Tag Archives: Restaurant Review

Rico’s Lechon at Axis Vibo Place – Escario

In Cebu, lechon is a commodity. We use it to feed our guests, comfort our weary souls, celebrate big and little successes, and even just to perk up an ordinary day. With a very high demand like that, it is quite expected that most restaurants selling whole lechon will run out hours before they close. This month alone, I have been declined twice. There were just too many diners. Restaurants already ran out of lechon as early as 8:30PM.  An additional restaurant would be a pleasant progression on the authentic Cebuano lechon experience.

My favorite lechon, Rico’s Lechon, is quite aware of the scarcity and has been on a constant lookout on how to accommodate the very high demand.

Last September, Rico’s Lechon inaugurated its new commissary in Talamban which can accommodate 125 lechon cooking simultaneously for 2 to 3 hours.


 And now, just when the year is about to culminate, Rico’s Lechon ends the year with a bang as it opens its newest and most spacious branch at Axis Vibo Place in Escario which is set to conquer uptown Cebu’s upscale dining scene with Cebu’s staple and celebrated food, the lechon.


It’s a two-storey facility with interiors designed by Cebu’s famous interior designer Marie Sheila  L. Solon. The general ambiance is homey and classy. The dining area is wide and can accommodate up to 100 persons dining at a time while the function room has 100 seating capacity.


There may be enough room for everyone but it is still advisable to call the branch for reservation at this telephone number: (032) 233 4144. You may reserve your lechon order ahead too to avoid being run out of it.

Patrons may also reserve or order whole lechon at this branch. One whole Rico’s Lechon is  priced from P3,500 to P8,000.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana at Streetscape Banilad

There is a new buzz in town; a pizzeria that serves the latest food craze to hit Cebu—the classic neapolitan-style lean dough pizza. While still on its soft opening La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana continues to draw curious crowds and A-listers to try its good Italian stuff prepared by, no less than, italian chefs themselves.


A neapolitan pizza is a classic pizza in its simplest form. It is made from a lean dough: a mixture of flour, water, salt, and yeast. It has no oil, no sugar, nothing. The flour is generally a high-protein flour, often of the Italian “OO” type. Simple and few ingredients but complicated preparations —the slightest mishandling of the wood-fired modern brick oven that should be kept at blazing hot temperature would mean adverse impact on the product. La Nostra had already got the hang of it.


It was rather a quiet Wednesday night —maybe because of the gloom and drizzles —when we visited La Nostra. An hour before they will close at 11:00 PM, 3 out of the approximately 12 tables were occupied. The menu is straight forward with 5 courses: pizze (P480 – P560), pasta (P210 – P350), main dish (P350 – P440), desserts/gelato and drinks. It is limited, they explained, because they are still on their soft open. Some items, like the star pizza, are not even on the menu but you may ask the servers for their availability.

Our order came fast in less than 15 minutes —a surprise for us since most friends who already tried La Nostra were complaining about the waiting time. Pizza was delivered at the right temperature and the wine was poured on time.


We had Pizza La Nostra (P520/2) half ‘n’ half with Quattro Formaggi (P550/2), Pizza Nutella(P260) and a glass of wine. I was from a meeting an hour ago where I had to eat, hence, I was very conservative with my order.

La Nostra literally means “ours” while Quattro Formaggi means “four cheese”. Pizza La Nostra is the house’ very own creation. Ham, butter and basil with Flor di Latte and cream sauce on top the Neapolitan-style pizza lean dough. Four cheese is a combination of flor di latte, gorgonzola, ricotta and asiago with olive oil.


Their pizza came thin (but not very thin) spotted with small dark spots surrounded by paler dough —it must have been from a good charring in the oven— with an aroma distinct to a classic pizza. It was crispy on the outer crust but was moist and chewy on the interior. The flavor of the dough compliments the toppings either the ham or the Nutella.

Everything we ordered was perfect. The Ham was great and excellent with the basil —no wonder La Nostra Pizza is their best seller. I will definitely come back for the Ham. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with Nutella. Just by its name, it’s already instagram worthy.


La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana is located at Streetscape, Paseo Saturnino, Ma. Luisa Road, Banilad, Cebu City. They are open on Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. For reservation, you may call (032) 3507872.

NKRating: 7/10

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Beqaa is a must!

I have completed my list of Top 5 Best Cuisines in the world. The latest to add in that list that includes, Japanese, Italian, French and Thai is Lebanese.

In Cebu, there is one lebanese restaurant that stood above the rest, a kitchen you can recommend even to your finest and most discriminating guests. Beqaa Lebanese Kitchen is another gourmet restaurant from The Abaca Group which brought to Cebu some first-rate restaurants like Abaca in Punta Engano, Lapu-Lapu City and A-Cafe in Crossroads, Banilad. Beqaa is in Design Center, A.S. Fortuna St. (Pine Tree), Banilad, Mandaue City. It serves the freshest and best lebanese and indian cuisine in Cebu.


My Nth Beqaa experience (but on a budget)

We kick-off the night with a sip of pomegranate shot and mojito. The marriage of the fruity sour pomegranate and Bacardi White is a sensation. The best foreplay for our porkless dinner.

Our appetizer is a mixture of meat and vegetables with hints of yoghurt and cheese. These alone set apart Beqaa from any other middle eastern theme restaurant.

Cucumber Raita (Labmeh, mint and cumin) P245.00

Arayes Lahme (meatband cheese filled flatbread) P185.00

Arnabeet Mekleh (crispy cauliflower, tahini and chili) P265.00

Everyone is ready for the main dish. Armed with our forks, we dig in further with passion.

Kafta (spice minced lamb and beef with onions and parsley) P435.00

Chicken Tikka Masala (mildly spicy tomato based curry with yoghurt)
Lebanese Garlic Riz (P95.00)


For dessert we have Mohalabiha (coconut cream, vanilla powder and orange chutney)



For a group of 3 the whole dinner was just P500.00 per pax. You can never be nearer to Lebanon than this with that budget.

Feel free to follow my orders. It wont disappoint.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: Rico’s Lechon Acacia Branch

Cebuanos are always known to level up their game. Always going global. The famous lechon of the stars is no exception. Cebu’s pride Rico’s lechon in partnership with Pages Group has opened its new full service restaurant at Acacia, just a few meters to the right from another Cebuano hotel chain at Ayala area, Island Stay Hotel.

Designed by the renowned young Cebuano artist, Vito Selma, the place by itself is a celebration of Cebu’s best, from its modern tropical interiors to it’s famous spicy lechon. So nice, you can’t help but take a selfie.


Rico’s Lechon opens from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. It can accommodate up to 450 dining patrons with at least 20 parking slots.


For bringing in innovation in Cebu’s lechon and making it a world class experience, it’s 8/10.


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