What do you eat when you are in Cebu? Lechon Cebu of course! I mean if you are coming here in our island province for the first time you got to try out our very famous Cebu Lechon! Please don’t tell me you’d leave without even taking a few bites (or devour a slab or two) of this pork goodness. I won’t hear of it lol.
The first time I ate lechon in Manila I was terribly disappointed. Walang kalasa lasa, and you really need to dip the meat on Mang Tomas sauce. We don’t do that for our lechon , instead we have patis with crushed chilis . I then understood the excitement of those who are vacationing here in Cebu and their desire to taste Cebu’s version of Lechon or roasted pig.
By the way just for info, here in Cebu ‘toyo’ is called ‘patis’. Patis the fish sauce is not big here, so don’t be confused when you ask for the real patis that you’ll be given “toyo” or soy sauce hehe.
Lechon Cebu is IT!
If you can scan through my email and the comments on this blog a lot of people wants to hear recommendations on what is the ‘must eat Cebu Lechon’ and what are the prices per kilo. This is my attempt to answer these questions so I can just refer future curious readers to this post. (Sorry I have really been busy lately with work, I can’t reply to each email anymore).
There are many lechon houses here in Cebu and some of the famous ones are CNT, Zubuchon, Marina, Ayers etc. There are also lechon from Talisay and Carcar that are equally famous but those places are a bit far from the city center and short stay travelers will probably not want to take that trip outside of Cebu City proper anyway so I am not including that.
Lechon baboy is one of the best pasalubong from Cebu! Hope you can bring home some, too bad you can’t pack it for travels abroad heheheh
So here it is:
CNT Lechon Cebu
CNT Lechon pioneered the careful packing of Lechon for pasalubong that you see bitbit bitbit by many passengers on domestic flights. Their main branch is located in the yellow building just across the SM PUJ Terminal. You can call them for reservation yes but based on experienced it is better to pay for your reservation ahead say during your first visit to this famous Cebu lechon store and just pick it up on your way to the airport. 2012 Price per kilo of CNT Lechon is P450.
*Most tourists on 2 days or 3 days vacation eat at CNT on the first day or at least that’s my suggestion hehe.
Why is it my number 1 lechon recommendation? I love how CNT Lechon taste. Words fail me sorry but it’s really good. Really, really good. Oh well they have been in the lechon business for so long that I can remember and continues to deliver the best without fail.
Zubuchon Getting Popular!
Zubuchon is relatively a new entrant to the lechon scene in Cebu but is rapidly gaining a following. Probably due to its association with the roasted pig that was served to Anthony Bourdain in his show ‘No Reservation’ where he claimed that the lechon he was eating then is “The Best Pig Ever’. Just Google who Anthony Bourdain is if you don’t know him.
I ate my first Zubuchon in One Mango. The great thing about Zubuchon is that their restaurant is more sophisticated and their personnel well trained and look more professional compared to the carenderia type set-up of CNT. Zubuchon offers more dishes too aside from lechon derived viands and they also have several options for value meals called Fast Meals at P140 per plate.
Zubuchon Fast Meal
The taste – I really and totally appreciate the crispy skin of Zubuchon lechon. Just look at the picture below, nakakatakam ain’t it? So thin and so crispy!!! The meat though is not so swak sa panlasa ko. It’s delicous yes but it falls short on the lasa (just a personal preference – many loves the Zubuchon). I prefer my lechon to have more ‘alat’ in it like CNT’s.
Zubuchon Lechon Crispy Skin
I may have my expectation set so high because the recipe of Zubuchon is patterned after the roasted meat that my favorite celebrity chef ate.
The huge advantage of Zubuchon is that they offer prepack frozen lechon that you can just microwave when you get home.
UPDATE: Great news! MarketManila, the man behind Zubuchon, confirms that they have uniform prices for their frozen lechon packs across all their branches including at the Cebu- Mactan Airport predeparture area and that it is P490 per kilo! (Please see comment section =) )
But I still do advise if you can buy ahead in their other branches just in case their branch at the airport goes out of stock.
Zubuchon Frozen Lechon Packaging
Locations of Zubuchon are Escario St near Cebu Capitol Building, One Mango in Mango Avenue, Island Stay Hotel in the main intersection of Marina Mall and at Cebu Airport.
You can read more about this Cebu Lechon from the Zubuchon review by Field Trip Boy.
Marinal Lechon although not number 1 when it comes to taste, but this is the lechon I often ate. Why? Because of location. It’s located in SM Food Court and SM is the mall I frequent as it’s nearest my house. ¼ kilo of Marina lechon cost P125, solves our hunger
The disadvantage though is often times the skin on their roasted pig or lechon is not crispy, medyo makunat. But the meat is good too!
They have a new outlet in SM Cebu! They are now more accessible =). You can read here my review on their native roasted pig by Ayer’s: Ayer’s Lechon Cebu in SM. You can also find details of their menu and prices on that linked post.
Lapu – Lapu Lechon Kiosk
If you are going to a beach outing in Mactan and going to Marigondon, you won’t miss seeing the line of lechon kiosks on the road just after going down on the Mactan – Mandaue Bridge. These lechons are ‘unbranded’ and I suspect comes from Talisay. They are good but the skin is not that crispy. You will find that the lechon on display are not the whole pig. Usually these vendors on the road divide the whole pig, a marketing strategy
Some other towns of Cebu like Liloan, Mandaue, Talisay, Carcar and more have their own twist on their lechon baboy. People also flocked to these places especially to order whole lechon for special celebrations.
Cebu Lechon is really the best. Way makapildi as we say in Cebuanao heheheh