MANILA-based No Limit Food Inc. has entered Cebu with the opening of KPub BBQ Meat All You Can in Ayala Center Cebu, the firm’s first branch outside Metro Manila and the third in the Philippines.
KPub is Korean concept restaurant with a K-Pop theme. It sits on a 600-square-meter facility at the Ayala Center Cebu Terraces that features a main dining hall, six VIP rooms, a smoking area and an al fresco area that can accommodate up to 350 people.
“We are happy to bring the concept of KPub to Cebu, especially now that Korea is becoming a favorite tourist destination of Cebuanos. KPub will bring in the vibrant food and culture for the local market to experience and will be a welcome and unique addition to Cebu’s growing culinary landscape,” said KPub president and proprietor George Pua.
In an interview yesterday, Pua said he was moved to bring KPub to Cebu following the positive feedback of Cebuanos who have experienced their food and service in Manila. He also wanted to impart his Korean travel journey to Filipinos through authentic Korean cuisine served at KPub.
Pua, however, declined to disclose the investment of the business but he said that the Cebu branch is the “most expensive” so far because of the logistics, trainings, and aesthetics involved.
He said KPub is the biggest Korean buffet in Cebu.
The restaurant offers diners four packages priced from P499 to P999. On top of these, the restaurant also offers ala carte dishes and Oppa! Chicken, KPub’s own version of Korean chicken.
Unlike other buffet destinations in Cebu, KPub is considered the “mecca” of K-Pop fans in the country, according to Jay Lazaro, vice-president of KPub. He noted that the restaurant has built-in entertainment facilities that provide K-Pop entertainment to the diners.
KPub’s Cebu branch is fully equipped with a stage and band setup, state of the art lights and sound system and three large LED walls, which is said to be the biggest in the country. The LED walls air Korean videos on regular nights.
“The strong influx of Koreans to Cebu is also one of the reasons that convinced us to open KPub here. However, we are not limited to the Korean market. We would like to see more locals dining in our restaurant too,” said Lazaro.
Since the restaurant’s soft opening last December here, about 30 percent of the restaurant’s diners are Koreans. In Manila, however, locals make up 80 to 90 percent of the restaurant’s customer profile.
Korean food, according to Pua, is among the top three favorite Asian cuisines of Filipinos next to Japanese and Chinese cuisine.
“Koreans’ influence to Filipinos has really gone beyond popular culture.”
Lazaro added this strong inclination of Filipinos is an a indication of Koreans’ strong pop culture influence—a byproduct of the Korean telenovelas and pop music which was introduced to the county years back.
After opening the Cebu branch, the group is scheduled to open its fourth branch in Glorietta Mall this year. Lazaro said the company is open to expand the business in Cebu, depending on the opportunities that will arise.