Abaca Restaurant, Cebu
Some say, Jason Hyatt's Abaca is one of the best restaurants and boutique hotels in Cebu. Abaca is famous for its flat bread pizzas and steaks. The place is named after the indigenous material abaca, which is predominantly used around the resort.
I first heard about Abaca from Jason Magbanua, who was raving about it as one of the best wedding destinations he has ever filmed. Some Cebuanos would often go to Abaca just for the flat bread pizza and eat it with a view of the awesome sunset.
Is Abaca really the Best Gourmet Restaurant in Cebu?
The BEST of Cebu City Series:
It is about an hour away from Cebu City, located near the airport, way past Shangri-la Mactan and the controversially pink Hilton Hotel. It is beside the Microtel Hotel. Dining in the restaurant is by reservation only. Set your dinner reservation at 8pm to allot time for the rush hour traffic if you are coming from the city.
Request to reserve the open air patio, which looks out into the sea. These are the best seats in the house in an air-cooled restaurant. Priority is given to in-house guests for the patio tables, though. All patio reservations have a corresponding table inside the restaurant just in case it rains.
It is a good hang-out place for drinking while waiting for the food or eating dessert after the main course.
The service was quite friendly and amusing. We called them the "right-away" waiters because every time we asked for anything, they would say, "Right Away, Ma'am/Sir." But in reality, we had to follow up or else it would have been forgotten right away.
Maybe there is a flaw in the waiter assignment system. A waiter is not assigned to one particular table. You will see all of them pass your table, looking away, probably wishing that you won't order anything. Every time you catch them, they are trained well to say "Right away," but forget about it after.
Or perhaps, Jason Hyatt was not there that night, so the service was a bit lax.
Abaca's menu reminds me of a combination of Antonio's Breakfast and Dinner fare combined.
The prices indicated are absurdly plus 10% service charge and 12% VAT. All of the good restaurants in Manila already fold the VAT in with the price. With Abaca, I felt deceived by the menu prices when I saw the ++ in our final bill.
Mortadella Flatbread Pizza (P395 +10% SC +12% VAT). Fontina, organic arugula, garlic herb bechamel.
Braised Duck Leg Flatbread Pizza (P405 +10% SC +12% VAT). Homemade ricotta, caramelized onions, olives.
Abaca Burger (P695 +10% SC +12% VAT). Angus beef, smoked bacon, emmental, house pickles.
Abaca Bouillabaisse (P895 +10% SC +12% VAT). Prawn, squid, shellfish, seabass, crostini.
Braised Beef Shortrib (P905 +10% SC +12% VAT). Celery root puree, wild mushrooms.
The meats are really good in Abaca. We usually order the non-steak meat dishes in restaurants to see if they know how to cook their meat. This braised short rib was so tasty that we wondered what was in the secret sauce of this dish. Whatever it is, this unique dish is worth more than its price tag of P1,115. :)
Roasted Oxtail Cannelloni (P595 +10% SC +12% VAT). Melted leeks, fontina, red wine.
Thanks to Mari for being the cover model of this blog post! :)
The BEST of Cebu City Series:
- TAVOLATA: La Trattoria di Abaca - the BEST Italian Restaurant in Cebu?
- MAYA, Cebu: My Birthday in the Best Mexican Restaurant
- ABACA Restaurant in Mactan, Cebu by Jason Hyatt