We were supposed to eat at Dampa the other week but since the John Mayer concert was happening that day and traffic would be very bad, we ended up at Zao Vietnamese Bistro. Last friday, however, we finally pushed through. I never thought this would be one of my most unforgettable meals in my lifetime. The food was just too good, abundant, truly affordable and I just can’t describe how happy I was seeing those food that I can actually eat & enjoy!
What makes this meal different is we get to experience going to the market and actually buying our own ingredients. Then we also get to choose the restaurant that will cook our food, how we want them to be cooked and lastly, sit, relax, and enjoy our food. Now, I know why Dampa is so popular. Let me share our experience with you
We went around to choose the restaurant that would cook our food and where we would eat. G Squared Palutuan was recommended to us, we went inside and reserved a table. While my mom waited & kept an eye on our bags in the restaurant, we went out and looked around for the meats, veggies, and seafoods that we would eat.
It was really a wet market outside! Lots of vegetables, pork, especially seafood all throughout the Dampa market. Crabs, lobsters & Shrimps being the most popular items. Would you believe they are selling crabs for only Php300 per kilo?!? Wow! I just could not believe it!
Here are the prices of all the items that we bought at the Dampa market:
- Crabs (Php 300/kilo) – 2.8 kilos/4 pcs.
- Squid (Php 250/kilo) – 1 kilo
- Pla Pla (Php 120/kilo) – 1 kilo
- Shrimps (Php Php 380/kilo) – 2 kilos
- Seaweed (Php 130/kilo) – 1 kilo
- Alupihang Dagat (Php 300/kilo) – 1.6 kilos
- Elephant Shell (Php 250/kilo) – 1 kilo
- Scallops (Php 250/kilo) – 1 kilo
After we finished shopping, we went to G Squared Palutuan for them to weigh the food that we bought. We told them how to cook each item, how we wanted to split so they can cook 2 different variants of the same item. I was sooo excited just how delicious the food would be. I just kept thinking that we just bought the food and and yet it was going to be immediately cooked! How fresh can the food get? I really feel we got our money’s worth as well.
And so, we waited. When the food started to come in, I was too excited to try out as much as I could. Gee, I’ve never seen so much food served in one sitting. I was so overwhelmed that I even started sharing pictures through my social networking profile pages hahaha! I know I was too ecstatic upon seeing sooo much appetizing food.
Here are the final products based on how we wanted them to be cooked. Each & every dish was just too yummy for my taste, I was in heaven! I never thought though that the service charge would be a bit expensive. Oh well, if we compute though, it’s still much cheaper than a traditional restaurant.
- Seaweed Salad (Php 120)
I never thought that we could enjoy seaweeds like this. A salad with simple ingredients like tomatoes & onions. We just need to mix all the ingredients, and of course there’s also vinegar to complete the salad. A very simple dish yet it tasted good. Seaweed will definitely have my attention next time
- Baked Scallops (Php 180)
One of the better scallops I’ve tasted. Only a few can actually pull this off. Glad that G Squared did this right. Baked the scallops in cheese, oh sooo yummy & tasty. Having the scallops fresh from the market might have something to do with how successful this dish was. We finished all of it!
- Steamed Elephant Shell (Php 180)
This is yet another discovery for me. I wasn’t even aware that there was such a thing as an elephant shell! It looks to me like a variant of some sort of oyster. This was steamed and garnished with onions, garlic & other spices. It tasted just okay for me, different but not my favorite. Glad I tried it though.
- Sinigang na Sugpo (Php 140)
We asked them to cook 0.5 kilos of the shrimps as a sinigang soup. Well, shrimps are really perfect for soup like Sinigang. We needed to have at least some good companion for our over-to-the-max smorgasbord.
- Pinaputok na Pla Pla (Php 180)
The pinaputok na Pla Pla was tasty, but nothing special. They did season it well, but there was something that was lacking. However, I would still have it again as one of the menu items. This is definitely a dish that is good when eating at Dampa.
- Adobong Pusit (Php 170)
I wish we had them cook the squid as calamares. I do understand why we didn’t because we asked them to cook the rest of the shrimps as tempura. Too many fried foods is not good for us It’s just normal squid cooked with its own black ink. Just don’t smile while eating this dish hahaha :p
- Salt & Pepper Alupihang Dagat (Php 300)
I was wondering the whole time how they will cook the Alupihang dagat. I’m not too familiar with this seafood. Apparently it’s called “Mantis Shrimp”, but it’s not really shrimp but a “marine crustacean”. In Cantonese cusine they actually call this “pissing shrimp” hahaha :p When I saw this being served, I was like, I have to try this out. It tasted like shrimp though. It was a simple dish, I think they fried the Alupihang dagat with butter, and added some spices, peppers, and green onions too. But gee, this tasted so good, we had to peel off the skin/covering first though. I loved it!
- Buttered Crabs (Php 500)
Crabs is my ultimate favorite food! Whenever I see crabs, my face just lights up. My happy mood just comes out. When I saw this being served to us, I couldn’t wait to eat it! Just our normal garlic & butter crabs. I believe no matter how we cook it, if it’s crabs, you’ll never go wrong. However, I’ll try to have them cook it fried next time..
- Shrimp Tempura (Php 420)
I heard someone say that this is the tempura that you can compare with Japanese restaurants when this was served. So I had to quickly try one piece and judge for myself. After I tried this tempura cooked by G Squared, I was totally awed. I immediately tweeted, FBed, plurked that this was one of the best tempura I have ever tasted. We had 1.5 kilos worth of it cooked, just in case we couldn’t get enough. I got as much as I could, until my stomach just couldn’t take any more :p Of course, when it was time to decide who to bring the leftovers home, me and my mom were first to say that we’ll bring it hahaha!
- Fresh Buko (Php 50)
Freshly cooked seafood using fresh ingredients straight from the market coupled with good company. Why wouldn’t you choose a drink that isn’t fresh? So almost all of us ordered fresh buko. What a way to quench our thirst.
I wish we had lobsters too but I knew that we bought too much food already. When I go back, I’ll make sure that we get lobsters! Eating at Dampa was just too cool! If you haven’t done so, I suggest you go invite your family or friends and start storming there. It will be worth your while.
We ordered so much that we had lots of leftovers to take home. The fun continues at home, wheeeee!
G Squared Palutuan
Lot 5 Diosdado Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City, Philippines