After our Danao, Bohol trip, we decided to fly out via Cebu, and our last stopover was in Banilad Town Center. We decided to stop there because it is near Our Lady of Peace by the Pink Sisters where we wanted to hear Sunday Mass. I remembered the buzz about Marketmanila's Zubuchon before the Christmas Season, and bringing home a Cebu Lechon was the perfect pasalubong for our families.
I heard a lot of foodies raving about the lechon, so I was excited to try it for myself.
I was surprised that the stall still had a lot of supply after lunch on a Sunday. Usually, if you buy in CNT or any other lechon places in Cebu, the lechon is always sold out in the morning.
The first taste test was very good. The skin of the lechon is as crispy as chicharon. The story is they would puncture the lechon skin while it is being cooked to get that crispiness; hence, it is called the acupunctured pig.
The lechon has a full flavor in itself, with no need for any sauce. It is not too salty like CNT, and it has that herby flavor from the spices. I like their claim that they don't use MSG. (I was wondering if CNT and other Cebu Lechon suppliers use it for their lechon… Would you know?)
I love Zubuchon because it is lechon done in an old-school manner but with a noticeable leap forward in terms of taste. The pig is cooked naturally without any MSG, artificial mixes, and artificial painting of the skin. You can taste the quality of the herbs they use…
"We use only the freshest and often home grown organic lemongrass, green onions, siling labuyo or peppers, local sea salt, and other herbs and spices." – Joel, MarketManila.com
No doubt, this is the best lechon I've tasted in Cebu — better than CNT. It was able to justify its premium pricing because of its artisanal quality.
You need to buy a minimum of 2 kilos so that it could be boxed. You have the option of having it chopped or to have it wrapped as is. If you're asking your friends to bring you a Zubuchon pasalubong, it would easily cost you P900 for 2 kilos.
However, the problem with Zubuchon is that it is only good 2-3 hours from the time you purchase it. It is perishable, so some people buy the Frozen Lechon. The frozen ones are not that good anymore when you transport them to Manila. Sometimes it is better to buy the fresh ones from the airport branch (but P40/kilo more expensive).
Despite the extensive write-up you'll get on how to preserve the taste of the lechon when you bring it to Manila, it does not taste as good as eating it in Cebu. I don't think there will be a way for Manilenos to enjoy it, not unless the lechon itself is cooked in Manila.
I was so proud to bring a box of Zubuchon for my family, but the taste wasn't the same as when I tasted it in Cebu. (Maybe you have some suggestions on how to best preserve that taste and crispiness of the skin?)
Banilad Town Center
(stall in front of Robinsons Supermarket)
Telephone: +63 32-2365264, 32-5835699
Mobile: +63 917-6274761
Weekdays: 10am – 7pm (Except Monday)
Weekend: 9am – 7pm
Fresh / Frozen Lechon (P450/ Kilo)
Frozen Lechon Ready to Cook Sisig (P295)
Lechons from PHP4,000-PHP6,000 (depending on the size)
Mactan Domestic Airport, Pre-departure Lounge
(Right after the last security checkpoint in the airport)
Airport Store Hours: 6am to 9pm
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P.S. What's the best Cebu Lechon for you?