Make it an Acuaverde summer
- Lester Gopela Hallig () - March 18, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Summer welcomed us early at Acuaverde Beach Resort. Despite the obvious summer heat, the weather was tempered by the trees that towered above us. From where we stood upon our arrival, we watched in awe at how the cobalt blue sky seamlessly melted into the azure waters. The invitation has been virtually extended. 

What got things off on a really promising start was the food at Acuaverde’s Verderanda Grillery. We enjoyed a hearty lunch of sinigang na sugpo, grilled blue marlin, and crispy pork binagoongan. Now this is how one kickstarts the season. We realized that not many resorts actually take the time — and effort — to build good reputations for themselves in the food stakes. Acuaverde may very well be the exception.

“Here in Acuaverde, our slogan is ‘Ibang klase!’ We do things differently and more special here,” began Acuaverde’s resort chef and F&B manager Ed Fernandez. “From the food to the atmosphere, we are a unique resort.”

Fernandez himself conceptualized Verderanda, a quaint restaurant a few stairs up. It features an aviary in the middle, and provides a sweeping view of the entire resort.

View from the beach.

“I named it Verderanda in keeping with the resort’s name. The food combines Asian and local cuisine, and puts an emphasis on the freshest food. When you order food from our menu, rest assured that it is never precooked,” he said proudly.

He recommended the Kulitis Pasta, which is spinach fettuccine with grilled chicken, mushroom in cream sauce, and served with panini. “As you can tell, we are more into leafy vegetables and fresh produce, and healthy cuisine. So when you order a soup, there will be malunggay or buko slivers in it. There is an abundance of tamarind around here, so you know the sampaloc in your sinigang is freshly picked,” he revealed.

There is also a bumper crop of mangoes hereabouts, something not lost on Fernandez. “I toss the green mango with dried squid, pomelo, coriander, and fish sauce to make one of our best-selling salads in Acuaverde.”

The veteran chef shared that being in Batangas greatly contributes to the resort’s cuisine. After all, the province is the livestock capital so Acuaverde takes advantage of the fresh beef as well as pork and chicken. Try their grilled pork belly in garlic and pepper, and Manok-Binange, grilled boneless chicken in annatto.

“Our most requested item is, of course, the bulalo. You are in Batangas, you must have bulalo. Guests particularly love it with shiitake mushroom gravy on a sizzling plate,” he said.

“Since Batangas is also a fishing province, we also bring here the best seafood possible. Our blue marlin is a favorite, and so is our tilapia which comes from Talisay,” he added.

Acuaverde’s beachfront.

Verderanda can seat 35 to 40 guests at a time while the beach bar can accommodate gatherings for 40 people. The Acuaverde lawn area is increasingly becoming a choice for weddings.

He furthered that Acuaverde’s Day Tour package gives guests the chance to savor their cuisine. The package includes welcome drinks (their pandan cooler is so good we dared request for seconds), snack, lunch, and the use of the resort facilities. Now that’s a package, given that one gets to feast on food in so special a setting as Acuaverde.

Rooms are equipped with LCD TV with cable, air conditioner, hot and cold shower, and private veranda. The free Wi-Fi connection in Acuaverde is so powerful we could do Facebook and Twitter on the beach. Other facilities are Day Tour cabanas, kayaks, beach volleyball, board games, nightly bonfire, 24-hour security, and ample parking area.

The feel of Acuaverde is more of a home (beachfront home, yes, but still essentially a home), with comfort food, friendly staff, and laidback atmosphere at one’s pleasure.

“Acuaverde is the unique home away from home,” Fernandez said. That is comforting to know.

***

Acuaverde Beach Resort is located in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas. For more information, call +632-3817757, +632-3049901 or +63-9175457134; e-mail at reservations@acuaverderesort.com.ph or visit www.acuaverderesort.com.ph.

‘When you order food from our menu, rest assured that it is never precooked,’ says Acuaverde’s resort chef and F&B manager Ed Fernandez.

ACUAVERDE ACUAVERDE BEACH RESORT BATANGAS DAY TOUR ED FERNANDEZ FERNANDEZ FOOD RESORT
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