Keeping away from beef and pork and eating mostly seafood during Holy Week is a longstanding Lenten “panata” for most practicing Catholics. But while a Lenten obligation may sound like something one needs to endure, nothing about the seafood dishes below means denying oneself a perfectly delicious meal. Here are a dozen amazingly satisfying seafood dishes we’ve enjoyed, and which you can order over the Holy Week—and beyond.
1. Crab Gulong Gulong by Lechon Diva
According to the Lechon Diva, Dedet Dela Fuente—who is famous among Manila foodies for her delicious lechons stuffed with truffle rice, among others—“Crabs are the lechons of the sea as both turn a yummy shade of dark orange when cooked.” Whether you agree or not, one thing is for sure: her Filipino mud crab dish cooked in her secret “gulong gulong” sauce is as good as her signature stuffed lechons. Available in small and big size party platters that you can also order “shelled.” Contact Pepita’s Kitchen 0917-8660662 to order.
2. Curry Crabs by Chinamommy
Thanks to my lo ba (Taiwanese braised mince pork dish) obsession, I was recently reunited with the delicious cooking of Chinamommy, one of the most consistent home-based cooks in town, and its crowd-favorite Thai-style Curry Crabs, which in my honest opinion is still the best Curry Crabs in town. Contact 0917-5148540 or @chinamommyph on IG to order.
3. Kani Aburi by Taste and Tell
Taste and Tell’s Kani bake is like a deconstructed torched California maki in sushi bake form. It’s the sushi bake to try if, after a year of trying, you still haven’t lucked out on a good one. Contact 0909-9827426 to order.
4. Fresh Oysters at Golden Seafoods
Those looking for a fresh oysters fix without breaking the bank probably won’t find a better deal than Golden Seafood’s P30 per oyster offering! If you’re not eating raw seafood at the moment, you can try their salt and pepper shrimps platter instead. Contact Leslie at 0919-0097191 to order.
5. Marvsboqueria x Sarsa Bangus Inasal
This imho is just one of the best pandemic food collabs. Where Chef JP Anglo of Sarsa partners with premium seafood purveyor Marvsboqueria to come-out with a gourmet ready-to-cook bangus line that you can buy cooked or frozen at Sarsa. Contact Sarsa at 0917-5280115 (Viber) or Marvboqueria at 0917-8512732 to order.
6. Soy Garlic Crabs at Ley’s Kitchen
Manila is blessed with many good crab specialists. Ley’s kitchen is your best bet if you are craving for a very flavorful yet well-balanced, garlicky crab cooked Chinese-style. Contact Angel Ley at 0917-8486889 to order.
7. Crudo of Hokkaido Scallops
Gastronomade’s award winning Chef Aaron Isip has been creating an amazing selection of gourmet ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook kits that feature his equally impressive line of bespoke sauces. Consider this no-cook Crudo of Hokkaido Scallops appetizer, with Amaebi, Ikura, Korean Radish that you can finish with Gastronomade’s Tamarind-Anchovy Sauce & Arugula. Contact @gastronomademnl at 0926-7566539 to order.
8. Liden’s Salmon Gravlax
Fellow gravlax lovers need to try this home-cured Japanese salmon gravlax at least once to find out why it’s one of the most popular dishes on sale at the What’s Cooking Makati FB group. Gravlax is a Nordic dish of salmon best accompanied by dill and mustard sauce. An order is comprised of a 400g thinly sliced gravlax w/ 200g dill mustard sauce. Contact 0917-5625467 to order.
9. Baked Prawns by Chicken Man Manila
You might just call Chicken Man Manila Stevie Villacin “the Prawn man” after tasting his Baked Prawns served with his own special tamarind sauce and topped with fried shallots and fresh cilantro. Contact 8896-8940 or 0906-5084155 to order.
10. Pls Naeng Ma Naw by Azuthai
If you are looking for a refreshingly light yet flavorful fish dish. Look no further. Azuthai’s seabass with lime is a marvelous Thai steamed fish dish. A Thai dish that truly represents the delightful contrasting flavors of Thai food. Contact 0966-6345792 or 8817-6252 to order.
11 Grilled Tuna Panga by Joseph & Jaemark’s
After a brief hiatus, the family that started Joseph & Jaemark's Filipino grill at the Cuneta Astrodome in the early 90s is back with a smaller delivery-only set-up and menu topbilled by their famous grilled tuna panga (jaw) and belly, complete with their signature sauces. Order one day in advance via Facebook or IG @josephandjaemarks.
12) Mussels in Chorizo Cream
At Chef Tina Legarda’s Bamba Bistro, the Mussels in Chorizo Cream can either be enjoyed as is with a siding of lavash bread, as an appetizer, or as a heavenly pasta sauce that she usually pairs with linguine. A dish that you will definitely not want to share—but since it’s Holy Week, we suggest you do. Not into mussels? Her Uni pasta is another must-try. Call 8519-7097 to order.