This should be interesting! I said to myself as I was walking at Ayala’s top floor at the new wing, towards a restaurant and have dinner with other Cebu based bloggers. Ah. The space was bright yet inviting and festive with the many people occupying all the tables inside. The interior is hip and modern with its North Shore vibe. But the sight of live crabs and grouper in an aquarium made me salivate.
Blackbeard’s Seafood Island is one of the biggest seafood/grill restaurants in the country with several branches nationwide, first opened in Cebu in December 2013. While the cuisine is typical Filipino with an emphasis on popular seafood and grilled fare, it is the first to offer the Boodle Feast.
You might be familiar with the boodle fight, military style dining wherein at a long table, food is laid out on top of cut banana leaves. Each one just has to eat communally using one’s hands. It fosters brotherhood and camaraderie that doesn’t recognize class and level. At the boodle table, everyone is equal. And this is what Blackbeard’s Seafood Island is quite popular about.
As the first trays of the boodle feast started streaming in, we all got excited. Each boodle feast has regional names attesting to their inspirations like Davao Gulf which has a myriad of seafood and grilled pork and chicken, a shrimp and pomelo salad; Dagupan’s Pride (Pangasinan), Sinulog Boodle (Cebu)… it was a delectable smorgasbord. But you know what’s the biggest challenge? Deciding where to start or what to order because of the many choices!
Other than the boodle feast, there’s also the Paluto (for cooking). This also makes this interesting in Blackbeard’s. You head to the aquarium and choose your grouper. Or if you decide to have mud crabs (alimango), there are several to select from, all alive and kicking!
I love crabs and at Blackbeard’s, crabs are cooked in three ways: Maritess (garlicky), Lilian (with coconut milk or gata) and Szechuan (spicy). I really liked Crab Lilian! The sweetish crab meat infused with the creamy goodness of gata is really heaven. And what made it all memorable? Eating with my hands!
Do check out Blackbeard’s Seafood Island. It’s good. Choices are plenty and, oh, wait, try the jumbo bagnet too!
Blackbeard’s Seafood Island
4/F Ayala Center Cebu and Rainforest Park, Mabolo