Gorging on crispy lechon skin and succulent pork meat is probably the No. 1 on your Cebu itinerary, but have you ever had pork brain gravy?
Barangay Pasil and Suba’s famous tuslob buwa (which means “to dip in bubbles”) is a rich concoction of pork brain and liver, broth and spices that’s simmered over low heat.
“When it starts bubbling that’s when you dip the pusô (hanging rice)—but please don’t double dip,” said Circa 1900 head chef Jonico Delaca, who whipped up a savory batch of tuslob buwa that we still think of from time to time. Delaca said it’s a favorite street food in the barangay, but we would happily dip pusô in a piping bowl of pork brain gravy for dinner.
Eating tuslob buwa may be one of our favorite memories of our recent trip to Cebu. But for those who are looking for more places to visit and more dishes to sample at the Queen City of the South, here are some ideas:
1. Just off Cebu’s picturesque TransCentral Highway is Buwakan ni Alejandra (Alejandra’s flower garden) in Balamban. For P75, visitors can stroll, take photos (for the ’Gram) or just enjoy the view. Fair warning that the blooms are not for sale.
2. If you’re staying for a long time in Cebu, many Filipino martial arts groups are offering arnis and escrima lessons this summer. Even Hollywood legend Bruce Lee practiced this native martial art, thanks to Filipino instructor Dan Inosanto.
3. The pork tenderloin may be the logical choice at Pig & Palm, but don’t skip out on the poached red grouper with gruyere crust served on a bed of bright and light parsley adlai. Other must-trys from Michelin-star British chef Jason Atherton’s restaurant are the addicting seaweed crackers with wasabi and calamansi mayo; the warm and fluffy brioche served with onion jam and chicken and thyme butter, and KFC or Korean fried chicken.
4. The Yap-San Diego ancestral house is also a cool stop in Cebu. Property tour guide Lloyd Galenzoga said the house was built in the 17th century, and was finished with large and heavy terra-cotta roof tiles. Thanks to the sturdy roofing, the centuries-old house was spared from the wrath of Typhoon “Odette,” said Galenzoga. The house is decorated with many curios (retablo, carnival glass, chairs for child birth), but perhaps one of the most interesting things about the house is that the owners still sleep there from time to time.
5. Lechon for brunch? Why not? Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark serves soft, juicy and tasty lechon during brunch. It pairs well with their adobo rice, too.