A calm river is an irresistible place to many. In its enchanting serenity, one finds peace of mind and a sanctuary to regain inner strength.
Hal Boyle once said, “What makes a river so restful to people is it doesn’t have any doubt—it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.”
But aside from all the metaphors related to a river that feed the soul and replenish lost energy, one can also indulge in an abundant feast that makes the tummy happy. Eating on a scenic river is an idea which sparked the business of Sungayan Grill Floating Restaurant. Opened in 2013, the restaurant embarked on its maiden cruise along the Balingasay River and has become the go-to seafood diner in Bolinao, Pangasinan since then.
How to get there
Once you are in Bolinao, never forget to give this place a try. Before reaching the town proper, turn left on the street located before Carmak. Stay alert and read the signage on either side of the road, which also leads to Patar White Sand Beach, the most frequented spot in the small town.
Entrance to the restaurant is situated a few meters before the bridge over the river.
The pathway made of bamboo will make you appreciate the picturesque view bordering the water.
What to expect
Staying idle on the riverside is the main dining area which is a floating restaurant in itself, but four wooden structures tied to plastic drums that make them float are being launched to the river. Pulled by boats during a cruise, they can accommodate varying numbers of people.
|Credits to CommAsia|
Their menu offers various seafood choices, but their main hit is sungayan or unicorn fish; thus, the restaurant. Study the picture and you’ll know exactly the reason behind the fish’s name. Its natural salty taste is all over, and its meaty goodness is similar to that of hito or catfish
Credits to CommAsia
A platter good for three to four contains either grilled sungayan, or bangus (milkfish), crabs, shrimp, grilled liempo, seaweeds, and mangoes with onions and tomatoes. Just add P1,000 for the river cruise and your eyes will feast on the majestic site filled with all things green while devouring your sumptuous lunch.
A big group, on the other hand, can enjoy an assisted buffet at P250 per person for grilled bangus as main dish, or P300 for sungayan. Both prices are inclusive of river cruise.
The activity lasts for about an hour, which is enough time to enjoy your meal and take in all the wonders of nature transpiring around you. Don’t forget though to document the experience by pressing the shutter or recording the whole scene. Sure, you can enjoy your seafood anywhere else, but doing that while cruising on the river makes much of a difference.
Sungayan Grill Floating Restaurant is located in Balingasay, Bolinao, Pangasinan. For reservations, contact Maan Ria Celeste at 0912-3534433.
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