Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fishing Village Restaurant Opening In Butuan

While fastfood restaurants were sprouting up in Butuan's business center, a new type of dine-out is now being developed in an outskirt of the city and offers variety of freshwater fish foods instead of serving meat products, seafood and chicken barbeques.

Christopher Lindo, owner of the GML agri-ventures, said the idea of putting up an outskirt aqua-food restaurant is to provide alternative venue for a growing health-conscious people who turn away meat products in favor of fish and vegetables.

"It's just like a fishing village-type restaurant in the city's outskirt with a rural ambiance," said Lindo in an interview while feeding pellets to catfishes in his two grow-out earth ponds in Villakananga village at the city's southern side.

Hopefully, he said, the ongoing constructions of a fish farm, an Athens-inspired hotel and a restaurant building including a park in a 1.5 hectare Land can catch up with their target of a grand opening in mid-year. Unlike other restaurants and fastfood including eateries that usually serve meat products and chickens, Lindo said they would serve better varieties of freshwater fishes that are available in the village's ponds.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional office lists at least five fastfoods and 47 restaurants including eateries in Butuan, the Caraga's regional center, which has a total population of 298,378 (2007 census) distributed in 86 barangays, 36 of which are classified as urban.

Sources at the DTI said that many, not just health buffs, have been looking for a better fish variety that can be cooked anywhere. They said they are turned off by the smell of sea fish and the time-consuming method of removing bones from the fish. At present, the GML agri-ventures has already established two grow-out ponds while three more are still undergoing construction in the area dubbed as fishing-village.

"Our customers would enjoy fishing, we will provide them with hook and line fishing gears to fish in these ponds and their catch can be cooked in their own ways," Lindo said. He said a single warm-water pond measuring 100 sq. m. has a stocking capacity of 1,000 fingerlings. Aside from growing local tilapia, hito (African catfish) and bangus, the GML agri-ventures is also raising pangasius or iridescent shark catfish, a fast-growing freshwater fish.