Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dining in Cebu: What I Ate and Where*

I went to Cebu for a quick trip. Let's just say I gorged myself silly. If there is one takeaway from this travel, it's that Banilad is teeming with restaurants, just like Quezon City's Maginhawa Street. I have to credit Eat Out Now for the resto recommendations.

1. Giuseppe Pizzeria and Sicilian Roast

My first stop after landing at the airport and depositing my carry-on at the hotel is at this Italian Restaurant. I fell in love with the excellent seafood spaghetti / spaghetti marinara. It was simple and straight-forward, the flavors of the sea  taking center-stage. The noodles were firm and they were generous with the fresh seafood. I love bite of the green chilis. Since we're surrounded by water, I've always believed we should have more of the best that our seas offer. 

For dessert, I had tortino with ice cream, and it was worth breaking my diet for. I love the classic choco and vanilla ice cream on top of choco cake. These two alone made my trip to Cebu worthwhile.

View from my table:

Giuseppe Pizzeria and Sicilian Roast
Paseo Saturnino, Maria Luisa Road
Banilad, Cebu
(+63) 32 343-9901

2. Zubochon 

When in Cebu, Zubochon is a must-visit, and when I read from the man behind the restaurant himself that they will be offering Duhat /Lomboy Shake  for a limited run, I knew I had to book a flight down south. The shake was a sight to behold--deep purple and very inviting. It was refreshing, just right for the heat, and without the heavy mouth feel from eating too much fresh Java plum. One sip and I'm instantly transported to my childhood where one of the best ways to enjoy the fruit was sprinkled with rock salt and shaken in a covered bowl.

My view from where I sat:

IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City
(+63) 32 236 8256

3. Little Saigon Big Bangkok 

This is tucked away inside a compound of restaurant and retail establishments, so keep looking, otherwise you'd miss this charming joint specializing in Asian street food. You can either dine al freso or inside (airconditioned!), and since it was a sweltering late morning, I opted for the latter. I love the Bohemian feel of the resto. It felt like Malate in its heyday, where it could nestle perfectly alongside Batavia Restaurant. Adding to the quirk factor was they were playing an old song: Dancing Cheek to Cheek. And the items won't hurt your pocket. I only spent less than P500 for my meal, all featured here. I love it!

The Goi Con, Vietnamese spring rolls with lemongrass grilled pork. Spring rolls are either vegetarian or meat, and usually have shrimp, fresh herbs like basil and cilantro , lettuce, cucumbers, rice vermicelli, encased in translucent rice paper. I love the authentic flavors from the greens and the sweet, sour, salty combo of the fish sauce.

The Mieng Kam, described as a refreshing leaf snack that distills Thai cuisine in one bite. Also spelled Mieng Kham, it is a Thai and Lao street food snack popular during festivals and consists of chaplu leaves, roasted coconut shavings, shallots, red bird's eye chilis, ginger, garlic, lime, roasted peanuts, and dried shrimps. 

This snack is really pretty. It was minty, sweet, nutty, and and spicy. Each biteful was a delightful explosion of flavors in the mouth. This is only my second dish, but I'm already starting to soak in sweat. 

The last item I had was the Penang Spicy Noodles, fried wide rice noodles, nam prik (a Thai chili-based hot sauce), fish and pork. This is actually better than the one I had in Singapore. It was tasty, chewy with the firm noodles and the crunch of the bean sprouts.

My view from where I sat:

Little Saigon Big Bangkok Restaurant
1 Paseo Saturnino Drive Banilad
Maria Luisa Road, Cebu
(+63) 932 455 9063
(+63) 32 415-0228

After eating from these excellent restos, I'm raring to go back to Cebu.

* The title was inspired from a post from one of my favorite blogs.

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