Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Fresh Catch at El Cangrejo

The freshest crabs and seafood. Everyday. Finding a new and good seafood place doesn't happen often, and El Cangrejo is one of those real hidden gems.

Located along Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, El Cangrejo is tucked away from the main street. And if you find it, prepare for one sumptuous seafood feast. Fresh seafood simply cooked in butter with a side of lemon, simple dishes that deliver the freshest and cleanest flavors. That's my kind of seafood...

Opened only in October last year, El Cangrejo offers some of the freshest seafood in this part of the metro. Sourcing direct from fishing communities, diners can expect the best and freshest catch daily. Inside El Cangrejo's bright and cozy interiors, one easily feels at home almost immediately.

El Cangrejo also stocks select wines to pair with your seafood feast, as well as local and imported beers and a variety of other drinks. And as you enjoy your wine, El Cangrejo's kitchen fires up to serve your seafood feast...

Start your meal at El Cangrejo with Baked Scallops (P 395), prepared with browned butter. Squeeze a little lemon for an extra burst of flavor that contrasts with the richness of the butter. One bite delivers a full range of flavors, from the subtle sweetness of the fresh scallops with a briny hint playing with the rich butter and sharp citrus layer from the lemon.

El Cangrejo's Clam Steamers (P 150), a simple yet comforting dish, made with white wine, tomatoes and scallions, with a hint of rich butter. The plump clams have a delicious briny flavor that's tempered by the rich broth. And don't forget the broth. Dip some of El Cangrejo's freshly baked bread into the broth for another burst of flavors.

Prawn Cocktail (P 295), with a thick and rich tomato-based sauce. Drizzle some lemon and dip the fat, succulent prawns. Clean, fresh flavors...perfect. A chat with the owners revealed some interesting stories about their fresh seafood, including countless late nights to early mornings at the source of the catch, making each dish all the more interesting. And that's what makes El Cangrejo special. As part of its advocacy, El Cangrejo engages with a local fishing community, providing a sustained livelihood program and at the same time delivering the freshest catch.

Next up, El Cangrejo's signature mains. The Crabmeat Ravioli in Aligue Sauce (P 325), a flavorful pasta dish with fresh crabmeat enhanced with rich crab fat. Note the cool zebra-like lines on the ravioli, made with squid-ink. Playful and inventive, the dish tastes as good as it looks.

Fish and Chips (P 370), served with tartar sauce and a lemon wedge. A perfectly crisp layer over soft and buttery whitefish for contrasting textures, great with a few beers. A meal in itself, this one's both filling and comforting.

Grilled Prawns Aglio Oglio (P 395), a simple yet richly flavored pasta dish with olive oil, garlic and parsley and a light dusting of parmigiano, topped with prawns and a lemon wedge. A rustic and traditional dish, El Cangrejo adds its own touch with the grilled prawns. All pasta dishes at El Cangrejo are served with their very own fresh baked bread. Squeeze some lemon for an extra sharpness to balance the rich olive oil, and you have a classic pasta dish paired with plump prawns.

El Cangrejo also serves non-seafood dishes, including steaks and chicken. The Boneless Buffalo Wings (P 235) is a great side, perfect with a round of beers. There is some serious heat, and if you enjoy spicy food, then this is up your alley. A creamy dip is also served to cool it down a bit. With a deliciously crisp outer layer, a soothing heat from the spicy chili over tender and juicy chicken meat, you'll definitely go for another round of beer.

Grilled Ulang in Beurre Noisette (P 595), perfectly grilled local freshwater shrimps in a rich butter sauce over roasted mashed potatoes. At El Cangrejo, all entrees are served with a choice of Caesar Salad, Farmhouse Salad or sauteed vegetables, and roasted mashed potato, fresh cut fries or plain or garlic rice.

Unlike prawns, these freshwater shrimps have larger heads and thin, almost lobster-like pincers or claws, and shorter tails. Grilling freshwater shrimps can be tricky, leave it too long om the grill usually results in a tough, rubbery texture. Bit not this. Tender, with a snap in every bite. Perfect. And don't forget those oversized shrimp heads, and the pockets of fat. Just drizzle some more lemon. Simple, yet rich flavors.

Steamed Mud Crabs tossed in Beurre Noisette (P 595), steamed crabs with browned butter, garlic, and herbs. The presentation alone is quite impressive, with its bright red color signalling yet another flavorful dish from El Cangrejo.

El Cangrejo arms you with a cool bib, stainless steel crackers and crab picks, and you're ready for battle. Ditch the knife and fork, use your hands and just go right in. The steamed mud crabs have a subtle sweetness, a sure sign of freshness. The butter sauce and lemon just works so well with the delicate flavors of the crab. The crab picks and crackers come in handy, as you pick your way to the crab's tasty and fragrant meat. Each order averages around 500 to 600 grams, depending on the catch. The simple cooking style works best with El Cangrejo's fresh seafood, where the freshness of the seafood delivers all the delicate flavors without being overwhelmed by other complicated layers.

After a sumptuous feast, indulge in El Cangrejo's selection of homemade desserts like the comforting Apple Pie ala Mode (P 150), layers of sweet apple in a traditional crust topped with vanilla ice cream. Perfect with a cup of coffee...

...and the El Cangrejo Special Cake (P 190), a rich and creamy chocolate cheesecake topped with blueberries drizzled with caramel. One of El Cangrejo's "no bake" cakes, the rich chocolate cheesecake contrasts with the sweet blueberry topping, a fitting ending to cap a meal at El Cangrejo.

Incredibly fresh seafood, tucked away along Sgt. Esguerra, a real hidden gem. And if you have a craving for seafood, check out El Cangrejo's fresh catch. A wide selection of the freshest catch at affordable prices and real value for money. That sounds like a real winner.

El Cangrejo Crab, Seafood and Steak Bistro is located at Unit D1, Jardin de Zenaida, 34 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City or call 351-0700 and 0917-1054 for inquiries. El Cangrejo also offers catering services and the venue is available for private functions. 

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  1. Replies
    1. Hi Candy, awesome seafood feast, great to hear from you!

  2. I'm a sucker for seafoods.I must visit this place!!!

    Thanks for joining Food Trip Friday

    1. Hi Willa, this one's a real cool find, great seafood!


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