For Proper Oysters, Make a Beeline for These Spots in Manila
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In Search of Proper Oysters? Make a Beeline for These Spots in the Metro

When it comes to oysters, the usual sentiments seem to veer to extremes, from love to hate. Like its scallop, mussel, and clam cousins, the oyster is a bivalve and has a soft, delicate body within its hard shell. Oysters are an acquired taste and should, for lack of a better term, taste like the ocean: not stinky or fishy, but briny and sometimes coppery.

Oysters can be had in many ways, from plain raw with a squeeze of lemon (and hot sauce) to grilled, deep fried like tempura, or baked and dressed up with a variety of toppings. If you love oysters, you'll be glad to know that a handful of restaurants in Metro Manila serve, if not specialize, in oysters. Here are some you should check out!

2nd Street Oysters

If you've yet to try 2nd Street Oysters, this oyster bar promises that its oysters are a treat you will repeat. With locations in Quezon City, Makati, Las Piñas, and Mandaluyong, 2nd Street Oysters will surely be a delight for oyster lovers and those who are just starting to dip their toes in the wonderful world of oysters. The establishment specialises in baked oysters (regular or premium) and local raw, steamed, and fried oysters, with items like Takoyaki Oyster, Sisig Oyster, and Salted Egg. It also offers delectable oysters from France, Hokkaido, Hyogo, and Ireland, as well as filling rice bowls.

Locations: Multiple

Wantusawa

Here's another oyster bar for those in and near Makati City. Wantusawa, which roughly translates to "to your heart’s content," will have you wishing you could devour oysters as much as you're able. But contrary to its name, Wantusawa doesn't offer all-you-can-eat oysters. Nevertheless, it's a serious contender for having some of the best oysters in the metro. Its oysters, whether fresh, baked, grilled, or fried, are only P50 apiece. It also has ingenious takes on the mollusk, with items like oyster ceviche, oyster chowder, baked oysters over rice, oyster bao, and more. It also has various cold and hot appetizers to accompany your meal, such as crispy saltwater tawilis (P180), shishamo "smelt fish" (P120-P200), and tuna tataki salad (P240), as well as mains like grilled prawn laksa and spicy scallop and crab fat yaki udon, among others.

Wantusawa also has a location in El Nido, Palawan.

Location: Wantusawa, 5811 Jacobo Street, Makati City

Via Mare

Who hasn't heard of the institution that is Via Mare? Via Mare (Latin for "way of the sea") has been serving Filipinos delectable dishes that have grown to become favorites since 1975 and is considered a "pioneer in introducing the first authentic Filipino café." Dignitaries, heads of state, and international celebrities, among others, have also been served by Via Mare's catering division. For tried-and-true oyster dishes, head to Via Mare and sample baked specialties like the oyster Boursin, oyster parmesan, oyster Nagano, oyster Rockefeller, and the baked oyster platter, as well as raw oysters on the half shell.

Location: Multiple

Oista

Oista is probably the oyster bar you haven't heard of yet! Situated in San Juan, Oista is regarded for its various oyster dishes and a seafood menu that includes, among others, garlic cream mussels, baked scallops, and baked prawns. For your oyster fix, it offers deep- fried oysters, as well as raw or grilled oysters for only P50 apiece. You may also choose among dressed- up oysters like the spicy soy garlic and spicy butter, The Oista, and Green Goddess, which are also priced at P50 each. Shellfish bites such as the Oista! ala Mina and Oista! Ceviche isare priced at P250 for three pieces.

Location: Oista, 186 N Averilla Street, San Juan City

Salt and Ice Bar

Salt and Ice specializes in oysters and craft cocktails, so if you love both, make a beeline for the bar pronto! Its fresh oysters are priced at P55 apiece, while other oyster items cost about P60-P70 each, depending on the variant that you choose. It also has oyster sisig on offer, priced at P680. Other bites and dishes you can try are truffle parmesan fries, four-cheese pizza, sea urchin pasta, Singaporean chili prawns, and lobster two ways. View its menu here.

Location: Salt and Ice Bar, Uptown Parade, Uptown BGC, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City and Molito Lifestyle Center, Madrigal Avenue, corner Commerce Ave, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City

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