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What a wonderful surprise to find the only spot in Boracay that serves Moroccan cuisine! The Kasbah.

And delicious Moroccan cuisine at that! Surprising because the owners are not Moroccan at all. The Kasbah is owned by Chef Felipe de la Cruz from Bacolod, together with his British wife. A graduate of the International Culinary School in Los Angeles, Chef Felipe and his wife set up the restaurant at Station 1 — a charming and colorful bohemian spot that looked as if a genie would pop out to welcome you in.

The dishes are delicious, especially the tagines, and the flavors taste authentic, rich with aromatic spices and balanced flavors. We tried 3 different tagines — Seafood Saffron Tagine, classic Lamb Tagine (cooked with prunes and honey and drizzled with almond slivers), and Berber Lamb Tagine (full-flavored and zesty, cooked with oranges and prunes). They were all superb! A tagine is a traditional way of slow-cooking meats in a stew in a special cone-shaped earthenware dish of the same name. The long, slow cooking makes the meat so delectable and tender and the flavors of the stew are all the more enhanced with fruits, olives, preserved lemons, and distinctive spices, which usually include saffron, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and Ras El Hanout, which is a mixture of various spices ground together.

In fact, everything we ordered was superb! The refreshing Watermelon and Feta Salad was just the perfect starter to a lunch on a hot day by the sea. The mezze plates were excellent. And everything else that followed was a flavorful feast in the mouth. If you ever go to Boracay, you definitely have to rock the Kasbah… because the Kasbah rocks!

The Kasbah is at Station 1 in Boracay Island, beside Discovery Shores resort. But Chef Felipe has also opened a branch called Kasbah the Fort at the BGC — more modern-Moorish than Moroccan-homey and bohemian — at 7th Avenue corner Katipunan Circle. With a live band in the evenings. For reservations, call 553-4499.