Barracuda Bar & Restaurant
Barracuda Bar & Restaurant Donsol Reviews
Foreign tourist trap Apr 08, 2012
When we went to Elysia hotel, the fanciest hotel around the area, this place was mentioned as a place for a bar opened till late so I was curious as it's not usual in rural areas to have bars.
We went the day after in the afternoon and learned it's also a restaurant. It's only 4pm that tim so too early and we said we'll just go back later.
I just want to visit to see it with light as I dont want to get injured if it's too dark to walk by or if there things I need to watch out for.
One thing I noticed is that the guy who seem to be partly running the place (turned out to be the brother of the "Queen Barracuda") is speaking to me in english even tho I initially spoke bikol and tagalog which are local languages. I find it a bit odd...but went with it.
Jocelyn took a long time in the shower so we came before 8pm and saw that there are quite some guests already...ALL foreigners. We thought it was just a coincidence.
When I went in, a server approached me and asked for reservations. I said I was told there was no need so they showed us to a small table for 2. We saw the lady talking to the big table of caucasian people living in Singapore consisting of couples with kids. They showed them the fish and all and they were quite nice to them.
It took a bit while for someone to approach us and it was only the seemingly new server who came to us. As we are asking for menu and cooking etc, he seemed naive to recommend anything and said the lady will attend to us.
We just chatted bec we thought we want to take it easy, no hurry, we're not hungry anyway.
A group of seemingly well to do Filipino family came and when they were talking with the lady, we suddenly heard the lady replied in aloud voice for everyone to hear and with a nasty tone that "I never promised you to have a table. I have guests and you were not confirmed a reservation" Then as if realizing her own bitchiness suddenly spoke in a sweet voice but still a bit sarcastic " But feel free to stay around". The family helped themselves to a vacant table which seemed fair considering it's vacant. We werent given the impression it's for reservations and it seemed that it appears more like that they just wanted to welcome naive foreign customers who wouldnt throw a fit when they got ripped off later after they got their bill.
The Filipino family left after the rude behavior. We werent subjected to the same rudeness but comparing how we were ignored to how the other tables were sweetly entertained with senseless talk makes us feel that we arent welcome somehow.
It's very disconcerting bec these are also Filipinos, I doubt if they even have completed their education and they seem to have this nasty superior behaviour against fellow Filipinos. Jocelyn said that if we still remain ignored, we should leave. I however wouldnt have it to be treated unfairly in my own country with these people who have probably gone bonkers out of greed of robbing some naive foreigners money. I dont want to leave and I demand to be served. They have not specified that Filipinos are not welcome so they have no right to make us leave and they cant with mere passive behaviours. So I made an effort to call the attention of the brother who after a while went to our table.
Again, he was speaking english...very weird. I'm in Philippines, talking with fellow Filipino in english. My italian classmate talk in italian when in italian restaurant with italian servers/waiters in London, UK! Makes sense right? More so, should be in my case taht night.
However, common sense is not in the menu for the night and I wont let them have my nerves for their twisted pleasure. I dont care if they are forced to serve, they will serve us.
The brother was smiling (doesnt seem very authentic but good enough to fool you in dim lighting) and talking to us to get our orders in a seemingly practised sweet voice...impressive what people do for money.
We said our order bec earlier his sister asked us but didnt let us finish and went to talk wit the other foreign customers. Rudeness is on menu for the night.
We ordered prawns, squid salad tomato based pasta and 2 glasses of white wine. When things arent going right, u need some spirits...
The prawns are probably the most expensive ones on the menu but what the heck...everything looks expensive anyway, at least for that rural town standard...actually even for the whole Philippines standards. I feel like the price are equivalent to 5 star hotel or fine dining place in Metro Manila which I visit more often.
They were boasting about being recommended by Lonely planet...I wondered how this naturally flirty aged woman convinced a lonely planet representative to write good things about the place.
The food is not good. Taste is average and texture is poor. It was a restaurant charging Php150/gram of prawn which would probably be equivalent to 1 kilo from the market! That's why our 2 pieces of prawn costed us more than Php600 already! Imagine paying for a prawn with the size of a piece of a canned vienna sausage for Php300 each. I dont mind the cost, I just came back from London so my cost mindset hasnt really adjusted yet but for the quality, definitely not worth it. There's no classy ambiance that justifies it and the bitchy service isnt helping either. In London/Edinburgh, I have dined at the Ivy's, Zuma restaurant which is expensive japanese restaurant, Oloroso which is a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Edinburgh and this is not even better than some ordinary fish in chips in UK.
For starters, the squid salad which consist of squid and some pepper with cucumber slices is VERY chewy! My househelp could even do much better. My Php300 piece of small prawn is not only bland but a bit hard instead of soft that you would imagine a fresh seafood should be easily cooked to perfection. Obviously it's the cooking that is to blame. There's no excuse for quality of seafood considering it's a fishing village and not only do seafood abound and daily caught fresh and alive, they were VERY CHEAP too! I should know, I'm from the same province and this town is cheaper to buy seafood in markets than my hometown's.
If they at least give justice to the seafood and not mess it up like a 5 year old kid playing in the kitchen, I would have been alright paying Php300 for my small prawn. Seriously, I wouldnt call it a restaurant...even the small food stalls on the sidewalk would have done a better job. Yes, I tried bec we do some picnic and camping too.
But I paid for it without a word. What's the use anyway? It was a risk I decided to take and I am ready for the consequences. However, I hope that others wont be fooled yet again esp bec it seem that the tourists are their target bec for one, the tourists dont know the prices of seafood in the market so they wouldnt know that the price is multiplied by 50x after it get cooked in this Barracuda bar.
I mentioned this to AGM resorts manager and she told us that the reason Barracuda prefer foreigners is bec the aged lady owner could easily flirt and fool with the trapped tourists. They gave you a shot of brandy before they give u the bill just so u will be less resistant to the expensive bill u will receive...some scheme...
Travelers beware, lonely planet shouldnt be used blindly. I had similar bad experience in thailand also bec of lonely planet recommendation. Lonely planet is good for advanced economy but it seemd not very good with less developed ones. Actually even in Cyprus, we learned some wrong directions towards a tourist attarction which would cost a lot for a traveler to take. My Cypriot ex told me bec I showed him my lonely planet clippings eventhough he knows the place well and was showing me around. 3rd world countries like Philippines changes all the time...you're best resource is here in TB from local or fellow TB who have recently visited esp bec they wont be biased...at least supposedly.
I wish everyone a great travel experience in Philippines.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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