American diner, Filipino style

“WHERE to eat next?” is the biggest question that leaves every conversation hanging. This is followed by people’s minds wondering about where to relax and get good food for a steal.

As the brainchild of an aunt who has mastered the creation of home-cooked meals and a millennial who knows exactly what she wants, the newly opened diner in SM City Cebu is the next place that will satisfy people primarily looking for affordable food in a comfortable restaurant.

Ribpublic Diner has been open for more than two years already but just this year on July 29, it opened its second branch in SM City Cebu providing easier access to its Baby Back Ribs expertise.

The restaurant provides an American diner ambiance with a twist as it serves dishes that are customized to suit the Filipino’s inclination for flavors that are either sweet and salty, or sweet and spicy.

“It is an American-style diner; the food is served in a tray basket with wax paper. It looks a bit western but the food has that Filipino taste. It’s an American diner but it is coupled with Filipino food and Filipino hospitality,” said Justine Rotomo, co-owner of Ribpublic Diner.

The diner is owned and operated by Kathryn Rotomo-Yu and her niece, Justine. In 2014, they decided to put up a restaurant because of Kathyrn’s wonderful secret recipes that had been providing delight for their family during events and get-togethers.

Kathryn overseees the food production from her own recipes to food processing, food quality and presentation. As a self-taught chef, she cooks for family occasions all the time and having learned different cuisines from her travels both locally and abroad, she has grown accustomed to experimenting on the taste and form of her dishes. But the runaway winner when she cooks for family and friends is her baby back ribs recipe which she has made the center of Ribpublic Diner’s menu.

Her business partner and niece, 23-year-old Justine, on the other hand, graduated with a degree in BS Nursing. Despite being able to successfully become a registered nurse, Justine’s inclination for business ruled over and led her to becoming the very young business partner of her aunt. Justine oversees the operations and sales of the diner; she’s a hands-on partner who visits their restaurants every day to check on their operations. She also approves and disapproves any addition to Ribpublic’s menu being in charge of offering a millennial’s point of view regarding the concept of the diner.

Justine said the diner is budget friendly because when she opened the business with her aunt, she just recently graduated from college and her mind was still set as a student. It was somehow a realization of a student’s dream because in a student’s budget, ribs don’t usually fit in for these do not come cheap.

The diner also takes pride in the fact that as the Rotomo family owns its own agrivet company and Justine’s parents own a meat shop, employ a farm to market kind of system which is also part of the reason any food on their menu never goes over P200. As they sell their own feeds in their agrivet company, they know that the meat they use, used to feed on their own formulated feeds. And as they cook the meat they buy from their own meat shop, they are assured fresh and quality meat product offerings.

Hungry yet?
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