Aside from its famous dried mangoes, Cebu has another must-try. The...
I wanted to try the spicy version but the store is far from where I stayed so I opted for the original. Manong Romulo, the driver, drove me off to the CnT Restaurant. It's in the yellow building along Juan Luna Extension, right across SM City Cebu.
Cebu Lechon stores scattered all over the city. There are also stalls at the foodcourts of shopping malls SM City Cebu and Ayala Center Cebu. I could say that CnT Restaurant is the most familiar and popular lechon store among locals and tourists alike because of its scrumptious taste even when it's packed for takeout and flown to other destinations in the archipelago.
The first floor of the building is the parking area. You need to go upstairs for the restaurant proper. As I entered the establishment, I was amazed that a lot of people were lined up to buy pasalubong lechon. It was a good thing that they have a number scheme (no need to shove in order for you to reach the front line), so I got my a number and waited for my turn. Our numbers were called one by one. Those ahead of me were asked by the cashier the number of kilos they're buying... I heard three kilos, another wanted two kilos, the next one was 7 kilos, another customer said 3 kilos in 5 boxes (I'm not exaggerating I tell you!). I originally planned to buy just a kilo but after hearing the orders of the customers in front of me it made me think (Hahaha! If you're thinking peer pressure you got it right since I bought more than what I bargained for).
The normal order for dine-in is usually one kilo and the majority of people who go to CnT are there to eat lechon, the different dishes in the turo-turo area are merely side dishes.
Since I still have 12 persons in front of me (a separate line for the turo-turo), I had plenty of time to watch the lechon prep area where they chopped and divided whole roasted pig into smaller portions. The staff were petite-sized ladies wielding big butcher knives and they were pretty skilled as they cut up the lechon in just a matter of seconds!
Patrons are separated by a glass as seen in the photo:
The price is Php360 (US$8.55) per kilo (not bad at all!). Add Php15 for a takeout box if you want to bring home pasalubong, this will lessen the hassle of repacking it at the airport if you opt for just a plastic bag.
When it was my turn, the cashier asked me "pata (pork knuckles) or ribs ma'am?" I chose the rib part because that's the portion what I usually heard from the customers who were ahead of me (otherwise the next best part is the belly portion).
Quite happy that I was finally done, manong driver dropped me off at the airport right after. I was 2 hours and 30 minutes ahead of my scheduled flight which was 4:40pm (so no pressure at the airport). At the time of my flight, an announcement said that we would be delayed and had to wait for updates. Thrity minutes had passed and another update said that we would have to wait for another 30 minutes and the whole process kept repeating itself.
My mind kept going back to the lechon, my concerns that it might have gone bad inside the plane's luggage compartment when I arrived home because it was wrapped while still warm in plastic AND inside a sealed cardboard box.
I finally gave up trying to check the time of my departure from Cebu as I was already restless and hungry while waiting for the "real" boarding time. All I remembered was that I arrived in Bacolod-Silay Airport at 7:30pm.
We were able to eat the lechon when I arrived home, though the skin was no crispy but the taste was still OK! I really loved the fact that it was not so oily and that the meat was firm.
You can contact CNT Lechon in 1377 V. Rama Avenue, Guadalupe, Cebu City at telephone numbers (032) 254-4249 and (032) 254-6641.
Where to Stay:
Castle Peak Hotel
The hotel is located at F. Cabahug corner President Quezon Streets, Villa Aurora, Mabolo, Cebu City 6000, Philippines. Contact them at trunkline: (032) 233-1811 or facsimile: (032) 232-6838 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For room accommodation only, the rates are as follows: (rates are subject to change without prior notice)
• Standard - Php1,188.00
• Superior - Php1,388.00
• Deluxe - Php1,688.00
• Executive - Php1,888.00
• Suite - Php2,488.00
All rooms are for single and double sharing. For extra person just add Php400 per day.
For room accommodation with breakfast, the rates are: (rates are subject to change without prior notice)
• Standard - Php1,387.00 (single) | Php1,586.00 (double sharing)
• Superior - Php1,587.00 (single) | Php1,786.00 (double sharing)
• Deluxe - Php1,887.00 (single) | Php2,086.00 (double sharing)
• Executive - Php2,087.00 (single) | Php2,286.00 (double sharing)
• Suite - Php2,687.00 (single) | Php2,886.00 (double sharing)
For extra person just add Php599 per day.
Check-In Time is 2:00pm while Check-Out Time is 12:00nn