I’ve always love Zamboanga City. Every visit means experiencing something different. I love Zamboanga for its rustic appeal yet you can feel its economic dynamism. Moreso, I love Zamboangaenos for they are more welcoming and malambing. This is my second visit this year and as always I have enjoyed my stay. A visit to Zamboanga would not be complete without shopping at the Barter Trade Center. Products from Malaysia and Indonesia are sold here tax-free. Pasonanca Park and the Boys’ Scout Jamboree Camp are must-visits. And there’s the old Lantaka Hotel by the bay and Camp Pilar where the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary is enshrined. And of course, the food. It is always a delight to savor Zamboanga’s food offerings. Here’s what’s in store for you, faithful readers, if you intend to visit Asia’s Latin city soon…
Sea crabs galore – prepared simply by steaming
The Alavar sauce was served separately
Only in Zamboanga that Curacha is available all-year round
Be careful of the sharp shell of the curacha
Kitang (Spotted Butter Fish) grilled to perfection
The fish meat was so juicy that I almost consumed it all by myself
Roti Bread ala Zamboanga
This is an original Malaysian recipe that’s oh-so-yummy
Beef Kulma (or Curma) is curry-based viand
Inspired by our Malaysian neighbors, this one’s not for the faint-hearted
Chicken Pianggang is a spicy Tausug viand also called as Blackened Chicken
It turns black not because it was burnt but because of the special spices used to prepare it
Adobong Pusit na Puti has always been my favorite
This one’s really tender and tasted so good
Spicy Pansit Bihon Guisado that will surely tickle your fancy
And I thought nothing can surprise me anymore
Super Bilao Grill to-die-for
Try this one for a group of five individuals – Sulit talaga!
Ensaladang talong is the best balancer for any grilled seafood
But try the manggang hilaw ensalada with itlog na maalat
Carolina’s Grill serves the best Beef Kulma, Chicken Pianggang, Spicy Pancit Bihon Guisado and Roti Bread. The best time to dine is from 6:00 onwards. They are located at Baliwasan, Moret and may be contacted at 926-9141.
Country Chicken Restaurant offers the Super Bilao Grill which includes pork chorizo, calamares, spare ribs, bangus, itlog maalat, tortang talong and fried chicken. All for PhP900.00++. Add PhP250.00 for a mean serving of Crispy Pata. They’re located along the Pasonanca Park Complex. For reservations, contact 0908-899-6826.
Alavar’s Restaurant is probably one of the oldest restaurants in Zamboanga City. Their Crab and Curacha viands would not be complete without the popular Alavar Sauce. Try their Grilled Kitang and Ensaladang Talong combination too. Alavar’s is along Don Alfaro Street, Tetuan. Make your reservations at 991-2483.