Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The smell of Cebu's best in The Fort

A POPULAR lechon joint from the province of Cebu has landed in The Fort, Bonifacio Global City (BGC), as the first establishment to have a roasting pit in the area, and is set to treat Metro Manila with Cebu-Style lechon.

Rico's Lechon, located at The Fort Strip, a hangout spot packed with eateries and nightlife, is ready to serve the best Cebu-quality lechon to its customers, so one wouldn't need to fly to Cebu to taste the real thing.

Different from Cebu's -- which is done in soil -- the lechon roasting is done indoors. The roasting pit is built with innovative mechanism for its exhaust and adjusting temperatures, upholding quality and food safety standards.

The company's founder, Enrico "Rico" Dionson, will be in Metro Manila to observe and monitor the restaurant in order to provide the Cebu lechon taste for the customers.

Marie Jo, head of marketing for Rico's Lechon in Metro Manila, said that in order for the restaurant to provide the consistency of taste in their dishes, they have sent their engineers and technical people to Cebu and their "lechoneros" to Manila to get the right settings for their lechon.

"Cebuano lechon, you don't need sauce for it. The meat, the skin is delicious enough. The Manila lechon, you need to dip it with Mang Tomas or any other sauce to be delicious... It's super sarap," said Ronald Conopio in an interview, comparing the Cebu lechon to the Manila-style lechon.

Besides being known for its original flavor, Rico's is also known for its spicy lechon dish, which is basically lechon but with a strong heated flavor in it.

Even Michael -- one of the servers of the restaurant who is from Manila -- also couldn't resist the taste of the Cebu lechon. "Sobrang sarap lang talaga yung spicy," he said.

But don't fret, there are other items in the menu, each served with the quality of Cebu-style-goodness.

The menu also includes other Filipino favorites, such as fried rice trio that contains three kinds of dried fishes: danggit, tuyo, and tinapa; seafood kare-kare; crispy feetchon; sizzling lechon sisig; pusit na pinaputok; monggos; cucumansi, which is a refreshing juice mix of cucumber and calamansi; and the best-seller sauce, sukalami.

"I've been a patron of Rico's Lechon for years and personally believe it's the best," said Meat Concepts Corp. president George Pua. "We want to be able to have Cebuanos take pride in sharing this with the rest of the country, and eventually the world."

Together with Meat Concepts Corp., Rico's lechon is set to open several other branches in Luzon:

* Rico's Lechon Top of the Glo, Glorietta 1, Makati City

* Rico's Lechon Tiendesitas, Pasig City

* Rico's Lechon Cloverleaf, Balintawak, Quezon City

* Rico's Lechon UP Town Center, Quezon City

The Rico's Lechon brand has been a mainstay in Cebu for more than 20 years, an institution for Cebuanos and visitors from Manila and all over the world. Indeed, "Dabest gyud!" in the region.

Rico's Lechon is set to officially have a soft opening on August 3, Friday. (Juan Miguel D. Bonjoc, University of Santo Tomas intern/SunStar Philippines)


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