piri-piri sauce. Their flagship Grilled Piri-Piri Chicken (P390/quarter, P650/half) and its porcine cousin Grilled Piri-Piri Pork (P450/chop, P590/belly) deliver piquant, succulent bites, with the piri-piri sauce seeping into through the skin and into their juicy flesh. (Pro tip: for the best of both worlds, get the Grilled Piri-Piri Combination plate, P790, as it’s got both the chicken and the pork.) An underrated fave is the Chicken Livers & Bacon (P250), where its namesake ingredients—the former, cooked just until soft but not grainy or mushy—are cooked with red wine and onions, drizzled with their piri-piri sauce, and served with sweet rolls for mopping up the buttery sauce underneath.

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You can't go wrong with Spicebird's Piri-Piri Chicken or Pork, especially after a long swim. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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Think you hate offal? The Chicken Livers & Bacon might just make you a convert.  
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

But it’s not just meat and poultry that Spicebird gives the piri-piri treatment. With recent additions to the menu like the Piri-Piri Scallops (P375) with scallops from Roxas, and Piri-Piri Crab (P1,395) with a generous—and glorious—helping of crab fat, the establishment makes a case for the sheer versatility of the sauce of African origins. Don’t forget their more plant-forward options either; the vegan-friendly Eggplant & Squash Board (P350) highlights the natural earthiness of the said veggies with a hint of smokiness from the grill in the mix. Throw on any and all of their sauces—choose from the Piri-Piri, Garlic & Lime, Hotbird, and/or the Curry Curry—before digging in, for good measure.

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Spicebird's piri-piri sauce also works its magic on other proteins, like scallops. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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We'll just let this sexy shot of the Piri-Piri Crab speak for itself. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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sunny side group, spicebird, eggplant and squash
Veggies, too, are given the smoky-grilled treatment in the Eggplant & Squash Board. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

Spicebird is at Station 2, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

Percy Seafood

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PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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Seaworthy Boracay’s resident all-day dining spot opened just last April, but they’ve made a name for serving some of the best seafood in town—it’s all in the name, after all. And sure, Bora’s got no shortage of seafood restos. But Percy stands out for the way they take local seafood and give them a bit of a global tour, taking a page from cuisines around the world inspired by the Potencianos’ own travels.

Aklan oysters—all served on the shell and by the dozen—are presented in differing personalities; take your pick from the less-is-more Fresh Oysters (P590) with a mignonette of apple, mint, and onions, or the zingy Chipotle & Lime (P690) that’s a touch smoky from being lightly grilled. The Royal Seafood Tagine (P1,950/serves three to four) makes for a show-stopping main, with fish, prawns, squid, and mussels given the Morrocan flavor treatment and ladled atop couscous, then served from a tagine that’s uncovered as the dish is served.

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The natural essence of Aklan oysters are emphasized beautifully by apple, mint, and onions in the Fresh Oysters. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
sunny side group, percy seafood, chipotle lime oysters
Alternatively, try the subtly smoky Chipotle & Lime. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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Served in a tagine pot that's uncovered on the table as it's served, the Royal Seafood Tagine makes for a show-stopping main. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

For a sprightly starter, go for one of their ceviches; the Percy Ceviche (P390) delivers A+ balance between bright, crisp, juicy, and sweet, with fresh tanigue slices outlined by watermelon and cucumber. The Island Mahi-Mahi (P590) goes for a Hawaiian-style flavor motif that fits beautifully into the Boracay setting; here, the fish is grilled and brushed with a savory-sweet pineapple glaze tinged with cardamom.

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Fresh tanigue is the star of the Percy Ceviche. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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The Island Mahi-Mahi goes for an intriguing flavor mix of pineapple and cardamom—plus the banana leaves lend the fish their signature aroma. 
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How’s about exploring Asia, all from your seat? From the Korean Campfire Scallops (P590) inspired by a Crash Landing on You scene, to the Thai-esque Grilled Prawns in Thai Nam Jim Sauce (P890), to the Cha Ca La Vong (P1,350/serves two to three) taking after the Hanoi classic, there’s no shortage of umami entries from their lineup. Meanwhile, a continental option for the purist is the Moules Frites (P490), with mussels in a white-wine cream sauce and perfectly crisp-fluffy hand-cut fries to match. The Crab and Charred Corn Tortellini (P490), featuring their own house-made tortellini, demonstrates the team’s penchant for making as many components as possible from scratch.

sunny side group, percy seafood, grilled prawn
Travel 'round the Asian continent with plates like the Grilled Prawns in Thai Nam Jim Sauce... 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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sunny side group, percy seafood, oyster cake
The crisp-on-the-outside, succulent-on-the-inside Oyster Cake... 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
sunny side group, percy seafood, cha ca la vong
...And the Cha Ca La Vong served with noodles, a fermented-shrimp sauce, and crushed peanuts. 
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sunny side group, percy seafood, mussels frites
Moules Frites right in the island? Yes, please. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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Percy  Seafood makes their own tortellini, too. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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Local shellfish are likewise given their time to shine here at Percy, with standouts that include the Grilled Palawan Lobster (P4,950) with your choice between garlic-butter or Thai nam jim sauces. Also not to be missed is what they dub The Best Crab in Boracay (P1,490), local crab done your way—choices include the Thai Curry Crab in a rich curry sauce stir-fried with egg, and the sweet-crisp Typhoon Shelter Crab inspired by the Hong Kong icon of the same name.

sunny side group, percy seafood, palawan lobster
Take your pick from garlic butter and Thai nam jim as the flavoring component on the Grilled Palawan Lobster. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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sunny side group, percy seafood, thai curry crab
The savory-sweet-spiced sauce on the Thai Curry Crab will have you mopping up every last drop. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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There's also the Typhoon Shelter Crab tinged with fermented black beans and Szechuan pepper, then coated with breadcrumbs before being fried to a crisp. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes
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Percy Seafood is at Seaworthy Boracay, Station 1 Beachfront, Barangay Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

Hello Sailor

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PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

What’s a beach trip without booze? Definitely drop by Hello Sailor, also located at Seaworthy, for an afternoon sip or nightcap you won’t forget. Boasting a shelf of topnotch bottles, the cocktail spot’s got signature libations crafted by no less than David Ong of The Curator and OTO fame. The Sunseeker (P350) perfectly compliments the Boracay setting with Jim Bean Bourbon brightened by mango, elderflower, pineapple, and lemon; similarly, the fruity All Is Swell (P350)—with lychee, burnt coconut, pineapple, and orange along with Tanqueray Gin—makes for a revitalizing sipper on a hot day.

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You can't beat the tropical-tasting Sunseeker along with the view of the Boracay seascape. 
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

Worth noting is their use of local ingredients where applicable, consistent with the rest of the Sunny Side Group’s establishments. Batwan, for example, makes for grassy, tangy sips in the margarita-esque High Tide (P350). Mangosteen, coconut, and panutsa likewise breathe distinctly Southeast-Asian flair into the nutty-tasting Sink or Swim (P350) with ARC Lava Rock Vodka and roasted barley. Should you be after a more tried-and-tested tipple, they’ve got classic cocktails too; don’t miss the Junglebird (P350) with dark rum, pineapple, Campari, and lime.

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The Sink or Swim has frutiness from mangosteen, as well as nuttiness from coconut and roasted barley.  
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

Hello Sailor is at Seaworthy Boracay, Station 1 Beachfront, Barangay Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

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