Monday, October 26, 2020

Dining in the Next Normal: Serve Up the Pambansang Seafood For All at Home with the Seafood Bilaos of Dampa Express

Local seafood restaurants have always been popular with large groups and families serving the day's freshest catch. But the new normal changed all that, as it continues to transform every aspect of our daily routine. In very rare cases, seafood seems to be pandemic-proof as food deliveries and take-out continue to grow and compensate for lost dine-in revenues for one seafood restaurant chain. For this trailblazing seafood restaurant, it's all about affordability, accessibility and accelerated service...

Dampa Express, the country's largest seafood restaurant chain and the biggest end-user of fresh local crabs, remains top-of-mind when it comes to affordable, fast and convenient seafood a la carte specialties even during the pandemic. Owner Simon Lim, Jr., also known as the "Dampa King," successfully expanded and built on the "dampa" or seafood market-style concept by simplifying it. "Customers do not have to spend too much money on live seafood, worry about picking the right shellfish or getting the weight of crabs for your family and wait a long time for your orders to be cooked," said the Dampa King. You'll find none of that at Dampa Express. Instead, groups and families can opt for a tempting variety of family-sized seafood sets, a trademark of Dampa Express, like the sumptuous Seafood Bilao offering both fresh and rich flavors and value for money without busting your wallet.

To stay relevant in the new normal, keeping it simple works. "Our strength is that we've tried to do away with all the inconveniences and complications of most seafood restaurants and dared to go against the trend of posh high-brow exclusivity." It's a formula that's worked so well for Dampa Express as it continues to rack up its daily sales. And you can bring home the Dampa Express experience too... 

With more than 20 branches, and still growing, located around the country, Dampa Express is going bigger and better in the new normal offering the freshest seafood and unbeatable value that sets it apart from the usual local seafood "dampa" style restaurant. Though some branches have closed due to the pandemic, Dampa Express has experienced a surge in sales with its seafood deliveries. The food delivery culture is now part of new consumer habits shaped and defined by the quarantine experience, and Dampa Express has successfully adapted with the times. 

Every crisis bring opportunities as well. "I thought I'd lose everything during the pandemic, but to my surprise sales grew exponentially with greater demand for deliveries," explained the Dampa King. "It turned out that seafood is pandemic-proof! We've survived with group service, offering a lot of variations. We have shrimp in eight variations and banking on seasonal demands. In January, for instance when people are dieting and meat dishes are not in demand, seafood sales like tuna go up," added the Dampa King. The home of the Seafood Bilao and known as the Pambansang Seafood for All, Dampa Express seems to have hit the right buttons during the pandemic. Affordability, accessibility and accelerated service are the keys to their continued success in these challenging times. 

But food deliveries have been the real game changer for Dampa Express, as Simon Lim, Jr. acknowledges a great deal of this success on efficient and early deliveries. Despite the quarantine, the insatiable appetite for fresh seafood has not slowed down and food deliveries have responded to this rising demand. 

Note: Prices may vary depending on branch location.

The menu features a wide assortment of local favorites highlighted by fresh seafood. One will immediately notice that the dishes are priced and prepared for families. "We have no solo meals and we do not compete with fast food value meals and rice toppings," declared the Dampa King. It's an insight on the mass market demographic that comprises the majority of their customers where the Special Seafood Bilao and Boodle Fight remain popular options. And when you combine fresh seafood with affordability and value, it's no wonder why Dampa Express is high on the list of seafood restaurants. 

The new normal brings with it a new set of challenges as the food service industry struggles to remain relevant with its customers. Acknowledging the rise of the food delivery culture as part of the evolving set of consumer habits is a step in the right direction. And the special Seafood Bilao selections and a la carte family-style offerings of Dampa Express are ideal food delivery options for those looking for value and a sumptuous meal. After all, venturing out of your home to a seafood market isn't a viable option in a pandemic. Simply dial the Dampa Express hotline or message them on their FB and IG social media accounts for convenient home deliveries. 

What to order for a sumptuous feast at home? Dampa Express offers a wide variety of tempting options, here's a quick rundown on some of the must-try specialty dishes. No comforting feast with local flavors is complete without some pork, and Dampa Express indulges your pork cravings with the Grilled Liempo (P 326). Fork-tender and juicy slabs of pork delicately grilled for that smoky and savory finish, it's a hands-down favorite that simply completes any feast with a distinctly local vibe. Dampa Express offers a wide selection of chicken, pork and vegetable dishes to supplement your seafood feast home.

But it's the fresh seafood that are the main attractions of Dampa Express. The Grilled Tuna Belly (P 410) is a popular staple at Dampa Express with the juicy prime cut of fresh tuna grilled to perfection with a lightly charred layer for even more flavors. Drizzled with a thick, mildly sweet sauce adding even more layers of flavors, the Grilled Tuna Belly is a deceptively simple dish delivering bold, fresh and clean notes.

The local noodle dish gets the Dampa Express touch with the Dampancit Overload (P 988 Medium/P 1,188 Large). It's a flavorful upgrade topped with succulent seafood like fish balls, plump shrimps and fresh mussels adding sweet and fresh briny notes to the soft noodles. Perfect for any festive celebration at home, a drizzle of calamansi completes the hearty dish.

The Adobong Pusit (P 445) is another family favorite with succulent squid stewed in its own flavorful ink topped with fresh spring onions. The flavors are fresh, real and hearty that will have you going for another extra serving of rice. 

A comforting bowl of fresh Halaan in Ginger Soup (P 248) is the perfect starter to any sumptuous Filipino feast at home that's perfect for rainy quarantine days. The subtle briny freshness of the plump clams just pops in your mouth followed by the distinct notes of the light yet flavorful ginger-infused broth. It's a dish that warms both the palate and body, something we all need in these challenging times. All these dishes are a tasty prelude to the seafood specialties of Dampa Express...

The impressive Baked Oyster sa Bilao (P 688) is a visual feast, feeding first the eyes before the palate with the signature "bilao" presentation of Dampa Express. Baked and draped in creamy cheese adding indulgent notes to the fresh, briny and clean flavors of the succulent oysters, it's a specialty dish that reflects the hearty culinary style of Dampa Express.

The oysters just melt in your mouth releasing its briny freshness followed by the creamy finish of cheese for vibrant flavors. Comparatively cheaper than most oyster offerings in the metro, the dish also highlights the fresh seafood plus value formula of Dampa Express.

Don't forget your vegetables. The Chopsuey (P 298) of Dampa Express is the perfect side dish for your feast at home with garden fresh vegetables in a thick sauce. The dish brings both contrasting textures and flavors to the palate, complementing the other dishes of Dampa Express.

The specialty a la carte dishes of Dampa Express offer a tempting variety of tasty options that's perfect for sharing and family meals at home. But you can level up your home dining experience with their specialty Seafood Bilao... the sumptuous Mixed Crab and Shrimp (P 1,188 Steamed/P 1,288 Flavored Variant) available in Buttered Garlic, Sweet and Chili, Maritess (Crabs only), Salt and Pepper and Oyster Sauce flavors. I enjoy my seafood draped in butter and garlic, and these juicy crabs and shrimps hits the spot. 

Take a closer look at the day's freshest catch. "If you're curious as to what makes our cooking tick, there's really no secret to it. We just cook seafood the dampa way, plus we don't stock. What's delivered today will be out by end of the day. So everything is as fresh as they can get," adds Simon Lim, Jr. Orders for the Alimango sa Bilao averages 50 to 100 per day, peaking at 200 to 250 orders daily. With crab purchases rising daily for dine-in and delivery from all its operating branches, it's no surprise that Dampa Express is the biggest end-user of crabs in the country.

And these crabs pack a flavorful punch. The delicate crab meat and indulgent crab fat combine with the richness of butter and nutty garlic notes for a memorable seafood experience. That's what makes Dampa Express top-of-mind among families, seafood lovers and loyal customers looking for value and the reason why they have the largest number of branches scattered throughout the country.

Dampa Express offers a range of specialty bilaos for any festive celebration at home, from the Seafood Fiesta Bilao, Oyster sa Bilao, Mixed Crab and Shrimp, Dampancit Overload and Tahong sa Bilao to the all-shrimp Hipon and the signature all-crab Alimango Bilao. Just pick your bilao and leave the rest to Dampa Express. Dampa Express also recently introduced their newest seafood creation...

...the Salted Egg Crabs (P 1,588), Salted Egg Shrimps (P 1,388) and Salted Egg Crabs and Shrimps (P 1,488) to their impressive repertoire of seafood dishes. The salted egg coating adds a distinctive layer of refreshing new notes to the succulent crabs and shrimps for yet another hearty seafood experience. Topped with fresh vegetables adding a subtle sweetness to temper the richness of the salted egg coating, each bite brings contrasting textures from the succulent seafood to the lightly crisp salted egg coating.  

It will be some time before dine-in becomes part of the regular routine, and food deliveries will continue to be your first option until the end of the year in the new normal. But that doesn't mean missing your favorite Seafood Bilao and other specialty dishes from Dampa Express, simply give them a call or message on your mobile device and Dampa Express will dispatch the day's freshest catch to your doorstep.

Dampa Express is now accepting franchise and partnership applications nationwide as well as overseas. For the full menu, reservation, delivery and more information, please call 0917 531 1703 or +632 7944 1036. You can also visit their IG Feed at @dampaexpress.official and FB Page at for more updates. 

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, check out these social media accounts for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? I'd love to hear from you...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...