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Deeply Rooted Flavors and Festivities at Puerto Galera’s Ugat Mindoro


In the middle of Puerto Galera's White Beach is a place so hip, so cool, and so fulfilling, it satisfies deep down to the roots.


CHOWTIME




Located in the scenic town of Puerto Galera, Ugat Mindoro is more than just a restaurant—it is a cultural haven that marries the rich culinary traditions of the Philippines with contemporary flair and creativity. It's becoming quite known as a 'hip' establishment, right smack in the middle of White Beach, playing cool music and holding beach parties while being a bonfire of gastronomic innovations.



Ugat's unique offerings invite curious diners to indulge in a blend of flavors and colors that celebrate both the heritage and the natural bounty, not only of Mindoro island, but of the nation.

  

A Rich Fusion in the Menu

Ugat Mindoro's menu triumphantly demonstrates the diversity and richness of Filipino cuisine, with a variety of dishes designed to cater to both traditional and adventurous palates. Ugat's food, as many diners have discovered, fascinate and fill at the same time.





Among the must-try entrees is the Crispy Tadyang ng Baka, a dish featuring succulently fried beef ribs accompanied by a tangy dipping sauce that perfectly balances the richness of the meat. 


Other notable dishes: 


The Grilled Barracuda Steak with Teriyaki Sauce is a delectable dish featuring a perfectly grilled barracuda steak, generously glazed with a rich and tangy teriyaki sauce that complements the firm, flavorful fish.



Ensaladang Pako is a fresh and vibrant Filipino salad made with fiddlehead ferns (pako), which are known for their crisp texture. The salad is typically tossed with a light and tangy dressing, often enhanced with tomatoes and onions,making it a delightful and refreshing dish perfect for a tropical setting.



Ugat's Crispy Pata is sumptuous, a perfect rendition of the Filipino favorite.



The Fish Tacos are a delightful seaside treat, featuring lightly battered and fried fish nestled in soft tortillas, accompanied by a fresh slaw, and a drizzle of a creamy, zesty sauce to tie all the flavors together. This dish offers a delicious balance of crunchy textures and vibrant, refreshing flavors, perfect for enjoying by the beach.



Ugat's Lumpiang Gulay is version of the traditional Filipino vegetable spring roll. It's filled with a mixture of julienned vegetables, mostly bean sprouts (togue), all neatly wrapped in a thin, crispy pastry shell. A vinegar-based dipping sauce adds a tangy contrast to the savory, lightly seasoned filling.



Pork Binagoongan. This robust and flavorful Filipino dish features tender pork pieces sautéed and cooked in a pungent and savory shrimp paste (bagoong alamang), with a hint of spice from chili peppers.



Club Sandwich. This classic triple-layered delight is as hearty as they come, and is actually a practical option for those who want a "quick fix" before running off to the enjoy the beach.



The Baby Back Ribs are marinated in a special house blend of spices and slow-cooked until tender, then glazed with a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce.



The Fresh Tanigue is known for its firm texture and mild flavor. This dish can be served grilled or seared to enhance its natural flavors. It comes drizzled with a citrus or soy-based sauce to complement the fish's freshness. It's a favorite among seafood lovers for its simplicity and the clean, fresh taste it delivers.



The Nachos is one of the best-sellers. For one, the portion is generous. And then the taste: a perfect blend of cheese, peppers and meat over crispy tortilla chips. The satisfying crunch on top of a complex array of tastes makes it a popular choice for sharing among friends or as a flavorful start to a meal.



Ugat's Sizzling Bulalo is a tantalizing dish featuring tender beef shank and marrow bone served on a hot plate, enriched with a savory gravy that accentuates its deep, meaty flavors.



Ukoy, Ugat-style, is a great appetizer that features a delightful crispy fritter made from shredded vegetables and small shrimp. The ingredients are not bound together with batter like the traditional recipe, but loosely piled up on a platter. It's served with a spiced vinegar-based dip that complements the sweetness of the shrimp and the savory flavors of the vegetables. It's a beloved dish for its delightful texture and flavorful combination.



Ugat Mindoro's Special Halo-Halo is something else. It's not served in a tall glass with shaved ice as many are accustomed to, but in a coconut shell. And the variety of sweet ingredients is infused in the ice cream itself.


Other "must-try" entrees are the Bibingka, Puto Bumbong and Tsokolate, all of which flaunt authentic, robust flavors that accentuate Ugat's eclectic takes on the traditional favorites.






Creative Cocktails and Coolers 

The bar at Ugat Mindoro is equally impressive, featuring a lineup of creative cocktails and coolers that incorporate local fruits and ingredients. 


One standout is the Dragon Colada, a vibrant and refreshing mix of dragonfruit, pineapple, and coconut cream, which not only tastes exquisite but also captures the tropical essence of the Philippines.

 

Other cocktails equally impress, particularly with the originality behind them.


Ube Cold Brew Latte



UME Sour



The Juliana



Calamansi Mojito



Mango Hibiscus



Bobby M



Maligno



Mermaid Colada



Beach Parties and Full Moon Festivals

Ugat Mindoro's night gigs take the senses beyond its culinary offerings. Whenever it holds its customary Full Moon Festivals, the restaurant transforms into an energized beach club, moving to the beat of either a DJ's EDM (electronic dance music) or a live band's performance. Oftentimes, there's even a special menu for these house parties.



Ambiance and Sustainable Practices 

The ambiance of Ugat Mindoro reflects its commitment to sustainability and cultural authenticity. The restaurant's entrepreneurs, Kay Wigand and Angelo Roces, the dynamic duo behind Ugat's marketing and operational success, make sure of that.


"Ugat" means roots, a word that is central to the establishment's philosophy. It manifests in the restaurant's architecture, which features indigenous materials and design elements that are grounded, deeply reflective of Filipino heritage, while communicating environmentally-founded messages.


Ugat Mindoro's dedication to sustainability extends to its operations, with initiatives aimed at reducing waste and promoting environmental conservation in the local community. Each dish, for example, is prepared using locally sourced ingredients, ensuring freshness and supporting the local farmers and fishermen of Mindoro.  Its owners and staff are also proactive in clean-up endeavors of White Beach and with the conservation of Mindoro's biodiversity in general. The very advocacy by which the restaurant is hinged on ensures its success, its sustainability, as it is bonded with the environment and with the common welfare.



Ugat Mindoro is an unforgettable adventure for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the flavors and culture of the Philippines. With its eclectic menu, innovative cocktails, and vibrant festivities, Ugat Mindoro offers a unique culinary experience that goes beyond mere dining. It invites guests to partake in a celebration of life, community, and the enduring spirit of Filipino hospitality. Whether you are seeking a taste of traditional Filipino dishes or adventurous new flavors, Ugat promises a memorable journey into the soul of Mindoro.


So, if you're planning to visit Puerto Galera, be sure to stop by Ugat Mindoro and indulge, immerse, and interfuse deep... to the grassroots.

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