When you say Cebu, almost instantaneously you will think of Lechon. In my case, this has been ingrained to me ever since because whenever a friend of mine goes to Cebu, it is a common thing to hear someone in the room says "Pabili naman ako ng lechon! (Could you please buy me roasted pig?)".
Zubuchon is one of those lechon brands in Cebu that has gained constant followers through the years and they even gained more popularity when Anthony Bourdain dubbed their roasted pig as “best pig…ever”! Why so? Because of the love they put into raising, preparing and cooking their pigs!
Firstly, they only let their pigs snack on organic feeds a week before they are roasted to fully clean their systems. After which, their pigs are stuffed with herbs and spices to give it that savory taste and their skin pricked all over and sprayed with fresh coconut water that results to a crispy and brown skin once roasted. And what’s more is that they do not add any MSG to it which is great because I do not want to get double headache while I am eating this! Lastly, it is roasted to perfection adhering the probinsya-style of cooking which is done manually, over charcoal using bamboo poles. That’s a lot of add on and unique processes that make their roasted pig stand true to its given title with or without Bourdain’s remark!
I have tasted Zubuchon a number of times before when friends have it delivered to Manila or when they bring home plastic-wrapped goodness of the Lechon after a trip to Cebu but I must say that nothing beats the experience of tasting it freshly cooked!
This is the façade of this particular Zubuchon branch that has been newly opened at The Walk in the IT Park. This is just one of 7 branches and pasalubong centers that Zubuchon has in Cebu!
Since we are in a pig haven, we overloaded ourselves with dishes that are pork-heavy such as,
Sisig (Php 220). It consists of pure Zubuchon cheeks and meat served in a sizzling plate. I love how spicy it is! Its spiciness gives a nice complement to a rather satiating dish.
This plate of Five pork fried rice (Php 240) could fill up 2 to 3 non-hungry people! This plate has a nice mix of Zubuchon, tampalen (fat), chicharon, lard and Zubuchon drippings flavored with shrimp and green mango to counter the fat of the rice.
This boneless Zubuchon is the best part of the meal! We ordered a kilo (Php 530) of this pork belly roasted Zubuchon-style and nothing has been left of it after! That is how good it is! And this remark comes from someone who easily gets fed up with Lechon. I am not really fond of eating fatty foods and I evade eating so as much as possible but for this one, I have to really make an exemption.
Every bite of the meat reminds me of a smokier, more flavorful version of hamon ! And the skin? Heavenly crispy! Usually, I take off the fat that is sticking at the back of the pork's skin but not on this one as eating it does not induce guilt because even the fat of their lechon has that herby flavor that will trick you into thinking that it is healthy!
We also ordered other dishes that are non-pork based for us to not get overwhelmed by the taste of pork:
Such as this plate of Lapu Lapu daing fried rice (Php 200) to supplement the Five pork fried rice that we already had since one is inadequate for our collective stomachs!
Chicken Binakol (Php 300) which, for your information, is chicken cooked tinola-style with coconut water and meat served in a coconut shell. This dish is very light and refreshing! This is a welcoming treat for me as I like any versions there are of tinola infused with coconut!
And to finish off our meal was this Dessert Sampler platter (Php 200) that consists of Leche Flan, biko, budbud kabug and ripe mango! We asked our servers if they could just replace the mango with leche flan since we are sweetaholic like that and they happily granted our request!
Maybe you are wondering, like me, what budbud kabug is? Budbud kabug are millet seeds cooked with coconut milk and steamed in banana leaves. Simply put, this kakanin is really Cebu's version of the Tagalog delicacy, suman. My lola had also commented that it also resembles this Ilocano sweet delicacy called Inata which I have yet to taste!
Zubuchon is a delight that I will go back to if ever I visit again Cebu! It offers an amazing range of dishes that caters even to the non-pork eaters among us! You may also buy a kilo (or more) of the Zubuchon but I tell you that the taste will not be the same anymore when you eat it after three hours or so. It might be the packaging that could not preserve the taste of the pig or the taste of the pig itself that loses easily. Nonetheless, it is reality that nothing beats eating and experiencing Zubuchon right there and then when you bought it.
Other than this, you might also like to buy a plastic or two of those Chicharon when you still can for you to have something to munch on during those sleepless nights in your hotel or merienda during your flight. This might also be a good pasalubong item for your friends!
But if I am your friend, I will not accept the Chicharon! What kind of friend are you to just bring me chicharon and not the Zubuchon? I will just buy my own Chicharon, thank you! (Haha!)
ZUBUCHON IT PARK
(add) The Walk, IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City | (phone) +63 32 2368256 | (facebook) /Zubuchon