I grew up in a land locked province, and we are from a town that’s totally far from bodies of water. We weren’t famished because we’ve been considered as one of the top rice producing places in the country, but one thing is for sure, and my mum can attest to this – we are totally fond of seafood!
I guess it’s obvious to say that we’re in love with seafood simply because we don’t get to eat them anytime we wished to. If there’s a chance for us to have it, we wouldn’t let it pass. I’m not kidding at all – my mum can eat a whole casserole of steamed crabs in just one seating; my brother can down a platter or two of buttered shrimps; and I can devour huge fried butterfly squids without flinching. This is probably one of the best reasons why we love dining here at Above Sea Level.
It was my grandma who invited us at Above Sea Level – The Gate branch. When we dined in here last 1 September (our second time), it was actually Nanay’s fifth time already. I’m not joking, it’s probably the first time, for a very long time, that I saw her get so fond of a restaurant, apart from our usual Hap Chan weekend family dinner. She said, one of our close relatives discovered this and brought her here. From then on, Above Sea Level has always been our go-to place for the past 3-4 weeks.
In case you’re wondering, there are different sizes for the Giant Butterfly Squid. So it’s not just a giant Butterfly Squid but there’s actually a bigger size than what we call as giant. I find this very interesting because where the heck do they get these bigger squid sizes!? I’m dying to get one. Anyway, here’s the list of the Giant Butterfly Squid sizes:
- “Giant” – 190 Pesos ($3.33), good for 1-2 persons, comes with one (1) FREE Java rice;
- “Super” – 250 Pesos ($4.63), good for 2-3 persons, comes with two (2) FREE Java rice;
- “King” – 350 Pesos ($6.48), good for 3-4 persons, comes with three (3) FREE Java rice;
- “Groot” – 450 Pesos ($8.33), good for 4-5 persons, comes with four (4) FREE Java rice.
One good thing about Above Sea Level is their Barkada Treat which comes four (4) Giant Butterfly Squid, four (4) Java rice, and one (1) Seafood Festival platter. You can enjoy this for only 1000 Pesos ($18.52), not a bad price, especially if you’re dining with your family and friends. I highly suggest that you get this instead of single orders to save a lot of money.
I kid you not, the Seafood Festival platter really looks and tastes nice! As what the owners have shared to us, the Seafood Festival platter is not only cooked in butter but with crab fat/meat (alige, in Tagalog), too. The toppings include kernel corn, crab, mussel (tahong, in Tagalog), and shrimp (hipon, in Tagalog). So to those people who have high cholesterol count, who are prone to high blood pressure, and who are on a diet, this dish isn’t necessarily what you’d like.
Above Sea Level – The Gate also offers other à la carte options such as Squid Overload (all-squid platter) which is good for sharing (2-3 persons) only for 250 Pesos ($4.63), Firecracker Shrimp for one (1) person and it comes with FREE Java rice for 180 Pesos ($3.33), Bacon Wrapped Shrimp for one (1) person + FREE Java rice for 240 Pesos ($4.44), and Squid Fest which is good for sharing (3-4 persons), comes with three (3) Giant Butterfly Squid, and with FREE three (3) Java rice for 490 Pesos ($9.07).
For drinks, they serve HUGE towers of either a Blue Lemonade or a Red Iced Tea. You can choose whether to get a 16 oz. individual order for 50 Pesos ($0.93), a Jar (1 liter) for 100 Pesos ($1.85), good for sharing (2-3 persons); or a Juice Tower (2 liters) for 180 Pesos ($3.33), good for sharing (4-6 persons).
More than its affordable price, availability (as of writing, Above Sea Level has more than 50 branches across Luzon) and its sumptuous food, our family likes an excellent customer dining experience. To the owner of Above Sea Level – The Gate, Ms. Monina Lindo, thank you for always welcoming us with big smiles and open arms. These days, it’s so rare to find such a hands-on owner who makes sure all of our requests are attended immediately. I look forward to more visits soon! X
Above Sea Level – The Gate is located at The Gate (beside Walter Mart), Baltao Compound Ortigas Avenue Extension, Bgry. San Isidro Taytay, Rizal and they’re open from Monday to Sunday between 12pm and 10:30pm. I highly suggest you visit them on weekends around 7pm-8pm and on weekdays to avoid any queue. For any advance orders, reservations, you may directly coordinate with them on their Facebook page.