Eat’s my life
I LOVE hanging out in obscure bars, and I’ve actually found quite a few in my endeavors as a food writer. I know Mactan Island is a bit of a drive from Cebu City, but there are actually a lot of nice places to hang out in Lapu-Lapu City.
One of my favorite places in Opon is really hard to find (holes in the wall usually are), even though it’s along the main road coming from the old bridge.
It’s called “Botan Snack Bar” and it’s on the second floor of a small commercial complex right across the street from a spa. It’s about five minutes away from the bridge, and if you find yourself in Pueble Verde, you’ve gone too far.
What’s so great about it? The hospitality of the proprietor and his staff. We Pinoys pride ourselves on being very hospitable, but the staff at Botan takes hospitality to a whole new level. No, it’s not that kind of bar, let me make that clear. The owner is a Japanese gentleman, whose name I forget, but his Filipina wife is named Grace. His wife helps out in serving the guests, and you’d be surprised at how nice she is. She gets your drink, let’s say a bottle of San Miguel Light, and she pours the drink into your glass, with a great big smile on her face. You can feel the sincerity in the way she’s hospitable. Nothing’s a put-on with her. The same can be said for the staff, Chandra and Gelli. They pour your drinks, they serve your food, they sing songs with you, but again, let me repeat, it’s NOT that kind of bar. The place is really decent, and guys looking for action better look elsewhere, because again, it is not that kind of bar.
It’s just a really nice place, it makes you feel like you’re at home in your garage or living room, just chilling with your friends. There’s pretty good sashimi at Botan.
The serving I got was colored pink, which means it’s fatty, which means it’s good (and expensive). Aside from the sashimi, there is also butter-fried squid. I don’t know if this is an actually Japanese dish, but yeah, I like it too.
If you’re looking for a nice place to hang out in, and you don’t mind not understanding what the Japanese guy next to you is saying (the clientele is mostly Japanese and Koreans; the last time I went there, I was the only Pinoy guy there.),
Botan is the place for you. It’s no frills, just good drinking and great hospitality.