Yummy marine life at Marina Tuna – Davao City

This would probably my longest phlog — to date.

After a gruelling photo shoot, we were looking forward to a hearty dinner in Davao City.  We’re all for seafood.  When you’re in the provinces of the Philippines and especially if they’re near a body of water, say Celebes Sea, you’d find the freshest, tastiest seafoods! I’m not a sea food lover, but I enjoyed our feast here!

We were naturally lured to this restaurant called Marina Tuna.  It sounds good.  Things taste good.  So good we dined here for two straight nights – two nights’ worth of photos, baby!

Restaurant facade at night
Packed with patrons and I’m sure, novices like me
If you’re new to a place and you see these many people, you’re instantly assured of good food
Fresh fruits – pomelos, pineapples, mangoes, watermelons, bananas and durians

They say it’s a good dietary practice to start your meal with fruits.  They say it cleanses out your digestive tract right before you pack it with more food.  And so we start off with pomelo.  Here in Davao City, the pomelo fruit abounds and we bought way too much so we gotta eat them in every opportunity we had.

Preparing (happily, evidently) the calamansi dip where he would dunk his pomelo chunks
Unwinding with good stories gathered throughout the crazy day, a good way to past time while waiting for food to be served

It’s not called Marina TUNA for nothing.  Tuna fish hogs the limelight here.  In fact, the restaurant claims it serves tuna in 10 different ways.

Tuna Kilawin

Kilawin (in Mindanao) or Kinilaw (in Visayas) is a kind of food preparation where fish slices are served raw but they’ve been marinated with vinegar, pepper, salt and sometimes, onion. In the photo above, it’s served with cucumber slices. I wish I could tell you what it taste but raw food, especially fish (yes, including sashimi) is not really my thing.  “Kilaw” is related to the word “hilaw” which means raw, uncooked or unripe.  Many people enjoy it, especially as pulutan or snacks when you’re having your happy hour drinking (Hik!).

Tuna in Japanese maki is also available
Tuna belly (1/4 kilo) with achara/atsara (pickled papaya) as side dish
Tuna panga or jaw (with tasty bits hidden in its crevices)

We also tried other foods on the menu. There are many creatures out there, you know.

A bowl of imbao or clam soup got the group’s appetite going
Squid rings with achara
Chopped pork liempo or belly with achara
Not-so-bitter ampalaya
The table a.k.a our battlefield
A little at the top of the frame is, I think, a chunk of tuna belly served on a banana leaf; at the center is my favorite maki, the California maki; below-right is adobong kangkong; and further below the frame is pomelo
I never really got a good look at this but apparently this bottle contains a pretty famous kind of condiment called Pinakurat, a spicy, coconut-based vinegar that hails from another city, Iligan.
One happy group (I hope)…
They’ve reduced this…
…to this
The pomelo chunks evaporated…
…into tiny bits

The MARINA Tuna will be remissed without their display of marine life:

Checking out the giant aquarium
Nemo, Dory and Gill
Jaws (well, small ones)
And Ursula (I don’t know what sea creature this is)
The owner of the restaurant is Chinese so they’ve got Arowana fish
Many Chinese restaurants in the Philippines (not sure about other countries) have Arowana because they’re believed to be “lucky dragons”
In both nights we’ve been there, we finished late
Aside from making us fat, they’ve got this Mission
That’s their counter right there where the waiters get the bill and hand to us — which I’m happy to report is not really pricey =)
Finishing the meal with an ice-cold dessert
Yum! It’s milk. It helped me fell asleep that night faster. It also helped that I had a full tummy and exhausting summer day

Overall, Marina Tuna is a great place to experience the gastronomical wonders of the sea world.

There’s only this corner in the restaurant that kind of bothers me just a tad bit.

Wall full of photos of famous people who have dined there + a cabinet with what I think is a cleaning kit + extra bottles of condiments  + fruitstand that bears Davao’s infamous durian with its unmistakable, umm, aroma = HODGEPODGE CORNER!

Here’s my bonus feature/picture.  From now on, in every restaurant I go to, I would include photos of their restrooms.  If it is not your thing, then you may skip this part.  But if you’re like me who does a lot of bladder breaks, then I sure hope you find this useful.  A great restroom is a luxury for travelers.

Here in Marina Tuna, they’ve got a restroom for men and a separate one for female.  Those fe/male restrooms drive me crazy.

Here’s the entrance
The washing area is shared. Tolerable.
The lady loo
Here’s another photo showing the presence of bag hook. I like that it respects women that carry armaments. The blue pale with white tabo on the left, that’s a Filipino thing and we should discuss it sometime.

Location:  Km. 8, Barrio Pampanga, Sasa, Davao City

Tel: (63 82) 233-2666

Date Visited/Photos Taken: April 2012

*Davao City has recently celebrated their colorful Kadayawan Festival (August 19th), Dabawenyos annual thanksgiving celebration.  This fiesta is highlighted with floral floats, street dance and proudly-local product exhibits.   This Davao food phlog is posted to send my big “Cheers!” to this lovely city!


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