By Danielle Macadangdang
Maginhawa Street is home to many unique and themed restaurants that are hit to Filipinos with adventurous palate. One of the popular establishments on the food street that offer something new to the dining public is Above Sea Level.
Above Sea Level opened on Maginhawa Street in January last year. It offers a selection of seafood dishes while giving guests the ship-on-the-sea vibes with its waves-decorated walls, boat railings, and lifebuoys.
“The name itself, Above Sea Level is like taking seafood into the next level. We did this (theme) to make it look like you’re on a ship, also for the presentation of the sea food to be unique—hence you’re literally above sea level,” Above Sea Level chief executive officer Polsan Pangidian told Manila Standard.
But more than its interiors reminiscent of the sea, the food shack’s claim to fame is the Giant Butterfly Squid, first offered in its branch at The Yard food park in Pasig City. The squid, which is crunchy on outside and tender and juicy on the inside, is presented in such a way that it looks like a “monster” as it is skewered in upright position.
Mark Vidal, manager of Above Sea Level, shared how the owners came up with innovative ways to serve their dishes, particularly the Giant Squid.
“Today, in the [competitive] food industry, your presentation should be very unique. You will not get your consumer’s attention if you offer them something common,” said Pangidian.
He added, “[With] Above Sea Level, [the Giant Butterfly Squid] is very ‘instagrammable.’ Our selection is delicious, the squid is tender, and it is very entertaining to eat.”
Above Sea Level takes advantage of Filipinos love of seafood as its dishes serve as reminder of fond childhood merienda moments eating calamares and other Pinoy street food.
Aside from the famous Giant Butterfly Squid, the food shack also offers Firecracker Shrimp, Bacon-wrapped Shrimp, Squid Overload, and Seafood Festival, the latter is recommended by Pangidian himself. The Seafood Festival is a complete selection of seafood treat that a family can enjoy.
From their first kiosk at The Yard, Above Sea Level is now offering franchise to those who want to bring their food to the next level. In just one year, the restaurant already has several branches in Luzon, with plans on expanding in Visayas and Mindanao.
For franchising inquiries, visit its office at 120 Maginhawa St., Quezon City or its Facebook page Above Sea Level PH.
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