More than just seafood

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014


There is one good reason to make a gourmet trip to the newly renovated Grand Convention Center along Archbishop Reyes Ave. — and that’s Isla Sugbu Seafood City.

From the comfortable and cozy ambiance, to the courteous and attentive service, to the exotic and mouth-watering seafood dishes, this seafood restaurant manages to deliver all these in one plate.

The concept of a seafood restaurant is not new, and the tenets of how a good restaurant should be are not mere theories either. Who wouldn’t want to go to a restaurant where the proprietor is passionate about food and whose goal is excellence by providing customers impeccable customer service in a clean and sanitary environment? Who sets high standards for quality and ensures that guests receive the same quality of food with every meal?

“It is never easy to operate a seafood restaurant, but because there is a clamor for a decent and clean seafood restaurant, we decided to revive Seafood City, now named Isla Sugbu.

“We want to offer an alternative for tourists as well as the locals to partake of delicious and exotic dishes prepared in the most sanitary way,” Chang, president and chief operating officer of Ikitchen, explained. “We take the restaurant business seriously, and we are doing the best we can to bring the food industry to the highest level, and satisfy our customers in the process.”

By bringing the food industry to a high level, Chang revealed that their company employs three food technologists to oversee that the food being served in their restaurants are safe and clean and up to the standards.

These technologists also make sure that the handling of food is efficient and done in a most hygienic way. And for Isla Sugbu, the company is constructing a “de-puration” chamber for their oysters and shell food. This way, these seafood is sure to be purified from unclean elements that they may have.

“At Isla Sugbu, you can just go in, pick a cart, and select the kind of seafood you want, tell the waiter how you want your food cooked, and just get surprised. We have six chefs, three from Hong Kong, and a reliable kitchen crew to prepare them for you,” Chang added.

Good restaurants that value their customers’ welfare should be cherished and valued in return.

Sidebar: Guide to buying fresh seafood

At a seafood restaurant, ask the chef where the fresh catch comes from. At the market, develop a relationship with the fish vendor and use your reason. Do the fish glisten? Is the ice being used to preserve the fish plenty enough? Most importantly, ask to smell everything you buy. Fish should never smell “fishy” or smell like ammonia. It should smell briny and clean—just like the sea.

Whole fish: Look for firm flesh that springs back to the touch, bright red gills, and clear eyes.

Blue crab: Buy hard-shell and soft-shell crabs fresh (i.e. alive and not foaming at the mouth).

White, brown and pink shrimp: Most fresh shrimp have been frozen and defrosted, so buy them frozen if you are not cooking them immediately. For defrosted shrimp, buy those “in the shell” and peel them yourself. They should feel firm and look plump.

Fillets: Fillets of white flaky fish should be firm to the touch. Avoid any fillet with an “oily” sheen or excessive “gapping” in the flesh, or if they are stored in standing water.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 25, 2014.

Lifestyle

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