- Dampa Seafood Grill, a popular Filipino restaurant in Deira, closed temporarily due to a fire incident early Tuesday morning.
- The cause of the fire is under investigation and no further comment has been provided by the restaurant.
- Known for its fresh seafood offerings and unique dining experience involving customers picking their catch from a live tank, Dampa Seafood Grill has gained a loyal following among both Filipinos and expatriates in the UAE.
- The restaurant also stands out for its vibrant atmosphere and entertaining waitstaff, having won the title of a Favourite Local Gem at the Expo Eats Awards last year.
August 15, 2023, Deira – Dampa Seafood Grill, a Filipino restaurant greatly revered by the locals in Deira and the expats in the UAE, has been forced into temporary closure due to a devastating fire.
Fire Incident and Investigation
The fire reportedly broke out in the early hours of Tuesday, between 4am and 5am. On-site workers were the first to report the incident. Both local police and the Dubai Civil Defence have been informed, and are yet to provide further details. The exact cause of the fire is currently under investigation, with no additional comments from the restaurant until findings are confirmed.
About Dampa Seafood Grill
This Filipino-run establishment, nestled at the base of the Centurion Star Tower in Port Saeed, is distinguished for its fresh seafood offerings, which range from prawns and mussels to crabs. All of these are usually complimented with white Jasmine rice and served directly on the table for a unique, hands-on dining experience.
An offshoot of the original in Abu Dhabi, the Dampa Seafood Grill introduced the traditional Filipino seafood dining concept of “dampa” to the UAE. This involves patrons hand-picking their preferred seafood from a fresh catch or occasionally, a live tank, and requesting the restaurant staff to cook it as per their preference, whether grilled, steamed, or fried.
The Unique Following of Dampa Seafood Grill
The eatery quickly amassed a dedicated following, not only among Filipinos but also among expatriates from various other nations residing in the UAE. Patrons often return for the restaurant’s unique sauce. Competing Filipino eateries offering similar experiences include The Catch Seafoods in Dubai, Off The Hook across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and Spice Grill located in Sharjah.
More Than Just Food
Dampa Seafood Grill is not just famed for its delectable cuisine. It also garners much affection for its vibrant atmosphere and entertaining dancing waitstaff. In recognition of its distinctive appeal, the restaurant was bestowed the title of a Favourite Local Gem at the Expo Eats Awards last year 2022.
I’m feeling quite saddened today as I think about the recent fire incident as it’s always been a favorite spot among many expats (not just Pinoys) in Dubai especially with their experience of a boodle fight feast. This incident is undoubtedly a setback, but I’m confident that Dampa will overcome it and come back even stronger. Let’s show our support for this local gem during this difficult time.