Information about Tatoy's Seafood & Manokan
Tatoy's Seafood & Manokan
Photo by Southwest Travel and Tours
Ask any local which restaurants offer the most authentic Ilonggo fare in the region, and chances are they’ll include Tatoy’s Seafood & Manokan in their suggestions. The restaurant prides itself for offering sumptuous local dishes that best represent Iloilo’s local flavors and unique cuisine.
Their specialty is the “daraag” or native “lechon manok, ”a barbecued chicken dish that is prepared by marinating the meat in vinegar and calamansi, then stuffed with lemongrass and sampalok leaves. The one thing that sets it apart is the use of the native chicken, which is typically leaner and gamier that most types of poultry.
Of course you can’t miss their other speciality: seafood. Founder and owner Honorato Tiburan Espinosa or Tatoy was a fisherman in the 1970’s when he opened the restaurant, so when he first set up shop along Villa Beach in Arevalo, he knew where to find the freshest catch for his new venture.
He also happened to have a gift for cooking delicious food that customers enjoyed, and Tatoy’s reputation for fresh seafood and delicious “daraag” grew so that what started out as a nondescript nipa shack by the beach with three tables flourished into the iconic Tatoy’s we know today.
Some of the seafood crowd favorites include kinilaw, which is fresh fish cooked in a spicy vinegar marinade, oysters, grilled boneless bangus or milkfish, fish shop, and grilled stuffed squid, and buttered shrimp.
It is the perfect venue for large groups or families with equally large appetites. They also have a variety of food that is offered “turo-turo” style, which are prepared dishes displayed behind a glass counter where you can simply choose and point to a dish that you want to eat, cafeteria style.
Best time to visit
To avoid the crowds it's best to dine here before 12 NN and 6 PM so you won't have to deal with the lunch and dinner rush. The establishment is open from 7 AM to 9 PM on a daily basis.