November 29, 2016
Circa 1900 is a casual dining restaurant that focuses on incorporating local technics and ingredients into international cuisine. Circa 1900 offers an eclectic menu with plenty of choices that range from the familiar to the exotic.
Cebu City has always drawn skilled chefs to the local culinary scene, many of whom are continually carving out their reputations in the "Queen City of The South," making Cebu one of the Philippines' gastronomic hotspots.
One such chef who has made a name for himself here is Steve Shrimski, an Australian-born chef who's career stretches nearly 30 years. He resides in Cebu with his Cebuana wife and Business Partner, Eya.
The pair has enjoyed success with the opening of Canvas Bistro Bar and Gallery in October of 2009. Circa 1900, their second and equally successful venture, was opened in 2014.
Sanjercas Ville Ext Rd
Cebu City, Cebu
(032) 239 6265 or 0923 279 5616
Daily From 11am - 12 am
Circa 1900 is actually a cluster of ancestral homes that have been fashioned into restaurants. Casa Uno, which opened in March 2014, is a casual dining restaurant perfect for families and groups. Casa Dos, which opened July 2016, is more of a tapas bar that offers up sandwiches and wraps.
On our Recent Trip to Cebu, we had dinner at Casa Uno. Here's what to expect...
It's easy to appreciate the work that went into the renovation of the old colonial homes. The property is surrounded by green lawns and pocket gardens with picnic tables for al fresco dining.
The interior is warm and welcoming with high ceilings and open dining areas. We like how they were able to preserve the antique tables, chairs, and floorings and how these adds to the nostalgic ambiance of the restaurant.
Circa 1900 Menu: casa-uno-menu
Triple Dip Shots (P255). Salmon Cream Cheese Mousse, Queso Con Carne & Blue Cheese, Bacon & Sour Cream, served with Mini Lavosh & Baked Tortilla Strips.
A nice appetizer, the dips were flavorful and the Lavosh was nice and crispy.
Lavosh is an Armenian unleavened flat bread that has become common in the middle east and around the world. It is traditionally cooked by being slapped onto the side of hot clay ovens.
Crispy Ravioli (P330). With Spinach, Buffalo Cheese, Fresh Button & Swiss Brown Mushroom, Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Cream Sauce.
These were fantastic. The crispy ravioli have a similar taste and texture to fried wontons.
The spinach and mushroom were perfectly cooked and the truffle cream sauce was seasoned just right to not overpower the dish. A must-try!
Chicken Bringhe (P295). Sticky rice with turmeric, vegetables, and coconut milk. Topped with sauteed chicken and sprouts.
This is a take on a traditional Kapampangan dish, which in turn is a Filipino translation of a Spanish Paella. The flavors all came through perfectly and the chicken was tender. This was slightly sweeter compared to Bringhe found in central Luzon.
Smoked Marlin, Arugula, Mesclun & Grilled Saba Banana (P265). With Singkamas & Tangy Wasabi Dill Sauce.
The smoked marlin and grilled banana work well in this salad. The greens were fresh and crisp and the wasabi dressing wasn't overpowering.
Aromatic Pork Rib Soup (P225). With broccoli and button mushrooms.
The soup was just OK. The broth was a bit oily and slightly underseasoned.
Kaffir Lime & Ginger Infused Seafood Chowder (P285). With Prawn, Squid, Clams & Fish.
If you like chowders then you'll love this version. The ginger and the Kaffir lime add a nice zest to what is traditionally a rich and creamy dish. Very well-executed.
Truffled Squid & Prawn Risotto (P475). With fragrant fresh herbs.
A properly cooked risotto should be rich, the rice should be cooked al dente, and the grains should separate evenly without access liquids.
This was executed perfectly! The fresh herbs and truffle oil complemented the squid and prawn and didn't overpower the natural flavors. Our favorite dish of the evening!
Squid Ink Pasta (P475). Shrimp Scampi, Cherry Tomato, Basil & Lemon Juice with Olive Oil.
The shrimp scampi was tender and fresh, and the squid ink pasta added a slight brininess.
Beef Teppanyaki (P395). With Citrus Glaze, Enoki Mushrooms and Sunflower Sprouts.
This was another fantastic dish. The beef was tender and the citrus glaze was packed with Asian flavors.
Medium Rare Seared Ostrich (P695). With Spiced Red Wine Tablea Jus & Polenta.
Ostrich meat is rare to come by in the Philippines. Unlike chicken and other poultry, Ostrich is very lean and is best when cooked medium to medium rare.
The steak was cooked perfectly and was tender. However, the chocolate sauce added a slight bitterness that could have been a result of overcooking. Not sure on this one, but it's worth another try.
Slow Braised Lengua Pot Pie (P595). Lengua (cows tongue) is slow cooked till tender and then baked in a pie.
The lengua was tender and the stew rich with earthy flavors from the mushroom and onion.
Try dipping the flaky crust into the stew.
Encrusted Pork Cutlet (P395). Tender pork marinated with onions, garlic, and apple juice.
This was sort of a reimagining of a classic dish. The pork was tender and cooked perfectly but the dish was very sweet.
Seabass Fillet (P695). Topped with lemon and garlic chargrilled prawns.
The seabass was cooked to perfection and the chargrilled prawns were delicious and flavorful.
Maja Blanca & Rosquillos Cheesecake (P140)
A nice dessert that incorporates the Rosquillos perfectly. Pair with hot chocolate or coffee.
Chocolate Stout Cake With Strawberry Jam (P145)
If you love chocolate desserts then this stout cake is for you. The cake is rich and moist and the strawberry jam didn't make the dish overly sweet.
Caramelized White Chocolate & Crème Brulee Bread Pudding (P180)
The best dessert of the night and one of the best bread puddings we've tried.
Everything worked perfectly together. The texture was silky and sweet. The most surprising thing was how light the bread pudding was. Another must-try!
We enjoyed our time at Circa 1900 and the food we tried from Casa Uno. Chef Shrimskie does a fantastic job of combining international dishes with local ingredients. We love how fresh the food was and how well the dishes were executed. The interiors are homely and the staff is kind and helpful.
Start with the Crispy Ravioli, Seafood Chowder, or the Citrus Glazed Beef Teppanyaki. Then order the Seabass Fillet with Grilled Prawns and Truffled Squid & Prawn Risotto. For dessert be sure to try the excellent Caramelized White Chocolate & Crème Brulee Bread Pudding.
Circa 1900 Casa Uno is perfect for dinner dates. Expect to pay around 800/head.
Congratulations to Chef Steve and Eva, and thanks to all the staff at Circa 1900!
Sanjercas Ville Ext Rd
Cebu City, Cebu
(032) 239 6265
Daily From 11am - 12 am
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Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Circa 1900 for our video shoot for Hot Stop: Cebu. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. The name Circa 1900 name came about because nobody was exactly sure when the properties were built, only knowing that they were constructed sometime in the 1900's.