Patricia May P. Catan
SunStar Weekend Writer
SIKWATE is without question a well-loved Cebuano drink. The familiar smell and taste of this hot chocolate concoction reminds one of Sunday mornings spent with family at home. With tablea as its main ingredient that’s sweetened with sugar and thickened with milk, this traditional drink will forever have a special place in every Cebuano’s heart, or in this case, stomach. What makes sikwate more enjoyable to indulge in is when one finds the perfect pair that complements its flavor well. Here’s a list of hotels and restaurants in town that know exactly what best supplements everyone’s favorite pick-me-up.
Café Laguna is popularly known as the home of authentic Filipino cuisine with its extensive selection of local dishes that include kare-kare with bagoong, crispy pata, lumpiang sariwa, crispy tadyang and pandan chicken. The restaurant also takes pride in its merienda offerings aside from its main courses. A crowd favorite is its suman, mangga at tsokolate that is basically the perfect combination of native delicacies when it comes to Pinoy merienda.
House of Lechon
One doesn’t have to drive for two hours to Carcar from Cebu only to devour the juiciest roasted suckling pig because House of Lechon serves the famous lechon right at the heart of the city. While the restaurant is one’s main source when the lechon craving kicks in, House of Lechon offers another local delicacy with a twist that’s equally worth craving. Its cassava turon is definitely a must-try on the menu and one can even pair the treat with a cup of sikwate to fully relish the dish.
The Land of Chocolate
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa recently launched The Land of Chocolate where guests can discover enchanting garden wonders, time-honored techniques and cacao treasures. Traditions like the native sikwate, chocolate high tea and chocolate martinis are recreated in this quaint garden hideaway and some are enjoyed at the resort’s lobby lounge. Its native hot chocolate is best paired with traditional Cebuano merienda that is biko and mango.
The Chocolate Chamber
The Chocolate Chamber (TCC) is an endless pursuit of chocolate distinction that allows its dining guests to taste the sweet and savory side of tablea. Just as its name suggests, TCC is where one will find everything chocolate in every dish on its menu. With the tablea as cornerstone and inspiration in all of its creations, the native hot chocolate is clearly a staple drink. The sikwate can be paired with almost anything on its menu but the best ones are of course from the Filipino favorites selection like chocolate ensaymada, choco pandesal and vanilla cookie butter.