One of the perks of eating out of town is the chance to taste unpretentious food. Not to say we’re jaded by city food but there are times when one would just like to sit down to no-frills fare. So when your happyfoodies went to Virac in Catanduanes, we had to ask the locals where they’d prefer to eat out. One place that keeps popping up is Sea Breeze Restaurant. That it’s mentioned in Jens Peters’ Philippine Guide only whetted our appetite to give it a try.
Lagal[og] said: Sea Breeze is located alongside the pier in Virac but I can tell the waters off the wharf is clean as all I can smell is the fresh sea breeze. The rows of cabanas are clean and orderly, the seats spacious. My only misgiving is the very dim light at night-time which makes reading the menu rather difficult.
Ironwulf said: It’s interesting to see the rows of cabanas as dining areas near the harbor. Very refreshing with the actual sea breeze coming in especially during the evening. Staff was attentive and the service was really fast. I have the same qualms with the lighting. It can get very dim.
Lagal[og] said: I smelled the aroma of something grilling so we ordered Pork Barbecue which tasted like it was marinated way before it was grilled – very tender and not overcooked. We also tried the Pork Binagoongan (pork cooked in shrimp paste) and it was really, really good. Chunks of pork were cooked in gata (coconut milk) and mixed with bagoong (shrimp paste) which gives the dish a tasty twist. I guess it’s a touch of Bicolandia. I really liked the blending of creaminess and saltiness. I would’ve loved the pork skin fried to a crisp but it’s a minor thing, really.
Ironwulf said: The Pork Binagoongan is also good, but I would have preferred less fatty parts and a little more spiciness. The Pork Barbecue sauce has a well-balanced flavor that I wouldn’t easily get tired of. The Grilled Blue Marlin was a pleasant surprise with its nice presentation. It was grilled well and the marinated flavor really comes through.
Lagal[og] said: I also love the Grilled Blue Marlin. The taste is clean, the flavor made obvious the lengthy marinating. The fish was grilled just right so the texture is flaky. I also love the contrast between the viands and the Kalkag (Shrimp Rice).
Ironwulf said: Another pleasant surprise was finding Potato Wedges here when I have trouble finding good ones in Manila. For P25, we got eight pieces of wedges properly cooked with skin intact and with that slightly salty flavor.
Lagal[og] said: The bill gave us a pleasant surprise – just a little over P500 for a hefty food serving good for 3-4 people. With tasty food and good value for money, Virac should be proud of this place.
Sea Breeze Restaurant
Pier Site, San Jose