28 Oct2012

The inspiration was the bakery in the film “It’s Complicated”… When we designed our Escario Central restaurant, I wanted to have a display table near the entry of the restaurant. We could display some of our retail goods, put floral or fruit arrangements, have it serve as an area of interest while folks waited for their lechon to be chopped, or customers could mill about while their tables to be readied. It shouldn’t be a surprise that movies with great restaurant, dining room/table, kitchen and food store scenes are a favorite of mine, so the idea was to try and create something along those lines. Of course we did it on a very modest scale, but one day, I too, will have a food place and central display table like Meryl Streep’s bakery, here. :) Gotta aim high, always.

The tableau changes from week to week. Sometimes there are flowers, sometimes they die off and it isn’t market day yet so there’s something else on the table. Sometimes we get lucky and my favorite broas purveyor from Bohol sends us a shipment of freshly baked broas that we re-sell, and other times there are jams and jellies. Always there is chicharon. For this particular table, we have red/orange and yellow blooms (not sure what the flowers are actually) in kalabasa bowls… a Fall, Halloween, etc. kind of thing.

We also have a tall vase filled with some type of cypress or pine leaves, a harbinger of the holiday season ahead. The burst of color was particularly attractive on this table, and it is one of my favorite tableaus since we opened the restaurant over a month ago. Nearby is the lechon display area…

The bar is in the background. Under the glass-topped table are a couple of wine crates where we store more packages of chicharon. I love it when restaurants also fill this type of table with seasonal produce, and I want to copy that idea as well. So perhaps when bushels of freshly picked corn arrives, we can have it on the table, to indicate to clients what is freshest and seasonal. What is otherwise “precious” real estate where another 3-4 dining tables could have been placed and used to generate revenue, has become a personal favorite space in the restaurant, and it holds its own revenue wise as we have noticed more and more folks touching, examining, and often buying the goods that we put on display. :)



  1. Irene says:

    That’s pretty! Loved the bakery in It’s Complicated – Meryl Streep’s character right? Diane Keaton’s house in Something’s Gotta Give is also another favorite. Read somewhere that the set design was loosely based on the Barefoot Contessa Bakery of Ina Garten, or maybe more like inspired. I think the Pinoy design aesthetic generally does not value space, so it’s refreshing to see the cheery and airy interiors of Zubuchon.

    Oct 28, 2012 | 12:40 pm


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  3. rhea says:

    ang ganda, MM. I particularly like the glass-topped distressed table, parang shabby chic ang style. Love love the flowers, ganda ng mga kulay at na surprise ako na parang kalabasa ba yung base nun? One of these days makakabalik din ako sa Cebu, at hindi ako papayag na hindi makadaan sa Zubuchon. Until then, mananaginip na lang muna ako. hehehe

    Oct 28, 2012 | 12:41 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    Irene, accckkk, you are right, Meryl Streep, not Diane Keaton… will edit. :) I have been to Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa shop many times as a Sister had a home in Easthampton once, but the movie version is MUCH MUCH nicer. :)

    Oct 28, 2012 | 1:18 pm

  5. ECC says:

    Those flowers are called Cockscomb (Celosia Cristata).

    Oct 28, 2012 | 1:21 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    ECC, thanks for that, now I know. Pahabol Irene, the director for those two movies are the same, hence the attention to detail of the interior spaces/sets for the movies. If I recall correctly, the house used in the movie “Something’s Gotta Give” was a Robert Stern designed beach house in either Easthampton or nearby town on Long Island…

    Oct 28, 2012 | 1:25 pm

  7. Jay says:

    hello, I’d like to know where I can buy Pumpkin seed oil in Manila? Thanks!

    Oct 28, 2012 | 7:45 pm

  8. myra_p says:

    MM, just a random idea for the future: If you have a lot of malunggay trees to pick from, you can use flowering or fruiting branches in your arrangements. The flowers are very pretty, the hanging pods are dramatic.

    Oct 28, 2012 | 8:17 pm

  9. MP says:

    Wow, that’s very impressive MM. I would be enticed to check out items on display and will most likely end up purchasing something I can touch and smell.

    Oct 28, 2012 | 8:27 pm

  10. Thel from Florida says:

    MM you are simply classy and creative!!! Bless your heart always :)

    Oct 28, 2012 | 8:30 pm

  11. Footloose says:

    It’s not quite the exact equivalent but more accurate in Tagalog, palungpalungan, fake cockscomb.

    Oct 28, 2012 | 8:45 pm

  12. ConnieC says:

    MM, it is not an intent to have a museum type display but since you are doing the display table anyway, why not some “pistahan” type theme also from time to time, with regional/local delicacies /crafts featured that could be rotated depending on time of the year? some dolled native/regional/tribal costumes perhaps as well? Such a display could remind us of our rich cultural heritage especially for the balikbayans or even the locals coming for a taste of the ultimate zubuchon dining experience.

    Oct 28, 2012 | 9:06 pm

  13. ConnieC says:

    Hope our dear bettyQ and the Canadians in her area are okay after the 7+ Richter earthquake that hit the Vancouver region and sent some low tsunami waves in Hawaii yesterday.

    Here in the East Coast, we are anxiously watching the path of hurricane Sandy that is about to turn into the “frankenstorm” that is due to hit us in the Eastern US in the next day or so.

    Oct 28, 2012 | 9:17 pm

  14. Irene says:

    Thanks MM, no wonder the vibe of the two movies is similar. In my fantasy world, we’d all be in the same neighborhood – I’d be writing/doodling with the same view as Diane Keaton and buying bread from Meryl Streep, and the croissants and brioche would never go to my hips :) (never mind that the two movies are situated at opposite ends of the US)

    It doesn’t sound good when meteorologists say they don’t have a lot of modern precedents for what the models are predicting. Hoping and praying the storms do not wreck too much havoc on the east coast.

    Oct 28, 2012 | 9:42 pm

  15. Lissa says:

    Love. Love. Love.

    Oct 28, 2012 | 10:07 pm

  16. Dodi says:

    Why can’t we have such a classy lechon store/restaurant here in Manila? Presently, we have “car exhaust” flavored lechon here….

    Oct 29, 2012 | 7:44 am

  17. Yummytrails says:

    beautiful.. just beautiful :) @ my house, to welcome fall, i decorated some lanterns with sunflowers, gourds & small pumpkins & hang them on my front porch..

    Oct 29, 2012 | 7:57 am

  18. Getter Dragon 1 says:


    Oct 29, 2012 | 8:21 am

  19. max says:

    nice flower arrangement…natakam ako sa chicharon!

    Oct 29, 2012 | 9:06 am

  20. Rick Labao says:

    very elegant arrangement of fall harvest. I specially like the red modern block letters ZUBUCHON at bottom right corner that complimented with the traditional setting.

    Oct 29, 2012 | 11:21 am

  21. Dianne says:

    so nice! those little touches make everything really special… i remember the vase of roses by the cashier at your mango branch, so pretty! :)

    Oct 29, 2012 | 1:02 pm

  22. Joy says:

    Your inspiration is spot-on. This is also our dream, perhaps, when we retire; plus a bed and breakfast inn to go with it.

    Oct 29, 2012 | 1:15 pm

  23. NidaFe says:

    Burst of colors indeed! Eye candy to tease the eyes while the taste buds wait…. I’ve added your place to my bucket list of foodie destinations :-)

    Oct 29, 2012 | 1:16 pm

  24. Lyn says:

    Love the table!

    Oct 29, 2012 | 1:59 pm

  25. ami says:

    I don’t know what the flowers are called either but they remind me of brain corals.

    Oct 29, 2012 | 2:35 pm

  26. Pink Carnations says:

    Joy to the soul personified !!!

    Oct 29, 2012 | 2:35 pm

  27. Susie says:

    Love the cock’s comb! Did you get them in Carbon? They are beautiful. I bought a ton of marigold plants at the weekend flower market right by Capitol and have them planted in tubs by the front door. My homage to the fall which I am missing very much right now. Dropped off a couple of things for you at the commisarry…I hope you got them!

    Oct 29, 2012 | 3:39 pm

  28. Marketman says:

    Susie, I did, thank you so much for the Balinese produce and the wonderful bottle of preserves… :)

    Oct 29, 2012 | 4:58 pm

  29. EbbaBlue says:

    Ang ganda, ganda. Very refreshing. Masarap na ang pagkain, ang galing pa ng ambience. Good work.

    Oct 29, 2012 | 9:22 pm

  30. rosedmd says:

    love the flowers!!!!!!!!!!!!! happy happy colors!!!

    Oct 29, 2012 | 9:48 pm

  31. millet says:

    very, very nice!

    Oct 29, 2012 | 10:43 pm

  32. Tracy says:

    It says something that a lechon restaurant has a sweet and elegant table arrangement just in front of where the roasted pig gets whacked. :)

    Oct 29, 2012 | 10:59 pm

  33. sUr says:

    nice. just got back from gotham and walked thru battali’s eataly [23rd/mad prk] and you’re pulling off a scaled version of his gym-sized teeming/abundant restaurant/marketplace, employing the age-old marketing tricks/tropes the world over: the asymmetrical visual ‘mess’ at once cacophonous + lively, teeming with color and people and smells and products… this was minutes after walking the saturday shindig at union sq pk on a perfect fall day employing just such an affect of the sort. the codification of ‘fresh’ and ‘abundance’ — i think of mercado san miguel/MADRID, merkat de la boqueria/BARCELONA, galleries lafayette/ PARIS, Jamaa el Fna/ MARRAKECH, grand bazaar/ ISTANBUL– it just works!

    Oct 30, 2012 | 12:19 am

  34. betty q. says:

    Thank you so much or your prayers and concern, Ms. Connie C. and Wisdom Tooth! My family is safe and sound.

    Mm…very nice welcome decor! Does Gejo plant ornamental corn? I thought maybe ornamental corn will last forever like the gourds.

    Ms. Ebba…I will send you a sample package of our granola…what we’ve made are the clustered artisan granola. As soon as I get back, it will be on its way! I hope you aren’t allergic to nuts!

    Oct 30, 2012 | 4:36 am

  35. ECC says:

    It is great to hear you are OK, Ms. Betty Q!

    Oct 30, 2012 | 5:00 am

  36. chinachix says:


    Oct 30, 2012 | 6:23 am

  37. betty q. says:

    Ms. Connie C…I hope you too R safe and sound…am currently in the East coast and can hear the high gusty winds outside the window.

    ECC…long time no hear! Since I will be mailing your neighbour a package, I will include a sample package of our granola for you. Paki hingi na lang kay Ebba pag dumating!

    Oct 30, 2012 | 6:27 am

  38. EbbaBlue says:

    No problem, my workplace is close to ECC’s home. Thanks Ms. BettyQ.

    Oct 30, 2012 | 8:39 am

  39. Emman says:

    Thank you very much for doing such piece of art in your restaurant. It has the similar calmly effect of Zen art in Japanese restaurants. We’ve been to the Mango branch and we hope to visit the Escario branch when we return to Cebu.

    Oct 30, 2012 | 10:39 am

  40. ECC says:

    You are so thoughtful, Ms. Betty Q. Thank you. Please stay safe while in the east coast.

    Oct 30, 2012 | 11:11 am

  41. ali says:

    ….you’re an inspiration….:)

    Oct 30, 2012 | 4:15 pm

  42. DhayL says:

    I love it! I love how you set it up and it showcase some of the products offered, very nice, inviting and elegant at the same time!

    Oct 30, 2012 | 10:29 pm

  43. PITS, MANILA says:

    It looks great, MM! I saw the “squash/pumpkin” from last time. I also love the 2 movies mentioned … hoping to come and sample your Zubuchon again!

    Oct 31, 2012 | 7:50 am

  44. Betchay says:

    What a work of art! Love,love,love the display

    Oct 31, 2012 | 11:19 am

  45. alicia says:

    Just gorgeous. I can’t wait to get to this branch and see it for myself.

    Nov 2, 2012 | 10:51 am

  46. joyyy says:

    Soon as I land in Mactan this weekend, I’m heading to Escario for lunch! Lechon plus Kamias shake and that Laguna(?) Pancit! I’d been raving about it to my family and friends! Zubuchon had been my comfort food when I was living and working in Cebu last year! I am a fan, MM! It’s growing and becoming famous! Kudos!

    Nov 5, 2012 | 4:41 pm

  47. Marketman says:

    joyyy, pancit lucban was a special for a few months last year. No longer on offer. But try the rellenong crab, a current special… it’s flying off the pans and will hopefully become a regular item on the menu…

    Nov 6, 2012 | 11:18 am

  48. Junb says:

    Nice setup! I like the color combination

    Nov 17, 2012 | 12:00 am


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