Naga City is vibrant. The food scene is great. After having a great night at Bora Hut, my hosts treated us at Bob Marlin along Magsaysay Ave. This is acknowledged as the restaurant strip of the city where I also had a beautiful food experience at Chef Doy’s and where local favorite, Bigg’s Diner has a wonderfully designed branch.
Bob Marlin Restaurant & Grill is one of the popular restaurants in Naga City. It’s reggae themed and specializes on favorite Bicolano and Filipino food. Just to tell you how popular this resto is? Look at the series of white plates displayed on the walls. Look closer and you’ll find that these were signed by celebrities and stars. So when you come in, get that fame vibe.
As we were seated, the food started to flow and on to our tables. It was a veritable smorgasbord of both Bicolano and Filipino favorites that further excited our appetites. The restaurant has both airconditioned and al fresco dining and the design is modern with touches of Filipino and reggae.
First off, the gata based dishes: laing, Bicol express and adobong manok sa gata. The first two are popular ones from the region and, as expected, both fiery and creamy. I love Bicol cuisine. I love the way the coconut milk (gata) flavors a particular dish and lends its creaminess.
When I had this two, I was in gustatory heaven, especially the latter as it reminded me of what I had in Lake Buhi. But Bob Marlin’s version added bits of pineapple that complements well with the texture and taste. The adobong manok sa gata meanwhile was a different take. Its adobo goodness with the creaminess of the gata but I would have preferred it for pork.
People have been raving about the crispy pata, that pork leg fried to a golden brown crispiness. Yes, its good. I like the crunch, the succulence and the less layer of fat but I should be honest about it, Kuya J’s in Cebu is still better, from crispiness, flavor and tender meat. As for the grilled squid? Hmmm…, Bora Hut’s divine.
There’s one more thing that you should try in Bob Marlin: RASTA PALING. It has rasta (reggae) collors of blue, red and yellow. It’s actually a cocktail that, if you understand what the last word, paling is, you’ll handle this one with care.
The layers were achieved by knowing the density of each layer. Lambanog (a potent coconut vodka) is colored blue and stays on top. The middle layer is yellow which is actually orange juice ala screwdriver and the bottom is red syrup. Don’t underestimate this drink. It can be potent and can send you to drunkeness, bangag (very drunk) or in the vernacular word, paling.
Bob Marlin Restaurant & Grill
Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City
(054) 473-1339 / 205 00 39
10:30am – 12:00am