Cebu City, Philippines
Just yesterday, a lovely restaurant in Cebu flew me in to try out their new dishes and take photos of the beautiful interiors they have. I’m a big fan of food and Cebu and when you put them together, you know it surely won’t be a fail. I’ve been going back and forth to this city every month and I seem to have the hardest time looking for places to take my outfit photos in and thank God I found a new place :) I landed at 10 am and was scheduled to be back in Manila by 9 pm so I rushed straight to Circa 1900 from the airport. It’s in Lahug and with the city’s traffic nowadays, it took me about 40 minutes to get there. Don’t fret though, it’s worth the trip!
The moment you enter Circa 1900’s doors, it will instantly remind you of your favourite grandmother’s house and the excited feeling your stomach gets to finally eat her famous dishes. That is because the place is a restored colonial house and the place will bring you back in time. The restaurant features international cuisine that pays respect to the Filipino culinary heritage by drawing influences through the use of the local ingredients. Almost all their herbs and vegetables are grown in their backyard so expect everything to be fresh. I didn’t get to meet the chef but I could tell that’s he’s very OC about his dishes because the ingredients are not your usual ones. They even have ostrich meat! :) It’s my second time here and I’ve tried about 1/4 of the menu already! :) Here’s what I ate this time:
For starters we had,
Their Kaffirlime & Ginger Infused Seafood Chowder with Prawn, Squid, Clams & Fish. I know sounds very complicated but imagine really really good clam chowder with a variety of ingredients that surprises you every time you take a sip. I like that the chef used ginger because it made it very Filipino.
Next up were appetisers that honestly made me full to begin with because of the flavours that were dancing in my taste buds and how big the servings were. Here they are!
Citrus Glazed Beef Tepanaki with Enoki Mushrooms & Sunflower Sprouts. This literally melted in your mouth. For a person who doesn’t eat a lot, this can actually fill you up like a main course already!
Grilled US Scallops & Crispy Squid with Amaretto Cream & Lemon Iba Salsa. I’m not scallops fan but Ben is and he mentioned that its size is pretty hard to find and Adrian said that they have four suppliers from different cities for this to make sure they never run of it. The crispy squid was very soft. Calamares tastes almost the same when done right but what makes it good is if the squid doesn’t taste like you’re chewing gum and this one didn’t! :)
Cheese & Charcuterie Platter Truffle Maubert Brie, Gorgonzola Dolce & Machengo with Tarragon Chilli Oil, served with Prosciutto di Parma & Pistachio Mortadella. Ahhhh this made me miss Verniece so much. The best way to our hearts is a good plate of cheese and this one really reached our standards. Though its not made in house, they made sure to choose a supplier that serves cheese that are of quality. What I really like was the gorgonzola that tasted like bleu cheese but not as strong.
And now for the main course! Adrian and Jean probably went overboard when they ordered but Ben and I didn’t complain at all! haha :) Here are the plates we tasted:
Malunggay Potato & Camote Gnocchi Balls with Wild Arugula, Roast Garlic & Fresh Herb Cream Sauce. This one is for the vegetarians out there who are missing out on life! HAHA! Kidding but this will remind you of mochi balls that taste like pasta. Probably not the best way to describe it but that’s the closest food I can think of. It’s Italian Gnocchi Balls but they made sure to still make it in theme by using local ingredients :)
Spinach Parpadelle with Prosciutto, Peas & Fresh Organic Herbs & Tomato Olive Oil. I didn’t get to try this because I was so full from the meat and fishes but initially, they didn’t serve pasta but because of popular demand for it, they added this dish! The parpadelle (pasta) is homemade and very healthy because it’s spinach.
Grilled Salmon with Red Onion Marmalade & Dill Tarragon Beurre Blanc. I love salmon and this was really good!! The salmon very soft and the red onion marmalade was a good twist because it added a little bit more flavour but doesn’t overpower the salmon and that crunch when you take a bite.
USA “Harris Ranch” Hanging Beef Tender with Twice cooked “St. Helens” Beef Short Ribs. I’m not a fan of ribs but Ben liked it because of the sauce but we’re both fans of steak and the beef was really really good! It melted in your mouth as well and you had three sauces to choose from for your liking.
I was too full and satisfied with the dishes we had that I declined on desserts! That never happens and that’s a good thing! :) haha
The dishes are quite expensive and the cheapest I saw was probably 200 plus close to 300 pesos and can go as high as 1,500 pesos. It is quite expensive for a restaurant in Cebu as it is technically formal dinning but the ambiance of the place will make you feel right at home which doesn’t make you feel very uptight. Plus the servings are HUGEEEEE! So you get value for your money. If you’re a social media addict, the plating will make you dance for joy as their very instagram worthy and if you like to take OOTDs, then the place is for you too! Make sure to dress in something neutral to match the place :)
There you have it! A big thank you to Jean and Adrian for flying me all the way to Cebu for this :) Can’t wait to be back! :)