Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Zamboanga Seafood House: Muchas Gracias Por La Deliciosa Cena

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Buenas Dias to all and let me welcome you again as your friendly neighborhood pambansang blogger of the Philippines continue sharing with you another one of the many places we've been to during our four day visit to Asia's Latin City - the home of the only pink sand beach in the Philippines called the Grand and Little Santa Cruz Islands which we visited a few days ago.

Since we couldn't get enough of seafood, we visited another seafood restaurant for dinner during our last night in Zamboanga. We will be flying back to Manila later that night so we had to eat quick if we don't want to miss our Cebu Pacific flight. We also needed to go back to the Garden Orchid Hotel after dinner to get our stuff which we already packed earlier so it will be all ready for an immediate departure from the hotel.

Our gracious host picked the Zamboanga Seafood House located at Gov. Ramos Avenue of Barangay San Roque. It's my first time to hear about it so I was excited to try out another new restaurant so I can showcase it on my blog. I've always preferred to eat seafood because they say it's more nutritious and less fattening compared to the meat products like pork, beef and chicken. However, I do try my very best to balance my meals with small portions of each during every meal especially when its an eat-all-you-can buffet.

Present look of Zamboanga Seafood House
Not much information can be seen online about the restaurant except for a photo, dated October 25, 2011, that showed it looked a bit different as before when it had quite a different facade indicating a few renovations were already done to the restaurant. They still had the same number of floors as can be seen from both present and past photos.

Zamboanga Seafood House dated October 25, 2011
I wonder why they had to change the look but I guess it was to put the entire building with air-conditioning system.

The restaurant is obviously not as popular as the Alavar Seafood Restaurant where several write-ups exists online. So I maybe writing an article that will provide them with more online and social media exposure. I hope this will be a lot of help for them.

As can be seen from their signage, the restaurant has been around since 1992. I am just not sure if they are still at the same location when they officially opened their business. Sometimes businesses often find more profitable locations where they could expect more customers frequenting their place.

Welcome to Zamboanga Seafood House!
There was no customers around when we arrived since it was still too early for dinner. We decided to eat earlier than the usual because of our evening flight back to Manila.

We had the place all to ourselves. Not a soul in sight except for the restaurant staff.
Stairs leading to the next floor
There are stairs leading to the next floor but we never bothered to look up as we were really in a hurry to finish up and be done with dinner. Meanwhile, our driver who was with us throughout the entire four days of stay in Zamboanga took off to buy us some specially requested Knickerbocker for our dessert.

Yup, we all craved for another glass of the Knickerbocker because it really left an impression on all of us.

The restaurant counter
The counter is neat and seems to display a few canned goods above what seems like a kitchen counter setup where a sink can be seen. You will also notice that they practice the Chinese belief of using those Maneki-neko figurine or the Japanese beckoning cat that the Chinese popularized in the country. It is supposed to bring good luck to the owner so it is often displayed in businesses to welcome good fortune.

Melbourne, Australia
The owners probably came back from a trip to Australia since they have this framed images showing tourist sites in Melbourne like the Flinders Street Station, the Melbourne Tram, the Phillip Island, the Yarra River and a Koala - usually used to represent Australia aside from the kangaroo.

Decorative lamps hang in the celing
This decorative ceiling lamp with green and blue hues looks very appealing. They had a few of these hanging from the ceiling and can be seen just above from where we were seating. I kind of like how it looks with the brown brick-wall background.

Framed photos shows some of Zamboanga's tourist spots

They also had a few framed photos of some of the sights that can be found in Zamboanga. The first one shows the shrine at Fort Pilar and I was actually more interested in the second one where you could see waterfalls - a place we never went to during our visit because it's probably too far away from the town proper where most of our activities where happening.

Table set-up
The table top is quite simple - just one plate with spoon and fork pair, on top of a table mat with the name of their restaurant. True enough, they have more than 20 years in the business already. Actually, it's around 22 years if you'll count the number of years from 1992 to 2014.

Here comes the rice!
We were chatting a bit while waiting for our food when the rice was served.

Rice, our staple food. No true Filipino can go without it!
I've been asking myself this question ever since I started doing food reviews, but I can't think of anything that describes the taste of rice. My friends say that they can't describe it either because they usually don't include the rice in the write-up and only concentrate on the viands. 
Rice actually has no distinct flavor that can be described but it is slightly sweet because of the glucose in it. Other rice has a great smell like the Jasmine rice, while still others have that soft and rich texture. It deserves it's own food category mainly because many just can't go feeling the same without it! It's doesn't feel like I've really eaten without rice no matter if I take in other replacement like bread, pasta, potatoes or anything else. Rice fills me up differently compared to the alternatives.

Loved the beef and tasty sauce
Now, my only fault here was because we were in a hurry, I forgot to ask for the name of the dishes. I am actually not obligated to blog about every place we've eaten but I find it necessary to help in promoting Zamboanga as a destination. People are attracted to go to a place not just because of the beaches and sites but also because of the restaurant options that are available to them.

Sometimes, it's the only reason why a place is frequented because people are curious to try the dishes themselves.

What I can say about the dish is that it looked and tasted like Beef Steak You can see the onions along with the tender beef and thick sauce that I find so yummy.

It seems their sauces for every viand are really delectable
Of course, you don't dare go to a Seafood restaurant and do not try out their seafood dishes. These Prawns are exceptionally satisfying especially because of the tasty sauce that's probably loaded with spices. It will motivate you to eat more rice after every bite. Tempting to eat more but I have to make room for the knickerbocker later.
My only concern is that the servings were too little (Yeah! I wanted more since it was satisfying enough to please my eccentric taste buds). We did however order two plates of both the Beef Steak and saucy Prawns. There were eight of us so I still thought the food served were too little to satisfy our appetite. It was a good thing we know there was the knickerbocker coming soon so none of us complained.
Smile coz you're on Wazzup Pilipinas camera
Here we are asking the servers to take our photo so we could immortalize the dinner and forever make it a part of our memories. Like in every occasion, we would always need to "document" it even if it is not required. Also as proof to say that we've been there and flaunt our photo to the envy of the other guys..

Our lovely host, Elle

Thank you again to our host for the wonderful dinner. It has been a great four days of stay at Zamboanga, and we were overwhelmed with the hospitality that she has shown us. We've also seen how she patiently waited, fetched, reminded, toured, informed, advised and pampered us throughout our stay.

We appreciated every warm smile,  friendly greeting, and tap on the back, from the very first day that we've stepped on to the soil of Zamboanga and up to the last day when we were all set to hop on board our plane to fly back to Manila.

Thank you and God bless to Elle! We hope to see her again soon in the near future.

Can't get enough of the knickerbocker
I write this article while I reminisce on eating the final sweet treat we had while going back to our hotel to fetch our bags, and go directly to the airport. Just like the knickerbocker, a symphony of sun-ripened fruits blended with refreshing creamy milk and topped with strawberry ice cream,  Zamboanga will forever be very close to our hearts,... and tummy. Lol!

We're going back to the run, duck and hide life in Manila where only the strong, influential and quick-witted will survive. It's better than what they have to say about the cities in Mindanao. Sometimes I have to agree especially when during our stay in  Zamboanga city, a local judge was killed in cold blood.

However, if you'll take a closer look at the actual figures, the crime rate in Mindanao is extremely low compared to what we have here in freaking hellish Manila. But I hate to give you statistics right now because it will spoil my story of our dinner time. Stories about murder, and the likes of it, will put you in a bad mood and ruin your appetite.

To bid farewell since this was our last meal together with our group, I say thank you very much and muchas gracias, Zamboanga! You are truly Hermosa!

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