Saturday, June 26, 2010

Time-Out: Pasay, Manila -> HongKong Master Chef (Dampa @ Macapagal)

This is a place where we would be everytime we are in Manila.  Hubby always look forward to going to Dampa, literally, it means 'shore' but Manila connotes this as 'seafood market'.  The eve of our wedding, we brought our Dutch friends (about 20 of them) to this not posh, cheap but definitely good and delicious food market.  Glad that they liked it and have been raving about it until now.

It was Father's Day.  It started when we were driving towards the seafood place.  The parking lot was not cemented and looked like only a 4-wheel drive can manage...but luckily, we managed to get a spot in the shrubby parking place. 

The market is at the center surrounded by more than 10 restaurants.  We were a bit harrassed as everyone was chasing us to dine at their restaurant.  It's like those guys at Lau Pa Sat, following, chasing and convincing you to get their satay or seafood.  Nevertheless, we were still very excited and walk through the wet market.

Almost all items in the market were seafood.  They do have some stalls selling fruits, veggies, etc

The seafood prices are quite the same or even lesser than going to the normal markets.  Bargaining skills would be a plus to get a few peso less or maybe freebies. :)

After buying all we need, we walked towards Hong Kong Master Chef carrying our seafoods. (one of the restaurants around, and my family's favorite -> they said the executive chef is from HK).

First, market items were weighed.  This determined the cooking charge (by the kilo).  What i love about this place is the flexibility and catering to individual's taste.  For example, we bought 3 kilos of prawns, we advised them to do 1 1/2 kilo as tempura and the remaining as steamed garlic.  Same for crabs, squids, fish, etc.

Finally, what we had that day...

fresh from the market, our CALAMARI.  I love this even without the sauce.  They made it very tasty and not so oily.  The squids were cooked just right, giving it just enough bite without becomming chewy. 

Singapore Chili Crab - not a hint of spiciness.  Though, the small crabs were fresh and sweet.  (hubby and I are used to king crabs served in SG).  I think i'll stick to the fried crabs with garlic next time.

Tempura - It was good, except the breading was not authentic.  Still, i had 7 pieces of it.  whew!

Steamed Prawns with Garlic, garlic and...more garlic - this has been my all-time favorite.  I just love how the juice of the prawns come out naturally and how the garlic balanced off the fishy taste.  Though, this time we have to return it as some of the pieces were half-cooked (it was Father's day so they were a bit in a rush, i guess)

Steamed Grouper in soy sauce - We kinda murdered the fishes before we remember to take pictures.  We got 3 fat ones and burp, we were very satisfied.

My dad enjoyed this feast during his special day...and so do we! 

Price Summary (estimated in SGD)
4 kilos of female crab ( 8 pcs)
2 1/2 kilos prawns
1 kilo squid
1 1/2 kilos grouper         = ~ $63
Cooking charge (incl. Tax and SC) = $75
TOTAL : $138 (10 diners) => good value for money

Dampa @ Macapagal Avenue
Seaside Market, Macapagal Ave
Pasay City, Philippines


  1. *drools* your pics are making me crave steamed prawns with garlic and HK-style steamed fish... my favorite style of eating crabs is with salted egg yolk (:

    what an affordable seafood meal this is! in singapore, the cheapest seafood you can get is probably at turf city on weekdays when the seafood is (permanently) at half price (LOL. and on weekends it's at 30% off). and a meal that will leave five diners very full would cost about $200, if you choose to have crabs.

  2. O.o this looked like a giant seafood feast

  3. Hi Stargirl, was really good! I love salted egg crabs too! I always look forward eating in the Philippines aside from good food, i can get it cheap!

    Hi Xinli! Indeed, it was GIANT! (love that word) haha

  4. Hi there, do you have contact number for this resto? Thanks.

  5. Hi Honeyleen, sorry I don't have their contact number. But we never had issues going there early evening (around 6-7pm as well sa early lunch 11 am and usually we get a table for 10 pax or more. Enjoy!