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“Zen”
Review of The Alternative - CLOSED

The Alternative
Price range: $3 - $25
Cuisines: European, Filipino, Healthy
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Hong Kong, China
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Zen”
Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

Ground floor is not very attractive. First floor is more. Only the music is too babacool with zen music
Really beautifull view on sea from terrace
Incredible sofa overlooking the sea
Nice juice

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jeromeBali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

149 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    55
    57
    21
    6
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
baguio
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“It was okay.”
Reviewed December 6, 2012

We went here because it was said they had a selection of vegetarian dishes. Sadly, there weren't really many and their "famous" vegetarian curry was too spicy for one. The rest of the dishes were too salty and the fish soup I had wasn't all that great. Just okay. But the place was nice. :-)

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank kokoypalma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippines
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Meh”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I had the banana heart curry, as it was reviewed quite well here on Tripadvisor. I have pretty high standards for curry, though, and found it quite disappointing. Wouldn't order it again.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank paulboogie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Visby, Sweden
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great vegetarian food!”
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Nice place by the beach. Great service. Innovative, tasty, spicy veggie food. Even the meat-eaters loved it!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
266 reviews
160 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
“Wow, what a unique place!”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Looking in from the street I didn't think much of this place until I bothered to ask to see their menu, and was directed upstairs to the main restaurant/dining area.
The menu was good, prices were closer to what I would expect to pay back home, but certainly not excessive and still excellent value. There was plenty of variety, and I especially liked their section with cook-to-order seafood, with a choice of sauces and/or cooking styles. Basically a pick and choose, with a good variety of options, and much easier than some of the Filipino places I had tried locally where meals were a bit of a gamble if you didn't know exactly what you wanted to order.
Being the first there for dinner that evening, my travelling companion and I were seated in (as already mentioned in previous reviews) the little padded areas where you can lie down overlooking the beach and cliffs of El Nido. I didn't initially notice them but they were fantastic and really relaxing, though there were only 2 of these, with a third one a bit further back with less of a view. You're basically hanging over the water! A nice selection of music was also playing in the background.
Food was good, indeed the Banana Heart Curry was tasty and worth trying. Eggplant salad tasted like something had been burnt, though there was no charcoal visible anywhere and overall it was tasty and fresh. Pumpkin soup wasn't the best but the serving size was large and it was still OK. Perhaps they could use a bit of potato to thicken it up, and cook the pumpkin more. There was no obligatory dollop of cream in the pumpkin soup - it's very hard to get dairy products in El Nido so I'd rather have no dairy product than rotten dairy product - but perhaps the chef could consider canned evaporated milk.
The Tempura Ice Cream for dessert was unfortunately not available.
This restaurant focuses on using fresh local produce where possible, and has an interesting menu with a really good selection. The views are marvellous, it is beachfront so a little more expensive but I thought it was worth it in the end.
Service was pleasant and friendly, though typically inattentive. Staff had to be called over for extras after the initial orders had been brought out, and there was no follow-up for example when meals were finished to see if we wanted desserts. I also asked for the menu to see what juices and other drinks they had, and this was obligingly brought over, but then nobody came to actually take my order! Having said that, I did appreciate feeling welcome, like I wasn't given subtle hints to leave by waitstaff (as is the case in many restaurants) such as having plates cleared as soon as I have less than a quarter of my meal remaining on my plate and then having the bill brought out to me when I haven't asked for it. I guess if I wanted to grab the attention of the waitstaff badly I could have waved them over again. Anyway in the end it had gotten late and dark, I'd started getting bitten by mosquitos, so I left and bought a can of soft drink at a store on the street.
I would really recommend this restaurant for a nice meal with a nice atmosphere in El Nido at a price that is still reasonable.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank robol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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