After our calorific trip to Bacolod City, it’s now time to hie off to Cebu, the Queen City of the South. There’s just so much one can do on a business trip, but I noticed there seems to be no end to all the eating. It starts, of course, with the free buffet breakfast in the hotel coffee shop. Ugh.
Aside from being able to speak the local dialect, I am actually excited to be in Cebu. As a food tripper, what am excited about is trying restos and eating places that aren’t usually found in Manila. My friends never fail to root for Cebu lechon (and more lechonnn), but there seems to be a lot more to be discovered in this bustling city.
Our host, Ms. Jojo Beltran of PAGCOR-Mactan, took us last night to Laguna Garden Cafe in the spanking new Ayala Terraces Cebu. I was actually wondering why a resto in the Visayas would associate itself with Laguna, a province in Southern Tagalog, but that’s the way it goes. 😀
Laguna Garden Cafe looked every inch like a very popular family-style restaurant. It was simply packed with people on a Friday night. I also liked the tasteful interiors filled with the decor and furniture which Cebu is known for.
The resto started out as a canteen and is now a fine example of a family business which has expanded. Perhaps one secret of its success are its reasonable prices. The dishes range from P95 to P300.
I espied Cebu lechon in the menu for P675, but am glad we ordered instead the crispy pata in its golden glory (P320). Save the lechon for another day! 😛
I liked their version of the Chicken Binakol, a Tagalog dish that’s cooked like tinola – the only difference is that you use buko juice. There’s even buko (fresh young coconut) inside the soup. It’s been a long time since I tasted this.
Laguna cafe does a good version of the Bicol Express, which they call Laguna Express (P205). These are green veggies simmered in coconut milk with chilies, tender slices of pork and shrimps.
More food! Appetizers like Lumpiang sariwa, lato salad, manggang hilaw with bagoong and baked mussels start at P95 each.
Laguna Garden Cafe
Level 1, Ayala Terraces
Ayala Center, Cebu City
Tel. No. (032) 236-4132