Market Basket Alabang | Modern Dampa - Fresh Seafood everyday

Had a nice long lunch break a week ago with some fellow bloggers at this enchanting restaurant located at River Park at Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, one of the hottest dining clusters in the South, with a concept that combines together the freshest produce from farms around Manila, the sophistication of European food, and Filipino favorites.

Ok, if you live in's a drive, but an almost pleasant one. Almost, well, if you're part of the Eastern side, it usually takes about 45 minutes (?) 1 and a half hours (?)  from my place if traffic's not so bad. Should I highlight the word TRAFFIC?
Anyway, when you take the SLEX route, it's definitely the fastest way to Festival Mall Alabang. Turn right after driving a couple hundred meters from the Filinvest exit, then cross the first traffic light.
If you decide to take EDSA, use the fly-over at the right side. The side going to Alabang. You choose either the Grade Level or Skyway. If you refuse to drive, book a GRAB instead.
When you get there, Market Basket - Modern Dampa Restaurant is perched on the side of the road and overlooks the..uh..road. Kidding. You can see the picturesque River Park just across.
I haven't really gone to any seafood market slash restaurant, you know, a Filipino dampa, where you can choose your own fresh ingredients from a market and then, have it cooked according to your liking. But it has always been my request to the hubby.
Anyway, Market Basket has plenty of fresh-frozen seafood to choose from. Plus a good selection of fresh-frozen fish, scallops, squid, and much more.

They said they will serve your food exactly the way you specified it. Market Basket do not presume to tell you their way is better. Your instructions, their hands.
But you can always alternatively choose from Market Basket’s diverse menu, too. All ingredients, from vegetables to seafood to meat, are sourced from farms around Manila, so customers can be assured of freshness.
The restaurant is very well lit. Love the shabby chic vibe in all corners with stunning natural light coming in, making everything glows more warmly, almost mesmerizing. Words with rhythm and beauty inscribed and scattered in all places. Their private function area upstairs can fit 20 people comfortably, probably best for small gatherings and reunions. 

Since Market Basket is best known for its seafood dishes, specialties included are Sinigang na Ulo at Tiyan ng Salmon, their Fish Ceviche, Kinilaw na Tanigue with Lato, and grilled seafood dishes. However, the restaurant doesn’t only limit itself to Filipino food. Executive Chef Mauro Arjona, Jr., with his training under Chef Billy King of Le Soufflé fame, also dishes out takes on European classics such as Prawn Thermidore and Steak and Shrimp, the restaurant’s version of Surf and Turf.

Here are some of the dishes we've tried. I'll probably be back here with the Shrek team in no time.

A refreshing Iced Tea was served to us in a Mason Jar prior to food battle. P65 

For starters, we had this THAI POMELO SALAD with so much Cilantro on it, in it :( If you're a fan of the herb, good for you. I love everything else, nonetheless. The Pomelos, Grilled Shrimp, lettuce, a bit of lime, carrots, peanuts with Nam Pla or Fish Sauce. P325

Assorted FRUITS AND NUTS SALAD P295 , served with sesame vinaigrette dressing

Although Cilantro is my least favorite herb,still divine.
Just not the Cilantro Sauce.
I still love how the combination of lettuce, carne asado, salsa blended well with the crispness of the Parmesan Cheese Taco Shells. P345

Fresh Tanigue topped with onions, carrots, lime, vinegar, Nam Pla or Fish Sauce, fresh chilies, Cilantro sauce, sesame seeds on fried wanton wrappers. I love how crisp the wrappers were, but again, Cilantro sauce, not so much.

This ENSALADANG MANGGA AND GULAY was one of my faves from their menu.
Mother would serve a plateful similar to this,along with her home made bagoong, too.
This tasted like home to me.
With Green Mangoes, grilled eggplant, okra, tomatoes and white onions, priced at P165 

Yes, yes. I know what I've said.
But willpower is weak and the mind couldn't give up on rice, not just yet.
Tried just a little bit of this Crab Fat Rice and when they sauteed white rice with Crab Aligue and Bok Choy for you, YOU.JUST.CAN'T.SAY.NO
You can really taste the Aligue without being too overwhelming. P260

AY, nako.
How to diet when this is in front of you?
The TINAPA RICE with lotsa tinapa flakes , tomatoes, onions, slated egg, plus, again, CILANTRO. Good thing the palate didn't recognize the Cilantro that much.
I love Tinapa!!
You can eat this alone, I swear. P165

This GARLIC RICE is no ordinary garlic rice as it is also served with Lechon Kawali bits. P150

Any soup that uses tamarind broth is perfect, even on hot Summer days. Smoked Bangus was perfectly cooked and not "malansa" P325

Actually I didn't get the name of this dish.
But this mussels generously stuffed with Parmesan cheese ( I think ) dish was soooo goood, you can pair the dish with their local or imported wines. 

This was one of their newest dishes served to us but not included in the menu.
The SWEET AND SOUR LAPU-LAPU. Lapu-Lapu fried to perfection.

Sadly, I wasn't able to taste this SIZZLING LECHON KAWALI SISIG. 

Squid, Mussels, shrimp, clams, fish, tofu, you name it.
Every bit of seafood goodness is in there.
Cooked with Oriental Sriracha sauce which is a type of hot sauce or chili sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt.

 Quite CRABtivating, isn't it?
When your histamines get all active just by looking at this crab shells stuffed with crab meat, potatoes, garlic, onions, and torched mozzarella cheese, priced at P250 and you forgot to bring your medicine, you'll be lifeless in seconds. Downside, not so chili. I love everything extra hot *wink

This European classic, the Prawn Thermidore, topped my chart.
Everything in there was soooo goood. The melted cheese blended perfectly well with the softness of the Prawn. 

I love anything with Asparagus. Mom would steam asparagus with butter drizzled with lemon juice for the perfect and healthy side dish. I think this was my second favorite dish because of the Asparagus topped with Grilled US Beef Top Blade , sauteed shrimp, potatoes, drizzled with gambas sauce which complements everything, priced at  P395

Included in our Market Basket's Signature Cocktails menu were
RED SANGRIA P290 - Merlotwine, brandy, orange, lemon, apple with soda.
WHITE SANGRIA P290 - Chardonnay, lemon, mint leaves, strawberries with soda.
PINA COLADA P250 - White rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream.
FROZEN CILANTRO MOJITO P250 - White rum, lemon juice, mint leaves, Cilantro with soda.
STRAWBERRY PIMIENTA P260 - Gin, tonic water, muddled strawberry, black peppercorn, rosemary .

They will soon include yummy and crazy milkshakes on their menu.
 Perfect for the Summer :)

Flambeed fruits, ice cream, caramel sauce P165  When you flambeed something, you need to drench with a liquor, such as brandy, and ignite. In this case, I'm not sure what they did though but tasted like heaven, nonetheless.

Market Basket's version of cheesecake

This TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE priced at P165 per slice is one of their bestsellers, too.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will love this layers of Oreo biscuit crust, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate Cheescake that will melt instantly in the mouth

Mashed cassava rolled with ube, drizzled with caramel P150

Okay, me and my kids' fave : SKILLET S'MORES
Torched marshmallows, melted chocolate dip, graham crackers P280
We tried torching our marshmallows at home but failed. So I'll bring them here instead.
I love this dessert because I think they've used unsweetened melted chocolate here.
Not too sweet. 

I must say, Market Basket's dishes are quite divine. The place is all about comfort and family, neighborhood-y, casual place, and yet it has a definite upscale feel to it.

Market Basket is part of the Chef’s Quarter Group, one of the most successful restaurant groups in the country. Owned by another Le Soufflé alum Larry Cortez, the Chef’s Quarter Group also boasts of restaurants such as Chef’s Quarter, Old Vine, Uncle Cheffy, Chef’s Barrel, and Kusé.

Here are the chefs behind the sumptuous meals we had that day : the pretty and cheerful CHEF JINELLE JUSON and CHEF ARNEL ARJONA, plus their awesome team. I just cannot stand how slim she is knowing she's a good chef and all. 
Life's not fair! 
I'll just eat my blues away, haha!

Market Basket Alabang
Modern Dampa - Fresh Seafood everyday ❤️
Tel. # 843-3230
Cell # 09177125787

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