Fresh off the plane in Cebu, I knew I had to try Lechon. World famous enough that you never have to wonder what the first food to try in Cebu is. I was sceptical. Growing up as a Chinese Canadian eating roasted pig, I doubted if it could be that good. I went to the House of Lechon to try it, and I can triumphantly say I’ve now tasted the best roast pork in the world. Smoked and roasted over coals, and then stuffed with herbs and spices, Lechon is appetizing different. It’s triumphantly and unapologetically pork taste isn’t hidden, it’s enhanced. You can either get the spicy Lechon or regular. Trust me get the spicy. Even my wimpiest, whitest, chicken sandwich with mayo ordering friends can handle the heat here. The spices in the Philippines are mildly hot. Unlike Thailand, where spicy means you will die with your tongue hanging out.
The street BBQ you can try at all these mom and pop shops that appear at night. You don’t see them during the day much but at night they pop up. At $3 (90 php) for a 10 skewers and 4 hanging rice it’ll fill you right up. It’s my main food to eat here inn Cebu. Smoky delicious and grilled when you want it. Quick tip for my friends, in Asia if you see this stand it’s normal etiquette to pick the skewers you want grilled and give it the cook. You don’t have to make eye contact and wait. Hanging rice is rice that is packaged in hand woven coconut leaves, and are super pretty to look at.
Balut is the third thing you have to try. It’s 16-21 day old duck egg that is boiled. Inside each egg is a partially grown duck. The closer to 21 day the more you will have a beak, feathers and such. I haven’t seen Balut in restaurants, but they seem to be selling it like hot dogs in roaming carts. How does it taste? Delicious! It’s gross looking, but fantastically tasty. I’d recommend it to people who like soft poached eggs. You first take off part of the shell, careful it’s hot, grab some vinegar and a pinch of salt and eat away. Soft, eggy, and moist Balut is often sold as an aphrodisiac. There is a super rubbery piece inside that seems to be a bit of over cooked egg, you can eat or skip it (like the rind on a cheese). Overall I’d say if you love hard boiled, soft boiled or devilled eggs you’ll love Balut. Balut is 50 cents (17 php).
So if you’re looking for delicious food in the country that want to retire in, this is it. Cebu has tasty food.