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Asian Fusion in Cebu
With the sheer number of restaurants in Cebu, it can sometimes be hard to decide where you’ll sit down for a meal. If you have a yen for some delicious Asian cuisine, here are a couple of Cebu restaurants you might find to your liking.
As it is Cebu’s first restaurant to take its inspiration from Singaporean hawkers’ stalls, Uncle Noodles is a noodle shop with a difference. This noodle outlet in the heart of our city introduced Cebuanos to food they could get from a hawker in Singapore, by adapting it to Filipinos’ tastes with some locally sourced ingredients. Uncle Noodles opened sometime around July 2011, and even gave away free siopao for its first 100 customers who ordered Uncle’s Special. By the later part of the year, it already got approving write-ups in the local dailies, Sun.Star and the Freeman.
Uncle Noodles was established by business partners Vance Valeri Borja and Engr. Carlos Porras. They came up with the concept for their food business after they realized that the noodle culture in the Philippines is not quite as developed as that of Singapore, where noodles are a staple.
Cebuano diners can have their noodles in the style that’s already become quite familiar to Filipinos, the highly popular noodle soup or mami, as it’s called in the vernacular. However, diners can also give the somewhat more experimental dry noodles a try, for a different dining experience. Uncle Noodles serves the dry noodles with a separate container of its clear soup, which uses chicken-based stock. The diner can then decide how much or how little soup to pour on the dry noodles.
Both the noodle soup and the dry noodle options come with a variety of toppings that includes bean sprouts, char siu (barbecued meat), Chinese cabbage, danggit, fish balls, minced meat, mushroom, prawns, and shark’s fin. A little bit of everything is in the aforementioned Uncle’s Special, which can be in either soup form or in dry noodles form.
Vance Borja, who’s also the chef handling product development for Uncle Noodles, recommends having a bowl of Uncle Noodles as a hangover cure. He also likes to use Singaporean sambal, which is chili based, as a condiment for the noodles. One of the noodle soup combinations available is called the Pasir Ris Bowl, after a residential area in Singapore. Chef Vance was able to experience the majesty of Singapore when he stayed there from 2008 to 2010.
Uncle Noodles is located at the lower ground floor of 2 Mango Avenue, Gen. Maxilom Street, Cebu City. Business hours for this homey noodle shop with ample parking space are 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. Friday to Saturday. For delivery, you may call telephone number (032) 520-1524. Find out more on this restaurant through its Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/unclenoodlescebu/
Further along the spectrum of Asian fusion in Cebu dining is the seafood restaurant known as Choi City. When the restaurant first opened its doors in Banilad Town Centre, on November 19, 2011, it was the first provincial branch of the Manila-based Choi chain of restaurants. This restaurant chain was founded by Choi Tak Pui, a Hong Kong restaurateur. A group of foodies namely Norman Condon, Sharon Go-Ong, Frank Lao, and Jay Tan brought Choi City to Cebu.
If you hanker for such Chinese food as e-fu noodles, Fukien misua, ham soy kok, pan-fried radish cake, Peking duck, pi dan (the so-called century egg), polonchay (Chinese spinach) tofu, shrimp hakaw, siao long pao, taro pao, or wonton noodle soup, you can find all these at Choi City. Choi City is primarily a Cantonese restaurant specializing in delicacies made with fresh seafood, including fish lip, jellyfish, lapu-lapu, rock lobster, scallops, sea cucumber, sea mantis, and shark’s fin. However, you can also partake of other Asian fusion delicacies there, like shabu-shabu, lobster sashimi, mango seafood roll, chicken rice, pineapple fried rice, lechon macau (roast layer pork), roast asado, braised pata tim, egg tarts, and even a fine-dining version of hot taho. Those of you who are tea drinkers may be glad to know that Choi City serves jasmine tea at no cost when you dine in at the restaurant.
A former Miss Cebu, Kris Janson, starred in Choi City’s video advertisement. The video had a proposal theme as Choi City also strategically positions itself as a dining venue where people can create lovely memories together. You can simply look for any of the managers at Choi City, who will help you arrange a surprise for a loved one.
Choi City is located on the ground floor in the South Arcade of Banilad Town Centre. For reservations and inquiries, just call (032)239-0999 or (032)239-0800. You can also find out more through the official Facebook page for Choi City, http://www.facebook.com/choicityseafood
A) Uncle Noodles, 2 Mango Avenue
B) Choi City, Banilad Town Centre