Time to update your must-try foodie list
By Deneb R. Batucan and Patricia May P. Catan
IT IS innate in man to seek for new and better things. Which is why SunStar Weekend gives you the lowdown on the newest foodie attractions that would surely satisfy your palate and fill your stomach with mouthwatering food. Take a culinary trip to the latest restaurants in town and be filled with the familiar and the new dishes that these places have to offer.
Cebu definitely has a growing culinary community, what with new restaurants that carry traditional dishes that have become like home and innovative dishes that keep our palates open to new varieties. Check out these places as you embark upon a food-filled adventure with friends and family.
Stan’s Tinolahan + Grill
Looking for an affordable place to dine with freshly cooked meals? Stan’s Tinolahan + Grill is serving just that. In this fast-paced life, finding the perfect restaurant for your everyday weekday meals can be such a dilemma. Stan’s Tinolahan + Grill will uniquely solve this dilemma shared among Cebuanos by balancing affordability and serving home-cooked meals.
Basically your kitchen away from home, Stan’s Tinolahan + Grill will remind you of your mother’s cooking. Among the dishes that are worth savoring and raving about are the tinolang tangigue, linarang tasik, pochero, lechon kawali crispy fried chicken, pork barbeque, and grilled pork belly.
Believing in constant enhancement and innovation, Big Mao recently launched its newest look. From the traditional Chinese dining experience to a more contemporary dining set-up, Big Mao in Ayala Center Cebu has gone through a complete revamp while their overall brand was also enhanced.
Big Mao has been in the business since 2003 and now running for 14 years, the new restaurant is adorned with shades of rustic brown and gray while its signature color red remains in their new logo and menu. Along with the launch of its new brand, Big Mao also introduced 20 new dishes such as beef hotpot with raddish, crystal shrimps with broccoli, asparagus with scallops, truffled pork and mushroom noodles, and salted duck eggs to mention some. Big Mao’s roster of all-time favorite dishes like the pan fried noodles with seafood, beef with broccoli, salted duck egg crusted chicken are still made available for its loyal customers.
The famed red door along A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue City could be aptly called a portal to heavenly delicious food. Serving cheesy and meaty goodness to its patrons, Fat Dois — the origin of the name stems from the owners’ term of endearment to each other, “Doy”— has set the bar higher for comfort food. Scrumptious eats at affordable prices? No wonder there’s always a line of patient customers outside waiting for their comfort food fix.
Fat Dois’ small menu is enough for people to buzz online and offline of how delicious their dishes are. The Cheese Ribs, Cheesy Chix and Spicy Noodles are served on hot plates a-top portable butane burners where patrons can melt the cheese themselves and coat it on their preferred meats (chicken or pork) or keep the cheese and noodles warm.
Fat Dois uses a combination of mozzarella, cheddar and cream cheese for their mouthwatering cheesy dishes, which includes the Cheesy Chix, chicken tenders that come in three flavors: spicy, barbecue and garlic soy.
Inside the Balai Brunch by Cafeplus in A.S. Fortuna St. is Farooj, a charcoal chicken rotisserie with Middle Eastern flavors. The owner, Gino Ortiz, took inspiration at the flavorful Middle Eastern dishes and paired it with the classic lechon manok most Cebuanos know and love.
Gino uses nine spices — cumin, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, paprika and the rest are a secret — that are arduously rubbed through the entire chicken to ensure that every part is as flavorful as the rest. Even with the Middle Eastern spices, he still holds true to his Cebuano roots and cooks his chicken with lemongrass inside, like most of the local roasted chicken.
The chicken itself is appetizing, but it is elevated by Gino’s homemade sauces: Sahara, Farooj Special, Spicy Garlic and Garlic. Sahara is the spiciest among the four, while Farooj Special has a savory flavor.
Customers can also choose among three choices of sides: curry rice, cumin fries and pita bread.