The Seaside Market near the Baclaran church in Pasay and Farmer’s Market in Cubao are the two main places where I source fresh seafood in Metro-Manila. It’s a bit of a shame, really, that fish isn’t, in my opinion, adequately showcased and more readily available in local food stores, but maybe that’s a function of cost and people’s food choices more than anything else. I am a market addict, so a trip to the fish market gets my creative juices flowing thinking I can cook this or that, and obviously wanting to buy more than I should…
Seaside is quite small, with say only 40 vendors at its fullest, but the selection is quite nice. Prices are a bit steep, but worth it. Live spiny lobsters run PHP1,200-1,300 a kilo (compared to the cheapest I have seen at PHP350 in Coron) and it’s downhill from there.
Cross crabs, blue crabs and lots of mud crabs are also available…
Maya-maya or snappers were plentiful the day I visited.
Squid on ice. Did you know that giant squid can aggressively attack scuba divers? Trivia. But true. I saw it on TV. :)
For shrimp/prawns, there are nearly a dozen sizes and types, and it is this breadth of choice that I really like.
Just make sure you check for freshness, the slighly less fresh ones, a little mushy are what they try to give you if you bargain the price down…
The vendors are an amiable bunch. I don’t go often enough to have sukis, but my crew that do go several times a month have their favorites. Check out this giant lapu-lapu, face curiously stuck in a clear plastic bag. I wouldn’t know how to cook such a large whole fish properly, but it was a sight to behold.
Another vendors tuna sashimi, already trimmed.
Fish, and scallops in the background.
Beautiful lapu-lapu, grouper or coral trout.
And a pissed off, tied down cross crab. I do feel a bit of guilt eating animal protein. But let’s get this straight, they wouldn’t think twice about eating me if I fell off a boat or sank on a ferry outside Manila Bay. I would definitely be fish food.
Near the Baclaran Church
If coming from the Coastal highway towards EDSA, you have passed the market if you hit the Baclaran Church.
Earlier post on Seaside, from 2005, here.
Note: Some photos in this post may have been taken by AT. Thanks.