Isla Sugbu Seafood City is a Filipino casual dining, family-style restaurant in Cebu City serving seafood dishes and specializes in Sutukil, a Visayan culinary term pertaining not to a single dish, rather to a set of three seafood dishes cooked in three different ways, namely sugba (to grill), tuwa (to stew), and kilaw (to eat raw).
Sutukil represents not only how simple the methods are of Filipino cooking, but it also showcases how ingenious Filipinos are in making sure that nothing goes to waste when preparing food. In the case of Sutukil, the fleshy part of a fish is either grilled (sugba) or marinated in vinegar (kilaw), while the head and tail are either stewed (tuwa) or grilled (grilled).
Isla Sugbu Seafood City elevates the Sutukil dining experience by offering the widest selection of fresh and live seafood and by observing strict sanitary and food storage measures. Seafood choices include live and frozen Lapu-Lapu (Grouper), Pampano (Pomfret), Tanigue (Spanish Mackerel), Maya-Maya (Red Snapper), Mol-Mol (Parrot Fish) and Katambak (Sea Bream).
There's also Lobster, Slipper Lobster, King Crab, Scallop, Diwal (Angel Wings Clam), Ibmao (Mangrove Clam), and Halaan (Manila Clam). Pre-marinated tuna and salmon slices are also available ready for grilling. If you wish to add non-seafood items in your meal, there's marinated chicken and pork as well.
Selection of seafood changes everyday depending on the fresh catch of the day. The indoor restaurant also has a wharf-inspired design which is perfect for your tank to table Sutukil experience. Isla Sugbu Seafood City has an open kitchen setting so that guests can observe how careful their food is being handled by the culinary team and so that guests can better appreciate the food being served on their table.
Most importantly, the restaurant observes proper cooking techniques to ensure that the dishes keep their authentic, fresh and natural flavors. The experience starts by choosing your seafood, have them weighed and tell the kitchen how you want your seafood cooked. Here are the Sutukil dishes we tried during our visit to Isla Sugbu Seafood City.
Grilled Salmon | Tronçon cuts of fresh and premium quality salmon are quickly grilled so not to burn the delicate flesh of the fish. They are then served in a flavorful sauce that doesn't overpower the naturally sweet taste of the salmon. I love salmon and I love how they made this grilled salmon dish.
Prawn Soup | Live prawns together with crab claws are simmered to create a seafood broth in which leafy vegetables are added. The broth has the rich flavor of the prawns that is unadulterated by any flavor enhancers. The leafy vegetables were crunchy. The prawns tasted fresh and sweet. I just can't have enough of this soup!
Kinilaw na Tanigue | Big chunks of fresh Tanigue are marinated in vinegar and are then mixed with cucumber, ginger, onion and chili. They are finally seasoned with kalamansi juice. The fish was perfectly cured in vinegar with its natural sweet flavor intact. The ginger and onion enhanced the flavor while the chili added a kick in the taste. This is definitely one of the best kinilaw I tried.
Isla Subgu Seafood City also has Sutukil Packages which includes a set of Sutukil dishes plus an appetizer, a serving of their dish of the day, and a platter of rice. Above is a sample of Package A which includes Grilled Fish (sugba), Shrimp Soup (tuwa) and Vinegar-marinated Fish (kilaw) plus Grilled Chicken (dish of the day) and Lato Salad (Seaweed Salad). Sutukil Packages are priced at P1,600 net which is already good for four (4) persons.
Aside from Sutukil, Isla Sugbu Seafood City also has an a la carte menu featuring other seafood dishes such as chili crab, lobster salad, sea mantis ceviche, fried lapu-lapu, and many more.
Our idea of sutukil being unreasonably pricey with a questionable quality and safety was totally erased after experiencing Sutukil at Isla Sugbu Seafood City. Finally, there is a place in Cebu which we can personally recommend to our relatives and friends who wish to have an authentic Cebuano dining experience.
Isla Sugbu Seafood City
G/F Grand Convention Center of Cebu
Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City
Contact: +63 (032) 260-8000
Facebook: The Grand Convention Center of Cebu