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Food Places

Megaworld opens al fresco foodstrip at Mactan Newtown

Cebu lechon belly, seafood like shrimps and shellfish, native chicken, and pork barbecue are just among the Cebuano dishes you can have at Mactan Alfresco, a newly-opened foodstrip at the Megaworld township development Mactan Newtown.

The foodstrip is a covered, circular kiosk that offers open-air dining. Seven of its 14 tenants started operations over the weekend, including Orange Karenderia, Meximama, Choobi Choobi, Manang Sayong, Mama Linda, and Conching’s Native Chicken.

Mactan Alfresco is inspired by the popular hawker centers in Singapore, said Megaworld marketing and business development head Teresa Pesigan Valentino.

Choobi-choobi shellfish
SHELLFISH served by Choobi Choobi.

“We want to help Mactan tourism and this is one way that people will be able to better appreciate Mactan,” she said, citing that foodstrip tenants will be serving lunch, dinner, and possibly beer and other drinks.

According to her, the target is for all 14 tenants to start operations in two to three months.

Alfresco tenants

The following restaurants have opened branches at Mactan Alfresco:

Orange Karenderia

The Alfresco branch is Orange Karenderia’s third in Cebu, said Michael Pato, one of the restaurant owners.

“Opening Orange Karenderia is our way of bringing back traditional local food in restaurants. Seafood like tuna and other deep sea fishes are abundant in our country and we serve them at our restaurants,” he pointed out.

Cebu lechon belly
Cebu is known for its traditional lechon and, lately, the lechon belly variation (above).

Meximama

Chef Dennis Uy, who owns Meximama, said his restaurant serves affordable Mexican food with ingredients imported from Los Angeles and Mexico.

As part of the pioneering group of the Mexican restaurant Maya, Uy said he has earned enough experience in Mexican food preparation.

“What we boast of at Meximama is we make our own salsas, tortillas, and nachos,” he added. Meximama serves chuletas, costillas de cerdo, pollo ala plancha, honey and chilli wings, fried fish fillet, mexicali, nachos en salsa roja, and taco salad.

Meximama has another branch in Marina Mall opened just three months ago.

Manok Bisaya
MANOK BISAYA. Conching serves native chicken dishes like the lechon manok bisaya above.

Choobi Choobi

As a purely Cebuano-owned restaurant, Choobi Choobi takes pride in its homegrown shrimps.

Gwen P. Deri, Choobi Choobi franchise executive, said they serve all kinds of seafood. The restaurant’s shrimps are grown in the owner’s prawn farms in the different areas of Cebu.

Including the one in Alfresco, Choobi Choobi already has four outlets in Cebu. It is planning to put up a company-owned branch in Manila and franchising additional outlets there, Deri added.

Choobi Choobi shrimps
SHRIMPS are the specialties of Choobi Choobi.

Cebuano food

Other Alfresco tenants: Manang Sayong, Mama Linda, and Conching’s Native Chicken.

Conching’s started out as a small ihaw-ihaw stall in Taboan way back in 1968. Its signature dish is the native chicken, which can be roasted or prepared as tinola or stew.

Manang Sayong serves barbecued chicken, pork, liver, native chorizo, and dried pusit, which are staple Cebuano food.

Sizzling dishes of gambas, beef, pork, squid, and seafood are Mama Linda’s specialties. It also serves crab, shrimp, and fish dishes.

Meximama quesadilla
QUESADILLA by Meximama.

Food tourism

Harold Geronimo, Megaworld head of public relations and communications, said Mactan Alfresco is in line with their goal to promote food tourism in Mactan.

“We are positioning Mactan Newtown as a tourism hub. We want people to come here and discover local Cebuano food. We want them to discover how good Cebuano food is. They don’t have to go far to have good food,” he added.

The next big development at the township will be the opening of 8 Newtown Blvd., which is a mixed use condominium with commercial retail, office, and residential components.

Among the other exciting features coming soon at Mactan Newtown: Plaza Magellan, a mall that will feature a museum and connect to the Liberty Shrine of Lapu-Lapu City and the development of its 11-hectare beachfront property that will be home to a beach club as well as boutique and resort hotels.

Mactan Alfresco in the Mactan Newtown
OPEN AIR DINING. The Mactan Alfresco in the Mactan Newtown is inspired by the popular hawker centers in Singapore.
Categories
Food

Popular Cebuano native restaurants open in SM Hypermarket Cebu

Popular Cebuano restaurants Conching’s Native Chicken, A-One Tinola ug Sinugba, and Cebu Lechon Belly now have outlets at SM Hypermarket Cebu along Logarta Avenue in Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

Angelo G. Carandang, store manager, said they wanted to add to the assortment of services they are currently offering SM Hypermarket customers.

Conching's specialty, which is the roasted native chicken, sells for P280.
Conching’s specialty, which is the roasted native chicken, sells for P280.

“We already offer grocery and fresh produce as well as appliances. Our aim is to further provide convenience to shoppers by allowing them to shop and eat in their favorite restaurants without having to worry about parking,” he added.

SM Hypermarket Cebu has put up al fresco dining spaces, 36 square meters for each restaurant, along the store’s anterior area. The restaurants can accommodate 32 people and a common dining area can seat about the same number.

Conching’s Native Chicken

Conching’s Native Chicken, which started as a small ihaw-ihaw stall in Taboan way back in 1968, is a popular food destination of locals, tourists, and even celebrities.

Popular restaurants Conching's, Cebu Lechon Belly, and A-One Tinola ug Sinugba now have branches at SM Hypermarket Cebu.
Popular restaurants Conching’s, Cebu Lechon Belly, and A-One Tinola ug Sinugba now have branches at SM Hypermarket Cebu.

The restaurant’s signature dish is the native chicken, which can be roasted or prepared as tinola or stew.

Concepcion Pia Layam, Conching’s Native Chicken owner, said they now sell an average of 200 roasted chicken daily. “We always use native chicken, that’s half the secret. The rest is our family’s trade secret,” Layam added.

Conching's at SM Hypermarket features al fresco dining. It can seat a maximum of 32 people.
Conching’s at SM Hypermarket features al fresco dining. It can seat a maximum of 32 people.

Conching’s main restaurant is near the Honda Cars Cebu Showroom along A. Soriano Avenue in Cebu City.

A-One Tinola ug Sinugba

Well known for its seafood menu, the A-One Tinola ug Sinugba started out as a roadside eatery selling grilled items at Pier Tres in 1984. Early customers referred to it as A-One because it was located in front of a lumber store carrying this name. The name has since stuck.

A-One is known for its seafood menu, including fish soup or tinola and grilled fish.
A-One is known for its seafood menu, including fish soup or tinola and grilled fish.

When it comes to flavorful fish tinola and grilled seafood, locals think of A-One. It sells fresh catch from the sea and grills it to perfection. People come to A-One for its bestsellers, which include freshly grilled tuna, squid, blue marlin as well as hot fish soup locally known as tinola.

Esmeralda Paca, one of the daughters of the couple who started the small streetside barbecue stall, said her father was a fisherman and her mother a fish vendor. The inspiration for the eatery came from their livelihood means, she added.
Paca said she and her other siblings worked to grow A-One into what it is now. Early this January, they plan to open an A-One branch in Tubigon, Bohol. Aside from Zamboanga, Bohol is also A-One’s supplier of fresh seafood.

Cebu Lechon Belly

Cebu Lechon Belly started with an idea that revolutionalized the roasted pig industry. The company calls its innovation “super lechon” because it gives people what they want in a roasted pig: the belly part which is tender and boneless at the same time.

Cebu Lechon Belly came up in 2012 with roasted pork that is boneless and using only the best part of the pig which is the belly.
Cebu Lechon Belly came up in 2012 with roasted pork that is boneless and using only the best part of the pig.

Marlon Gochan, owner, said all the flavor goes to the belly because it is where roasters put all the spices including lemongrass. Every inch of Cebu Lechon Belly is guaranteed to be as good as all the other bites.

“I admit we had a hard time at first because we’re in Cebu, the place famous for lechon. It’s hard to compete with the favorites but what we have introduced is something that people also want,” he pointed out. Cebu Lechon Belly now has 30 branches nationwide and they’re the first Cebu-based lechon business to ever reach Manila.

The Cebu Lechon Belly branch in SM Hypermarket Cebu is one of 30 operating nationwide.
The Cebu Lechon Belly branch in SM Hypermarket Cebu is one of 30 operating nationwide.

These three restaurants in Cebu now operate at SM Hypermarket Cebu, making it easier for their customers to satisfy their craving for their popular dishes. Carandang said SM Hypermarket is not just groceries, clothes, and home essentials anymore, it is also now a place where people can taste Cebu native food specialties.