Bob Nowong: Native Spirit – Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

11:45 AM
The initial plan was to try the famed floating restaurant for lunch after visiting the glorious Divine Mercy Shrine of Barangay Lamdalag in Lake Sebu. But since there were already a lot of people dining, we knew that there was a long wait for us if we would insist on eating there. So we decided to drive to another restaurant which a good friend recommended for us to try – Bob Nowong: Native Spirit.  And I’m so glad we took his advice!

Situated at the heart of Purok Rosas in Barangay Poblacion, Bob Nowong: Native Spirit is a must-visit when in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. The façade of the restaurant may look a bit draggy as it is coated with the usual house ferns, plants, and flowers.  But when you go inside Bob Nowong, you’ll be mesmerized at how beautiful the place is from its interior to its amenities.

So we all pulled out our phones and cameras and snapped some shots. More than anything else though we went to the restaurant to have our lunch.

Fantastic Interior

A distinct cultural vibe perfected with wooden accents made the interior more sophisticated. In addition, the floor to ceiling aesthetics complemented the whole look making it drastically vibrant. One thing I also like about the place is that everything seems to fit together seamlessly – the simplicity of it all just begs to be seen and admired.

There are two dining areas to choose from, one is on the 2nd floor of the main house and the other one is in the garden area. The garden area is just plain and simple with the greenery as the backdrop while the one in the main house has a fresh and homey ambience. Everything is made up of wood from the chairs to the tables – but it’s the type of wood that is sturdy and long lasting.

In the garden setting, you can really feel the fresh air blowing from Lake Sebu which is significantly different from the air we breathe here in the metro. The restaurant’s main place can accommodate 40 to 50 heads at any given time.

Aside from the distinct interior, Bob Nowong is packed with amenities that guests can surely enjoy like billiards and darts to name some and they’re just right beside the resto’s coffee bar. So you can enjoy a fun game with your friends or family while sipping Bob Nowong’s signature coffees.

Amazing Service

Bob Nowong: Native Spirit ain't the usual sit and dine set up as we were promptly greeted with a beautiful smile from one of their staff just as we entered.  And since we were obviously new to the place, the lady staff took the initiative to guide us on what to do and where the dining places are located.

Another staff approached us and handed over a menu so we can order in advance, while checking out the place and taking photos.  Courteous and friendly, two qualities I observed from the people working in Bob Nowong.

As we headed over to the dining area, the table was already set up and surprisingly, we did not wait that long for our orders to be served. They can really serve food this good and within a very reasonable time.

Another thing I noticed, but am just not sure though is that there was this one person who was helping the crew serve the food and I think it was the owner herself. I am saying this because the way she maneuvered the crew, communicated with customers and initiated to take a group photo of us using her camera – it was just different.

Well, if she was indeed the owner and was doing everything, hands-on, even on serving the food, then it’s a wow! If that does not count for above quality service, I don’t know what is.

Delightful Food

Lake Sebu is known because of fresh tilapia and it is the home of the tastiest tilapia recipes one can think of. So touring around Lake Sebu, you’ll see a lot of lakes and ponds culturing tilapia fish and since it’s the star component of Lake Sebu’s cuisine, we ordered three types of tilapia dishes at Bob Nowong namely: Chicharong Tilapia, Ginataang Tilapia, and Grilled Tilapia.

Although their Chicharong Tilapia and Grilled Tilapia tasted like the usual fare, which can be ordered in any other restaurant but their Ginataang Tilapia is so flavorful. The sauce was so creamy but not too sweet, a bit sour but not too sharp. The meat on the other hand was so soft that it literally melts in your mouth – where the juices linger in your taste buds.

Other dishes on the menu which we ordered are Tinolang Manok (Native), Pork Sisig, and Beef Shawarma. I was too full then that I didn’t get the chance to taste the shawarma, but their Tinolang Manok is to die for. This native chicken soup was appetizingly satisfying and in fact, the soup itself is more than enough. The Pork Sisig meat somehow floated on oil, but who cares, it tasted deliciously crispy. So these two and the Ginataang Tilapia are the dishes I  highly recommend.

Worth mentioning is that the prices are reasonable and affordable.

I am sure to come back soon to try the rest on their menu.  All  I can really say is that they are, by far,  the best restaurant at Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. The food perfectly complemented the place’s stunning exquisiteness.  Check the photos below of their foo.

Bob Nowong: Native Spirit is just right across the main road of Barangay Poblacion and the entrance of Purok Rosas in Lake Sebu South Cotabato. For inquiry and reservation, you can contact them at +63917 908 4236. Check out their website: or visit them on Facebook here.

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