Monday, July 29, 2013

Koronadal City's Arpochi Seafoods for Pampano Sinigang

No idea where to eat? Ask the locals. This was never truer when work found me in the southern city of Koronadal, formerly known as Marbel, the capital of South Cotabato. They vouch for the quality of the food, and warned us that we would be spending the equivalent of Manila prices.

It was quite a challenge looking for the restaurant. Arpochi is located in a residential area, in a house, and save for its signage, no one would know it is a restaurant. Another group followed us, many bearing gifts. It seems that the restaurant is a go-to place for functions as well. There was more. There was no menu. I'm not sure if they have set meals or rely on what's available in the market, but we proceeded to order anyway. We picked fish, shrimp, and squid over native chicken and crabs. Please note that although Koronadal is not along the sea, it is only a couple of hours from the port city of General Santos.

It may not look it, but the sinigang na pampano (pompano in sour broth) was the best of the lot. The fish was fresh and sweetish, and thus did not require any complicated cooking techniques or thick sauces. 

The prawns cooked in butter and garlic were likewise fresh, although I'd prefer they use less sugar. I can still remember the warm, umami goodness of the fat from the heads of the shrimps--really delicious. The sauce was so good we drizzled it on our rice. 

The adobo-style squid was also good. The squid were soft and the dish sweetish from the onions.

Arpochi Seafood and Restaurant
Jaycee Avenue, Koronadal City
(+63) 83 228-3418

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