When Mindanaoans talk about Zamboanga, they instantaneously talk about how dangerous it is to be in the place. Zamboanga’s reputation is tarnished by the fear that it is a place not suitable for travel.
With this, fewer people get to see the well preserved and beautiful architecture of Zamboanga. Fewer people get to experience the legendary flavor Zamboanga has to offer.
However, one lucky neighboring city in Mindanao gets to experience the authentic flavor of Zamboanga. Cagayan De Oro has brought one of the best restaurants in Zamboanga City – Alavar Seafood and Grill Restaurant.
People would direct you to Alavar when you ask for suggestions on where to dine in Cagayan.
Alavar is famous for their Alavar’s sauce and Alavar Bagoong. Without any exaggerations, their Bagoong is the king of all Bagoong. Just a jar of bagoong and rice would suffice for a delicious meal.
Bagoong is a paste more commonly found in Filipino cuisines made out of fermented fish, krill or other seafood. Alavar’s twist is that it has the taste of gata or coconut milk in it.
Alavar offers delicious curacha (red frog or spanner crab), king crabs, and shrimps generously dipped with their famous Alavar sauce.
The flavor is infused with Malay, Spanish and Muslim culinary influences.
How to Get There
Alavar Seafood and Grill Restaurant is located near Limketkai Mall. It shares the place with Cucina De Oro, also a famous restaurant in CDO. It is the second branch of Alavar in Cagayan De Oro. It is that great that a second branch opened in the city. The owner of the CDO’s branch is the same and original owner of the main store in Zamboanga.
From Limketkai Mall, you can walk to Alavar and reach the place for at least five to ten minutes. The area is well-lit so walking around night time is safe.
How Much Will You Spend
Alavar Seafood and Grill offers fresh and delicious seafood. Their spanner crab or curacha is a must try. The price ranges at P150 per gram for the king-sized crustaceous ambrosia(food for the god). Their Alavar sauce can be bought at a price around Php200 and their bagoong at Php100. Definitely, a must buy.
Here is also a price list for Cucina De Oro’s menu:
The Voyager’s Experience
I am not a big fan of crabs. I’m more of prawn or shrimp person but Alavar is yet the best crustacean cuisine that has ever graced my mouth. The serving is huge that it took five of us to devour 300 grams of curacha. The sauce brings out the best of the crab meat. The crab was definitely fresh.
I was amazed by Alavar bagoong as it is so rich in flavor and was so great to be paired with green mangoes. The restaurant offered unlimited rice that was best because eating curacha is so sad without the rice.
We ordered a large amount of crispy pata, kinilaw and pinakbet. I must recommend their pinakbet also.
Alavar is one of the best seafood restaurants in Cagayan de Oro along with Red Tail Shrimp and More. I can’t wait to visit the original Alavar restaurant in Zamboanga City.
Alavar has been in Mindanao’s rich culinary history as it existed since 1978 in Zamboanga. This generation’s food enthusiasts should experience the Zamboangan culture through the palate.
For more information, visit Alavar’s Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Alavar-Seafood-Restaurant-153656011409122/. #SupportYourLocalResto