One of my most closest pals in the blogging community and I were scheduled for a facial spa session at Zen Institute in Tomas Morato, Quezon City last January 3. Taking care of oneself thru a simple skin pampering is one of the best ways to celebrate our new year together. After more than an hour of rejuvenation it is quite expected that we'll be craving for something different to eat that is also worth blogging as well. Since we could not grope for the right diner to try along Timog or Tomas Morato, we considered riding a cab to take us to the nearest mall where we can do unending window shopping, restaurant hunting and run some errands.
Until such time that we reach the SM North Skygarden that presented us unlimited opportunities to take our most sought-after dinner date. In no time, we found ourselves inside the Marina Oysters Seafood Grill that she had been raving about during our cab ride from T. Morato to SM North. I cannot place the last time I've sampled their offerings in Metrowalk so never complained about the idea of spending the last main meal of the day in here.
We had the place to ourselves for the first hour and guests started to pour chasing after the Ilonggo flavor that Marina is known for. They have huge dining space inside which is not so obvious when you pass by the the Skygarden. It was my first time at this branch and I really enjoyed looking up at the ceiling from time to time because the blue sky with clouds painting very well reminds me of our old barangay chapel.I just do not get the idea of painting their ceiling that way. Perhaps, guests could somehow feel like in heaven after tasting sumptuous Ilonggo dishes or to add serenity to the entire restaurant. But the those clouds made me feel that I am so secure and that the place seemed to be spacious that generates pleasant dining experience.
Fresh Buko Juice PhP90
I like the feeling of sipping buco juice without an end. Marina's buko are big but not cold enough to satisfy me. I disagree with the way they serve it to guests without wrapping each piece with stretch film to at least make an impression that they prepare it in a clean manner. I was airing out my concern to my friend because as far as I can recall I never encountered receiving fresh buco juice presented this way in a restaurant.
Bagoong Rice PhP120
Since we eat heavily each time, we ordered good-for-sharing rice dish instead of solo orders. It is an inexpensive way to eating out in a restaurant serving native Filipino dishes. Pinoys are known for being "maganang kumain" (in English, has good appetite) so a plateful of rice is enough to meet their expectations. A rice dish that has ample amount of bagoong that do not necessarily overpower the viands. Just subtle and delicious.
A very popular vegetable dish in the Philippines that uses basic vegetables such as okra, eggplant, tomato, ampalaya, kalabasa, string beans and bagoong alamang. We noticed that majority of the cut-up veggies are half-cooked though fine tasting. Luckily, we enjoyed eating this viand..masarap papakin even with little to no meat.
My forever favorite traditional Philippine stew that is so rich in flavor. I liked the way Marina cooked this dish that is laden with so much veggies, beef sirloin and beef tripe. The thick savory peanut sauce was very very delicious with or without the aid of bagoong.
Blue Marlin Steak PhP245
They claimed to have the BIGGEST, THICKEST, JUICIEST, FRESHEST, PERFECTLY GRILLED Blue Marlin Steaks in Town!!! And guess what? I must totally agree with that tagline. Blue Marlin is so perfect if it is grilled to perfection as it releases awesome flavors that will certainly make you begging for more (pun intended). A soy sauce dip squeezed with lemon or even minute serving of atchara greatly do wonders to this might good grilled fish. This is insanely thick, juicy, fresh and delicious.
So if you guys are eagerly desiring for authentic Ilonggo specialties, go to Marina Oysters Seafood Grill and get the satisfaction you truly deserve. A family-oriented place that offers not just great native dishes but good service too.
Branches: SM MOA, Timog-Panay, Market! Market!, Magallanes, Metrowalk, Forum Robinsons.
MARINA Oysters Seafood Grill
SM City North EDSA - Sky Garden, SM City North EDSA
North Avenue corner EDSA
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippine