Breaking News

Dining in Ormoc | A Great Place to Hang Out in Sutuwaki

At the time of Ormoc's festivities, we were fortunate enough to be the midst of the celebrations.  Streets were lined up with bazaars, food stalls and what have you.  What better to sample Oromocanon food is by trying out one of their favorite hang outs, Sutuwaki.

What a weird name Sutuwaki for a restaurant.  I'd like to ask the owner (who we later learned was the aunt of Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez) about it then I was handed their menu.  Under their name was - Sugba Tuwa Kinilaw.  Sugba means grilled, Tuwa I presumed at first was for "delight", but when I checked the Visayan dictionary, it pertains to either feed, or to stew.  Kinilaw is food or someting raw then marinated with vinegar and spices.  Kinilaw usually is done with fish but sometimes can be done with other types of meat, but we visayans prefer fish.  So Sutuwaki means they specialize in food preparations relative to grilled, stewed and marinated.  That explains the pictures on their menu cover, clever.

That aside from the usual food fare here, they are also a mini dampa type of a restaurant.  Fresh seafood showcased over ice, marinated pork meat in trays can be ordered and have it cooked according to your taste.  We wanted to try the seafood here so we opted for shrimps as our main dish.  The prawns we preferred but merely 4 pieces costed Php600 already.  Man those prawns were huge!!!!!  We went for the cheaper shrimps instead, had it cooked with garlic and butter.  As side dishes we ordered the Bicol (we are in Ormoc!) Express, and had the Seafood fried rice.

All this time we ordered while waiting for our table.  This place was jampacked as we later found out, was a very popular restaurant.  We had to fight for one table literally.  Actually it was more like, we found a group of 4 diners in a table set for 6.  We kindly asked if we can use the extra table (they had 3) and had it separated to create our own table.  They were kind enough to let us do so and we finally had our table and seat.  Thanks the visayans for being accommodating to tourists like us.

Eventually that group left before our food arrived, and Tita Tata (the owner) came over and saw us crowded in one table, she added another to ours as she mentioned, our food will surely take one table minimum.  Turned out she was right, the food we ordered were served in large plates.  Servings were huge and were good for 3 people.

Man those dishes looked delicious when it arrived.  Tita Tata also gave us their specialty their visayan Laing.  We later found out it wasnt' on the menu and she later told us it was "on the house".  Something she cooked at home and brought to the restaurant.  So we had 4 dishes plated on our table and we dived in.

Nothing beats seafood as fresh (almost), as the Garlic Buttered Shrimps were juicy and delicious indeed.  Went well with the seafood fried rice we also ordered.  I was wary of the Bicol Express they ordered as I have a low tolerance for spice.  That dish is known for that and I tried to stay out of it as much as possible.  My friends assured me it wasn't as spicy as they assumed also, so I tried it.  True enough I was able to tolerate it and the dish was divine.  The vegetables were crunchy and the sauce was very tasty.  The Laing Tita Tata gave us was something different from the one I had in Camarines Norte.  Both was great for my taste.  Theirs was more on the sweet side which I didn't expected.  I wish she had given us more (just joking or am I?).  For dessert we tried their specialty Cassava Cake, the special one.  It had coconut strips in them that I wonder how it would taste when we ordered it.  The cassava cake wasn't as solid as it should be, when we sliced into it, it became a loose mush of cassava and coconut.  There was the cassava taste and with a kick of coconut sweetness in them.  Surprisingly delightful.  Per slice was Php50 and it was a nice delicacy to cap a nice evening meal. 

On the service side, their staff were nice and smiling and service was fast considering a lot of people dined in that night.  You need to have friends with you when you dine in here.  It would be boring if you dine yourself, waiting for your food that can take a while.  With friends, you can wile that waiting time until your order is served.

In the end, our bill didn't come as high as it should be.  We split the check, and it amounted to roughly Php200 for each of us.  Not bad for a special kind of cooking, fresh at that.  So when in Ormoc, try them out.  They are in between the transport terminal and the Ormoc Superdome, if you are on the seawall side, they are behind Lorenzo's Cafe which they own also.  So if you want to have coffee in the end of your meal, you get one specialty coffee from their Cafe side.