Lechon de Leche, Leche Flan, Dulce de Leche, Pastillas de Leche…yikes, lechon1what’s with all the leches lately? Heeheehee. I have received several emails asking where I get lechon and while I hate to disappoint as I don’t really eat that much lechon in Manila, I do provide you with two different sources further down in the post, in case you are desperate. A real lechon de leche should be a baby pig that is still suckling its mother’s milk. We used to order these brilliant lechon de leches from one of the Makati villages but the owners moved and I don’t have their new address. At any rate, the whole purpose is really the thin crisp and utterly delicious skin. It’s the grown up version of Peking duck in a way…and the luxury is in the epidermis…the photo here is of a lechon de leche taken at the Saturday Salcedo market…

As far as regular lechons go, they seem to taste better to me in the provinces…not sure why lechon2but they just do. My family is from Cebu and thus partial to the Visayan style of lechon which includes stuffing the stomach cavity with tons of tanglad (lemongrass), spices and salt. I also understand that they sometimes rub the skin with coconut juice to caramelize it further…what better combination is there than fat, caramelized sugars and salt in the same morsel/bite??? I also like lechons relatively young at say 12-15 kilos only. While there is less meat, there is more skin to meat ratio and the juices in the stomach really soak into the rib areas which makes for finger licking good ribs. Also, the only time to eat the skin is within 20 minutes of the lechon coming from the fire. It is hot below the skin as the fat still bubbles away but the skin is wicked crisp from having cooled for a bit. My personal record consumption of crisp skin? – about 60 square inches of the stuff before popping a cholesterol pill!!! I heard a story once that a lady got a hole in one at the Cebu Country Club Golf course and proceeded to eat much of a whole lechon herself…she had a stroke a few hours later!

In Manila, we order our Cebu style lechons from two places: Lechon Family or Family Lechon, lechon3not sure what their name is really, and this is their contact information: #129 N. Domingo St. (across the Petron Gas Station), Cubao, Quezon City Telephone 724-93-53 and you have to pick up your lechons during peak periods. The other source is the one that sells at the Salcedo Saturday market (I know, I know, Gigi, one of my regular readers think they are pretty boring) that is pretty good but best only as soon as they come off the fire rather than after sitting wrapped in paper for several hours. They are Gourmet Lechon and Lira Gamboa is the store manager and they can be found at 15 West Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasign City Telephone 829-79-22. There is no substitute for doing it yourself but I think my neighbors would freak out if I chased a little pig around my backyard, stabbed it in the neck to drain its blood while it screamed bloody murder then set up a large charcoal flame to roast it over the next few hours…I’ll just wait until we go to the beach after Christmas where I have asked the bantay to order two small pigs for us to roast under the large tamarind tree out back…


58 Responses

  1. Yo, Marketman — Since you invoked my name, I feel obliged to share with you the lechon supplier of Erap. That’s right, Erap. This man didn’t get the heft from nothing. He ate the good stuff (together with FPJ — May he rest in peace). It’s from Loring’s in San Juan and the numbers are 7252580 and 7242867. My personal “walang – mintis” favorite is Elar’s. Good grief. If I was on death row, I’d want Elar’s to cater my last meal. (I also heard this is Imelda Marcos’ favorite). The underbelly and the ribs are so flavorful and no sauce is necessary — richly flavored with salt, pepper and whatever else they put in it and I seriosly wouldn’t protest if Elar’s said they stuffed their pig with dirty socks because heck, it tastes wickedly good! Best of all, the skin stays sturdy and crisp even when exposed to the elements. Elar’s number is 7317551 if I’m not mistaken.

    (I must point out too that I have no affinity to the political figures I mentioned above.) Xenical must be making a killing this season….

  2. I certainly agree with you on all points about lechons MM, the ones in the province seem to taste better and costs so much less as well. We usually tell our lechon-man what time we want it and it usually gets served steaming hot.He would also tell us that the native pig makes for a crispier and tastier lechon.

  3. I don’t really care for lechon and though I won’t veto an order of cochinillo while dining at armas or el comedor, netiher will I go out of my way to look for it. As far as I’m concerned, the best thing about lechon is the paksiw the next day. Yes, I know, everybody has a grandmother or mother who makes the best paksiw na lechon (or kare kare, lengua, callos etc etc) in the whole world.

  4. It is a common joke that eating lechon is ‘pampabata’, which means, those who eat lechon will not have a chance to grow old daw. But do you know that the meat part of lechon is being used in sinigang a la south beach diet in one of the restaurants at Greenbelt, Makati? I’ve tried it and it’s good. It makes sense because the lechon has shed off a lot of the fat in it while being roasted and they only use the meat part without the fat, does it really?

  5. I’m thinking of having lechon for noche buena but cuchinillo asado will do since there are (only) three of us here in the house. We order cuchinillo at Alba’s.

  6. Bacolod lechon is very good, too, with all the tanglad (lemongrass) and salty goodness. The best part is the skin. Really thin and crispy. None of that thick taba under it. I usually fly in the lechon from bacolod via Cebu Pacific cargo (since it’s more reliable to fly on time). They are packed well so that it gets to you still crispy amd hot! So if you know anyone from Bacolod (or Cebu), ask them to fly it in for you. Just give them the time of your event for the day so they could pick the flight closest to it and have it cooked just in time to make the flight. Then pick it up at the airport. It comes out way cheaper than buying it here believe me. You get a good size one for 2,500p then add about 500p for the cargo.

  7. the “cebu lechon” flavor can be achieved…….. go for the lemon grass, garlic. tamarind, some sinigang mix (that’s what our chef’s told us to do). the taste was superb, but you know what they say “use with great responsibility”.

  8. my family’s also from cebu so the best lechon is from cebu. and we order our cebu lechon from this lady who lives in fort bonifacio jusmag area: tess javier tel# 810-6408 / 0919-459-5591. lami kaayo.

  9. I haven’t tried a real cebu style lechon, but has anyone has comment on the restaurant near MC Home Depot at Fort Bonifacio? They claim to serve cebu style lechon, is it real or fake?

  10. I have never been a real lechon person but after trying Elar’s a few years back, I am a convert.(Gigi , you must be my lechon soul sister!) Oh my.. words cannot even come close.. but as someone once described it to me ,”mapapa-tadyak ka sa sarap!” Writing this after an evening where we had (count them 4) four lechons at a christmas party! Hope I am alive to read future posts!

  11. i can vouch for the lechon family lechon. pretty good! the owners are originally from cebu- an old chinoy couple. i don’t know about the others, but with them i also get a steaming hot kaldero of dinuguan, innards and blood coming from the pig i bought.

    elars is pretty ok, but quality has been erratic. now there are 2 elars na, seems the family has suffered from infighting the past year or so. there are now 2 different elars in the roxas district in qc.

    chinese restaurants also have suckling pig. you can order it whole, though the real edible part in this is the skin lang talaga. a dab with hoisin and put it inbetween “coin” bread (flat siopao-like bread the size of old dollar coins) yum!

  12. Guys — anyone of tried “fried left-over lechon”? It makes for good breakfast fare and alternative to paksiw. Wicked but really good!

    Francs — Me naman, I used to not like the paksiw only because I find it too cloying swimming in sauce and especially when the meat’s stringy. It was only when I got to taste paksiw made with the ribs and good chunks of lechon that I finally liked it a lot especially with garlic rice!

    Anson — I tried the one in Fort Bonifacio and it wasn’t great shakes. The lechon was cold and had thick, white fat. It’s not worth the trouble.

    Luwee — I’ve tried the sinigang na lechon at Cibo. Really good! I mean it’s sinigang as one would make at home but I like the skin that had the same texture as the “tenga ng danga” mushroom. I like the snap and the salt of it.

  13. Our family’s sick of paksiw fof leftover lechon, so we chop ’em up and toss some lugaw rice and a bullion cube into a slow cooker overnight. It should come out as a lechon version of Davao’s Dencia’s lugaw.

  14. we fry lefover lechon too, at least the skin,just to get the crisp back… but it lookslike unpuffed chicaron

  15. family lechon is the closest you can get to a real cebu lechon.The owners are nice and yes acidboy, they give a kaldero full of dinuguan cooked cebu style whenever i make lambing to the owners :) we already booked with them 10 orders of lechon for the whole month december since we host parties for the families and close friends. Leftovers are usually made into lugaw or congee the following day or so. I just hope my dad’s cholesterol level wont shoot up.

  16. I interviewed the owner of Loring’s (aka Erap’s favorite lechon supplier) last year — you can read the post here. I even roasted a lechon (sort of) over there, an experience I’m reminded of every time I look at my picture hall of fame (pain?) :p I second Gigi however, that Elar’s is the one to beat.

  17. I heard from my friends that Pritchon (pritong lechon) is delicious too, but haven’t tried it yet. The pritchon is serve with fita bread.

    I also love Elar’s lechon but I’m trying to avoid it nowadays because of my hypertension (really KJ).

  18. I was in Bohol on Jan 10-11, 2006; and tasted the best lechon ever, considering I’ve just eaten one in Manila. It was not even a suckling one. It was a native pig and stuffed only with tanglad(salay). Oh it was heavenly, the pig is lean – the skin is crunchy up to neck and belly. Basically, I ignored the rests of the viands. That moment made me forget the name of my mother in law.

  19. Marketman, I don’t think its salty – if it was, my wife and I would have notice it right away because, we usually cook our food very light in salt (infact most of our guest/friends asks for patis or salt). Now, i’m getting hungry again for just mentioning that Bohol lechon; and you know what’s really the best in that lechon – it was the belly (between the crunchy skin and the meat is just a very thin layer of fat). I think i’ll visit Bohol again in a couple of years.


  21. As a Cebuano, CNT is an institution. Thats because of their presence in the malls. But I can tell you guys, lechons anywhere in Cebu is nevertheless a kicker when in comes to dinning a blast. A true Cebuano would tell you that along with SUTUKILS, PAKLAYS, DINUGUAN (CEBU), JUNJUNMALOUS, CEBU KALDERETAS, BALBACUAS, Lechon is just one of the MUST BE when in Cebu. I mentioned these because I personally witness how the Lechon gained so much of its popularity in the Philippines as a whole.

    Long before all the craze, all these kinds of Cebuano style of cooking has been battering Cebuanos for a century. But it was at the time during the Ramos years when devolutions of government projects going to Cebu when everything really took a turn. As cebu developed, people from all over the country and outside goes to Cebu for work, business and pleasure. That is the time when everyone foreign to Cebu took noticed and I say it, will forever long (get addicted) to all food cebuano. And yes I dare say it, because if you like the lechon only, then you never ever tried the rest yet.

    Then comes the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. A Ramos legacy. I can tell you, having been there as part of the builders of that very important infrastructure of the country, built in phases for almost ten years, I can bet my ass that right now any commercial passenger flight going to Manila, 100% assured there are lechons in it. I dont know why the manilenos do that, but they always bring lechon going back to Luzon and not to mentioned those who ordered at stores that sells lechon in Manila, cooked in Cebu, shipped by jet.

    Lechon is one reason why PAL and Cebu Pacific and the rest are afloat in the skies.

    But here’s the scoop. For those Non-Cebuanos who keeps ahead in the game of savouring Cebuano Cooked culinaries, its not just the lechon anymore. You will see them bring a packaging-tape-wrapped Styro-coolers (cheap and reliable)in those flights going back to Manila. It could be fresh SUTUKILS or who knows. Mind you, we used to see luggages but now there are also those styros.

    So why I am I saying all these? Because, if you go nuts over Cebuano Lechon, chances are you are not really into the game of smuggling and harboring Cebuano foods YET. And when you do finally be one of those Styro Packing domestic flyer, the likelihood is someone waiting when you arrive has been NAGGING you to bring EXPERIENCE of Cebuano Cooking to that damn dinning table.

    I can attest this because I have once a friend in Manila. And so tragic was his story because his wife left him after the former promised that he was bringing with him some Lechons and Dinuguan on the way back to Manila. As it turn out, his mistress came to see him in manila domestic airport. On the way home he forgot that this mistress of his, secretly took STYRO for her enjoy the food.

    The wife was fumming mad not about the incident but the fact that there wasnt to be Lechon that night. She does not want the husband. She wants food from Cebu. So does the mistress.

    I guess the wife already knew that there was a competition. And I guess the mistress screw up really big time.

    Oh yeah!

  22. hi there, may i please have the telephone number of lechon cebu at the fort? according to my friends dun daw yun located. baka naman pwede pahingi. i called pldt but they don’t have listing.

    thanks, i’ll wait.


  23. i really love lechon but right now im kinda diet though… but once in awhile i still eat lechon hehehhehehhe… my friends and family would even tell me that i better stop my diet coz andun pa rin yung pagmatakaw ko…. maybe one of this days i’ll share some of my own made recipes here…. i love to cook kasi…. sana mag feature kayo ng recipe tungkol sa valenciana (yung rice lang na malagkit ang gamit kasi yung iba hinahaluan na ng rice talaga), calloz, chicken alexander ng misyels in bacolod ang sarap….

  24. gigi, i like fried left over lechon too but the best is frying the lechon paksiw. it`s superb esp when it`s done right, crispy with all the flavor from the paksiw.

  25. sa aking abang probinsiya, isabela, nag lelechon kami para may pansahog kami sa pinakbet the following days.. i think thats the only purpose of the lechon back in my golden days.. ;-)

  26. Try Naldo`s lechon also in cebu. It`s very good as well. Contact number 0917-6300-888 or 346-0202. My family have ordered there 3 times already. They said the lechon and the dinuguan is the best. My family should know because they`re huge “lechon eaters”.

  27. I know some prefer eating Cebu lechon without adding any sauce. But what are the (best) types of sauce people normally put when eating this food? Thanks!

  28. Maria says:

    Try Naldo’s lechon also in cebu. It`s very good as well. Contact number 0917-6300-888 or 346-0202. My family have ordered there a lot of times already. They said the lechon and the dinuguan is the best. My family should know because they`re huge “lechon eaters”.

  29. Have you guys tried eating Lechon Cebu with Sukang Pinakurat? You should try it!

    By the way,Try LechonCebu.Com if your interested to buy lechon from cebu.

  30. Lechon Cebu is truly the best lechon in cebu. Masarap talaga ang lechon nila. I’ve try it na hindi lang isang beses kundi maraming beses na kaming umoorder sa kanila ng lechon. Masarap kasi ang lechon nila.Lutong luto talaga at napaka crunchy pa. Try nyo rin im sure magugustuhan nyo.

  31. I’m from tarlac city,i think my kababayan deserve compliment from their lechon business, IT’s LOUIE’s native lechon…mmm yummy and crunchy lechon..and their special liver sauce is the best among the rest,i swear..and one thing i love is their free dinuguan and puto and free delivery wdin Tarlac city!!!san ka pa? if u visit tarlac citi,pls.try our very own LOuie’s native lechon,simply the best.il gv u their contact no: look 4 louie or agnes and contat them at 09192677132….God bless katropang lechon!

  32. …AND if you happen to be in Auckland, New Zealand and you badly miss lechon Cebu, try calling our suki: Tita Claudia’s Lechon (09 813 1041; 021 121 0911). Rosendo & Claudia, both Cebuanos, will make you wonder how they have achieved such perfection —crispy skin, tanglad and all. Really yummy!

  33. I’m from Mindanao folks, and believe me, kahit maraming Muslim dun, masarap pa rin lechon there, mura, crispy at juicy, at batang-bata, kahit the homemade ones. hehehe
    But I will try Lechon Family, looks yummy and convincing ang blog mo! thanks, i’ve been looking for lechon talaga within Q.C.

  34. …I did! Last July 2 for a special dinner, I ordered the 9 kg roasted pig. The lechon of Lechon Family is amazing, i felt transported back in the province to taste such a delicious, crunchy, juicy, young, roast pig! The guests did not touch the sauce they gave, and sarap na kase hanggang sa loob! True to ‘his’ words indeed, thanks Marketman for your blog and for the recommendation!
    This is the mobile number of Arlyn (i guess the owner)09189080395

  35. Hey everyone! Try “Lechon de Cebu ni Memon” in Manila! Siguradong bagong katay at malinis. Grabe ang sarap ng amoy ng lechon.. Amoy pa lang Ulam na! Super crunchy ang skin and super tender ang laman. Pag deliver sa inyo ng Lechon, siguradong umuusok at maiinit pa, siguradong bagong luto… Place your orders now, make a reservation for this coming holidays! Here are the numbers 0927-5878730 0927-5878731 (02)4549051 (Look for Christy or Sarah)

  36. Hello! I’m a certified lechon lover and have the Erap heft to show for it (gasp!). Although I love most other lechons, Cebu or otherwise, I recently tried Linda’s Lechon Cebu (don’t know their location, my order was delivered) and the lechon was good. I only ordered the de leche na good for 10 to 15 persons na P2,600. The lechon is really masarap and for its price, sulit talaga. Their number is 0928-5056739. They’re based in Manila lang. There are also other lechons that I love (yum!!!!) like Elar’s and Hecky’s (kasi oven-baked din like Linda’s mas pricey lang ng konti) basta wag lang sa La Loma where they expose the lechons to all the elements! You never know how old the lechon has been there and when it was cooked. Since ‘ber months na, soon I’ll be tasting more lechons so stick around for more discoveries… One thing lang, go for native lechon kasi the fat is much leaner and tastes better too!!!

  37. I ordered cebu style lechon from this guy and it was absolutely amazing! The thick crispy skin and flavorful ribs almost made me forget my name. It was THAT GOOD! He told me that it was a secret family recipe handed down from one generation to another. Great stuff! I just flew back to the US a few days ago. Can’t wait to go back and sample his Cebu-style lechon again. I was thinking about keeping his number to myself and not sharing it with anyone but my guardian angel would not let me. so here goes– his name is roland panares and his number is 09083237727. Landline phone is 02-7032133. Order early coz december’s coming around the corner. He’ll be very busy soon. Once you’ve tasted his lechon, let me know what you think. cheers!

  38. Lechon is probably the best tasting food ever! Especially if it’s roasted just right- crispy skin and not too oily. Try Coco’s lechon de leche in Davao City, not too greasy :) not to mention cheap! (only Php1600)

  39. First off I’d like to point out that the thread on this piece has been running for almost three years now and that is just amazing.

    It is also the reason why I think there’s still a small chance of someone replying to my query, even if the last entry came in October. . .

    My question is … if it’s generally acknowledged that lechon is at its best 15 minutes off the fire, and I live ALL THE WAY IN ALABANG Muntinlupa – what’s the best lechon home delivery for those of us down south of Makati?

    I tried an oven-baked, low-fat organic “lechon” at the Saint James bazaar a few days ago … low-fat lechon is just SO wrong. ; )

  40. bee, I know you don’t want this answer, but the best is to find a lechonero who will do it in your backyard or an empty lot nearby… barring that, you will have to send out from Lechon Family (our favorite) or Elar’s and time it so that when it comes off the flames, your own vehicle rushes it back to your home… Many folks do not value highly crisp skin as 90-95% of all lechons consumed these days, are, in my opinion, hours off the fire, and as such, will not have that steam in the butt crisp skin… But then again, we might just be way OC about the skin compared to most folks…

  41. I was afraid you’d say that. : )

    Serving the lechon-challenged south is apparently a business opportunity just screaming to be met . . . unless my neighbors know something I don’t.

    Thanks very much for the quick reply, am off to work on my lechon logistics : )

  42. I personally like HECKY’S LECHON in Total gas station in Alabang . Almost the same as MM’s description of Visayan style Lechon, I’m not sure though if its the same but its very tasty and have tons of lemon grass :-)they deliver. For those in the south here’s their contact nos. 09228703737/09189211584 or 8626379/8070329.

  43. I know lechon is a killer. But it can’t be worse than other “daily” pork dishes like breakfast bacon, crispy pata and lechon kawali (deep fried!) and sinigang with the almost gelatin-like fat (yum!), right?

    Well, whatever, I’ll eat lechon ’til the day I die. I don’t want to watch other people pass on- happy- while I stay away from one of life’s best-tasting things.

    Cebu lechon, La Loma-style, spanish Asado Cochinillo, Elar’s ordered whole, Lydia’s by the kilo, made in our farm in Mindanao and flown here, or roasted on the street in front of my house (yes, we do that there instead of in they yard haha! Guaranteed to stop traffic!), whatever- If it’s lechon, I’m eating it!

    Nothing like a whole hog (or piglet) spiced and roasted perfectly.

  44. I tasted first this lechon de leche during my in-laws christmas party last dec. 2008. It was so good that i tried very hard to know the name of the supplier and its contact numbers. I’m not selfish to share this heavenly viand for all occasions. Let your taste buds to judge what i was tried hard to find. Cebu’s lechon de leche +632 3667586, 0920-5965944

  45. Any one of you who wants to taste the real Lechon Cebu. We are now in Manila.

    Our Lechon Cebu is freshly roasted in Cebu. And delivered to Manila daily.

    We will be opening in Farmer’s Dampa in Cubao Quezon City.
    We offer free delivery.

    For your LECHON CEBU needs during celebration and for your graduation. Abot mo na ang lechon Cebu. Call or text us through 09204755050 or 09236505520 or 09235550777.

  46. Hello MM! Just wanted to share with you an excellent supplier in Manila- ULCING’s Cebu Lechon. Contact numbers are 810-6408 and 0919-4595591. Manang Tessie, the owner, is simply adorable :-) We got their lechon for our wedding, and even our caterer was very impressed and got her number from me. (Before our wedding, we had lechon-tasting first with diff suppliers and hers was No.1) I love Cebu Lechon, and trust me, Ulcing’s was the best I’ve tasted so far.. :-) prices are lower too than the others! I heard she’s also Lucy Torres’ favorite lechon supplier. :-)



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