Life begins at 40, they say. The same must be true with Via Mare, as it celebrates its 40 years in the food business, yet, it still continues to blossom, as if it were new.
Via Mare is known to many as a catering and restaurant business born out of the idea of a Samareña, Mrs. Glenda Barretto in 1975.
It started as a specialty seafood restaurant, thus the name, Via Mare, which means “from the sea” in English. Their menu was filled slowly by old Filipino-style food, mostly, coming from the memory of native, homemade food in Mrs. Barreto’s town.
So, this September 5, as Via Mare reaches its fourth decade in the business, it still continues to serve good-old Pinoy food, with no fancy fusion or alteration.
This is what really caught my attention. That focusing on what traditional Filipino food really is, and yet, this company proves to be flourishing on it.
“At 40 years, we have shown the world and most especially our fellow Filipinos, what Filipino cuisine is all about – it is about the freshest of ingredients cooked in influences of our ancestors and the rich heritage of the Filipino nation, sprinkled with the love and affection of a Filipino chef,” Barretto said.
Via Mare is known to serve different meals within the day. As for me, I tried some of their Pinoy merienda in Trinoma.
- Guinataang Halo-halo (P 98)
- Bam-i Guisado (P 240)
- Dinuguan at Puto
- Bibingka (P 130 / P 160)
- Putobungbong (P 80)
- Lomi (P 190)
- Bibingka Cassava (P 70)
- Tokwa’t Baboy (P 172)
- Puto Maya (P 165)
- Palitaw (P 55)
The good thing about Via Mare’s take on Pinoy food is that they don’t make it too fancy for the taste to go way beyond what Pinoys expect it to be.
So the customers craving for real Filipino food, would really have a real Pinoy food.
As for me, I instantly liked Via Mare’s Lugaw Toppings (P 225). It has a rich, flavorful taste, caused by the adobo flakes, salted egg.
Another one in the menu that you should try, is their Shooters (P 98) which is a combination of Halo-halo, Mais con yelo and Guinomis in small glasses (bigger than the regular drinking shooting glasses).
The Guinomis actually caught me in a surprise, as I haven’t tasted this one yet, but, I find it really good.
Now, I can understand why Via Mare is still in the business. They have maintained to be authentically Pinoy, both in taste and style – only, they have learned to refined the traditional, barrio-style food preparation to a more sophisticated type of serving.
No wonder, over the years, Via Mare has been part, not only on family, corporate and social gatherings, but also in many national events, catering to state events like the 1995 Miss Universe pageant in Manila, the papal visit of then Pope John Paul II, the 1996 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, the gala of the Philippine-run of West End’s Miss Saigon, the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the weddings of illustrious families, and other milestones in Philippine history.
“The past 40 years is not only the story of a restaurant, it is a story of the Filipino people,” Barretto said. “Via Mare is our pride as we helped a lot of Filipinos enjoy and be proud of the cuisine that we have here, of recipes that we have enjoyed throughout our childhood, and of what Filipino fine cuisine truly tastes like.”
For more information, visit www.viamare.com.ph or like its official Facebook page (@ViamarePH).