19 Oct2013


A group of friends from all over the country, several walks of life, a broad span of ages, with a phenomenal sense of humor and a love for good food. That is what brought this band of a dozen or so folks to Cebu these past few days. I think it started with the first Marketmanila eyeball, and some attendees from there also went to the second eyeball at Gourdo’s where Chef Chris was at the helm, then they agreed to go to Cebu for the lechon eyeball, and have kept in touch by facebook, email and eventually planned “food trips” to Davao to visit Millet, and to Bacolod to see Lynell, and this year, back to Cebu. This wasn’t an official “eyeball” — just a gathering of friends who decided to continue with their trip despite the earthquake that struck the day before they planned to fly into Cebu. Some of the folks in the dramatic photo above… a graphics designer, chocolatier, veterinarian, chef, “haciendera” (I jest), Zubuchon Manager, Court Jester and Service Professional, Pharmaceutical Executive, Educator, Operations Manager and Chief of Stuff…


The setting couldn’t get much more scenic than this. We had toured parts of Cebu unaffected by the earthquake (lots of plans were junked but everyone remained positive) but I had asked for Saturday evening as the night to bring everyone to cocktails with a view from above, followed by dinner on the Zubuchon terrace. The photo, from the future site of the Verandas at Monterrazas de Cebu, 1,000 feet up above sea level, speaks for itself. :)


A chilled magnum of cava was used for the toast, and bottles of rose were uncorked once the bubbly had run out. Waiters served small sandwiches of prawns with sun-dried tomato spread and chopped marinated artichokes, and we also had some freshly grilled barbecue right on the site. The cool, bordering on chilly breeze was a fresh, welcome departure from the temperatures down below.


The full moon was spectacular, and the light that reflected off the surface of the sea in the distance was surprisingly bright. If you are in Cebu before November 10, you can get this exact same vantage point from about 5pm to 10pm nightly, it’s open to the public on a limited basis, and you need a car to reach the peak. :) After an hour at the peak, we drove down to the Zubuchon outdoor terrace, just 12 minutes away.


There were several advance requests for one dish or the other, so dinner reflected this… To start, we had platters of saguyon, fried discs of tiny freshwater fish, and I suggested this might make a terrific base for some freshly made kinilaw na tanguigue. It did. The ultimate pinoy canape of sorts, though the crisp wafer rapidly softens with the liquid from the kinilaw. But this had texture and crunch, saltiness, richness and a hit of vinegar, coconut milk and chili. I could have eaten a few of these and called it a meal.


But of course we had to have a lechon, in this case, a Zubuchon with a whole chicken stuffed into its stomach cavity. I think the crew knew this was a very special group of guests, and I must say the lechon turned out a solid “10” or perfect in our internal rating process.


We cut into the skin with a small plate (I usually only do this for lechon de leche) and the skin shattered and crackled like brittle. Inside was the whole chicken, basted in all the stuffing and pork juices, incredibly tender and infused with salt, lemongrass and other flavors.


Rather than lechon meat and skin in one mouthful, I tried a piece of the chicken cooked in the lechon, and some skin and it was yet again another new flavor and texture experience to wake and amuse the palate. :)


Other dishes put on the buffet that evening included roasted talakitok in banana leaves, squid a la plancha, grilled adobo pork ribs, grilled barbecued pork ribs, chicken inasal…


…we also had an eggplant salad, tomatoes and red egg with bangus, a platter of pinangat spicy and another platter of pinangat not spicy, and rice as well as kinilaw and shrimp sinigang. Yes, there was an abundance of food.


For dessert, I had half a serving of cassava cake…


…and guests could also have had biko, budbud kabug, and Marla brought along several flavors of delicious ice cream.


Dinner was served with some chilled chardonnay, a lighter chianti, kamias shakes if you preferred something not alcoholic, and as the meal wound down, some folks imbibed shots of tequila…


…with Mexican beer and wedges of fresh lime from the yard, just a few feet away.


Bowls of large yellow mums for the simply set picnic table.


Post dinner shot of “fed up” guests, friends and foodies. It was so nice to see folks from different periods of this “blog” and from all over the country and different walks of life come together and form lasting friendships and a camaraderie that is so heartwarming.



  1. Amy says:

    If you had stuffed the chicken with a quail, you would have the Fareast version of turducken!

    Oct 20, 2013 | 10:31 am


  2. Notice: Undefined variable: oddcomment in /home/marketman/marketmanila.com/wp-content/themes/marketmanila-v2/comments.php on line 33
  3. EbbaBlue says:

    Ayyyyyy, sarap, saya, ganda, Perfect 10 in my book. Lahat lahat na, bow ako sa inyo,

    Oct 20, 2013 | 11:33 am

  4. pixienixie says:


    Oct 20, 2013 | 5:02 pm

  5. Joey says:

    One word: FABULOUS. Mabuhay at maraming salamat, host extraordinaire! :-)

    Oct 20, 2013 | 5:08 pm

  6. #4 ;-) says:

    Thanks Marketman and all the Cebu peeps for being such wonderful and gracious hosts!

    Oct 20, 2013 | 5:24 pm

  7. corrine says:

    Nice! A meal is best shared with friends.

    Oct 20, 2013 | 6:15 pm

  8. present tense says:

    Nice !

    Oct 20, 2013 | 7:21 pm

  9. Denise says:

    My friend just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook.(also a blog) I’m glad for the two recommendations. I love when people share good blogs with each other. Denise

    Oct 20, 2013 | 8:36 pm

  10. Ging says:

    An incredible Food Tour and MM made it even more special and memorable with the cocktails and the dinner. The scenery, ambiance and the food were perfect. You really know how to throw a party MM. Our collective hats off to you. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Oct 20, 2013 | 8:48 pm

  11. moni says:

    Thank you MM for your generosity. We were thrilled to bits that you joined the grand food tour and you were amazingly patient with our endless banter. Already we have a “same tie next year” plan for Vietnam or Bangkok or both.

    Oct 21, 2013 | 1:13 am

  12. kristin says:

    One day…would very much like to experience this ‘rare’ EBs of the MM community.. will sound off when I will be home and be in the vicinity of Cebu :) …but for the moment im content ‘joining’ this gathering virtually…lovely..lovely..virtually or not, a good meal indeed!

    Oct 21, 2013 | 1:43 am

  13. Akeeno says:

    Breathtaking view, nice people, great food! I hope there will be another lechon eyeball in the near future.

    Oct 21, 2013 | 9:02 am

  14. Loney Kitchen says:

    A perfect setting for our last night in Cebu! Nothing could be more heavenly than sipping cocktails and nibbling on canapes under a blanket of stars. And as if that was not enough, the full moon did a cameo appearance! Now that is one hard feat to beat! Thank you so much MM! Much appreciated.

    Oct 21, 2013 | 11:29 am

  15. millet says:

    really sorry to have missed this…..am sooo absent, and sooo inggit!

    Oct 21, 2013 | 11:48 am

  16. millet says:

    at color-coordinated pa kayo ha!

    Oct 21, 2013 | 11:49 am

  17. joyyy says:

    Perfect 10 lechon! Just died of envy!

    Oct 21, 2013 | 11:57 am

  18. Papa Ethan says:

    I agree with millet; the wardrobe of your entire ensemble appears as if it was art directed. The first photo looks like it was taken inside a cave. And the picture of that perfect lechon with an honor guard speaks volumes. =)

    Oct 22, 2013 | 12:03 am

  19. marilen says:

    Lovely evening!!

    Oct 22, 2013 | 12:36 am

  20. Ester says:

    Ang sarap naman! Nakakainggit talaga. looks like perfect combo! beautiful setting, lots of awesome food and great company!

    Oct 22, 2013 | 2:57 am

  21. manny says:

    What does one have to do to get invited to a dinner like this?!? :) : ) :) ha ha ha .

    Oct 22, 2013 | 8:16 am

  22. PITS, MANILA says:

    just died … cause of death: ENVY … :)

    Oct 22, 2013 | 10:44 am

  23. Slightly Epicurean says:

    Yum! Me and my officemates are planning to visit Cebu soon. Of course Zubuchon is in our itinerary. =)

    Oct 22, 2013 | 5:26 pm

  24. pixienixie says:

    No new post yet, so I keep returning to this…only to regret doing so because I’m sooooo inggit! If other regulars are thinking of going to Cebu or on a food trip, please consider letting me tag along… :)

    Oct 22, 2013 | 6:30 pm

  25. Edik says:

    I have to thank MM not just for feeding our body and soul (social relevance) during the mini eyeball but also for generously helping hundreds, if not thousands, of my brother Boholanos who were unfortunately caught in this tragic earthquake. Thank you sir. I am truly thankful.

    Oct 22, 2013 | 10:49 pm

  26. MP says:

    Wahh I wonder what I need to do to be able to join eyeballs like this….

    Oct 22, 2013 | 11:12 pm

  27. Faust says:

    Hello MM can I have an autograph of you soon? :)

    Oct 23, 2013 | 12:49 am

  28. joey @ 80 breakfasts says:

    I miss those eyeballs! Have one again in Manila MM…it would be so nice to get together after so long! I am longing for that lechon though…best pig ever indeed :)

    Oct 23, 2013 | 11:23 pm

  29. Carla says:

    We just moved to Cebu two months ago. I had no idea there are views like that here. (I suppose that’s our fault. We’ve prioritized visiting all the the lechon places we could find)

    Oct 24, 2013 | 2:14 am

  30. Mari of NY says:

    Gorgeous views… mouthwatering lechon and delicious food and of course what better way to share it with friends from all over! Glad everyone had a good time…

    Oct 24, 2013 | 11:38 am

  31. Marla says:

    Many, many thanks, MM! We had a great time as always and are grateful for such fine friendships forged over food. :)

    Many thanks to the Crew, too, for a wonderfully executed evening. Complete with clear skies, the brightest of moons, and fireworks in the distance. Couldn’t have asked for more. Haha!

    Oct 24, 2013 | 8:54 pm

  32. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Wow…lechmanok or would that be manokchon? Either way, I think it would go head to head with American turducken. Whoa, maybe a chicken stuffed inside and duck and then stuffed into a lechon? I’ll leave the process to you.

    Oct 25, 2013 | 12:26 am


Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2021