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Cold Storage Unveils New Homegrown Seafood Line, LOKAL

Celebrity chef Tatung Sarthou made a meal out of Lokal products that won’t be forgotten any time soon

No one at our table could believe we were eating frozen seafood. Everything, from the first course to dessert, was flavorful, nicely plump, and still with that subtle sweetness you usually only get from fresh seafood. And that’s exactly the point of Cold Storage, a name synonymous with excellence in the seafood industry, when they proudly unveiled their new line of products aptly called LOKAL.

LOKAL carries a range of locally-caught, world class seafood like tilapia fillet, Vannamei white shrimp, and yellowfin tuna sourced from Philippine waters and available in nifty, frozen packs. Hygienic, convenient and with great quality, all you need to do is open and cook.

According to Cold Storage President Marco Qua, this is a significant step towards bringing premium-quality, locally-sourced seafood to more Filipino homes.

Cold Storage owners Marco and Morris Qua with Chef Tatung Sarthou | Cold Storage

"The pandemic halted some of our international operations, forcing us to rely solely on the local market. It demonstrated the strength of the local market in delivering premium seafood. But it also inspired us to do more than just import the best seafood from around the world,” Marco shared. “Our aim is to make local seafood more accessible and offer the best quality, which is what 'export quality' truly means."

The temporary disruptions in international exports because of the pandemic prompted the company to shift their focus to the thriving local market, showcasing the potential and resilience of homegrown seafood.

He adds, "We believe that LOKAL aligns perfectly with our vision of making seafood accessible to everyone. Filipinos deserve the opportunity to enjoy export-quality seafood from our very own waters, and LOKAL brings this vision to life."

One of the remarkable features of LOKAL is its year-round availability. Unlike traditional wet markets where seafood supply fluctuates with seasonal catches, Cold Storage's warehouses in key areas in the Philippines ensure that LOKAL products remain consistently accessible without compromising on quality or price stability.

LOKAL's offerings include a wide range of the best locally sourced seafood such as bangus, tilapia, blue marlin, tanguigue, galunggong, and more. The lineup also features unique and premium local seafood like pompano, white shrimp, locally grown Chinese scallops, crablets, lapu-lapu, tuna belly, and tuna panga (collar/jowl). All these products are meticulously sourced from Cold Storage's buying stations in Bacolod, Cebu, and even Metro Manila, to ensure a direct and reliable supply chain.

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LOKAL was launched last October  at Lore Manila where celebrity chef and best selling author Myke ‘Tatung’ Sarthou shared his grandmother’s recipe for Guinataang Pompano through a live cooking demo. A four-course dinner followed with a menu that highlights LOKAL’s best. 

Chef Tatung's live cooking demo | Cold Storage

The first course was Tuna Ceviche using yellowfin tuna from Mindanao. The chunks of tender and flavorful tuna were mixed with slivers of red radish, sweet pomelo pulp, and potent sukang tuba. The tuna maintained its pleasant texture and absorbed all the flavors despite being frozen.

Tuna Ceviche | Cold Storage

Up next was Shrimp with Latik, which highlighted huge white shrimp from Bacolod, which Chef Tatung and his team fermented with mustard leaves before stewing it in shrimp-infused toasted coconut curds. Everyone at the table loved the dish, harping on the previously-frozen white shrimp’s gorgeous texture and natural flavor. The dish also showed the Lore team’s deft approach to seafood—no shrimp was overcooked that night and we were all happy because of it. 

Shrimp with Latik | Cold Storage

For the main dish, we were served generous pieces of tilapia from Cagayan Province. It came with béarnaise sauce laced with tinapa (smoked fish) and glorious kalkag rice with a rich seafood flavor. While I would’ve been happy with the rice alone, it went well with the flaky-yet-moist tilapia and creamy béarnaise.

Tilapia with Béarnaise Sauce | Cold Storage

The meal ended with Inutak, a Lore classic. But for the LOKAL launch, they added a unique twist. They topped this Taguig classic kakanin, which is a combination of the insanely smooth white and ube rice, with brûlée's salted egg creme and paired it with crumbled cookies (with subtle bitter undertones) and crispy fried anchovies. The result was an incredibly unique dessert experience that involves shock, intrigue, discovery, and delight (in that order). 

Inutak | Cold Storage

You can buy LOKAL products from Cold Storage, and the product line will soon be available in major supermarkets in Metro Manila. 

Cold Storage has branches at 216 Wilson Street, San Juan City and 764 Banawe Street, Quezon City. For the latest updates and seafood information, be sure to follow @ColdStoragePH on Facebook and Instagram.