Let’s Go Curacha!
There are three things that I am grateful for: I get to travel, eat the most delicious delicacies while I do it, and the best part is that I’m not allergic to seafood.
The Philippines is known to have one the of best seafood delicacies. Thanks to the seas that surround the archipelago, each region boasts a seafood dish that promises to please anyone’s tastebuds. The line “You gotta try the seafood here” is almost up there with “Mabuhay!” in the echelon of uniquely Filipino greetings.
This was proven when I visited Zamboanga City, Asia’s Latin City. Known for Chavacano, the only Spanish-based creole in Asia (Hola!), one would be surprised that the city is also home to dishes that you won’t get anywhere else in the country. Tracing its rich history, one cannot deny that the Spanish influence is still very much alive especially in the unique cuisine that it offers.
The best of Zamboanga’s seafood cuisine can be experienced at Alavar Seafood Restaurant, the go-to place for travelers and foodies. The colorful interior of the restaurant and its friendly staff promises an unforgettable dining experience, while its menu features an array of seafood dishes that would make your mouth water. It also serves other Spanish-inspired dishes, one of them is paella, inarguably one of the best that I’ve tasted.
The Star of Alavar, and of Zamboanga City itself, is Curacha, a deep-sea crab generously topped with a special sauce you can only have there. It is best eaten with bare hands, so prepare yourselves for some good treasure-hunting of flavors (and crab meat!) while you’re at it. An extra serving of rice wouldn’t hurt, either; so make sure it’s cheat day when you visit Alavar!
Curacha is best enjoyed with a group, so you could also split the bill after. An order of it in their main branch could cost you P850 to P1,050 depending on its size. Smaller servings of this is served at their Paseo del Mar branch, along with other seafood dishes.
Seafood should ALWAYS be served with mangoes, and even with this side dish, Alavar sure delivered with the condiment. Their own version of bagoong, bagon con gata, compliments the mango and the main dish that you’ll surely request a second serving.
Most people would say that food is an experience; that when you get to eat the local food, you get to experience the city as well. As for me, after the dining experience at Alavar Seafood Restaurant, I could say that food is a language. Like Zamboanga’s Chavacano, each dish communicates not only the flavor, but also the story of the city and its people. It’s a conversation that I’d never hesitate to engage to again.
Also, who would say no to that Curacha?
ALAVAR SEAFOOD RESTAURANT:
Facebook: Alavar Seafood Restaurant
Type: Moro Cuisine, Filipino Fusion
Address: Don Alfaro st., 7000 Zamboanga City, Philippines
Contact Number: (062) 992 4533
GPS Coordinates: 6.9158947978991, 122.08665843925
Operational Hours: Sun-Sat: 8:00 AM – 11:30 PM