I CAN no longer count the number of special occasions and casual dinners I have enjoyed in the turn-of-the-century house turned dining destination at the end of Sanjercasvil Road in Lahug, Cebu City. From christenings and weddings to brand launches and corporate events, Circa 1900 is a clear favorite among Cebuanos.
Circa 1900 recently counted and celebrated the five years that Casa Uno, the larger of the two beautifully restored houses in the complex, opened its doors and dining areas to Cebu. Regular guests of the restaurant were invited to an evening garden party to celebrate the milestone, where they were treated to free-flowing wine and delicious food from different food stations: European, noshery bread, tapas, Southeast Asian, modern Filipino, Canvas catering and dessert.
The anniversary event had students from Southwestern University Phinma, who along with their teacher and sustainability advocate Francis Sollano, exhibited their beautiful artwork at the restaurant. Half of the proceeds from sales of the artwork benefited the Youth for Livable Cebu, an organization which finds creative ways for Cebuano youth to collaborate for a more livable community.
Executive chef Steve Shrimski and his wife, operations manager Eya Shrimski, were all praise for the restaurant staff and credited them for doing a fantastic job over the years. They are also grateful to the customers who keep coming back and supporting the restaurant.
Combined with the ambience and service, it’s of course the food that sets Circa 1900 apart from the usual. “You can’t be complacent. You have to keep up with trends to keep [clients] coming back,” said Chef Steve. “We try to keep things sustainable and healthy. We don’t like to deep fry.”
Every few months, new items are rotated into the menu, but there are also the mainstays like the sticky date pudding that has been the bestseller for seven or eight years, almost since the Shrimskis’ other concept, Canvas restaurant, first opened.
The food at Circa 1900 does not fall into any one category or one type of cuisine. It’s creatively designed, well prepared, beautifully presented, and simply delicious. As Circa 1900 public relations manager Adrian Sollano described, it is “Cuisine with culture; cuisine with character.”