Our beautiful Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands surrounded by thousands of square kilometers of sea. We are also an integral part of the Coral Triangle, which means that our country has rich marine resources. It’s no wonder then that seafood has always been in our menu. In fact, we are one of those few nations who have perfected the art of seafood preparation.
As travelers and adventurers, we always make it a point to try out a region’s culinary specialty. Indeed, indulging in a culinary sojourn takes you deep into a destination’s unique history and culture. Travel and food are intrinsically intertwined.
Cebu is known to be a national seafood capital and is awash with food establishments serving seafood. But if you want to have a mouth-tingling culinary adventure made from the bounty of the sea AND experience first-hand (literally, we might add) the unique trait that made us Filipinos world-renowned for our warmth, then head off to Blackbeard’s Seafood Island Crab House and Seafood Grill in Panagdait, Mabolo.
We arrived at Blackbeard’s Seafood Island around late in the afternoon. The façade is immaculately clean and beautifully manicured, which is a must in our book.
That’s what we call a surfer’s menu! A great menu surf board stands in front of the entrance, allowing patrons to choose or have an idea of what they want before entering the restaurant.
Entering the open-air restaurant seems like going inside a lush rainforest. All over the place are thick canopied tries, leafy vegetation, and this really nice bridge.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a dinner companion. These critters can keep you company! Hehehe! We’re kidding of course, but this is what makes Seafood Island unique. It’s not just a restaurant, but also a place where people can actually see and learn about some of the creatures that share this world with us.
River monsters such as these gigantic gars and catfish swim and peer at you while you eat a sumptuous meal. Oh, and they have a nice way of saying hello. They say hi to you by lobtailing, or slapping their tails hard on the water surface, creating a splash that may drench you!
They also have pens and terrariums for reptiles and snakes. Yes, there are iguanas, pythons, and crocodiles that watch you while you dine.
Depending on how you look at it, this unique feature can give you either a pretty cool or unnerving experience.
Right beside the restaurant’s entrance is this monstrous albino Burmese Python, keeping watch over the facility. As what we mentioned earlier, the restaurant is a living classroom, and information boards all over the place tell you a lot about animals.
Be sure to bring your kids here as they will truly enjoy and be amazed at Mother Nature’s denizens.
A nice comfy swing lets diners laze the afternoon away.
The restaurant also doubles as an oceanarium where diners can see and learn about freshwater fish. Sweetie sat beside a Giant Pacu Fish, which we learned with delight, gave birth to two healthy youngsters.
Smaller aquariums at the back hold other kinds of freshwater fish. We learned that many fish have their own freshwater counterparts.
Seafood Island’s restaurant manager Rico Jaberina warmly welcomed us. He shared to us the history, business model, promotions, objectives, and other details of Seafood Island. We were very impressed when we realized that they aimed to become a culinary travel destination than simply just another food establishment.
Mmmmm! Isn’t that simply mouthwatering? Rico served us with one of their Crab Pacifica specialties. We have to tell you; these crabs sold by the bucket are extremely large, juicy, and delicious! Rico served us with one that is cooked in butter and sprinkled with a generous amount of fried, minced garlic.
It is extremely delicious and a perfect example of counterpoint, which is prevalent in Filipino cuisine. The saltiness of the juicy crab meat is balanced by the bitter flavor of the minced garlic.
A few minutes later, this simply amazing main dish arrived. This is the Tali Beach Boodle Feast which consists of perfectly prepared grilled chicken, pork, squid, tomatoes, and eggplant, along with steamed shrimps, crabs, and rice.
Fresh seaweeds, oysters, green and ripe mangoes, and watermelons accompany the dish as complements. There is also a wide choice of traditional dips that come along with the meal.
A Boodle Feast is best enjoyed with family, friends, colleagues and groups. Simply dig into the foodstuff displayed on the table (wash your hands first!), and enjoy them at your corner of the large banana leaf on which the food is served.
Just like many other things, a boodle fight has military origins; soldiers place rice, sardines, and other foodstuff on a row of banana leaves. At a given signal, they begin to “aim” for their choicest bits.
A boodle fight is not only a way to eat a meal, but it’s a very Filipino way of socializing with friends and family. When you engage in a boodle fight, you are actually partaking of a unique aspect of Filipino culture, and that is a very enlightening experience.
Eating a boodle is best enjoyed using traditional Filipino kamayan, a way of eating food with bare hands. If you’re new at this, don’t worry, we won’t laugh at you if you end up with food on your cheek or forehead. Of course, the restaurant is more than happy to provide you with eating utensils.
You are expected to chat and laugh with friends sharing the meal, but Sweetie and I simply kept silent and just enjoyed the dish. It was just too delicious!
The Crab Pacifica and the Tali Beach Boodle Feast are sumptuous and unique; they are must-tries for anyone who is looking forward for a culinary adventure.
Thick crab shells? No worries! The restaurant provides crab crackers so you can easily get that juicy meat.
The Tali Beach Boodle Feast is not the only boodle feast in Seafood Island’s menu. Indeed, these communal dishes are their specialty, and diners can choose other Boodle Feasts. Each Boodle Feast has a particular theme.
We had a few leftovers packed. While waiting, we took a few shots of the area. Seafood Island is beautiful, but it becomes magical at night when the lights are turned on.
Candlelit centerpieces are placed on each table for a more romantic ambiance. Perfect for intimate dinners and dates!
For those who want a little alcohol in their system, Seafood Island features a nice, cozy bar with plenty of wines, beers, and other alcoholic beverages. Of course, they serve non-alcoholic drinks and pika-pika (finger foods) as well.
After a filling meal, diners can pick up a few handmade souvenirs from the shop directly in front of the restaurant.
We more than enjoyed our unique and sumptuous meal in Blackbeard Seafood Island. What we had was a rare blended experience of partaking in the abundance of our country’s rich marine resources and taking pleasure in our unique, friendly culture that never fails to warm everyone’s hearts.
Indeed, visiting Blackbeard Seafood Island restaurant should be a must-stop destination in your travel itinerary.
Thank you very much Marketing Director Mr. Miguel de la Rosa and Store Manager Rico Jaberina for the invitation, warm welcome, and fabulous food.
1. Blackbeard’s Seafood Island Crab House and Seafood Grill is located beside Rainforest Park in Panagdait, Mabolo, Cebu City. They have a branch at the 4th floor of Ayala Center Cebu. Use the contact details below to get in touch with them:
- Landline: (6332) 260-7058
- Cellphone: 0917-864-4988
- Facebook Page: Blackbeard’s Seafood Island Crab House and Seafood Grill
They are open from 10 AM to 12 midnight every day.
2. The restaurant is open-air. However, electric fans allow air to circulate and make the place cool.
3. While waiting for your food (or before ordering or after dining), you can go around the restaurant to marvel at the live animals in their display. However, be careful, and don’t touch the animals without the supervision of the guides. Be especially attentive to your children as they can climb over the crocodile pen or stick their hand in the terrariums.
4. The albino pythons can be handled with supervision from Rainforest Park’s guides. However, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before handling any foodstuff; wild animals harbor dangerous bacteria.
5. Do not fail to try out their Boodle Feasts; those are their specialties. All Boodle Feasts are themed and best enjoyed with families and groups of friends. Of course, they also serve ala carte menus.
6. Seafood Island also offers paluto, which literally means “to have it cooked.” Choose from their freshest fish, crustaceans, shrimps, and other catches of the day. After choosing your catch, their professional chefs will cook it for you.
New Services and Promotions
1. The restaurant is now accepting reservations for family gatherings, corporate functions, and special events. They also provide free delivery. Call them for bookings and more information.
2. Seafood Island is now serving Beer Below Zero! Hurray for beer lovers! Call them for more information.
3. The dynamic management of Seafood Island has partnered with several renowned businesses such as San Miguel Corporation, Lexmark, and other Companies like Author Solutions, and Sykes. So expect more exciting gimmicks from Seafood Island Restaurant.