Fisher Supermarket at the newly opened Fisher Mall is a dream come true for Roberto “Bobby” N. del Rosario of Irma Deep-sea Fishing Inc.
Because of it, he has fulfilled his desire to let Filipino consumers enjoy quality products without having to shell out so much, especially fish caught fresh from the sea by about a hundred Irma boats.
According to Bobby’s son, Roberto Alfonso “Obby” del Rosario (president of Fisherfoods Corp., owner and operator of Fisher Supermarket), they sell fish only at the top-tier category and have the privilege of employing “classifiers” (experts in grading fish) who keep an eye not just on the Irma catch but the other boats as well, and purchase the seafood that fits the requirements at Fisher.
“We’d rather be out of stock than sell something that’s inferior in quality,” Obby said, adding that his dad “doesn’t export fish. He doesn’t freeze his catch but insists on selling locally. This, he feels, is how he is best able to contribute to the country. The supermarket is another opportunity for him to provide jobs and to expand laterally from fishing.”
Working on their strength, the Del Rosarios made it a point to highlight the supermarket’s fish section.
A bit of everything
It feels like walking through “Fish-neyland.” For cooks and finicky fish eaters, this is the happiest place on earth! There is a bit of everything you can think of, depending on the day’s catch—from tamban, kitang, talakitok, dorado, pampano, twakang, bisugo, silver squid, cuttlefish, to a vast mix of shellfish and freshwater fish.
Inside a 40-meter aquarium, there’s live suahe, dory and king fish.
The image is quite captivating. Looking back at you are crystal-clear eyes of fish. They smell fresh, are firm to the touch, with super-red gills.
What I like most about it is the area is spacious, with two-meter-wide aisles. The merchandise display is full but neatly laid out, maintaining a clean look throughout.
The supermarket is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. The first time I went there early in the morning, there was already a line at 7:15! People were literally hoarding fish.
Not to worry, though. Obby said there’s no need to panic as the supply comes in the whole day. The seafood is delivered as classifiers/buyers purchase them as soon as the boats dock.
Beef, pork, and chicken meat are delivered whole—cut and butchered in-house for quality control. Fisher Supermarket has five suppliers whose meats go through a rigid process of inspection.
“We either accept or reject them on the spot,” said Obby.
The imported section is quite impressive, too, because it carries many hard-to-find ingredients. My friends went wild when they spotted stuff they used to buy abroad, such as seasoning
packs for Hainanese chicken, Bah Kuh Teh, among others.
There is likewise a wide selection of local and imported fruits and vegetables. Even the varieties of rice on display are extensive.
A special feature in the supermarket is the paluto station—where the food you buy can be cooked before your eyes. Obby believes that after shopping, it’s always nice to have something to bring home that’s ready to eat.
The bestsellers: steamed lapu-lapu Chinese-style; sweet and sour king fish; black tilapia with black beans and tofu; and sweet chili cuttlefish.
You can also order food for takeout, all at reasonable prices, said Obby.
When we were done shopping, my friends Joseph Tiu, Melody Chung, Ellen Ong and I had lunch at Morita, a restaurant also owned by the Del Rosarios, who were all there to meet us: Bobby, his wife Moleen, and his sons Paul, Ray, Obby and Simon (the gracious nine-year-old boy who’s a common friend of all our sons).
I loved the Crispy Chicken as well as the Celebration Noodles—stewed and cured, with mushrooms and all sorts of meat. Real tasty!
Oh, the sashimi was good, too. Unfortunately we were chatting away more than we were eating. I promise to go back soon and taste more of the food prepared by chef Tom Yamazaki.
The restaurant is Bobby’s tribute to Tomiya Morita, a Japanese boat broker born and raised in Nagasaki who valued honesty, integrity, hard work and loyalty—values that Bobby also holds dear.
At Morita, Bobby’s love of Japanese food and music (bands play there at night) come together.
Fisher Supermarket and Morita Restaurant are at 325 Quezon Ave., Quezon City
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