Dining with a view

THERE'S a new dining place in Mactan Island, Cebu. Called Marina Seaview by Blue Elephant, this new culinary go-to spot is owned by Anthony Ballreich and his partners, Ray Go Manigsaca, Alden Elca and Fernando Cruz—who are also partners for the Blue Elephant restaurant on top of the AppleOne Tower, Cebu Business Park. Ballreich, being the restaurateur of the group, was hands-on in building the place, opting for glass in high ceilings (4.5 meters high), impressive interiors (solid wood tables, chairs upholstered in off-white stingray motif leatherette, a bar spanning eight meters made from solid granite, comfort rooms with solid wood doors) and an outdoor resto-bar in three downward levels, to ensure patrons an unobstructed view of the sea.

The cuisine here is international with seafood and steaks as the house specialty, as well as Asian fusion. Available here are crab cakes (really good even without its accompanying sauce), seafood karekare (minus the bagoong, with a taste that hints of Thai cuisine), sinuglaw—which is a combination of sinugbang baboy (roast pork) and tangigue kinilaw (ceviche), squid stuffed with paella, salmon with teriyaki sauce, pochero, ham and cheese croquets and seafood chowder.

The house salad (its version of Caesar’s salad) is a refreshing combination of lettuce, black olives, diced cheese, grilled chicken breast and ham, with thousand island dressing. It’s up to the diner to leave it untossed or to toss it and get the full flavor of the combination of ingredients.

Among the main dishes are pastas like a creamy carbonara, chicken teriyaki, beef medallion with crabmeat and whiskey peppercorn sauce, pork steak in gravy and mushroom sauce. For an absolutely hot entrée, there’s beef kebabs in creamy yogurt sauce served with Aztec rice.

There’s a lot more to discover, food-wise at Marina Seaview. Ballreich assures that the fine dining experience does not come with a fine dining price tag. He adds that 90 people can be accommodated inside the fine dining area, and 300 at the al fresco restobar. And yes, it has a ballroom, also glass-walled, that can accommodate 250 people for exclusive functions.

Right now, Marina Seaview restaurant manager Cedric Tumulak says the place opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Ballreich looks forward to the day when the pier constructed beside it will be finished and becomes functional, and the opening of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal II, for then the restaurant will also be open for breakfast with a view.
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