My friends from out of town would often ask me which restaurants to try whenever they’re in Albay or somewhere in Bicol -- and I would always end up not having a concrete suggestion. So now that I’ve become less busy, I finally will have the time to get a fresh perspective of the culinary destinations around Albay and perhaps, its neighboring places. Yep, I think it’s time for me to make a list. For my first stop in this series of reviews (that I shall tag as “Buffet Destinations in Albay”), let me introduce you folks to Mr. Crab & Seafood Diner.
Mr. Crab & Seafood Diner is located along Airport Road corner Washington Drive, Legazpi City and have been serving the Albayanos since July 2011. The restaurant, not more than three months ago, is now under the management of Ms. Aida Del Castillo. For those who aren’t big fans of seafood, don’t despair because I’ve checked their menu and found out that they have traditional cuisines that Filipinos usually go for. That, plus local recipes that are innate of the province such as pinangat and laing which are usually a hit among visitors and locals alike.
|Where Mr. Crab is on the map, courtesy of Google Maps. Click HERE for directions.|
Anyway, this series of reviews will target restaurants in Albay that offer “eat-all-you can” dining experience since if we want to indulge in food, buffets are the best way to do it. Mr. Crab offer their lunch/dinner buffet only once every week during Wednesdays. Buffet starts at 11:00 am to 2:00 pm (lunch buffet) and 6:00 to 9:00pm (dinner buffet) at P200.00 per head. The food served during the lunch buffet is the same as what's served on the dinner buffet.
So what can we expect from Mr. Crab’s once-a-week buffet? My brother and I came in late (around half past 12 noon), so there’s not much left on the table. No matter, here’s what we managed to put on our plates…
Pork Adobo with Tofu – a recipe from Ms. Aida herself, classic adobo flavor that we Filipinos usually favor: salty, a bit sweet, and using pork cuts that has the right combination of meat and fat that’s oh so yummy. One seldom goes wrong with adobo and this one is sure to catch your appetite.
Ginataang manok – a Bicolano recipe, is chicken cooked in rich and creamy coco milk. We were told that sometimes they burn the grinded coconut before squeezing the coconut milk which then gives the dish a roasted, smoky flavor. Tinutungan, as locals call this style of cooking, is a personal favorite. Ginataang manok was good, but I would have preferred the “tinutungan” version. Maybe next time.☺
Kinunot na Pagi – another Bicolano recipe, is stingray cooked in coco milk with moringa (malunggay) leaves. My brother asked why there isn’t any chilli on the dish, Ms. Aida said that it was too much for some of their diners. They’ve removed the chillies but one can just add them if they want their kinunot na pagi to be hot (or extra hot).
Crispy hipon – this one’s my favorite among their food choices. Marinated shrimps that are deep fried to a perfect crisp -- just flavorful. As soon as the tray was refilled, poof! Gone.
Crab Omelet – another crowd-pleaser. There's no more crab omelet left on the buffet table but they were kind enough to serve us with this plate so we can try it out. Thank you guys! This was my brother’s favorite from their selection. He actually finished three, spared me just one and then afterwards, he transferred one empty shell on my plate so it wouldn’t look like he ate them all. Well folks, he did. LOL!
They have java rice and plain rice served on the buffet table. And yeah, tinolang tahong as appetizer.
By the way, here’s what I had on my plate, refilled it twice.☻
And for our dessert, they served us with mango tapioca...
Included in their buffet are bottomless refreshments that during our visit were iced tea and mango juice.
After our meal, we had the chance to chat with Ms. Aida and among the many things that we talked about, she told us that Mr. Crab buffet menu is a bit altered every week. So if you happen to visit Mr. Crab in the future, be prepared to be surprised on what they’ll have on the buffet table, not exactly what's mentioned on this post. I just hope that they’ll have my favorites the next time I visit them. ☺
Other points of interest:
The Place – Mr. Crab provides an outdoor feel to its diners with their open restaurant that has a classic, old style interior.
The people – Generally polite and accommodating. I’ve mentioned on a post somewhere that I’m very particular with how restaurant staff treats their diners. I want to eat in a place where I feel welcome and Mr. Crab made me feel right at home. Thank you Ms. Aida and everyone from Mr. Crab.
Your money’s worth – the kind of food they serve is worth every penny you’ll pay. Just be early though because some of the food maybe are gone if you come in an hour after their buffet opens. Look what happened to us, haha!
Photo with Ms. Aida Del Castillo (and some of her staff) before we left. Ms. Aida in black, The Pinoy Wanderer (ahem!) in navy blue and my brother Jeb on the other end in red.
Until my next wandering everybody, or maybe I should say, until my next buffet. *Burp!*
Talk to me on the comments’ section below. See ya!
Check out my other reviews featuring "BUFFET DESTINATIONS IN ALBAY"
Tags: Buffet Destinations in Albay, restaurants in Legazpi City Albay, Mr. Crab buffet price, menu, and schedule