Isla Sugbu Seafood City: Cebu's Newest Seafood Destination

         Mother hails from Surigao City, Mindanao and we used to visit it every so often since my childhood years. Back then, there really wasn't much to do but eat, eat and eat. 

         Seafood is probably among the most abundant resources in Mindanao. I grew up loving seafood because we'd have platefuls of the freshest crabs and huge grilled fish every time we were in Surigao. So, getting accustomed to aquatic flavors has never been a problem for me. In fact, I crave for seafood every now and then because there's just really nothing like the unique, invigorating flavors of seafood! The sea beckons!

         Living in the city, my longing for seafood is not easily sated because it's mostly a costly indulgence. Settling for roadside bbq's that sell grilled fish can be a sanitary issue as well. 

         Among the few seafood restaurants in the city, a recent addition provides a concept quite similar to the Sutukil at the Mactan Shrine but refined with the certainty of food safety and higher standards of techniques employed in preparing and cooking the food. This was emphasized by Mr. Winglip Chang, President of 101 Restaurant City Incorporated, stating that they have food technicians who supervise their commissary and their restaurants.

        Isla Sugbu Seafood City is the seafood outlet of the newly renovated Cebu Grand Convention Center which offers the widest assortment of fresh seafood sourced all over the country. The experience begins with the diner pushing a shopping cart and personally selecting his choice of prey to be cooked as he prefers - fried, steamed, boiled, grilled, etc. - with complementing sauces. If one is not well-versed with these processes, you can rest assured the kitchen staff can take care of them for you. Point is, you can have everything cooked your way! 

Dishes are priced according to weight plus a cooking fee of P40 per 100 g. 

         A media invite gave me the opportunity to visit this month-old dining establishment that can comfortably seat about 300 people. The modern interiors with hues of my favorite color - teal/turquoise - and grey was a refreshing sight. It seemed to be an intimation of a pleasant dining experience to come.

            The first dish to arrive at the table was a surprise… Grilled Pork Belly! Well, I'd like to agree with the person beside me who remarked, "I wouldn't mind if this was seafood!" 

             Apparently, Seafood City is not limited to solely serving seafood but they have meat and vegetable dishes as well. Why not? In any case, I'd welcome pork to the seafood family anytime.  :))

Grilled Pork Belly
              The seafood dishes then came parading in afterwards...

Sole Fish ("Padpad") - Fried with Garlic Butter Sauce
               Mr. Winglip mentioned that Sole Fish, locally known as Padpad, is a rare sight in most of the seafood restaurants around. They might even be the only seafood restaurant that serves this or does justice to this fish. It's a flat fish with less than an inch thick of meat but the meat is nice and flaky. I think it's best eaten deep-fried. 

           This was fried perfectly, keeping the meat supple and juicy. However, I have a particular distaste for margarine and I was pretty sure they used this instead of butter. 

Deep Fried Blue Crab with Salt and Pepper
Prawns with Lemon Butter Sauce
            If you read my little intro for this post, you might probably guess that the crab and prawns were my favorites among the spread - and you're right! I love that even the breading of the crab was naturally infused with the crab flavor. I don't usually enjoy deep-fried dishes but I enjoyed nibbling on the breading as well! Both the crab and prawns were executed well. There's nothing more insulting than eating overcooked prawns in a seafood restaurant. Fortunately, Seafood City's prawns did not disappoint. The succulent meat retained its sweetness all the while  slipping off its shell easily. If I wrote like a guy, I'd probably say undressing the prawns was the most exciting part. So, yeah. Tell me you don't want me to be a male writer. :))

Sizzling Squid with Coco Curry Sauce
              I prefer squid grilled or sizzling. This sizzling version with coco curry was a great combination, giving the squid just the right boost of flavor. It can easily draw heaps of rice on your plate. ;) 

Steamed Pompano with Chili Taosi
               A healthy yet flavorful way to have your fish! The blandness of this steamed fish was perfectly compensated by the distinct flavor of taosi. 

Lychee Panna Cotta
Custard Buchi
                To cleanse the palate from all those savory flavors, we were served Lychee Panna Cotta and their house specialty, Custard Buchi. The lychee panna cotta had a pleasant contrast in texture from the coarse lychee bits in the velvety cream. The buchi, on the other hand, was surprisingly exquisite. It was freshly cooked and the glutinous rice was not too thick. It melted in my mouth along with the custard and I was so glad it wasn't too sweet either. This is definitely a must try when you visit Seafood City. :)

*Photos by my awesome fellow piggies: Baktin Corporation and Mustachio

              Isla Sugbo Seafood City is a seafood destination for everyone - both for tourists and locals - when in Cebu. After taking your pick of seafood, you can sit back, relax and enjoy good, clean food in a conducive ambience.   

            Despite still not finding my camera charger, I'm so thankful I have awesome friends who are willing to share their photos with me. Thanks, Baktin and Mustachio! :D

Isla Sugbo Seafood City
Ground floor, Grand Convention Center of Cebu
Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City 6000

Contact number:  (032) 260 8000

Business Hours:      Monday to Sunday
                             11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
                             6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

"To know Cebu, eat Cebu!"

oink oink,

Babe for Food
- your BFF in Cebu dining! :)


  1. Great job eating and writing, Piggy :) You describe the food oh so well. Gutom na ko.

  2. Ooh! Thanks, Piggy! Especially for the photos. Hehe. Wouldn't have made this post without you. :D

  3. Going back there on August. La la la la pigging out time again. Hahaha! Hope to meet you this time!

    1. Hey, Pepe! Nice! That's my bday month. Hahaha. Hope to see you then, too! :D

  4. Hey Justinne! Thank you for extending the invite to a boar, este fellow piggie. :)
    I had to smile with the 'undressing of the prawns.' I wish I'd thought of that description myself. >:-)

    Baktin Corporation

    1. Hey Brennan! Of course you'll be in most if not all of my dining exploits. You're part of the pig pack! See you soon! :)

  5. Wow! The Steamed Pompano with Chili Taosi looks phenomenal. Also, the grilled pork belly! :D

    Kaibril's Sweet Life - Delicious desserts

  6. nom nom nom... how much was the blue crabs and coco squid?