Friday, August 31, 2012

Food Trip in Zamboanga City

Our first food experience in Zamboanga City was at the eateries beside the Puericulture Center. It was a breakfast of balbacua, a soup dish with ox tail and skin. Sold at Php 40-50 per portion in the carinderia ambiance, it fits the appetite of diners on a budget.

Lunch on first day was along the beach of Sta. Cruz island. It was a different kind of crab, smaller and with less meat than any common crab. The lady vendor cooked about 8 pcs for us with steamed rice and vinegar dip, for a total bill of only Php 150.

In the afternoon, we tried the squidballs and knickerbocker at Paseo del Mar. Both are good choices at reasonable prices. For Php 60/portion of the knickerbocker, customers can enjoy a mixture of fresh mango, papaya, watermelon, and liquid milk, topped with strawberry ice cream.

Dinner was at Mano-Mano, where we got the assorted fried items on a bilao. Price is reasonable, but we should have ordered the grilled dishes for better and less tiring flavor.

One breakfast option not to be missed are the satti's -- the very small grilled meat cubes on spicy sauce, which originated in Jolo, Sulu. The popular source of this dish is the Jimmy Satti Haus along Pilar St, walking distance from the city center.

Starting at Php 20, a customer can get 3 sticks of either beef or chicken barbecues, and steamed rice cooked in "puso". Diners can choose between varying degrees of spicy sauces.

To try the famous dishes of Alavar's, they have an outlet in Paseo del Mar, where we've had our second dinner. 

A mud crab with steamed rice costs around Php 180, depending on the crab's size. What makes the Alavar dishes special? Its their alavar sauce made from crab roe and coconut milk.

We also dined at Alavar's main restaurant in Tetuan district. It was our most expensive meal in the city, composed of sizzling squid, plus their famous curacha in alavar sauce. They sell a kilogram (4-5 pcs) of curacha for Php 850. The bigger sizes are more expensive, around Php 1,000/kilogram.

Curacha is a rare type of crab found in the waters of Zamboanga, Batangas, Quezon, and perhaps other parts of the country. Known as spanner crab, curacha also means cockroach in Chavacano language. 

Its like a hybrid of crab and lobster/shrimp, but with less meat than its popular crustacean cousins. Nothing special with its taste, but we are more after the novelty of trying the crab with the alavar sauce.

While waiting for our food orders to arrive, the kids went to the restaurant's backyard, where they have a mini aviary.

These are just some of the culinary experience one can get in Zamboanga City.

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  1. Hi Noel, thanks for linking my blog, will add yours on my blogroll too. :)

    About the post: been to Zamboanga too, again work-related, and again, more than a decade na, but I won't forget the trip, one of the best trips I had. Hays, kaka-miss ang Zambo, sana makabalik din ulit ako. :)


  2. Thanks for the visit and blog link. If ever I get back to Zamboanga City, I like to try their dark bulalo, also visit Taluksangay Mosque and Freedom Park.

  3. Hi! your post makes me excited before i go to Zamboanga..Curacha!!

  4. Wow !! i like your post !! I want to Zamboanga already !! im searching some other info's and saw this

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