21 Nov2008


The smoke and aroma that wafts from a streetside barbecue/food hall called Larsian in Mandaue, Cebu is something that I have been meaning to try for several years. But it always seems too far, or there aren’t enough of us to enjoy an evening of pigging out, and for one reason or another, I just haven’t gotten my act together to check it out. But one night before the eyeball, when I was comfortably ensconced in one of Cebu’s newest snazzy restaurants with small portions and nearly Manila-like prices with friends who had flown in for the eyeball, some of my crew decided to check Larsian out for themselves. This is their report…


Not sure if Larsian meant a style of cooking, a type of seasoning, a code name… so I was totally amused when told that Larsian actually stands for “Pilar” and “Siano,” the proprietors of the original Larsian which has moved locations a couple of times. Essentially it is akin to an open air fast food hall, with several vendors selling grilled or barbecued specialties, along with puso or rice cooked in banana leaves, and, of course, beer and softdrinks.


Once at Larsian, my crew was told by their Cebu-based relatives that the neighboring “Matias” set-up was better than the actual Larsian, with the “timpla” or seasoning of the barbecues being more tasty and delicious. So they decided to actually have dinner at Matias, just next door to Larsian. On tables and benches under a tree covered in Christmas lights, this place even had a touch of ambiance at rock bottom prices. My crew (a group of five total) had chicken barbecue, atay and baticon (livers and gizzards), pork liempo, pork barbecue, soriso (sausages), 25(!) puso (rice), sawsawan and several bottles of beer each for a total bill of just PHP800 or PHP160 or $3 each!!! For PHP160, I could barely buy a beer at a fancy hotel restaurant! So that is what I call an incredible value meal!


The crew reported an incredibly tasty meal, with options for all other kinds of internal organs and other cuts of meat. No veggies at this table, much to my shock… In the photo above, skewered chicken livers and gizzards ready to be placed on the hot grill, slathered in their special sauce…


And the table at the end of the evening? Doesn’t it look like the diners enjoyed themselves just a little bit too much? :) I would have been happy here, but my “fancy” dinner was good as well. But at least the crew got to check the place out… All photos here taken by one of them and used with their permission… If you visit Cebu and are looking for a well-priced, no frills meal, try the Larsian or Matias barbecue places along A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue City. You have to be willing to rough it, but it looks and sounds like great eating…



  1. Rose5 says:

    this is so very near my house and i prefer Matias than Larsian (consist of many bbq stalls)…

    Nov 21, 2008 | 3:16 pm


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  3. Xed says:

    Matias is the Best!!!

    Nov 21, 2008 | 3:41 pm

  4. Rose5 says:

    i so love the chicken bbq of Matias ( thigh part), i think there’s a hint of tuba sa chicken bbq maybe mao na ila use as marinade…

    Nov 21, 2008 | 3:52 pm

  5. Katrina says:

    We passed by Larsian while in Cebu, but weren’t in the mood for that sort of food. I just wanted lots of seafood!

    Nov 21, 2008 | 4:02 pm

  6. Edik says:

    i have tried eating larsian in their original place near chonghua hospital. on my second visit, i was almost hospitalized due to some not-so-fresh chicken barbecue i happened to eat (i rarely eat pork). i discovered a new word on that day- larsianophobia.

    there are about 3 larsians i have known. one near chonghua hospital (just five steps from their original position which is now fenced-off by the provincial government of cebu), the second in panagdait road near the sykes building, and the third mentioned here by MM.

    i haven’t visited those 3 larsians for so long.

    Nov 21, 2008 | 4:11 pm

  7. Lee says:

    let them merge and be named Martian. set up some floral arrangements using the green “testicles” and they are all set!

    Nov 21, 2008 | 4:37 pm

  8. millet says:

    have been to the larsian along fuente osmena, the one near chong hua. didn’t know there were others.

    “larsianophobia”? that’s funny, edik!

    Nov 21, 2008 | 4:46 pm

  9. Ley says:

    They should have tried the balbacua at Matias. Matias is known for its balbacua than the barbecue although they often run out of balbacua after lunch.

    Nov 21, 2008 | 5:03 pm

  10. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Looks like a cowboy place to go to…just for fun!!

    Visited your baking 101 archive MM last Sunday—so went to Sweetcraft along Boni yesterday. Got some items I needed. Thanks! Saved me gas-instead of going all the way to RM boxes to get the ones I need for pastry gifts I want to give out. They have a lot of the things I need. Nearer if I have to send my messenger to pick up a few things for me. Staff are helpful and courteous (very impt to me). Chocolate lovers has a lot of things too but staff sometimes are not helpful and sometimes ignore you. Tsk tsk…
    I jotted down all the places mentioned in your baking 101 and will find time to visit –maybe after the holidays. Thanks MM!!!! So helpful!!!

    Nov 21, 2008 | 7:08 pm

  11. ging berdon says:

    matias is good. Larsian is so street fare, hardly any flavor except for banana catsup. Another good barbecue place is Apurado’s near chong hua hospital.

    Nov 21, 2008 | 9:02 pm

  12. ivy says:

    i agree with rose.. matias is better… or junjun and malou’s

    Nov 21, 2008 | 9:49 pm

  13. corrine says:

    marissewalangkapar…is there valhronna chocolate in chocolate lovers? I need some soon. Thanks!

    Nov 21, 2008 | 10:43 pm

  14. navyGOLF says:

    Whenever I bring first timers in Cebu, I always bring them to Larsian in Fuente or Matias in Fortuna St. As always, the cheap, cowboy style, tasty bbq and eating rice with the puso experience plus several rounds of san migs, never fail us.

    Nov 21, 2008 | 11:52 pm

  15. wahini says:

    my mouth is watering as i read this. every time i’m in cebu i make a point to make it out to the original larsian in fuente. there’s one stall in particular that i’ve been going to ever since i was little, NOVA. it used to be an older lady running it, and now her kids have taken over. mind you, i’ve only been there after 2am, but it’s only one i trust and have never been diagnosed with larsianophobia. haha!

    Nov 22, 2008 | 5:11 am

  16. Danney says:

    Count me in!! I was gone for a while busy working in Florida and in few days time I will be back home in my hometown Sta Rosa, Laguna to spend Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year and can’t wait to enjoy Filipino barbecue. Walang kasing sarap!!

    Nov 22, 2008 | 7:49 am

  17. maria says:

    true, lami ang matias! i miss it.

    Nov 22, 2008 | 11:55 am

  18. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Corrine…yes!!! A lot!! I went ballistic when I saw that a lot of the things I needed were so near my office (Tektite)..hahaha…Nuts (walnuts,almonds..) chocolates galore…ap flour,cake flour,bread flour,rice flour…and whipping cream,heavy cream…lard etc packaging items….ahhhh…heaven..and airconditioned. Hahaha..for menopause women like me–that’s great!! Enjoy!! I already referred my friends who love to cook to check the place out.

    Nov 22, 2008 | 12:36 pm

  19. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Ooooppss…Corrine…meant there was Valrrhona at Sweetcraft. Stocks look fresh too. Try them.
    I didn’t notice at Chocolate as I just zipped through after picking up two items.
    I might go again–will let you know if you’ve not gotten any yet. Am sure they have them at Sweetcraft since it was my first time there and I looked through all their items so I know what they have now.

    Nov 22, 2008 | 12:43 pm

  20. kitkathie says:

    oh, I love to go to Matias and give it a try! hay… have to convince my hubby to go!!!

    Nov 22, 2008 | 8:48 pm

  21. noemi says:

    ah my mom’s homeplace. I have to visit Mandaue once again. Thanks for the tip.

    Nov 22, 2008 | 8:56 pm

  22. siegrez says:

    i have never been to larsian for a very long time already but i do remember the barbeque there is also quite good then although you just have to pick the right stall for you not to have an upset tummy after :-(… but i find matias better considering also the place

    Nov 22, 2008 | 10:26 pm

  23. diday says:

    Community-based restaurants are now turning into a neighbourhood community gathering spot. Reviews/comments on ‘streetside barbecue/food hall’ specially from interesting people who have interesting jobs who love interesting food is superb way of assisting these food providers exist and thrive.

    Nov 23, 2008 | 5:52 am

  24. corrine says:

    Thanks marissewalangkaparis for the tips. Will schedule a trip since I live far from Mandaluyong. Hope the nuts are still in good state. I find that unpacked nuts become rancid after some time. I just buy the packaged ones even if more expensive so I rarely buy.

    Nov 23, 2008 | 11:23 am

  25. Maki says:

    wow.. i tried eating in larsians once… its nice…. but noisy.. ^__^

    Nov 23, 2008 | 6:25 pm

  26. edel says:

    i’ve been to larsian -fuente osmena (more than a decade ago) and then to the nicer larsian last april 2008 (still near fuente).. though the place is much cleaner, bigger, well-lighted and in order (safe-looking), i still prefer the old one.. from what i remember from the old larsian, its just an esquinita filled with ihaw-ihaw sellers.. less tables and benches.. as in nakatayo.. definitely an experience to remember =D

    Nov 23, 2008 | 11:58 pm

  27. wahini says:

    corrine- as a quick tip to help the shelf life of your nuts, put them in your freezer. they can stay there for months!

    Nov 24, 2008 | 1:17 am

  28. carl says:

    re: puso-coconut, not banana leaves

    Nov 24, 2008 | 12:44 pm

  29. Ling says:

    I have to say that one of the granddaughters of Matias Perez was my high school classmate. And to top it all off, her grandma is my grandfather’s cousin!

    thanks for featuring Matias!

    Nov 24, 2008 | 2:41 pm

  30. Maki says:

    Matias? I haven’t heard of that to be honest.. I’m from Cebu but I haven’t been there, can anyone please tell me where to locate it?

    Nov 24, 2008 | 8:29 pm

  31. ethel says:

    larsian has it’s own charm… that’s why the place is always swarmed with customers, cebu-wise… Matias is Mandaue version of larsian, mao gani gtaparan ug another Larsian branch kay daghan customers but Matias has a nice ambiance, lunch or dinner kay under big trees, ‘la lang ko kaila unsa na trees bisan taga Mdue ko… just thinking of the atay bbq and baboy and puso, yum-yum… dugaya pa nko uli uy…this will be one of my to-go places gyud!!!

    Nov 25, 2008 | 5:05 am

  32. maggie says:

    i love chicken skin (Php 12 lang) and pair it with siomai sa tisa and chili sauce and puso. take-out lang lahat, para medyo mas malinis.

    Nov 25, 2008 | 9:05 pm

  33. vea says:

    hi tita camille kamusta namo tinood jud giingon sa mga commentlove u

    Nov 28, 2008 | 6:28 am

  34. Kaaatrina says:

    MMMMMmmmm….Mis d Foood Especially Atay(:

    Nov 29, 2008 | 11:50 am

  35. karim says:

    There are a lot of grill house in Cebu..And the Original Larsian in Fuente happens to be the famous and oldest when it comes to bbq..You just to know the stall to buy to avoid upset stomach, NOVA is a good one as mentioned here..

    Other BBQ/Grill House you have to visit in Cebu:

    Neo-Neo, Jun2x and Malou, Cheaverz, Matias, Joe’s Chicken Inato..

    I happened to own 1 stall (named BerQs) in the 2nd Larsian in Panagdait near Sykes Asia, but had to close it down for lack of support from the management..Wanted to lease at Larsian in A.S Fortuna but wasn’t lucky enough to find a vacant slot..It’s good to know that they’re doing good.

    Dec 1, 2008 | 6:00 pm

  36. angel says:

    can i ask for the telephone number of matias?? plssss….

    Mar 24, 2009 | 3:29 pm

  37. getdona says:

    yah me too. i want a phone number! :) it would be nice to order through phone and just pick it up! thanks!

    Apr 2, 2009 | 7:12 pm

  38. vej says:

    i have been to larsian when i visited cebu. i can say its good. best value for your money. di ko lang natry sa STYK kasi di ko sya makita. nabasa ko lang sya sa blog and un din ung nirecommend ng taxi driver. i dont know if they go by other name. anyone knows?!

    Aug 12, 2009 | 1:43 am

  39. Faust says:

    I’ll be in Cebu in the 3rd week of March 2010 spending my vacation, hopefully I’ll drop by that place soon.. wOOt! Cheers!!

    Feb 21, 2010 | 12:05 am

  40. STEVE. says:

    Hi,Im from the UK and have visited Larsian a few times on my last vist…I thought it was ok.Anyone know how much 1 vendor makes on a typical night? Id be interested to know.Thankyou.

    Apr 1, 2010 | 2:34 pm

  41. Mark says:

    Go to Matias on AS fortuna across Hyundai, they never disappoint. Chicken BBQ is just okay (bacolod inasal, at the reclamation area near bacolod SM is better), but they have pretty good pork BBQ, chorizo and gizzard. Your meal is always cooked upon order after you pick your own sticks of meat from the stack and served hot.

    Cross the street to Cheavers to get their Liempo and Ngo Hiong (have the spicy dip) to complete the meal. Matias does not mind you consuming the Cheavers stuff at their place as long as you order enough of their food and of course the drinks.

    Per MM’s report – true value for money.

    Jun 26, 2010 | 1:42 am


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