Via Mare Celebrates 40 Years of classic well-loved Filipino Favorites

We were invited to a sumptuous lunch at the Cafe Via Mare Restaurant in Eastwood Mall
In celebration of its 40th year, Via Mare held a series of exciting projects and new dishes this year. 
We got to taste some of the signature dishes that made Via Mare a favorite among Filipino food lovers. 

For starters, fresh, crisp and delicious Ensaladang Pako. The first thing that came to my mind was how well balanced the whole dish tasted.

After indulging in the tasty and healthy Ensaladang Pako, we were served with a hot soup dish, Pancit Molo is one of the favorite soups of Filipinos. Perfect for the rainy day and cold months. 
This is definitely something new to me, Pinais (means to steam in its own juice) na Alimasag. It's Blue Crab Shell stuffed with crabmeat and young coconut, cooked in coco cream and steamed in banana leaves. Must try! 
Two viands in one plate, Crispy Binagoongan gave us the satisfying complete meal.  
Beef Kaldereta is a hearty and spicy dish that makes me savor every mouthful. Great with a steaming white rice.
For dessert is my all-time favorite Guinataang Halo-Halo and Palitaw ♥ Nowadays, it's hard for me to find these delightful delicacy. I am glad that it is  now always available at Via Mare to satisfy my cravings. I also love their Puto bumbong. Yum! 
Guinataang Halo-Halo

 Thank you Via Mare! We all had a wonderful lunch  
Happy 40 Years Via Mare! Cheers to many more!

About Via Mare 

Via Mare opened its very first Via Mare Seafood Specialty Restaurant on September 5, 1975 and has since grew and continue to be a frontrunner in the restaurant and catering industry. It currently operates the Cafe Via Mare, a dining concept that has been hailed as a pioneer at creating a truly Filipino cafe. 

The founder of Via Mare also join us for lunch, Chef Glenda Barreto, who has been at the helm of the restaurant since its inception, and her strong belief in the Filipino cuisine's potential to be world class is what pushed the restaurant to keep outdoing its achievements. 

While Barretto’s contemporaries would focus on intercontinental cuisine as their piece de résistance, she opted to highlight and present well-loved Filipino dishes with modern touches that made it more palatable to foreign guests. If lumpia was known as a roll, the Via Mare version had the filling wrapped in pouches held together by spring onions. The tinola was also given a fresh take by serving the soup in a carved papaya or as a flan, inspired by the Chawanmushi of Japan.

“The past 40 years is not only the story of a restaurant, it is a story of the Filipino people,” Barretto said. “Via Mare is our pride as we helped a lot of Filipinos enjoy and be proud of the cuisine that we have here, of recipes that we have enjoyed throughout our childhood, and of what Filipino fine cuisine truly tastes like.”
Enduring legacy of taste
Since 1975, no other Filipino restaurant has been the top-of-mind when it comes to hosting dinners for dignitaries, heads of state, international celebrities, and international events. From beauty queens during the 1995 Miss Universe pageant in Manila, the papal visit of then Pope John Paul II, the 1996 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, the gala of the Philippine-run of West End’s Miss Saigon, the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the weddings of illustrious families, and other milestones in Philippine history, Via Mare was always the top choice.

Via Mare, with Barretto herself leading the kitchen, was also the choice of First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos whenever she hosted gala dinners for visiting dignitaries at the Malacañan Palace. The former first lady’s penchant for elegance was apparent even in the food that she served her guests. In one instance, she requested for a more upscale version of the adobo – a request that Barretto easily managed by marinating the chicken in simmering adobo sauce with red wine. Another anecdote from the halls of presidential residence was how Barretto recreated a Mexican dish of squash, baked and topped with cream and caramel sauce based only on the narrative of Mrs. Marcos. The first lady nearly squealed in delight after the first bite.

The restaurant itself has changed over the past 40 years. While it maintained to be the premier Filipino restaurant, it branded itself according to the demands of its wide clientele. Café Via Mare was introduced to the market, dubbed to be a pioneer in introducing the first authentic Filipino café. The Via Mare Oyster Bar was also launched to cater to the more discriminating taste and specialized in serving the most succulent of oysters.

“At 40 years, we have shown the world and most especially our fellow Filipinos, what Filipino cuisine is all about – it is about the freshest of ingredients cooked in influences of our ancestors and the rich heritage of the Filipino nation, sprinkled with the love and affection of a Filipino chef,” Barretto said. 

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  1. Whenever we craved for Filipino food, we go to Cafe Via Mare. I like ordering bibingka too! :) My favorite is their sinigang and kaldereta


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