Food in Philippines is kind of South-East Asian cuisine meets American fast food, with a good dose of pork thrown in. For the complete local meals, you will have to go to the streets as even the largest of malls at Manila or Cebu d0 not have decent local food options.
Steaks are a hit! They made some excellent tenderloins at the hotel and also at our favorite restaurant Tinder Box at Cebu. Made with certified angus cuts, they cook it to perfection.
Go for fish and seafood! Most good restaurant have an excellent selection of seafood and fish. Grilled fish in banana leaf (ala Indian dish), prawns fried, spring rolls, aubergines and veggies batter fried in fish oil, a few pieces of pork – and you know what the locals love and why. The local fish dishes are excellent and a must have.
Ribs and Burgers — There are numerous restaurants serving ribs and burgers – quality is decent in most stand alone restaurants, skip the mall altogether.
During island hopping in Cebu, the choice is but obvious – seafood and you must eat like the local fishermen do. Near Cebu in an island, we came across a open barbeque with the most delicious grilled squids being cooked along with some chicken and other shells. The squids, off the grills just melt in the mouth and I lost count of how many I had just standing next to the cooks. Next they displayed the days catch of some unusual crustacians etc. (atleast for me) – Sea Urchins, Shellfishes of all shapes and sizes, the usual Clams, Crabs, Oysters … I had to try the Shells & Sea Urchins that I never seen eaten in India. The Sea Urchins were interesting, the shell being broken and the ‘non eatable’ parts thrown. What you are left with a non even a spoonful of fat / flesh which you eat raw. Its like having raw oysters, just not too much in your mouth. The spider shells were grilled and the flesh removed expertly with a knife – delicious !
Cebu is known as the Lechon Capital of the world and for all the right reasons. You have the best pork that you can ever have there – just land up at CnT Lechon or Zabuchon Lechon … its crispy outside and mouth watering / melting succulent inside. If I have to go back to Phillipenes again, it will be for this and nothing else. Don’t miss …
(Plan your vacation in Phillippines with the help of our series of posts on Phillippines, sight-seeing there, what to eat and what to shop for — Read: Vacation in Phillippines )