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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lab-as Seafood Restaurant in Dumaguete

The first time I went to Dumaguete City was some six or seven years ago. I went there to go scuba diving in Apo Island, one of the Philippines' best-protected marine sanctuaries. Apo Island is a 30-minute boat ride away from the city. There are two things I remember from that trip. One, diving Apo Island was great, and two, the food in Dumaguete was cheap.

So when my best couple-friends Anjou and Anton invited me to go diving with them in Apo Island over the Holy Week, I didn't hesitate. They never make me feel like a third wheel, so I figured going on this trip would be fun, and not at all awkward. Diving + cheap food... what's not to like?

We stayed at Antulang Resort, which is more than an hour's drive away from Dumaguete (and the airport). We ate most of our meals in Antulang (that's a whole different story), so I didn't really get to eat in the city until it was my last day.

After a couple of days of fantastic dives and a day of just bumming around in the resort, it was time to fly home. Anjou, Anton and I went to Dumaguete a few hours before my flight back to Manila so we would have time for a meal.

We asked the driver where we could have a good lunch, and he recommended Lab-as Seafood Restaurant. When we got there, we were told that the airconditioning was busted, and that we would have to stay in the outdoor area. It was pretty hot outside, but we were hungry, so we agreed.

When I checked out the menu, I discovered that the food was reasonably priced, though not as cheap as I remembered it to be. (Then again, that was quite some time ago, and my memory is not what it used to be.)

I ordered the coconut-covered shrimp, and bangus lumpia to start with. Anton ordered some oysters and sashimi, which I ended up getting a lot of. The service was a bit slow, but we were used to waiting for our food already (The food in Antulang would take up to an hour to be served).

To kill some time, I engaged a waitress in some small talk, and asked her what "Lab-as" meant, and she said "fresh". It took them a while to bring the food, but at least when it got to us, we saw that the food they served was consistent with the restaurant's name. The food was indeed fresh.

Among all the dishes I ate, I liked the bangus lumpia best. I liked the prawns too but the coconut coating was a bit thick. As for the oysters, well, you know the effect that eating a lot of oysters can sometimes have. It's a good thing the bathrooms that I encountered in Dumaguete were very clean.

Coconut-coated Prawns

Steamed Oysters

Bangus Lumpia

Lab-as Seafood Restaurant
Dumaguete City


Anonymous said...

Hi, good day to you. I have been an expat in ME and comes to Dumaguete once a year and have been to Lab-as many times. Thank you for featuring one of the best restaurants in Dumaguete. I am a Dumaguetenue and I know you are right in telling about the food and of course, the clean toilet in our restaurant. I hope more features about Dumaguete and the bestrestaurants in town. Thank you.

Alex A. said...

Thanks, I do intend to go back and visit Dumaguete again. I want to have more time to spend at the boardwalk, and also to eat in the different restaurants there :)

m said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex A. said...

No problem, Maica! Thanks for dropping by, and do visit often :)

Nicole said...

Hi Alex!

This is Nicole from Sidetrip.

We included your Lab-as review and photos in our next issue. Could you send us a brief write-up of yourself with your photo for the contributors page? Please send it to Thanks!


Sol said...

Hi Alex,

Good evening! This is Sol Racelis of Sidetrip Magazine. We'd like to secure your approval to publish the Lab-as image featured here for the RORO Travel Guide that we're doing for DBP.

This Travel Guide features the different island provinces accessible via RORO and will be released first week of March. Hope that its ok.

Thank you.

Sol Racelis