Saturday, August 22, 2015

Via Mare @ 40…

During the late 70s and 80s, when people would ask for a quality fine dining restaurant, everyone would always recommend Via Mare. In the olden days, Via Mare has become the epitome of fine dining experience which was very popular among VIPs, foreign dignitaries and some of the famous oligarch families that ruled the society at that time. 

Cafe Via Mare at St. Lukes Medical Center Ground Floor...

Cafe Via Mare is Located at the Ground Floor of St. Luke's Medical Center, Bonifacio Glabal City, Taguig

As for me, my fondness memories of this posh restaurant was when it became a reward-treat for me and my colleagues whenever we hit the sales target for the year. The president of our company at that time, Mr. Dante Arriola (may he rest in peace), would make a reservation for a long table at Via Mare Oyster Bar at Greenbelt or at Tektite Tower for a fine dining experience and would indulge ourselves with an “eat-all-you-can” Rockefeller Oysters. In the past, the Oyster dishes served at Via Mare were some of the dishes that made them the talk-of-the-town, which I beleive until now serves as the iconic dish of Via Mare's fame.

Via Mare's world famous Rockyfeler Oyster priced at P390 per serving (photo courtesy of foodspotting.com) 

I’ve been to a lot of restaurants for food tasting events and yesterday was the first time Via Mare harnesses the blogging community for their brand promotions. I never thought they would need one since their quite popular already when it comes to fine dining and quality food catering services. But according to Mr. Rany Rono, the General Manager of Via Mare, there has been some changes and improvements in the restaurant including the dishes and how it is being served. As much as they are noted for the fining cuisine, many of their loyal clients were asking for authentic Filipino dishes. That is why this restaurant created a Filipino Cuisine persona that they can also be famous for, and that lead to the creation of a new concept brand Café Via Mare. 

Mr. Rany Rono, Via Mare's General Manager and Ms. Addie Quiachon, Via Mare's Marketing Manager

In their 40th year, Via Mare wishes to tap the new generations to explore their food and how such simple Filipino dish can be transformed into a more classy cuisine. Through the help of the social media, Via Mare organized a food-crawl series that highlighted their menu from Breakfast, Lunch, Mirienda and Dinner. A set of food bloggers were assigned to a particular meal and I was lucky enough to be part of the Dinner group. 

Veggies Side Salad...

Ensaladang Bagnet...

The food tasting event was held at their St, Luke’s Hospital Branch in BGC, and we were welcomed by Ms. Addie Quiachon, Via Mare’s Marketing Manager and Sir Rany himself. It was an intimate dinner where they shared to us Via Mare’s inspiring history and about the five friends who started it all in September of 1975. Among the five pioneers, one person served as the visionary of the group, a driving inspiration of what made Via Mare flourished for 40 years, is no other than Ms. Glenda Barreto.   

Tiyan Ng Bangus Sinigang sa Miso priced at P295 per serving 

Rellenong Talong at P135...

Despite the absence of a formal culinary training, Ms. Barreto is the prime source of Via Mare’s culinary creativity. Her strength which is also imbedded in Via Mare’s culture is the unparalleled consistency of high quality both service and food creations. No wonder Via Mare has become the food catering service of choice by four Philippine presidents and has served in many historical momentous occasions such as two papal visits, the Ms. Universe Pageant, the International Film Festival and other state summits. 

Calcag Rice - Sun dreid shrimp with Bagoong and Scrambled egg...at P155

Adobong Pusit with Garlic Rice and Lumpia at P295

Unfortunately, due to some important engagements, Ms. Barreto was not able to join us but we were lucky enough to meet one of Via Mare St. Lukes Operations Manager Mr. Rosendo "Boy" Cano, who have been with the restaurant since it started in Makati. As we enjoyed the food being served, we were entertained by many of Sir Boy’s anecdotal stories and his experiences with some of the notable guests Via Mare has served through the years. Many of these stories were even tagged as “off-the-record” and wishes not to be mentioned in the blogs. Well, if Sir Boy has his share of stories, I also have my own first-hand account stories of personalities who have been frequented Via Mare many years ago. But will not share that here now. 

Cafe Via Mare St. Luke's Operations Manager Mr. Rosendo "Boy" Cano. Via Mare employee since 1975

Kare-Kare at P410

Sir Boy’s impeccable loyalty to the company is not unique to him alone because many of the staff of Via Mare have been in service for many years as well. A unique trait on how the company take care of their people and it is one quality that makes it very exceptional compared to other restaurant businesses.

Tiyan ng Bangus Asado at P325

Inihaw na Liempo at P295...

Our sumptuous dinner of some of Via Mare’s best-selling dishes like their version of Bagoong Rice and Crispy Pata, was culminated by its internationally acclaimed Filipino desserts like the Puto Maya with mango and the Special Bibingka. These dishes were also featured in the International Food Festival that gave the Filipino cuisine the long awaited global recognition. 

Crispy Pata at P735...

Pinalutong na Tilapia at P235...

Special Bibingka. Don't ever leave Via Mare without tasting this one...


For 40 years, every dish served at Via Mare conforms to the highest standards of Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) to meet the discriminating taste and preference of its clientele. It aims to create a well-rounded menu that will cater to all ages and it will strive to continue to maintain that integrity in more years to come. 

The Blogging Community with Via Mare's Executives... 








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