When in Camotes: Pito’s Sutokil
If you are already in Camotes, it would be a terrible mistake to miss Pito’s Sutokil, a humble eatery at Santiago Bay. With only wooden tables and plastic chairs, a karaoke machine and a refrigerator, it clearly has no intentions of competing with your favorite fine dining restaurant elsewhere.
But if you want to sample fresh sea food that is home-cooked without spending a fortune, then this restaurant, if one could call it one, is worthy to be nominated in the Miele’s list anytime.
Our discovery of this eatery was by pure accident. After an exhausting tour around Camotes, we looked for a cheap place where we could have our dinner. We then stumbled upon Pito’s Sutokil which is located just a few meters away from Santiago Bay Garden and Resort.
We were lucky too because Manong Pito has hauled the day’s catch into his cooler just a few hours earlier. So every fish inside his red box were all textbook-grade fresh.
We chose from the batch and specified the style of cooking for each. A very minimal cooking fee is charged to cover the for the gas and the lamas (spices) used.
Sugba, Towa, Kilaw
Our Sutokil dinner at Pito’s Sutokil would have been my top pick last year if not for Kinabuchs in Puerto Princesa.
“Sutokil” by the way, is composed of three separate dishes – sugba (grill), towa (clear soup) and kilaw (fish ceviche). Each of these were cooked with just the right amount of flavors. The spices did not drown out the sweetness of the fresh fish.
I especially liked the towa because the iba (sour fruit), added a different kick to the usual fare. We all agreed that night that Manong Pito did not only master the craft of catching fish from the sea. He also knew how to cook absolutely mean dishes.
Breakfast and Lunch
Because our group became instant fans that night, we eventually ate our next two meals at Pito’s Sutokil.
I left Camotes with a dreary heart knowing that no restaurant in the city would come close to Manong Pito’s daily fresh catch and his style of cooking.
But I am already content somehow because on that particular weekend, I experienced the best of Camotes – the usual tourist destinations and of course, Pito’s Sutokil.
How to get there
Pitos Sutokil is very near Santiago Bay Garden and Resort. To reach Camotes, you can either take a ferry at Danao or a fast craft at Cebu City.
You can then flag a multicab to get around the island. Motorbikes may be rented for those who are not traveling in groups.