Friday, January 16, 2015

Cebu Food Trip and Bringing Home the Bacon... I mean Rico's Lechon to Manila!

I just had a meeting in VisMin and when we were organizing the meeting, it was a unanimous decision to hold it in Cebu because we were all looking forward to the added bonus of eating Cebu Lechon and bringing it home too.

Sure enough, not only was the work side super productive, our tummies (***and digestive tracks) had to work overtime as well, and to think, we were only there for a little over a day.

If you find yourself in Cebu soon, here are the things I would recommend:

Chika-an sa Cebu
Baked Scallops (a steal at Php125). I think I ate the whole dish (or more)
My all time favorite VisMin Rota Dish!!!
Grilled Squid (Php172)
Tastes even better than it looks, it was well-marinated and so tender.
The surprise favorite of everyone was the Grilled Chorizo de Cebu (Php95)
Can easily rival the famous chorizo of Boracay.
Buttered Garlic Shrimp (Php190) Sauce palang ulam na!
So good with rice.
If you're like me, and you don't get full no matter how much seafood you
eat, if you don't have meat. You can order the Bistek Cebuano (Php210).

We were very well taken cared of by our local counterparts, because in addition to the wonderful spread prepared for us (there were more dishes aside from the favorites I mentioned above), they also served us the famous Spicy Lechon Belly from Tatang's which was also so good.
Boneless Spicy Lechon Belly seems to be the new fad - but honestly,
I think Boneless Bob (in Manila) is even much better.
Just drop me a note if you want the details.
Thanks to this Dynamic Duo (plus Maia) for organizing.
It's the first time I've seen Dennis surrender to food. He actually got pale,
and started sweating after he finished half a platter of Tatang's Lechon.

The making of Puso (or hanging rice)
In Cebu, Lechon is normally best enjoyed with the locally made Puso, so when we visited the Public Market and I saw the locals making some, I couldn't resist taking pictures and buying some, hoping I'd still have space to eat more (which I didn't). I wanted to kick myself because when we were there, it totally did not occur to me to just buy the shaped coconut leaves that they cook the Puso in so I can just ask the helper to make us some in Manila to go with the Rico's Lechon that I brought home (more on that below).
They first make the coconut leaves pouch, which is filled a third full
of uncooked rice, then they drop it in boiling water. Once the rice cooks,
it expands, and the container becomes full. Then it's sold at Php2 a piece.

Maya Taqueria and Tequila Lounge 
I didn't think we could still eat for dinner after such a big lunch, but I was mistaken. We just picked a lot at the food everyone ordered for sharing but these two dishes were my favorite.

Maya Nachos (Php335) the one with additional pork of course!
Chicken Fajitas de Maya (Php490)
The chicken was so yummy. You just need to order sour cream on the side.

Rico's Spicy Lechon
I love going to Cebu, if only so I can bring home a full Rico's Spicy Lechon, and have an excuse to invite people over for a Pig party. You need to book your flight correctly, so you don't arrive too late. (I haven't managed to get this part right, because while we arrived early enough at 6:30pm, the traffic due to road closures for dry run in preparation for the Pope's visit stretched our travel time to 3 hours!!! It was even faster to fly home from Cebu, than to ride the car from one end of Manila to the other.)
Again, I'm very thankful to Pao and Cathy for helping us pre-order our pigs.
We had dinner at 10:00pm, 10 hours after our pigged was picked up, so the skin was no longer crispy. All photos from the point on wards - were taken from my fat brother Timmy.
Everyone was excited to see this little piggy.
Since the skin was no longer crispy, we just used scissors to cut out the skin,
had the helper deep fry it, and we started cutting out the ribs (my fave part!).
The skin came out even better than if it arrived crispy, because the pig was very young, and it hardly had any fat (or so I think).
Look at that chili and lemongrass filling!
We ordered the Php3,200 sized pig, with Php400 additional cost for the chili.
and the 8 of us barely made a dent in half.
We love Rico's because the pig (skin included) is so tasty.
Those of us who love it spicy, get the ribs and chili, while Sofia who doesn't
sticks to the legs.
I am now thinking of my next excuse for a pig party, just in case I go to Cebu again. Just in case you're wondering, for this one, I decided I was going to have a Pre-Birthday Pig Party, to celebrate my birthday just a little more than a month before. 

Thanks again Pao and Team for the arrangements and all the food!!! Talagang pinataba niyo kami! just saying.

Chika-an sa Cebu
Salinas Drive, Lahug

Tatang's Boneless Lechon
A.S. Fortuna Mandaue City, Cebu

Maya Taqueria and Tequila Lounge
Crossroads, Cebu

Rico's Spicy Lechon
F. Cabahug Street, Cebu 

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