During one of our dinners in Manila, we opted to have seafood “dampa” style. “Dampa” is a fish market. You choose your fish and they will cook for you just the way you like it. When you say “dampa”, locals would automatically think of the one at Macapagal Avenue. Until recently I’ve been hearing some horror stories of drastic drop in quality of the seafood they sell. I did my research again and found out that San Miguel by the Bay or Seaside Drive behind SM Mall of Asia is the rising “dampa” place where people go to now.
We decided to try Aling Tonya’s. We sat outside overlooking the bay while doing some people watching. Infront, there were jabbawockeez wannabes entertaining the passerby. Beside Aling Tonya’s is Manila’s very own flyer (ferris wheel). Not as impressive as Singapore’s but the lights were beautiful.
As soon as my parents and my other sister, Michelle arrived, we ordered everything we want to eat.
First up, the KINILAW NA TANIGUE. It’s basically a fish ceviche. The firm meat of the fish is “cooked” by marinating it with citrus and some cane vinegar. Ginger and some onions are added to remove the fishy taste and smell.
One of my favorite Filipino dish is the ENSALADANG LATO. I’m so happy seeing it in the menu. Seaweed that is blanched and served with tomatoes and chopped onions is dressed with a bit of calamansi juice. The seaweed looks like green caviars on a stem. The texture and taste is like salmon roe too. Love eating it with the grilled jaw of tuna that we were having.
Of course I will never miss out on the ENSALADANG MANGGA. It’s what my mom and I love to eat when we have the chance. Diced green mangoes with tomatoes and chopped onions are mixed altogether with bagoong (fermented shrimp paste). It is pungent but it’s darn good.
We feasted on blanched prawns and crabs cooked in butter and garlic. It was so nice to eat it with our piping hot rice. Good stuff!
As for my dad who can’t take so much of the good stuff, my mom ordered some grilled pork belly and calamari. It’s so sad for people are allergic to crabs and prawns to miss out on such delectable seafood!
All these food coupled with coconut juices, green mango shakes and sodas, we spent about PHP 500 (SGD 15) per person. Not bad considering how much we ate!
We came in at Aling Tonya’s around 6:30pm (and on a weekday some more) and by an hour later the place is packed! So come in early and be sure to have an empty stomach. Bring your friends and family because dining here is gonna be a feast!
Seaside Drive, SM Mall of Asia Complex
Central Business Park Bay Blvd., Bay City, Pasay City
Phone: (02) 710-0260
As for dessert, we delighted Bob with Philippine’s most popular treat called Halo Halo from a dessert shop called Iceberg next to Aling Tonya’s. Halo Halo or literally called “mix mix” is a sweet treat that is meant to be, well, mixed. This dessert is made up of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added with various boiled sweet beans (like garbanzos and kidney beans), gulaman, sago and fruits (like jackfruit, caramelized plantains, coconut and sweet potato), topped with leche flan and purple yam ice cream. It is traditionally served in a tall glass or bowl.
Sweet ending it is! <3