Something I believe I took for granted in all my years in Cebu, was their lechon. In all honesty, I didn't realize that Cebu Lechon tasted different from Lechon anywhere else, because my dad would have Cebu Lechon flown in from Cebu for family events (Trust me, it sounds "Sosyal" but its actually done quite often by Cebunanos). But then again, during my days in Cebu, Lechons were only really available as a whole.. And despite my declarations of love for the animal, there was no way I could finish an entire pig by myself, let alone afford it. Aside from that, there wasn't really a place back then where I could sit down and enjoy a kilo of Cebu Lechon at a reasonable rate.
According to my dad (Who spends most of his time in Cebu), two places have risen to the top of the Lechon heap in Cebu.
One of them has the distinction of having none other than World Famous Chef Anthony Bourdain declared it "The Best Pig Ever"..
This is the awesomeness of Zubuchon.
Since I was staying at Portofino Resort in Mactan, going to the City looking for places to eat is a bit harder than usual. Luckily for me, my dad knew about the Zubuchon branch that opened in Mactan, meaning it was technically around around a 15 minute drive away, at the lobby of the "Islands Stay Hotel", sister company of Islands Banca Cruise, so he took me, Rina, Baby Rain, my cousin Neil, My brother Ryan, and our friend Shem out for a late lunch.
Not really much to say about the interiors, except that it was clean with a minimalist feel to it. Truth be told, I was so excited to eat some lechon, we could have been in a sewer and I wouldn't have noticed (But thank god we weren't).
The week before we left, my cousin John told me he had just come from a short vacation in Cebu with his family. He asked me where I planned on going to for my blog. I hadn't worked out the itinerary just yet, but I had been dying to do a Zubuchon post for quite some time now. The first thing he said was that I had to try the Kamias Shake. I grew up with my cousin John, and look up to him till this very day, but we were talking about a restaurant that is known for serving the world's best roasted pig, and the dude is raving about their unorthodox fruit shake?
Well, apparently he was right.
I'm honestly not sure what a kamias fruit looks like, let alone how it tastes. But the darn fruit makes one bad ass shake that would give Shakira a run for her money.
I was honestly expecting it to be extremely sour, but it was not at all. it had a nice tinge of acid on it, but it had a smooth blend of sweetness to it that made it really refreshing, and a perfect palate cleanser to the savoriness of the lechon that was coming up.
It would go against everything I stand for if I went to a restaurant that had a rice dish called Five Pork Fried Rice (P190) and didn't order it, right? The five types of pork is the Zubuchon, Tampalen (no idea what that is, but I heard its a fatty part of the pig), Chicharon, lard, and Zubuchon drippings. The rice is then mixed with Bagoong (Shrimp Paste) and little bits of Green Mango.
This actually seemed more like a bagoong fried rice than it did a rice dish that boasts of an abundance of pork, because truthfully, apart from a few tiny pieces of chicharon, I couldn't find any meat in it.
The bagoong flavor, however wasn't overpowering, with the bits of green mango adding light sour flavor to the rice. Despite the false advertising, I actually really enjoyed it.
My dad proved that I didn't get my pickiness from him when he ordered the Ginataang Langka with Daing Lapu Lapu (P140). I didn't try it but he seemed to enjoy it.
(The first time I smelled "Daing" was when I was a kid coming back from the States. When my Yaya told me that the stinky fish she was cooking was calling "Daing", I said "Dying? I think that fish smells like its been dead for a long time now!" Yes, even back then, my Yaya said I was "Pilosopo" (Smartass).)
We all seemed interested in trying the Zubuchon Pancit (P190).. which was pretty amazing. The noodles with bathed in a thick sauce, and mixed in with a medley of meat, shrimp and mushrooms. And the best part about it.. It was topped off with crispy Lechon Skin!
The star of our late lunch feast was undoubtedly the Zubuchon (P490 for 1 Kilo & P260 for 1/2 Kilo). This pile of pig meat just reinforced my belief in Cebu Lechon being the best kind of lechon. The meat was packed with herby flavor that Cebu lechon is famous for. It was so delicious, I didn't even need any form of dipping sauce with it.. whether it's Mang Tomas, or Vinegar.
The crispy skin was roasted to a beautiful golden brown, and would let out a beautiful crunch with every bite..
.... And unto your plate or into the pre-packed batches per kilo, ready for taking with you on your trip back home!
Unfortunately my flight was at 10:40pm so we weren't able to pass by to take some Zubuchon home to Manila with us.
PIX AT ZUBUCHON
Me and my pop
Shem and Neil, seems to have only eyes for each other,
while Ryan sits between them.
Playing Peekaboo with Baby Rain
I jumped out to surprise her, and she gave me the most wonderful laugh!
One Mango Mall, Gen Maxilom Ave
Cebu City, Cebu
Escario Bldg., 731 Escario St cor Clavano St
Cebu City, Cebu
Islands Stay Hotel Lobby
Oooo I've been dying to try it ever since I saw that Anthony Bourdain episode.ReplyDelete
BTW, you think the skin maintains its crispiness if it was shipped?
Yes it does! They seal it in a manila paper type wrapping and the crispiness survives the trip! when you unwrap it, that's when the dreaded "kunat" effect beginsDelete
waaah that pancit looks delish! of course, the lechon too. i wanna go there. NOW. lol.ReplyDelete
The pancit was pretty awesome.. especially with the lechon skin!!Delete
Envious! huhuhu I want to eat Zubuchon too!!!ReplyDelete
haha let's go Jamie! Tell Roxy and kev! Instead of meeting up at Soderno, let's meet up in Cebu!!! hehehe How's THAT for "Down South"?!Delete
makes me want to go back to, if only for the Zubochon. sigh.ReplyDelete
i'm a tagalog girl through and through, so lechon for me has to have the sarsa for it to be right. but zubochon changed everything. and that kamias shake is the perfect "healthy" to the indulgence that is the lechon.
I'd SWIM back to Cebu for another kilo!Delete
That Zubuchon pansit looks really good!! I love the crispy skin toppings! And the Zubuchon lechon is just making my stomach growl right now. No kidding! :/ReplyDelete
Haha Guia! It was honestly pretty amazing!!Delete
One of my favorite lechon cebu.. Clean restaurants, nice price.ReplyDelete
I totally agree Titus!Delete
I haven't been back to Cebu in years, so I've never been to Zubuchon. :-( However, I HAVE tasted the lechon, because I was fortunate enough to have eaten it at an "eyeball" that Marketman (who created that lechon) had for his readers in Cebu in 2008. There, he served the lechon, along with many other delicious dishes like lechon sisig and the best kinilaw I've ever had. This was on the same month Bourdain was there, so it was way before Marketman started selling it commercially. I still think it's the best lechon ever, so I wish I could return to Cebu and eat it again, plus those many other terrific dishes they serve in Zubuchon.ReplyDelete
I'm shocked that you've never seen or tasted kamias! I love kamias and grew up eating it often. Cafe Bola in Araneta Center also has kamias shake, as well as other uncommon fruit shakes like chico and caimito, which are delicious. It's really too bad they closed their Makati branch, as the only time I go to Araneta Center is when I watch concerts.
haha I'm pretty sure i've seen it but I didn't know it was kamias hehe.. I agree with you about Cafe Bola though.. My office is near Greenbelt so i'm also bad trip about their makati branch closing!Delete
Traffic and parking around the Araneta is a killer!
Hope they can have a branch in Manila!ReplyDelete
that would be so awesome if they did!Delete
You should also try their chicharon bulaklak and their sisig-stuffed squid - so delicious! Have you guys heard of Cebu's Spicy Lechon belly? You should try it if you found yourself wandering in Cebu.ReplyDelete
If you wish to know more food stops in Cebu, check http://www.lahosinday.blogspot.com.
Thanks for the heads up, April!Delete
Always nice see awesome reviews about zubuchon! #TARALETZ #TRAVELETZ #BACKTOCEBUReplyDelete
We'll invite you soon Sir Richie - john and letz of myemptyplates.blogspot.com and www.facebook.com/traveletz p.s. permission to use one of your pics.. will plug this blog in return :)
By all means, buddy!Delete