For those who are looking for world-class continental cuisine, the 2010 Míele Guide included Cebu’s Gustavian as one of its recommendations. The Gustavian is a fine dining establishment that serves European food and country cooking from the Old World. It is the brainchild of master chef and saucier Robert Lilja, who attained a number 1 ranking in customer satisfaction for the Marriott hotel chain when he was one of its star chefs. The culinary team also includes chef Jun Basa, head of commissary and Orient Express, and master chef Dietmar Dietrich, who has decades of experience from working in the kitchens of many fine international hotels in Europe. Michel Lhuillier is the chairman of the Gustavian’s company.
The restaurant is located at #1 Paseo Saturnino, on the corner of A. S. Fortuna and the old Ma. Luisa Road, Banilad, but also has a location at the Ayala Terraces, not to mention in Tacloban and Makati. Both locations offer a unique atmosphere for comfortable yet stylish dining, including a British-style pub called a taproom. The taproom serves imported beers and fine wines as well as local spirits.
The Banilad location features a European-style delicatessen with gourmet cheese, bread, sausages, spices, and other imported European delicacies, while the location at the Ayala Terraces has a limited selection. To showcase its homemade deli products, the Gustavian offers restaurant service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Gustavian’s menu changes from time to time but includes tournedos (fillet of beef) with gorgonzola, pepper, and morel sauce, a dish that is the kitchen specialty. You can also have Angus beef seared to perfection and served with asparagus and green salad plus Caesar dressing and crusted potato rissole that melts in your mouth. Chef Robert and Chef Dietmar like to include delicate and clever little flourishes like sweet Visayan mango slice in the deliciously tart prawn Caesar salad.
Casual attire is the norm at the Gustavian, and walk-in diners are welcome, but it also takes reservations, so do call the restaurant before you visit, particularly if you will be in a group. Outdoor seating is available since the restaurant has a broad veranda at its entrance.
People who want their lifestyle options served to them on a silver platter can become Gustavian Lifestyle Passport program members to enjoy exclusive benefits, discounts, and events that reward their loyalty. To contact the Gustavian (Banilad), you can call telephone numbers +63 (32) 344-7653 or 344-6796. Telephone numbers for the Gustavian at Ayala Terraces are +63 (32) 514-1979 and 238-8971. You can also find out more about this restaurant on its Web site, gustavian.ph
A) Paseo Saturnino, on the corner of A. S. Fortuna and the old Ma. Luisa Road, Banilad Mandaue City
B) Ayala Terraces, Bohol Avenue, Cebu City