Rico's Lechon (Cebu, Philippines): Cebu's Lechon in a Modern Setting

by - 12:00 AM

Inarguably, Cebu has the best-tasting lechon (roasted pig) in the Philippines. Some people may not agree with me on this but once you’ve tried Cebu’s pride, you will keep on coming back for more.

There are a lot of lechon restaurants in Cebu and all of them deserve their own spot in the limelight. Even the lechons you’ll find along the busy streets of Cebu City or in the outer towns are very tasty and delicious in their own right. 

Let's take a closer look on one of the many lechon places in Cebu - Rico's Lechon.  

The Design

What probably sets Rico’s apart from other competitors is the restaurant’s ambience. It is brightly lit and modern but doesn’t lose touch of the Filipino barrio-fiesta feel which is fitting when eating lechon - the star of the fiesta table.

Their new restaurant was designed by Vito Selma - a renowned Cebuano artisan and furniture maker -  who said to have done the marvelous interiors on a tight budget. I really admire how he was able to achieve a contemporary look using indigenous materials (bamboo) and was able to showcase things that are uniquely Cebuano (like the puso).

The restaurant itself has both indoor and outdoor dining areas which is perfect whether you are dining as a couple or as a family/large group. Even the lavatory and the wash area were really well thought of - from the drawing on the bathroom door, to the innovatively designed washing sink and the exquisite “diner style” portion of the restaurant.

The wash area. We had a hard time figuring out how to wash our hands with no faucet in sight. Turns out that the three long bamboo sticks are motion-activated faucets. Ingenious!

Male comfort room. The man in the picture is wearing a traditional Filipino costume.

Female comfort room. The lady on the other hand is wearing the traditional "Baro't Saya".

If I would rate Rico’s Lechon restaurant based on the interiors alone, I would definitely give it a 10.

The Food

Now, let’s go to the food, shall we?

Rice was served in a small pot. 
If ordering solo rice, it comes in an even smaller pot. Cute!

First to arrive were the drinks. 
We ordered Mango Shake, Halo-halo Shake, and Bottomless Iced Tea. 
Among the three, the Halo-halo Shake stood out the most.

We also ordered Chicken Skin which was a bit disappointing (at least to me) since I prefer to have it extra crispy and seasoned a bit more.

The Adobong Kangkong was a surprise, though. 
We just wanted to have a little bit of vegetables as a consolation for eating a cholesterol-heavy meal (lechon) but to my surprise, I enjoyed the adobong kangkong - sweet, flavorful, and not overcooked.

For dessert, we ordered the Buko Pandan and the Oreo Float. You'll definitely order the yummy Oreo Float again like what happened to my friend. It's that good, I promise.

And let's not forget the mighty lechon, the reason why we dined here in the first place. We ordered both the original and spicy lechon; and I liked the spicy lechon better as it has more taste and kick (obviously). 

The skin was crispy and the meat was tender but I was kinda expecting more from the lechon experience. It could be that being a Cebuana, I may have set my standards a bit higher than most people. But that's not to say I won't be dining again at Rico's, though.

When I asked our Manila guest who's a first timer on Cebu's lechon, all she could say was: "Ang saraaap" (So delicious) and that already speaks a lot of how good lechon is in Cebu. 

You could never go wrong tasting Lechon de Cebu for the first time at Rico's.

Rico's Lechon
Acacia Street, Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City (near Ayala and Hotel Elizabeth)
(032) 344-0119 / (032) 239-2830 

Quick Tip:
It's best to go there for an early dinner to get the best part of the lechon and to avoid the crowd especially during the weekend.

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