Dubai: Filipino expats still in shock after fire destroys their ‘favourite restaurant’

The restaurant was popular among expats ever since it opened in March 2015


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Wed 16 Aug 2023, 1:42 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Aug 2023, 10:19 PM

Filipino expatriates love food and they love to gather not only to satisfy their hunger but also to bond together. So, when they heard the news of a popular restaurant heavily damaged by fire, it gutted their hearts.

As reported by Khaleej Times on Tuesday, a fire broke out at Dampa Seafood Grill in Deira, one of the favourite restaurants not only by Filipinos but other expats as well as a go-to place for celebrations.

Dismay and disbelief were the initial reactions by readers as they posted their comments on KT Facebook. Aliya wrote a shocked emoji and captioned it: “What!😱 Oh no… my fav restaurant!”

It was also very sad news for a regular customer like Soraya who said: “Oh! I was planning to visit there on Saturday.”

Filipina Christine Tuvera, meanwhile, tagged her mother, Carmelita, to share the sad news and said: “Mama, your favourite restaurant…”

Local gem

Dampa is a Tagalog word which also means bahay-kubo or hut in English. It is a type of stilt house indigenous to the Philippines. The word itself brings nostalgia to Filipinos abroad.

Dampa Seafood Grill in Deira clicked among Filipinos ever since it opened in March 2015 because of its “great ambiance, savoury food and friendly service,” as noted by Filipino inluencer Ion Gonzaga.

Dampa is known for its seafood, including prawns, crabs, mussels, and more mixed in served in special sauce and aesthetically “dumped” on the table. The food is meant for sharing and diners eat with their own hands.

“For a seafood lover, such as myself, this place is heaven. Never have I ever seen a table being used as your plate. Well, yeah, this place does that. This place serves great Filipino food, and it literally blew my mind,” a regular customer commented on Google reviews.

Dampa, which has a second branch in Abu Dhabi, is definitely considered a local gem. It earned Favourite Local Gem accolade at the Expo Eats Awards.

No official report has yet been released to determine the cause of the fire at Centurion Star Tower that also affected other nearby Asian-themed restaurants. But customers are hoping that Dampa and the other restaurants will bounce back and serve their favourite meals again soon.


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