IT WAS the opening day of the two-man exhibit by Davao artists Vic Secuya and Kublai Millan at Abreeza Mall, and we were getting really, really hungry. Thus, after the necessary chit-chat and smile-smile, we sneaked out. Although… sneaking out with bespren Kublai and the whole family (wife Maan, sons Kubing and Kunta, Maan’s mom Gina, Maan’s brother and the brother’s girlfriend plus friend Imee) was proving to be quite difficult. Either Maan gets caught in a conversation with some friend, or Kublai or Imee… we did make the break at near 8 p.m., when restaurants were all filled up because the whole dining crowd were already seated and well into their dinner.
One handicap, Kublai is pesca-vegetarian, and so that limits our choices. First choice (because we ate here before and knew that there is enough fish and vege dishes there to make Kublai happy) had a lot of customers and available tables were not grouped together (we’re trying to fit in nine people including two rambunctious little boys), and so we went straight for the next restaurant that had two long tables still empty. The restaurant name: Seafood Island. It’s at the second level of Abreeza, and let me jump ahead and urge you to try their Jumbangus. Fried boneless bangus with super-duper lots of toasted garlic bits. It was super sarap.
Word for the owner though… can I make one suggestion please? A suggestion that will make me and little boy Kubing -- and for all we know, a hundred others, really, truly, absolutely happy. Please make an extra effort of removing the scales… we love munching on the skin of the bangus, and we were both dismayed when we each got a big piece, placed these inside our mouths with flair, and ended up spitting scales. It was a sad time for both of us, having to leave the other half of the skin untouched. Fish scales do not taste good…
We didn’t just eat bangus. We ate a lot!
Let’s see… sizzling mushroom and tofu (sarap!), pinakbet (tastes like pinakbet and cooked just right), deep fried tilapia (with scales removed!), that platter of boiled eggplant and okra served with salted egg, chopped green mango, tomtatoes and onion, and bagoong (ginamos to us), and two mountains of bagoong rice. Warning: Never order large rice if you’re trying to cut down on carbs.
We ordered a feast and earned a free dessert for that (fried ice cream), which tasted swell, except that I can only take a taste not just because I was already very full but because I’m lactose intolerant. We were treated to a freak show of how a tiny Kubing could eat up two slices, on top of one big plate of rice and fish. That boy has an appetite! And he’s just…. Errr… two… three?
Seafood Island offers set menus in boodle sizes, where all of you get to attack the food placed all together in one big tray. But with the two boys with us, a boodle fight is out of the picture. No, thanks. In more controllable company, boodle fights should be fun.
Over all, food is very good and I am still craving for that jumbangus several days later.