Painted Table's thick and creamy Mexican Corn Chowder is a traditional soup served with root vegetables, smoked bacon chunks and gratinated mozzarella cheese. Let the food adventurer in you discover this dish at the restaurant located at the Canvas Boutique Hotel along the national road in Barangay San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City.

Want a taste of Mexico? Painted Table restaurant at the Canvas Boutique Hotel is now serving dishes that represent the vibrant, spirited, and curious flavors of this country in North America.

Bright with glass windows and colorfully-painted tables, the restaurant now offers Mexican cuisine infused with Asian flavors that spell delicious in any language from antojitos to sopa, la ensalada and quesadilla, to main meals that are delicately prepared to get a taste of Mexico.

Belle Camarsi, marketing head of Oak Drive Hotels and Resorts, Inc., said Painted Table has revised its menu to create top-rated and healthier Mexican recipes that the locals will surely love and get accustomed to despite their discriminating taste.

SOFT TACOS: We offer barbecue-flavored lengua (right) topped with mashed bananas, pico de gallo, pickled red onions and cream, and shrimp (left) taco with aioli, pico de gallo and fried seaweeds.

“Puerto Princesa already has a very dynamic food industry but it is primarily centered on the Filipino cuisine. There are also international flavors such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and others. Our vision for Painted Table’s new Mexican cuisine is to add more colorful flavors and textures to the city’s culinary industry and to bring a unique dining experience for the Palaweños. The flavors are bold, the dishes are Instagram-able and they’re all meant to be shared with family and friends,” she said.

Camarsi said Mexican cuisine has always been admired all over the world because it is healthy and the sensory impression that its amazing taste makes can refresh the mind and body.

CARNE ASADA Y LECHUGA ALLA PARILLA: A salad consisting of Romaine lettuce with grilled pepper, corn, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro pesto tossed in tequila lime dressing and marinated grilled meat.

Its use of fresh ingredients from basically all food groups to provide necessary nutrients that the human body needs make it the perfect option.

“Every Mexican dish we are offering has a charming blend of flavors that we feel the locals will love because they’re not far from what they’re used to eating. It’s really not hard to embrace the Mexican cuisine, especially if it uses fresh ingredients, prepared with care, and healthy,” she said.

Improving the Painted Table’s menu to a whole new level was done by creative food consultant and chef Mikel Francis Zaguirre with the assistance of his sous chef John Patrick Ortega.

COSTILLA ADOBADAS is one of the main courses offered at Painted Table. It will definitely be the talk of the table with grilled Mexican pork ribs weighing approximately 1.3 kilograms, served with battered onion rings on the side and pico de gallo garnish.

It came from Zaguirre’s belief that changing the flavors they offer can potentially attract both tourist and local fill-bellies who are aiming to try new dishes.

“I envision a scene where a family sits together in one of the tables of the restaurant, enjoying one of our dishes using their hands to eat. We are aiming to remove the misconception that a hotel restaurant is only meant for fine dining, exclusive meetings, and formal functions. What we wish to see are different people enjoying our food, having a good laugh, and basically to fill this place with nothing but pure joy,” Zaguirre said.

Spending 12 years of his life in the restaurant industry, Zaguirre said Mexican family dining is very interesting as it is bound together by strong relationships and common interests just like how a Filipino family is.

The culture of having meals together whatever is on the table is “just happy and close-knit” with the use of bare hands to eat, he said.

Zaguirre said this is what really inspired him in coming up with a full Mexican menu for Painted Table at Canvas Boutique Hotel.

A traditional grilled squid stuffed dish with savory tomatoes and parsley salsa, served with Arroz con roja.

“Mexico has a culture of close family ties where the family is considered as the most important unit of life. Every meal time, Mexican families would gather around, sit together and eat together. They eat either using cutleries or with their bare hands, and this vibe is what we want for our guests and customers to experience,” he said.

Painted Table’s Mexican menu serves antojitos or appetizers to satisfy initial cravings while waiting for the main course — Nachos and Kimchi de Pulpo Ceviche.

The Nachos is a colorful three-tiered flour tortilla antojitos layered with picadillo, salsa cruda, olives, and jalapenos, topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, cream and mozzarella cheese. It is served as a whole with a pestle to crush the nachos into crazy goodness.

Zaguirre said their Kimchi de Pulpo Ceviche will definitely take the interest of people who love marinated seafood garnished and served as an appetizer.

At their restaurant, this dish is a savory mix of tender-pickled octopus with gochujang aioli and kimchi salsa, embellished with sweet and sour pickled radish and nori.

“One thing that can be loved about the Mexican cuisine is that it has a fusion of flavors that just explodes in the roof of the mouth. Which is why we would like the locals and guests to give it a try,” said Zaguirre.

He said another highlight of their new menu is their bright-colored toasted homemade Quesadilla with pork carnitas, yellow cheddar, mozzarella cheese, the magic secret of garlic confit, and cherry tomatoes, topped with pico de gallo and jalapeno aioli.

Painted Table is also serving grilled Mexican pork ribs Costilla Adobadas with seared elote, harissa aioli, and pico de gallo on the side served with an appetizing platter of beer-battered onion rings.

“We’re inviting everyone to come and try Painted Table’s Mexican dishes that are truly amazing and can definitely help make good family memories,” Zaguirre said.

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