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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Blackbeard Ruined Our Mother's Day Dinner

Red Crab's Crab Maritess (also available at Seafood Island)
I've always been a fan of Red Crab from the first time I sampled their Crab Maritess (crabs cooked in olive oil and lots of crunchy garlic, very much like a typhoon shelter crab dish), so it was a no brainer to visit it's sister resto, Blackbeard's Seafood Island when it opened it's doors here at the Ayala Technohub of Camp John Hay in Baguio City.
Red Crab Resorts World
Seafood Island - Ayala Technohub Camp John Hay

Seafood Island is probably the less upscale version of Red Crab as it's main dining format is the boodle fight. A boodle fight is a meal served over a banana leaf on top of a table. Rice, grilled meat, veggies, seafood and whatever food imaginable is put on top of that leaf without the normal serving plates. You can eat off the banana leaf too.
Mt. Apo Boodle Feast

The first time we went there was when my mom and brother were here for the Holy Week vacation. We tried the Mt. Apo Boodle Feast (which was good for 5-6 people at 1450 php) as well as one of their sisigs (plus drinks, our bill amounted to a little under 2000 php for 4 people). The meal was delicious, the service was impeccable and quite solicitous. We were stuffed to the gills.
totally overwhelmed with the food portions

Since we enjoyed the last time we were there, my mom wanted to go back for a Mother's day dinner. As with the last time we there, the place was packed. We were able to be seated under ten minutes despite the groups of people outside. We were ushered to a table directly in front of the bar and cashier, so we figured, getting the attention of the previously attentive waiters would be no problem. There 6 of us that night, but 2 were light eaters so we decided to go with the Tali beach boodle for 3-4 people and an extra order of adobong tadyang (ribs stewed in vinegar and soy) and figured that we'd just order extra if it weren't enough. It took us about a good ten minutes to decide what to order before we decided to call for our server. After placing the order, talking up a storm and calming my youngest down with some brownies, it was almost an hour and our food hadn't arrived.

Well aware that some of the dishes are cooked to order, the standard 30 minute wait wasn't an issue. But a little over 50 minutes, our hungry group was out for blood. After being assured by the supervisor that our food was being rushed, our boodle tray arrived. It wasn't so much that the one and only crab was smaller than my hand, and there were 4 2-inch long pieces of shrimp on top of the medium sized grilled tilapia, and small thigh and leg grilled chicken and possibly two medium sized grilled tomatoes in that "feast", it was the other things that made us hate that dining choice.
the night showed so much promise...

someone was getting hungry and no
amount of iPad time was gonna let
him forget
The rice was lukewarm. The grilled tilapia wasn't half cooked, but RAW. So raw, that the meat won't even detach from the fishbones. Did I also mention that it was also bloody? Mom was so hungry, she gave it a go! :pThe pork barbeque was also cold. Cold, as in, "we cooked that dish an hour ago but forgot about it" cold! The grilled small-medium sized squid was just the same. And I'm just getting started!

We had to ask for plates (for those who couldn't reach the boodle tray) and utensils FOUR times. They kept on giving us stuff on an installment basis (plates first, 5 minutes later, after calling a waitress, the utensils, etc.).We were tactfully telling the supervisor that we weren't happy with with the service at all!

Then there was the fact that none of the usual condiments that come with the feasts were served. Mom had to tell 3 different personnel to bring even soy or vinegar to make our cold meal palatable. Our youngest didn't even want to eat the cold food unlike the last time we were here. The ribs should've been our go to dish, but even that was a bust, as the darned thing was quite tough.
Mom getting a migraine from looking at the food

We should've walked out, but no! We were suckers for pain. Thinking of ordering more food coz the portions and quality were sooo not satisfying, I was informed that getting even something as simple as fried rice would take 20 minutes. I got two cups of plain steamed rice (which was the only thing to arrive promptly) and suggested that everyone hurry up so we could get out of there.
compare this to the one they've got on the menu
as well as the other times it's been served
to the other tables, ours looked pretty
We really tried to be understanding, even if we didn't have to, but for people seated in front of bar, cashier and kitchen entrance, I never felt so invisible.

The meal finally ended, and we paid our 1100+ bill grudgingly. Phil didn't bother to tip..I mean, why bother right? We were so pissed about the long wait, the bad service, cold and tasteless food that the night felt so unfulfilling, that I couldn't not seem to bring myself to go home and end the night that way. Thankfully, the cake shop/cafe called Everything Nice was just across the street. After a nice chat with the wonderful owner Tetch and a couple of slices or her fab cheesecakes, carrot cake and choco mousse, things started to look up. Her long stemmed carnations (one each for mom and me) were like peace offerings from the universe after such a horrible dining experience.
Bless Tetch and her wonderful shop!

I'll probably visit Red Crab the next time I'm in Resorts World Manila, but for Blackbeard's Seafood Island in Baguio, probably never. Too bad. Their menu was quite nice (see here).
Red Crab's Crab filled omelet. Love those hot towels that they bring at the end of a great meal :)
Happy at last! Thanks Everything nice!
From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours.

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