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Fresh, lightly spiced and very juicy and that’s how the Giant Butterfly Squid tastes from Above Sea Level stand alone restaurant in Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, QC.  Yummy!!!

Above Sea level officially opened their stand alone resto bar with a BlogCon with Manila’s top Social Media representatives, Vloggers to help share and promote the gargantuan gastronomic experience of the Giant Butterfly Squid.  Polsan Pangindian, President and CEO of Above Sea Level assures everyone that we won’t be able to find this kind of Giant Butterfly Squid anywhere but  from official Above Sea Level outlets and franchisees only.  “Others are just mere copycats!  We maintain the same quality of squid that we sell to all our customers, whether it’s a company-owned store or from any of our franchise always fresh, clean and sumptuously satisfying.  We are now at 70 outlets and growing.  Even our own company is having a hard time looking for new locations – getting in competition with our own franchisees – a good problem indeed!”

It was mid-afternoon, had  heavy brunch but things got crazy when the restaurant started filling up, the aroma of the Giant Butterfly Squid being fried was simply divine!  We were even requested to go inside their kitchen to take photos and videos, I admit I almost drooled, hahahahaha. After a couple of shots, we went back to our seats, excited and hungry.  My daughter Jazmine and my nephew Reign didn’t really eat much during brunch anticipating the Giant Butterfly Squid and they were crazy-hungry.  A few minutes more and the servers brought in the very beautiful and tasty Giant Butterfly Squid!  Dreamy….it was super bronzed, looked crunchy and yes super big!!! It was mounted on a square pedestal as it was brought out to the guests and a thought bubble popped!  “Release the Kraken!”   

It was a NO FAIL!!! We were given paper plates with about half a cup of orange-colored rice, plastic gloves and a plastic knife.  To complete the experience you have to eat the giant squid  with your hands and brilliantly thought of the gloves to avoid the mess.  The knife, to cut off the pieces of squid off from the stick that is standing on the wooden pedestal.  We even asked for spiced vinegar to dip the squid in.  Each Giant Butterfly Squid actually looked like a beautiful centerpiece that adorned each table when it was all served.  Very tempting and appealing, “itsura at amoy pa lang pwede ka nang sumubo ng kanin,” and so we planned our attack!  Jazmine started slicing it up into a bite-size strip, went straight to her mouth, yummmy!!  “Mom masarap, it’s not matigas or parang goma like other pusit we’ve eaten, its very juicy and it has a bit of crunch on the outside because of the breading.”  I tore a piece, dipped it in the vinegar and put it inside my mouth. “Ang Sarap!”  Basic and simple spices, made the squid taste just right.  It had a little breading just to achieve the look and the crunch when you sink your teeth in it. “Malinamnam” or juicy, my daughter was right, it was cooked just right, it was soft and tender and not rubbery like most squid in other restaurants because they may have been overcooked.  We devoured the whole Kraken!  Burrrrrpppp!  But wait, apparently there’s more.  The waiters were serving Squid Fries next, it looked like a heap of very crunchy tentacles.  Fight!!! Another delicious best-seller from Above Sea Level.  While most of their servings are actually deep fried, Polsen discounts that its still healthier than pork or beef.  At that point, who really cares right?! And so we dipped another tentacle in the vinegar and chomped away!!  “Masarap siguro kung may beer na kasabay”, good news to all they do served beer and some other alcoholic beverages at Above Sea Level stand alone resto and they even have an acoustic band playing everyday.  I saw that the Paella was the next one being served, sad to say it didn’t reach the area where we were seated and we had to go and meet with some aunts and uncles.  I’ll tell you the Paella story the next time i get to visit Above Sea Level.


By 2019, Above Sea Level will expand to the Visayas and Mindanao regions where Polsan envisions a warm welcome by the locals as well as the local tourists and franchisees looking for affordable, mouth-watering and filling seafood. Who doesn’t love squid right?  Who doesn’t love Above Sea Level’s Giant Butterfly Squid?  But looking at the economy and longevity of the business, Polsan is looking at developing new product offerings to their growing market and followers.  A Business Management graduate, Polsan started as a simple employee who did well in his career and was lucky to be granted early retirement.  Still in his 30’s and proudly the Giant Butterfly Squid Kingpin!  His secret?  Foresight, Diligence, Patience and Strategy.  Envision what you want, create your strategy, diligently carry out the strategy and patiently wait for the results.

I encourage you to go and visit anyone of their branches nearest your location for a taste of the sumptuous Giant Butterfly Squid!  The Maginhawa outlets usually open at 4:00pm or call 09164235001 for more information. 


See the list of their branches below:

-Above Sea Level Main Branch (120 Maginhawa St, UP Village)
– Streat Maginhawa Food Park (91 Maginhawa St Up Village) 
– The Yard Underground Pasig (Oranbo Pasig)
– The Yard StreetFood Cinema (Timog QC, Infront of Laffline)
– Streat: Maginhawa Food Park (Maginhawa St. UP Village)
– Container Turf (Bf Homes Aguirre ave)
– Devourph (E. Rodriguez QC)
– Terminal 8 Food Park & Lifestyle Hub (Marikina)
– Borderline Food Park (Kalentong)
– Yvan Navy Hub (Barangka Drive Mandaluyong)
– Millenial Food Park (Brgy Villamor Pasay)
-Pioneer Street Market (Mandaluyong) 
– Fusebox Lifestyle Complex (Near Ust)
– Caruncho Ave Pasig (Beside Fariñas Empanada & KFC)
– District 89 (Banawe Qc) 
– Salo Park (Nakpil Malate)

-Citywalk Avenue (Beside Tsu)

– Gourmet Food Park – Baliuag, Bulacan PH

– Yatu-Taste the WORLD Food Hall (Dolores San Fernando Pampanga)

– Kalye 86 Food Market (KM86 Beside Gerry’s Grill)

– The Bataan Food Park (Capitol Drive Balanga City)

– 2/F, LU Tower Center

-Cholos Gastro Pub (Kisad Rd near Ina Mansion)

– Terraces Food Park

– Taytay, Rizal / Near NCBA, Beside Sea Oil)

– Near Puregold and Rusi

– Cabuyao Laguna (Centennial Plaza Brgy San Isidro Putol St.)

– Sunset Food Park

– South StrEat Gourmand Container Park (Nuvali,Tagaytay Rd)

– Inbox Food Hub (Beside South Supermarket Aguinaldo Highway)

– Located at Trias Town Center

– 3:16 Food & Chill Out Park (Diversion, Batangas)


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Sue Jose
A mom of two and a granny to one. I love the outdoors, good movies, watching advertisements, cooking, designing, writing...

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