Being a pescatarian in small town Cebu doesn’t exactly give me a lot of options when it comes to dining. But when I hear the word SUTUKIL, I know I’m up for a delicious seafood feast. I grew up with that word. My family used to drive all the way to Mactan (about an hour away from Cebu City) on Sundays, just to go to the Sutukil Market, shop for fresh seafood, and have it cooked at one of the local tabi tabi (side of the road) restaurants. SU stands for Sugba or Grill, TU stands for Tuwa or Stew, and KIL stands for Kilaw or Raw- hence, SUTUKIL. You pick a style of cooking for each of the food you buy at the market- you either grill it, make it into soup or eat it raw. Sundays at Sutukil was always fun for me and I always looked forward to it. Sadly though, as I grew older, the market did as well. It was poorly run and became dirty and unhygienic. Tourists flocked the area and the prices rose ridiculously high, which turned off a lot of locals. I’m not exactly sure whats happened to it now (I hear it’s shut down), but I do miss my SUTUKIL Sundays and how it made me feel proudly local.
The Trio (plus David) then got an invite to fly to Cebu for “Seafood City‘s SUTUKIL experience.” I was already in town and saw all the posters along the road for the same event. I was so excited to reunite with my friends, especially over a meal that was so proudly Cebuano! So obviously, I said YES!
On the day of the event, we had a quick lunch at Tsay Cheng* (They served us some mean Chinese food. OMG I can still taste that delish salmon *drools), and drove to downtown Cebu for a little dose of culture. They really wanted to give us the whole experience!
*Sorry for being a bad blogger and not taking photos of said Salmon. Hungry Kryz came out and ate it before my brain had a chance to react.
We were treated to a surprise Sinulog dance number, and I even got to snap a photo with Snr Santo Niño! (And ate- hindi na siya fresh dito sa kakasayaw but I only have one photo, so I have to post it! Sorry ate!)
Now, Im not gonna lie and say I have zero connection with Seafood City. Slater’s cousin, Lowell, happens to own it. Honestly, that played a huge part in my willingness to cover this event, but I promise to you I shall be as UNBIASED as I always am!
During the main event, they prepared a special surprise for all the friends and media. Spot Echo and Mylene Dizon! They had a mini cook off, and we all got to taste and decide which team had the best timpla (seasoning/taste).
Right in front of the main dining area of the restaurant, is a mini market where you can find all the fresh seafood they serve. You can opt for the live ones as well. They have their own mini eco system going on, but the part I am most impressed with is how CLEAN it all is! You know how most tanks in restaurants are clear up front, but covered at the back and filled with dirty gunk? The aquariums here are completely see through and you can clearly see how well maintained and clean it is. Plus, the kitchen is right in front of it, and all the customers are free to see how their food is being prepared so cleanly as well.
Anyway, on to the main program! Seafood City is known in Cebu to be quite pricey because Duh, they serve life Seafood! But in the event, they announced that they are bringing back the SUTUKIL experience (yaaaas!) and offering 4 packages with different variations of SUTUKIL at Php1,600 for 4 people. Packages include free appetizer, one free meat dish and rice.
Aside from these packages, they also serve their house specialties which is what’s in that drool worthy photo above. #TotallyAteItAll
THIS!!! This is what I have to tell you about right now. OMG Mr. Crabs, you are the yummiest crab I have ever had in my life. I don’t know what you are called, but DAMN!
If you want to taste this for yourself (and I highly recommend you do), show them this photo and ask them to make it for you. It’s Lowell’s (and everyone elses) favorite as well!
After all the eating and merriment, I got to spend a night bonding with these crazy girls (finally!) This really turned out to be such a great trip for everyone! Thank you, Seafood City! Definitely a must visit if you find yourself in Cebu!