It was a typical, stifling Manila evening. The plan was to sit down and have a few bottles of Red Horse at the usual hang out, one of our buddy’s going off to China. But things went a little differently this time, lechon was coming up on our Facebook chatter every other minute and before long, it was decided that we should have forkfuls of this Cebuano delicacy first before we clink and drink to China.
The chosen lechon spot was Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly; our friend was feeling quite generous, having just resigned from work. He told us about how Cebuanos queue for minutes on end just to have a porkful of this lechon.
But we didn’t have to queue, he told us. And we didn’t have to fly all the way to Cebu either.
Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly is now in Manila. And it has, not one, but seven branches scattered through-out the Metro. Here’s a list if ever you got a craving for this kind of lechon:
Mall of Asia | Pasay City | (02) 998-8997
Festival Supermall | Alabang, Muntinlupa | (02) 400-1506
SM Hypermarket | Bel-Air, Makati City | (02) 359-4418
Eastwood City Walk 2 | Libis, Quezon City | (02) 781-2762
SM City Sta. Mesa | Quezon City | (02) 781-2761
Puregold Q.I. | Araneta, Quezon City
Puregold Commonwealth | Quezon City (Opening Soon)
What’s different about Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly is that, well, it’s made of nothing but pork belly. It was conceptualized by a certain Mr. Gochan, a Cebu local who thought of serving nothing but the best part of lechon to his patrons.
It wasn’t long before every lechon-crazed Cebuano was flocking to his stalls in the city.
The lechons being served at Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly are not cooked here in Manila. They’re flown everyday by plane all the way from Cebu. And it’s true, not only for the lechon, but also for their puso—a kind of rice cooked in heart-shaped palm leaves that’s popular in Visayan regions of the country.
After a few minutes, our lechon was heated, chopped and was ready to be served.
I have tasted a few of Cebu’s famous lechon institutions; CnT Lechon, Zubuchon and those in Carcar Market. And sadly, only one of those has really lived up to my expectations of what a lechon Cebu is all about. I was crossing my finger that Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly would not disappoint.
We were served with half kilos of the Regular (Php340.00) and Spicy Lechon Belly (Php360.00) along with a few pieces of puso rice (Php10.00). We were advised that Royal Tru-Orange soda go well with the dish, so we asked for a litro. Plastic hand gloves were also handed out; they want people to eat their lechons with bare hands.
The lechon bellies are topped with crispy pork skin, bits of garlic and lemon grass. The skin was super crispy, almost chicharon-like in its quality. The regular ones are almost the same with the spicy version, except of course, for its added spiciness.
I prefer chili-flavored belly more; I like how right its spiciness is. And it gets even better when dunked in the soy sauce-vinegar dip. Cebuanos don’t use lechon sarsas, so don’t expect to find a bottle of Mang Tomas here.
And the verdict?
I uncrossed my fingers on first bite. Hands down this is one of the best lechon I’ve ever tried, even coming up to par with those in Carcar. I know it may sound like heresy for the lechon diehards of Cebu, but I have tasted one of the best Lechon Cebu, and surprisingly I was not in Cebu.
Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly
Address: 2/F, Eastwood City Walk 2, Libis, Quezon City
Contact Number: (02)781-2762 | (02) 984-8723
Open Hours: 10:00AM to 10:00PM Everyday
Menu: Click Here
GPS Coordinates: 14°36'36.0"N 121°04'51.5"E