Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Crab Crazy at Blue Post's Boiling Crabs in Davao City (Philippines)

If you want a singular gastronomic experience in Davao City, there's one place you have to visit - Blue Post's Boiling Crabs and Shrimps. 

The restaurant has successfully laid out a dining fantasy, replete with half a dozen novel ideas. You arrive into this dining enclave designed like a fishing vessel. And what do you realize? The fisher folks just had a bountiful harvest of crabs, shrimps, squid and clams fresh out of the ocean. You look around and find fishing nets jutting out of doors; lanterns that fishermen take out to sea; boat paddles hanging down the walls; and then there are salbabidas (life buoy).

The restaurant has two dining salas: the more modern salon up front (looking like a rural Americana diner), and the wide banquet hall at the back. Since we're talking about crabs and shrimps, this entails getting your hands messy, and there's no going around it. You will be using your hands if you are to really enjoy this.

Once you've chosen your table, a supposedly sterile wax mantle (cellophane) is spread out to cover and protect your table. The same functions as your "plate". This facilitates easy clean up later. Plastic aprons and gloves are distributed. You have the option to wear them or not. I personally use the bib to avoid juice splashes and exoskeletons flying all over my shirt/pants. Some may require eye goggles to avoid accidental ocular foreign bodies, but this is a rare requirement. Order how much kilo of crabs you require, then in 20 minutes or so, the whole garlic-cooked bunch is delivered inside a big plastic bag dripping with sinful crab sauce, giving the impression that fresh catch goes straight to your table. Place your rice on your plastic-covered table, and start cracking those crabs - like there's no tomorrow!

Another novel idea is the writing of graffiti anywhere in the restaurant, except the floor, the tables and the AC. You could write on the ceiling, the walls, even on lamps and the animated crabs drawings. There's a sink where you could wash your hands before and after your meals. The management should provide hard soap because the liquid wash is too diluted to use. A good wash is imperative because your hands are rendered with a certain color - and smell! - after dining. Otherwise, you won't be able to go anywhere else without smelling of crabs or garlic.


How's the quality of their crustaceans? They're fresh and meaty, but what I personally look for is the orange meat called "roe", the female eggs, i.e. the "taba ng talangka" - which are, unfortunately, few. I had roe during my first, but on my second visit, all 3 kilograms had none. That was a bit of a disappointment. Generally though, if you're not particularly fond of the orange meat, you'd come out of the restaurant fully satiated.

The experience is exquisitely unique. There's a crab mallet for your cracking pleasure, though I'd personally prefer a crab cracker, the plier-type of cracker which is way easier to use than a hammer or mallet. To break the tedium, you could order mussels, clams, or shrimps; a pork barbecue, maybe, but then it's going to ruin the whole "fresh catch seaside fantasy". I am there exclusively for the crabs - period.

It's hard to compare this experience with other restaurants in Davao City offering crabs, like SM's "Grab a Crab" where a single crab cost me PhP1,800 - delicious, but you feel like you're eating gold. At Blue Post, you'd have to shell out PhP1,000 per person. There were 4 of us during my 2nd visit; and we paid PhP4,500 for 3 kilogram of crabs, a plate of cheesy mussels, a round of drinks (canned Coca Cola) and 5 cups of rice. That wasn't a bad deal. But there was a time when crabs in Davao didn't cost that much. I guess that era's long long gone. Long gone indeed.

During my last visit (my 3rd), crab price was PhP1,300/kg++ so we got 3 kilos and paid around PhP4,000 (including rice and drinks). The price changes based on market price of crabs on the day of visit.

Blue Post is the city's latest craze. Word of mouth is spreading like wildfire. There's a good reason for that. Visit them to find out why exactly.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

3 kilogram of garlic-cooked crabs delivered to our table.

No need to open the crabs. The crab aprons and the chambers have been cracked open already. I like exploring the feathery cones lining the side of the body - which are the "lungs" of the crabs

Chambers cracked open.

Corn, a bit of chili (Cajun special sauce) and lots of garlic make the taste heavenly. Very few "hens" (female crabs) are served so if you want those orange meat, you'd be disappointed. Male crabs are called "cocks".

There's few "roe" (the eggs - the tasty orange meat) available - from my experience.

A crab mallet is provided to crack the hard exoskeleton of  the crabs. I wish they'd provide a crab cracker instead because it's more convenient to use.

As of February 2015, I once again visited Blue Post, this time, to try the "garlic fried" crabs instead of the wet and boiled cooking during my first visit. We requested for females so we could have the "roe" (alige) and we weren't disappointed at all. Roe we wanted, roe we got - and it was just darn delectable. As side dish, I also ordered "buttered cereal shrimp" at a set price of PhP480. For the crabs, we ordered 3 kilograms good for three. The bill was a whopping PhP4,300, but it was worth every cent.

This time around, they gave both a crab mallet and a crab cracker as well. I am glad they take suggestions well, as what we've written here. As if that wasn't enough, we noticed that there were several liquid soap canisters at the wash station this time. It's it's hard to find fault in terms of crab quality and service this time. 

Heavenful of roe.

Sinfully delicious, garlic=fried crabs.

Buttered cereal shrimps at PhP480 a set. Cereal?

Though this looks well done and dried, shrimp is tender and "juicy" inside.

Crab mallet and cracker.

Writings on the wall - and ceilings..

There's hardly space left where you can write your name on because the walls are already filled with them.

The front sala is free of writings. It's space for the more sophisticated customers who want less mess. But what fun would it be without the mess and the splashes?

The front sala has a southern diner atmosphere.

The main washing cubicle

The wash room at the toilet. The Ngoho Family should be pretty proud of themselves for putting their mark at the dispenser.

Thank heavens the toilet is free of vandalism.

The menu - above and below.

Facade of the restaurant.

Blue Post's Boiling Crabs and Shrimps Restaurant is located along J.P. Laurel Avenue in Lanang, Bajada, Davao City. It is just a few hops from SM Lanang Premier. Please DO NOT inquire for reservations, rates and schedules in this blog. Give them a ring instead - (63-82)-221-8360 or email them at blueposts@aagroup.com.ph.


Ola said...

wow, this would be a place for me! pity that it's so far away:)

eye in the sky said...

You'd love it there, Ola. Crabs were really delectable. :)

NRIGirl said...

Mouth wateringly delicious post!

eye in the sky said...

True. And I'm starting to salivate again thinking about it. Haha