I really don’t know how they do it, selling great food at an affordable price. And if you are a local of Zamboanga City, you know what I mean when I mention the name Barcode.
Barcode has two branches: one is along Rizal Street, and the other one is at Paseo Del Mar, which is their first branch. The one in Rizal St. is a spacious two-floor building. The restaurant only serves local Filipino dishes.
Before I left the city, I invited my mom and my sister for some girl bonding. I suggested we try Barcode, and we opted to go the Paseo Del Mar branch. After we visited the Fort Pilar Shrine, we made a short walk going Paseo. We arrived early so there were only a couple of customers inside, which was such a relief because Barcode is always jam-packed with people. But regardless of how many people they are serving, the customers wouldn’t have to wait long before their orders arrive.
What we ordered: Sizzling Beef Kulma (Culma), beef cooked in coconut curry, peanut butter and sometimes with tomato sauce. I haven’t tried ordering beef kulma, even in other restaurant. This local cuisine is my sister’s (and that’s according to her, mind you) specialty. So I really don’t have any comparison except her version of beef kulma. She was the one who recommended this. Barcode’s version is way better than hers (do not tell her I told you that, hahaha!).
Their version is the spicy, savory one with the right hint of sweetness. The beef was so tender, too. A serving is good for 3 persons, 2 if your companion is a hearty eater. The price?
128 pesos, baby! My wallet was happy with the price, lol.
The other dish we ordered was a Family Platter.
I’m not much of a photographer, although my selfie skills are beyond exceptional, hahaha! What I really liked about their platters is you have four different kind of dips to choose from!
Have you ever wondered why they call an eggplant an EGGPLANT? I mean it is a plant, but where is the egg? Anyway, let me digress.
Both my mom and my sister ordered a scoop of plain rice, and their drinks. I opted not to eat rice and just have a bottle of water since I’m on a ‘diet daw.’ When I received our bill, I did a double-take, not sure if the price was right. I mean, 532 pesos? I thought our bill would be more than 500 pesos to be honest. But there you go, folks.
A few days later, I was craving for some beef. So, again, I invited my mom and my sister to go out and have our dinner at Barcode. And this time I ordered their Sizzling Bulalo Steak.
Again, forgive my photograph skills. Okay, I will be honest. I will be biased with this one. I will say it is the best dish I have ever tasted in Barcode (and it really is!) since it’s my favorite. ‘Nuff said. The beef falls off the bone, I swear I kid you not.
And we also ordered this:
Let me show you the one the with the camera flash turned on:
Better? Anyway, it’s their Seafood Platter, which I really enjoyed much. And there’s Kilawin in the middle! And, oh, oh! The four dips are present! (Yeah, it’s my cheap thrill, lol.)
Sigh! Another satisfied tummy for Maxine.
When I paid our bill, I decided to proceed to their counter and asked ate who was in-charged there if I could take a picture of their menu posted on the wall behind her.
My boyfriend’s fave is their beef in spicy black soup with burnt coconut, Tiula Itum (sometimes spelled as Tiyula Itum).
Aaaand… they have free wifi!
If you, your family or barkada decided to go on a vacation in Zamboanga and is kind of on a tight budget but wanted to eat delicious but affordable meals, Barcode is for you. I would also recommend the one in Paseo del Mar since it also offers a nice and scenic view of the sea.
Barcode is located at Paseo del Mar near Fort Pilar Shrine (Valderoza Street) and their second branch is at Rizal Street (nearest landmarks, I guess, would be Zamboanga City Hall and Pettit Barracks).