Our bare feet were buried under the soft white sand of Malapascua Island. Sitting on fluffy beanies near the shore, we were telling stories about nothing while the sea breeze was whipping like crazy. Warm globes of lights floated overhead, dancing with the leaves and casting everything into oranges. Dinner was gonna be a beachfront affair at Ocean Vida Restaurant.
On a tight budget, we brought canned food with us during the trip and were satisfied to have those as lunch and dinner. But it was our last night on the island and we wanted something grander than corned beef hash. Passing through the numerous restaurants fronting Bounty Beach, we were attracted by the warm fuzzy lights of Ocean Vida’s restaurant like helpless moths to a fiery flame.
And who really wouldn’t want to sit down here? Circling a low wooden table, four red beanies invitingly tease guests to try their comfort, lush leaves work as ceiling overhead and soft sand acts as floor tiles. Everything is bathed in soft warm lights and serene floating music.
Ocean Vida offers a mix of American, Asian, European and Filipino dishes; everything from pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, soups, salads, seafood and desserts. Their menu is quite extensive and we did have a hard time picking our dinner.
We ended up choosing something local, their Pizza Malapascua (Php250.00), and something familiar, Spaghetti Carbonara (Php220.00). We were given a free and excellent plate of crunchy garlic bread with a pesto dip as appetizer while waiting for our orders.
More stories passed around and the breeze from the sea whipped harder. A storm seemed to be on its way to the island, but as of now, only its wind can be felt and everything was still a-okay.
Looking for the menu again, I checked out the interior of Ocean Vida. Passing a well-lit open bar on the ground floor, I took a flight of wooden stairs and entered the restaurant’s beautiful second floor.
The floors were of wood planks divided by circular white concrete columns. The thatch wood ceiling overhead is left bare with its massive trusses exposed. Beautifully set tables in red and yellows dot the floor complimented by dark rattan-like chairs. No doubt, it was an inviting scene but I still prefer the beach outside.
The Spaghetti Carbonara arrived first and we were surprised by its serving size. It was absolutely huge, good enough for two or even three persons. The pasta was topped by more cream and parmesan cheese and we started mixing everything up before the pizza arrived.
Pizza Malapascua turned up after a few forkfuls of carbonara. Like its predecessor, it also was colossal. It looks like it can feed at least three individuals. Named after the island, it is topped by tomatoes, mozzarella, ground beef, onions, garlic and bell peppers.
Both dishes were good but the pizza won us more than the pasta. If we only had known about the serving size, we would’ve removed the carbonara on the equation and probably replaced it with a simpler appetizer.
We were initially hesitant to try Ocean Vida Restaurant, seeing how expensive their dishes were, but the ambience of their outdoor beach setting really hooked us. After our orders arrived, we ultimately saw that the prices of the dishes were justified. We weren’t even able to finish everything and were able to bring home some pasalubongs for the dogs waiting for us at Mike & Diose’s Resort.
It was a good last night at Malapascua Island. The ambience was just so romantically lovely and the food was simply superb. But what I really loved about it was how it felt like we really were on the beach. Ocean Vida Restaurant captured the island feel of Malapascua to the dot. For budget travelers like us, it was indeed money well spent.
Ocean Vida Restaurant
Address: Bounty Beach, Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu
Open Hours: 7:30AM to 10:00PM
Menu: Click Here
GPS Coordinates: 11.326841,124.117339
View Location on Google Maps: Click Here