Monday, May 20, 2013

Gastronomic Cebu City

Usually, when Manilenyo hears about Cebu, the instant notion will be beaches, white sand, guitars, mangoes and lechon. While on google, when i searched for nightlife in Cebu, nightclubs, gogo girls filled the page. Hmm?!

Both are probably correct BUT Cebu City has more to offer than that. Cebu City is a foodie's haven, as in! Lechon here, seafood there, bbq anywhere and anything and everything in one place! The best thing is that the prices are really affordable!

Our first night. Since our flight was delayed from the ETD of 330pm MNL-CEB via PAL up to 430pm then was later moved again to 545pm and officially departed at 6pm, it was really tiring to wait. Arrived Cebu at 7pm and we went directly to our hotel, Quest Hotel. Its very nice and very near Ayala Mall, the pool is nicely landscaped and they have a pool bar. After putting all our luggages at our room, we immediately went to Ayala mall to have a dinner. So many choices to choose from but i chose a resto that is originally from Cebu so we went to Sunburst, an original Cebu fried chicken.We had chicken skin as our appetizer with matching SMB pale. The chicken is fairly common but delicious as well for the affordable price.
After a few hours, we were invited by the groom-to-be to Handuraw, a local pizza joint with a twist. Mark Sy, the groom-to-be, prepared a surprise pre wedding party for his fiance. Handuraw is cool, they serve Beer Below Zero Red Horse and matched with a delicious pizza selection was just awesome plus with a cool rock and roll band to cap it off!

On our 2nd day, we woke up almost lunch time already. went straight to the nearest CNT lechon restaurant which is just across the street inside Ayala Mall. We are lucky to be there 15mins earlier than 12nn because while eating, the queue was suddenly long and in a few hours, their Lechon stock is over. We also ate a local liempo but we forgot the name but its delicious also.
After eating we just shopped at Ayala Mall, the usual pinoy tradition, looking for pasalubong. Day 2 was long and tiring but I can never be so excited with our next gastronomic experience on our dinner. We rode a taxi to the famous AA BBQ. Wow, this was my first time there and they have a wide selection of seafoods and meats for BBQ or grilling! Wow!



Even if the place is not air-conditioned, the restaurant is still breezy.The place also serves beers in Grande and 330ml. The night is not yet over because our college friend from Cebu just called us and wanted to meet us for dessert so we went back to our hotel, took shower and by 10pm, our good friend Rere King picked us up and brought us to really cool and nice place for dating, Rica's Cafe. My wife really loved the big dinner chairs, she said she feels like in Alice in Wonderland!

Scampi Pizza Thin Crust
The place is really beautiful, unique and cozy. The best thing is they serve good food as well, since we just came from a dinner, we just ate snacks and desserts. The scampi pizza is really to die for, its perfectly thin crust melts with the cheese. Yummy!
College friends


The Bar
After the sumptuous snack with Rere and Wesley. Rere invited us again for his daughter's small birthday party at their home the following day. And as good friends, we can't decline but to say yes!

On our 3rd day. We were picked up again by Rere and drove us back to his house. His parents were awesomely humble, we also got to meet his beauty queen wife, Fiona. Again, this Cebu trip is really about eating, he later on introduced us to another Cebu lechon brand known as Alejo's lechon, he boasted that this is the favorite lechon of the now Mayor Erap. In my opinion, this lechon is by far the best lechon in cebu. walang sinabi yung CNT,Zubuchon and others claiming to be the best.

After a quickie brunch, we headed back to our hotel to dress up for the wedding of our kumpare, Mark Terrence Sy. After the wedding, Rere and Fiona kept on pampering our stay in Cebu and brought us to Tinderbox, a deli restaurant similar to Manila's Santis while waiting for the reception time. The salpicao is so "tinder", succulent and delicious.


We also tried a few imported beers like John Smith, Stella Artois and Guinness, however, i think their beer market is not good compared to their wines because the cans that we had was already not fresh or contaminated with the tin can (old stock). But the place is realy nice and they really have a huge variety of wines. By 7pm, we are now headed to the reception, White Gold House, a restaurant owned by the Gaisanos. The bride's mother side is a Gaisano, so they blocked the entire ballroom for them. We were really full, they served Chinese food lauriat so its really overwhelming already.
Fourth and last day, Rere and Fiona still insisted to be the host and hostess for our lunch and they brought us to another Cebu favorite, Kuya J restaurant. We had scallops, liempo, crispy kangkong and fruit shakes...

To top it all off, the very hospitable and accommodating couple Rere and Fiona King even gave us a pasalubong for our family. Another homegrown Cebu lechon brand, Rico's! This lechon is also delicious and i heard the spicy variant of the lechon is a must try, ours is just the standard since the kids will be eating the pasalubong as well. At least, i have another reason to return to Cebu, to try Rico's Spicy Lechon!
I really have to thank Mark Terrence and Catherine Sy. This gastronomic Cebu experience won't happen if you did not get married. Congratulations again! Mr. Richard and Fiona King, thank you so much for the time, the food and the chauffeur. Our stay in Cebu couldn't be better without you.

Indeed, Cebu City is gastronomic for tourist and locals alike! Cheers

References:
Quest Hotel
Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines
t: +63 32 4025999
f: +63 32 4025986
e: CebuInfo@Quest-Hotels.Com
CnT Lechon
Food Choices, Ayala Mall Cebu

AA BBQ
Salinas Drive. Cebu City

Handuraw Pizza Gorodo
Handuraw Gorordo Branch is along Gorordo Avenue, a main thoroughfare in Cebu City (between University of the Philippines-Cebu Campus and Harold's Hotel) and is easily accessible via Jeepney or Taxi.
Tel #032-412-2230 or #032-238-6462




Tinderbox
Phone:
(032)234-1681 to 85, (032)416-13

Sunburst Chicken Ayala Center Cebu
Kuya J
Alejos Lechon
Rico's Lechon