I'm a sucker for shrimp. It's my favorite food. I'd die without it. It's the first thing I look for every time I dine out at a certain destination outside town. So when I found it on the menu at J&A Fishpen in Camiguin, I forced my travel buddies into ordering it. They couldn't say no, not after noticing that I was holding a table knife. Kidding. What can I say, they're the most supportive couple/travel buddies I've been with.
The menu (as of August 2011)
The suggestion to have lunch at this seafood restaurant came from our tour guide, Kuya Teddy, who was very concerned with our health, that right after getting off the ferry at Benoni Port he asked us if we're hungry and what we wanted for lunch. We didn't have an idea so we let him take us anywhere he wanted. "You're okay with seafood?" he asked us, flashing that genial smile of his we've eventually come to love. "Hell, yeah!" replied Erpe who loved trying almost anything for the sake of adventure. Ross (Erpe's girlfriend) and I could only nod in agreement.
We're not sure if Kuya Teddy gets some sort of incentive for taking tourists to J&A Fishpen. We wouldn't mind anyway because our dinner experience at this restaurant was beyond awesome. The restaurant should (provide Kuya Teddy an incentive, that is) because its location is not quite easy to find.
J&A Fishpen is literally a fish pen cum restaurant situated right beside the road a few kilometers from the port. In front is a huge pond that houses almost every item on the menu. Needless to say almost every seafood on the menu is available for picking and harvesting from the fish pen, which we gathered also belonged to the restaurant's owner. Halaan, suso, clams, crabs, tilapia - you name it, they're just there under the shallow brackish water. You can actually see the waiters harvest them, so you can tell for sure that they're completely fresh.
Restaurant crew ready to harvest clams
For a more fun dining experience, guests can choose to eat on a floating hut, though at an additional cost. But really, you don't need a floating hut to enjoy their food. You just need to eat with your bare hands. That's what we did anyway. Don't worry, they have lots of soap and running water. What we liked about this restaurant is how quickly food is served. Dishes are well-prepared and have clean taste. Staff is very attentive and professional. We had no complaints whatsoever.
We left the place completely satiated, with full tummies and a definitive desire to come back before leaving Camiguin.
Value for Money
What we ordered on our second visit - grilled squid