A fusion of art and cuisines

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Friday, July 4, 2014


WHEN life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or how about a restaurant?

Planted along Salinas Drive in Lahug, Cebu City, is Lemon Tree Fusion Restaurant, a Korean-owned cafe and dining destination that opened last April 24. The name has nothing to do with the fruit, really. Well, have cold lemon water available for self-service.

Lemon Tree is a modern corner with a twist; housing the right balance between creativity and food. For one, the atmosphere inside is a display of vintage and artsy themes.

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If you’re an antique junkie, then you’d probably go gaga over the retro accessories around. Conjured straight out of your granny’s box of memories are film cameras, a rotary phone, a mini bubble gum dispenser, collectible cars, analog calculators, transistor radios, paperbacks and other stuff worth browsing.

Oh! The hearts in your eyes! And how’s a sewing machine for a table? The Singer sewing machine was actually sourced from different households, which make the place all the more interesting. To complement the quirky aura are chairs in unique forms, colors and sizes. The restaurant can accommodate about 50 diners inside.

Cutesy images are also flashed randomly on the wall, a feature that jives well with the music in the room. By the way, there’s so much space in the main dining area, an initiative intended to respect privacy among customers.

For those who want to hang out under the open skies, an al fresco ambiance is waiting at the backyard. The artificial cherry blossom trees and the overall minimalist feel contribute to a contemporary Japanese set up. The bar area has about 28 seats; the function room with 12 while the squatting lounge has nine tables. Choose your spot!

Now for the fun part. As much as Lemon Tree is a fusion of interiors, the restaurant is also a fusion of cuisines, highlighting Italian and French fares with a touch of homemade flavors. And mind you, their offerings are not just pulled out of the kitchen depending on the chef’s mood. Each is experimented to perfection!

Thumb through the DIY scrapbook menu and droll over the selection of chows from bread, meat to greens.

Lemon Tree’s Gorgonzola Pizza is one adorable yellow lump loaded with the rich, strong-flavored Italian cheese (gorgonzola) and all the mozarella goodness, too! Actually, the piece turned out as a personal favorite. Wait ‘til you pour honey on every crust prior to munching.

Set aside the whole “carb” hoopla and indulge in a pool of creamy carbonara housed in a pot-shaped Pane French bread. Unlike the regular pasta, the bread here tweaks the whole carbonara experience, which makes it really good.

If you’re up for a real meal, then help yourself to the BBQ Platter. One serving, which is good for two persons, comes with harvest rice, chicken and pork barbeque, garden salad and a slice of pineapple. All in!

Another main course that is called Surf and Turf also has so much on the plate.

There’s harvest rice, veggies, fried shrimp and the stellar item, beef steak which is 100 percent Angus beef–stuffed yet tender.

Meanwhile, Shrimp Pilaf is a mixture of fried rice, shrimp and bacon topped with sunny-side-up egg. The dish also comes with two pieces of barbecue on stick and mashed potato.

For your “healthy” fix, try the Lemon Tree Salad, the vegetarian’s play of fresh mangoes, tomatoes, red cabbage and strips of crab meat, among other elements.

To digest everything, you would need soda, fruit drinks in mason jars, plain water or Lemon Tree’s must-try, Korea’s pride Cream Beer. Bottles of red and white wines are also available for cheers.

Lemon Tree Fusion Restaurant bursts with art and tastes daily from 11 noon to 2 a. m. just outside Cebu IT Park in Lahug, Cebu City.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 05, 2014.

Lifestyle

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