WHEN it comes to food, great taste and unswerving consistency are the claws that grip the hearts (and tongues) of many, would-be loyal patrons. Operating since 2009, Oyster Bay Seafood Restaurant is more than just a landmark on the way to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Its 10 years in business is a testament that not all seafood restaurants are created equal.

The restaurant is the brainchild of patriarch Eduardo Alegrado and his three sons: Bernard, Clifford and Dominic. The family transformed what once was a manufacturing factory into a lifestyle arcade, Bridges Town Square. With the Alegrados’ love—and history—for good food (Eduardo opened and operated a seafood restaurant back in the ‘80s called Fishing Village along Gen. Maxilom Ave., Cebu City) the family thought that having a restaurant as the lifestyle arcade’s flagship store would be a good idea. Thus, Oyster Bay.

“The family grew up going to the beach, spending time in the sea,” shared marketing head Nicole Alegrado, adding that the family has always spent most of its time enjoying good food, seafood most especially. Oyster Bay’s menu draws inspiration from what the “family loves to eat.”

Indeed, as one takes a look at the menu, his eyes would feast on the varied Filipino and Chinese favorites (think sizzling pochero to yang chow fried rice). For the adventurous foodie, Oyster Bay likes to play around with ideas, thus, serving items like the sisig pouch or siomai roll. “There’s something for everyone,” said Nicole, “from traditional to modern takes.”

But one must not get lost and forget that Oyster Bay is primarily a haven for lovers of fresh live seafood. Sourcing their seafood from various locations (Palawan, Zamboanga, Samar, Negros and Bohol), one is assured of enjoying a fresh catch every time. Just look at the board for your choice, point to the aquarium, and tell the server how you want your dish done. A seafood specialty that one needs to try out is the Oyster Bay Crab, served on a hot plate drenched in butter, garlic and all the good things in life. If customers want to enjoy their bang for buck, the fresh and steamed oysters here are offered “buy one, take one.”

With opportunity to make use of the wide space, compared to being stuck inside a commercial structure or within a residential area, Oyster Bay took the liberty to add a little fish pond (complete with sand and all) right at its al fresco dining area. Children—and perhaps some adults, too—would love to try feeding the fish from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“As they say, people eat first with their eyes,” shared Nicole, explaining that all the elements in the restaurant, from the cozy vibe thanks to the sand, water and palm trees outside, to the lighting, interiors and furniture inside, are all about creating that “unique restaurant environment.” That said, the restaurant also has a private room good for 50 that can be booked for exclusive functions from birthday parties to corporate meetings.

Oyster Bay Seafood Restaurant is located at Bridges Town Square, Plaridel St., Mandaue City, Cebu. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 6 to 10 p.m. daily.