Zamboanga Metropolis got here as a shock when it comes to meals. Its historical past as a former stronghold of Spain in Mindanao has certainly taken root in its delicacies, with Spanish dishes going alongside extra native flavors from the Zamboanga Peninsula, the neighboring Sulu archipelago, and even Malaysia. It additionally helps that the realm is close to the ocean, with harvest coming in abundantly—the town isn’t dubbed because the Sardine Capital of the Philippines for no purpose.
Throughout our weeklong escapade within the metropolis, in between Zamboanga vacationer spots, the Zamboanga Hermosa Competition, and an As soon as Islas island hopping journey, we tried numerous eating places serving all the pieces from conventional Filipino and Moro cuisines, to Hispanic dishes, and even distinctive and engaging Zamboanga road meals that may solely be discovered on this a part of the nation.
ALAVAR SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
|ALAVAR SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS IN ZAMBOANGA CITY|
Alavar Seafood Restaurant is likely one of the go to locations, if not the go to position, for consuming out in Zamboanga Metropolis. They’ve two branches, the primary one at Alfaro Avenue in Tetuan, and a smaller stall on the Paseo del Mar. We ate on the former. The interiors are very Filipiniana—capiz home windows and lengthy shiny wood tables paired with heavy chairs with rattan weavings.
|CURACHA WITH ALAVAR SAUCE ~ PRICED PER KILO|
|ALAVAR SEAFOOD PLATTER|
Their specialty is curacha, a spanner crab—a cross between a lobster and crab. Right here, they steam it earlier than pouring copious quantity of Alavar Sauce, a thick orangey signature sauce made out of coconut milk combined with all kinds of spices. In fact, you eat this along with your naked arms, digging via each final little bit of curacha meat and licking each final little bit of the sauce out of your arms. It goes effectively with their Alavar seafood platter, which is topped by imbao clams, hefty crab claws, and prawns—a whole meal in itself.
BAY TAL MAL RESTAURANT
|BAY TAL MAL’S INTERIORS|
Going for one thing extra native, we headed over to Bay Tal Mal Restaurant for dinner. The identify, which interprets to Home of Wealth from Arabic, displays on its interiors—nearly all the pieces is gilded in gold, together with the teapot they use for chilly ingesting water.
|LATAL, A PLATTER OF TAUSUG DISHES|
We had been served with a plethora of Moro delicacies together with latal, a platter of Tausug dishes served principally throughout particular events. It consists of small parts of piyassak (liver), beef kulma, beef and rooster kiyaliya, rooster pyanggang, calamares, utak utak (fish cake), cucumber with chili sambal paste, fried fish, and the primary dish, tyulah itum. That final one is a beef soup cooked with burnt coconut paste. It does appear to be dinuguan, however it’s undoubtedly not, as Bay Tal Mal is likely one of the legit halal-certified eating places in the entire of Zamboanga Metropolis.
|CHICKEN RICE SAMBAL|
I actually favored their rooster rice sambal, particularly once I really dipped the rooster on the sambal sauce. Their mee goreng—certainly one of my favourite Malaysian dishes—appeared blah at first, till they advised me to pour a dose of spicy vinegar. I devoured half the plate served for the group proper after.
HARLEY’S FOOD & CRAFT BEERS
|HARLEY’S FOOD & CRAFT BEERS IN ZAMBOANGA CITY|
As if we’re not stuffed full but, we selected testing the meals scene on the Yubenco Meals Complicated. Really, we’re not searching for chow, what we’re searching for is a drink. Once more, it was a shock to discover a craft beer bar in Zamboanga Metropolis. Really, Harley’s Meals & Craft Beers serves halal dishes, however they do serve beer. Join that.
|HARLEY’S SECOND FLOOR|
|HARLEY’S BEER FLIGHTS TASTING SET|
The motorbike-themed restaurant presently has a complete of 9 craft beers, with quite a lot of using native flavors like biosong lime and Arabica espresso from Bukidnon. Since we’re actually not right here to binge, we merely ordered a few their beer flights, every one consisting of 4 500ml of craft beer, simply so we will pattern all the pieces. A few of the notables had been Harley’s El Chonngo Blanco and the Sultan Espresso Stout. Alright, beer-tasting over, now gimme a Purple Horse, lol.
ANDY’S SPECIAL SATTI
|ANDY’S SPECIAL SATTI IN ZAMBOANGA CITY|
One of many staple breakfast in Zamboanga Metropolis is satti. It’s similar to the South East Asian satay—a grilled skewer of rooster or beef that’s then lathered with peanut sauce. The primary distinction is that Zamboanga’s satti swims on the sauce, which is reddish and barely spicy with a really delicate trace of peanuts, together with chopped parts of rice cooked on coconut leaves they name puso.
|SATTI IS A REGULAR BREAKFAST FARE IN ZAMBOANGA|
|PUSO IS RICE COOKED INSIDE A WEAVED COCONUT LEAF|
Andy’s is likely one of the three hottest satti homes within the metropolis together with Jimmy’s Sati and Johnny’s Morning Solar Satti. And like them, these locations are situated on humble carinderia-like settings. Excellent, low cost, and filling morning fare.
HACIENDA DE PALMERAS HOTEL & RESTAURANT
|HACIENDA DE PALMERAS’ CRISPY PATA (₱689.00 MEDIUM)|
Hacienda de Palmeras’ in-house restaurant is likely one of the hottest eating venues in Zamboanga Metropolis. With plaid tables set over a gazebo, their declare to fame is the Knicker Bocker (₱131.00), their model of the Filipino halo-halo which fuses sliced candy mangoes, bananas, and gelatin, topped with a scoop of ice cream.
|KNICKER BOCKER ~ ₱131.00 | CRISPY NOODLES|
|SIZZLING GAMBAS ~ ₱383.00|
However since I’m actually not a sweet-tooth-kinda-guy, I used to be extra enamored with their lunch choices, significantly their crispy noodles, tacky baked imbao clams (₱272.00), scorching gambas (₱383.00), and their heart-stopping model of crispy pata (₱689.00 medium). Deliciously sinful!
|BARCODE IN ZAMBOANGA CITY|
Located proper on the middle of happenings in Zamboanga Metropolis, Bar Code is a well-liked hangout for these wanting just a few bottles of beer whereas chowing down conventional Filipino consolation meals on scorching plates whereas listening to a dwell band.
|BARCODE’S TIULA ITUM ~ ₱248.00|
We acquired to check out just a few of their favorites—chopseuy guisado (₱158.00), buttered rooster (₱188.00), and pancit seafood (₱158.00), to call just a few. Amongst these, their scorching rooster pianggang (₱168.00) undoubtedly stood out for me.
|SIZZLING CHICKEN PIANGGANG ~ ₱168.00|
If you would like a a lot livelier and scenic location to dine on, in addition they have a smaller department at Paseo Del Mar which fronts the ocean.
DENNIS COFFEE GARDEN
|A TAUSUG PLATTER AT DENNIS COFFEE GARDEN|
Dennis Espresso Backyard is likely one of the greatest eating places I’ve tried in Zamboanga Metropolis. The restaurant originated from Sulu and has been serving Tausug dishes since 1962. Spell legit.
|DENNIS COFFEE GARDEN’S TIYULA ITUM|
Actually housed inside a home—a former residential residence, that’s—I sampled a number of the greatest Moro Delicacies I’ve had in Zamboanga Metropolis right here. From their snacks and entrees like panggi-panggi (deep-fried bread just like a donut), jualan saing (fried bananas), and pastil (empanada dipped in scorching vinegar), to their important fares just like the rooster pianggang, kulma (beef in curry paste), tiula itum, utak utak (fried fish cake)—all the pieces was achieved extraordinarily effectively.
Dennis Espresso Backyard has just lately opened a second department contained in the KCC Mall De Zamboanga. It’s an awesome different if the unique location is just too inaccessible for you, although the home atmosphere of the unique department undoubtedly can’t be matched.
COUNTRY CHICKEN RESTAURANT
|COUNTRY CHICKEN RESTAURANT’S HOMEY INTERIORS|
Having been round for the reason that seventies, Nation Hen is likely one of the oldest eating places in Zamboanga Metropolis. Moreover rooster, they serve Filipino and Spanish dishes, with them specializing extra on the latter.
Underneath the country and comfy environment of their interiors, we devoured their seafood paella, crispy pata, beef callos, and, after all, their fried rooster, with gusto. Greater than the rooster although, their callos received over everybody’s coronary heart.
VISTA DEL MAR RESTAURANT
|VILLA DEL MAR’S RESTAURANT|
Vista Del Mar Restaurant was our final cease for our Zamboanga meals journey. Vista del Mar is definitely a sprawling nature-inspired resort and a preferred picnic place for locals. Their restaurant is about on an enormous open-aired two-storey hut proper by the ocean.
|ENSALADA DE CHAMBA|
An extended desk was set on the second flooring full of platefuls of crisply fried shrimps, baked imbao clams, grilled squid, and their home specialties—ensalada de chamba (salad with eggplants and tomatoes, garnished with crimson onions and topped with sliced salted eggs), crispy dinuguan (blood pudding topped with pork lechon kawali), and final, however not the least, their steamed curacha which comes with its personal delectable sauce that may rival these at Alavar. They usually have a particular approach of attending to its meat too by urgent a plate down on the curacha to crack it open.
|HOW TO OPEN A STEAMED CURACHA|
It was the most effective seafood meals we’ve had in Zamboanga Metropolis, and evidently, I used to be gut-bustingly full after the course. I feel I overindulged on their dinuguan and crispy shrimps!
MANDARIN TEA GARDEN
|MANDARIN TEA GARDEN IN KCC MALL DE ZAMBOANGA|
Chinese language meals isn’t actually the very first thing you’d consider having when you concentrate on a Zamboanga Metropolis meals journey, but when ever you crave for it, the Mandarin Tea Backyard at KCC Mall de Zamboanga is price a shot. That is really a preferred Chinese language restaurant in Mindanao, with the unique one from Davao, and has branches in CDO, Surigao, GenSan, to call just a few.
|MANDARIN TEA GARDEN COMBO D ~ ₱215.00|
The restaurant is situated inside a mall, so it’s air-conditioned and has an honest minimalist interiors. We initially considered consuming on the close by Dennis Espresso Backyard, however discovered its worth to be a bit prohibitive, so we settled with Mandarin Tea Backyard with their midrange meals costs.
|WANTON NOODLE SOUP ~ ₱130.00 | REGULAR ASADO SIOPAO ~ ₱48.00|
We ordered a bowl of wanton noodle soup (₱130.00), common asado siopao (₱48.00), and Combo Meal D (₱215.00) which consists of fried rice, pancit canton, candy & bitter fish fillet, shrimp crackers, and buchi. Every thing tasted as they need to—nothing excessive, nothing unhealthy—simply what you’d anticipate from a comforting Chinese language meal.
OLE OLE MARI MAKAN RESTAURANT
|INSIDE OLE OLE MARI MAKAN RESTAURANT|
With its proximity to Malaysia, Zamboanga Metropolis’s delicacies has adopted just a few of its neighbor’s dishes. We discovered not just a few Malaysian eating places alongside the town, and the most effective ones we tried was Ole Ole Mari Makan Restaurant, as beneficial to us by one of many workers at Two Seasons Government Suites Zamboanga the place we had been staying on the time.
|SPECIAL MEE GORENG ~ ₱65.00|
They provide principally Malaysian dishes together with a few Thai ones. We requested for plates of particular mee goreng (₱65.00) and nasi goreng kampung (₱75.00), and paired it with glasses of kopi ais (₱75.00). It was a bit unusual that their iced espresso is costlier than their mee goreng (stir-fried noodles).
|NASI GORENG KAMPUNG ~ ₱85.00|
It was the very best mee goreng we’ve tried in Zamboanga to date. The flavour was just like these we feast on alongside Malaysia’s Jalan Alor Meals Avenue. They do serve it slightly in another way although, the egg is gentle boiled and never fried, they use cabbage as a substitute of mustard leaves, and so they high it with a cucumber. Nonetheless, it was so good, we instantly ordered one other one.
Their nasi goreng kampung, which comes with fried egg and bits of rooster toppings, was additionally excellent and so was their kopi ais.