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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Via Mare restaurant just turned 40 years old, when was your last visit in Via Mare?

Cafe Via Mare

If a restaurant reaches 40 years old, there are times that you will ask a question to yourself, where were you when Via Mare first appeared in front of you. It’s the same question that bothered me and I helped myself to look back during the old days when I first encountered Via Mare, okay I think that was around 1989 and I remember that my mom and my grandmother treated me this big burger inside Landmark mall in Makati. I can’t remember if its really Café Via Mare, but I know that’s the only café or restaurant located inside the upper floor of Landmark.

It’s a big throwback for everyone when we learned that Via Mare is now 40 years old, I’m not a foodie back then, I don’t care about the restaurants’ history or its achievements, but today, as a blogger and as a foodie, I’m very proud that we have this kind of restaurant that offers our Filipino food specials not only here in the Philippines but also abroad. I also learned that Via Mare joined a series of world food expo and conventions during the 70’s, they didn’t get tired in promoting our food, their restaurant and also our country.

But wow!!! world food expo events is one big global event for restaurants and food suppliers, because of their hard work in promoting their food, Via Mare is now well known in offering catering services to our President and Malacanang guest for many years, and they served our pinoy food to these famous people like : King Fahd, Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, President Gerald Ford, then California Governor Ronald Reagan, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, England’s princess Margaret, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Bhutto, India’s Prime Minister Indira Ghandi and also Popular celebs - Peter Ustinov, Brooke Shields, George Hamilton and prima ballerina, and Dame Margot Fonteyn.

All of the success of Via Mare is credited to their President,CEO and chef -- Ms. Glenda Rosales-Baretto, she's a well known restaurateur, prime mover and innovator in the development and promotion of contemporary fine Philippine cuisine. She spends most of her time closely supervising the operations of the Via Mare Restaurants and its catering division, which continues to be the caterer of choice of Manila’s finer tastes.

Did you know that Chef Baretto was the responsible for inventing and popularizing the use of Adobo flakes as added condiment or flavor to any food. This became a trend to some food establishments and I didn’t know that it started here in Via Mare.

and also Via Mare can serve a freshly baked Bibingka upon order. Their bibingka, suman, puto bumbong is also a popular food on the menu. We only encounter these every Christmas and we’re glad that they can serve all year round.


Café Via Mare was born on 1988 and this was considered as the first ever Filipino café, not only that, they are the only café back then that serve Filipino dishes. Today, Café Via Mare is more than just a café, its also a restaurant that occupies a space in any mall, hospital, and other establishment, this is a way of reaching many people who love Filipino food.

Btw, the photo above is from Café Via Mare in St. Lukes Hospital in BGC


To answer my own question, as posted on this blog post title, as of this writing, my last visit was in Via Mare restaurant in Rockwell Power Plant Mall last September 7, 2015, we just did a small celebration for our Kuya Bernard’s birthday and it was a surprise for him arranged by my wife Lace Llanora, I’m happy to learn that Via Mare is very cooperative to our request, ---- we ordered our food and placed reservation via phone a day before our visit, then we went an hour before our target time and paid the bill, and also we added more orders for take out.

But before this….my last visit was during our 2012 New Year’s eve dinner in Via Mare Shangri La Plaza.

Cafe Via Mare

From 1975 during the year Via Mare was born til this period of time 2015, they still continue to serve and promote the food that we inherited from our ancestors and the rich heritage of the Filipino nation

Check out and their Facebook page (@ViamarePH)
and give it a try if you haven’t tasted their food.

Cafe Via Mare Cafe Via MareCafe Via Mare Cafe Via Mare

Here’s the menu of Café Via Mare
just click on the photo to view the large version

Here I introduce to you the food they have on the menu.
also they are planning to add more soon….. it means…more pinoy food.

Cafe Via Mare

Ensaladang Bagnet
PHP 195

Crispy roasted port with mustard leaves, tomato, shallots, added with calamansi and bagoong.
Is that some kind of salad? but I see a lot of meat, for me its like an ulam na

Cafe Via Mare

Crispy Pata
PHP 735

I’m sure you can’t resist the temptation to pull a crispy pata skin off, its one of the best crispy pata and they prepared it so perfect. Every crack is like happiness.

Cafe Via Mare

Tiyan ng bangus na sinigang sa miso
PHP 295

Sinigang is one of my favorite pinoy dish, the sinigang na baboy is my ever fave, but trying a bangus fish belly—all boneless, under the rain is a great relief of my stress.

Cafe Via Mare

PHP 430

Beef tenderloin in spicy sauce

Cafe Via Mare

Adobong Pusit
PHP 295

Also, my favorite, I don’t care if I will eat this during a lunch or dinner meeting, I wont worry the squid’s black ink, I super enjoy this dish because the milky blackish sauce is so tasty.

Cafe Via Mare

Pinalutong na Tilapia fish
PHP 295

Cafe Via Mare

Kare Kare
PHP 410

Ox’s tail is the best….. their version is good, I was expecting to serve this with many sauce, but the serving is just right and the meaty part is included on this plate.

yeah, this is the actual serving.

Cafe Via Mare

Tiyan ng bangus asado
PHP 325

Cafe Via Mare

Calcag rice
PHP 155

Its not bagoong rice…the rice is cooked with these little shrimps, you’ll taste the saltyness and the crispy, it’s a carb loaded rice..and I love this

Cafe Via Mare

Ensaladang Suha at Labanos
PHP 168

Cafe Via Mare

Relyenong Talong
PHP 135

I didn’t know that they have this on the menu..its my fave too.
Now I know where to eat if ever I crave a fried eggplant with egg and ground pork

Cafe Via Mare

Inihaw na Liempo
PHP 295

Cafe Via Mare

Pinais na alimasag
PHP 380

Im totally surprised that they have Pinais on their menu, this dish is very popular in Quezon province, I tasted this kind of Pinais with fresh water prawns in our province of Sampaloc, Quezon. Via Mare’s Pinais is composed of coconut meat added with crab meat and they are cooked together in a coconut fresh water.

Its a bit pricey for a small pinais, but this is very recommended because it will not require you to travel away to Quezon just to try the Pinais dish.

Cafe Via Mare

Puto Maya
PHP 165

Cafe Via Mare

PHP 130

The gem of Via Mare is their bibingka..its soft, and always come out fresh from the event. Order it in advance if you want to add it in your dessert, because this kind of pancake like bread cooks slowly under traditional coal heat

Cafe Via Mare

Its an awesome food re-discovery for me here in Via Mare, I learned a lot from their history and also the food that they serve.

I’m now excited to go back to eat my pinoy dish favorites, especially the pinais and also the paco salad…yes they serve that salad fern too.

Visit Via Mare restaurant branches:

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar Express
2nd Floor, Landmark Trinoma
Ayala Triangle North Mall, Quezon City

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar Express
Unit A215 Level 2,
Eastwood Mall, Eastwood City
Bagumbayan, Quezon City

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar
Ground Floor, Rockwell Center, Makati

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar Express
Ground Floor, Edsa Shangrila Plaza Mall,

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar
Shop 138 Greenbelt 3 Ayala Center, Makati City

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar Express
Paseo de Roxas Makati City

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar Express
2nd Floor Landmark Dept. Store Ayala Center,
Makati City

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar Express
The New Promenade Theatre Mall,

UP Diliman Campus - GT Toyota Center
Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar Express

GT Toyota Asian Cultural Center,
Katipunan Road, corner Magsaysay St.
UP Diliman, Quezon City

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar Express
190 Tomas Morato Ave. corner Sct. Gandia St., QC
(Right beside Citibank)

Restaurant Type: Cafe & Oyster Bar Express
111 Panay Avenue Future Point Bldg. 3

Restaurant Type: Cafe and Oyster Bar Express
G/F Medical Arts Bldg. St. Luke's Global
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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