Finally, ZU-BU-CHON! My prior encounters with Zubuchon were courtesy of frozen (lechon) pasalubong from Cebu. So it was pretty exciting for me to finally try the real thing. I hardly looked at the menu because I personally went there for one thing and one thing only. The Lechon!
Our group got 2 varieties of lechon but both still with the bones: the Original and the Spicy. The original tasted like the frozen versions I’ve had before, so it really was not something new nor mindblowing anymore for me. BUT it was still very delicious. The meat itself was tasty and the skin even tastier! What made it extra special was that I was able chance upon a crisply piece of skin that was jam packed with salty goodness.
The spicy variety was smothered with chili and chili oil and was also packed with flavor like the original. If I am to be honest, I’ve tasted better spicy lechon like the one I had at Tatang’s in SM Aura. But this is still worth a try.
Our group also tried the Fish Skin Tacos, Monggo topped with pork cracklings and the Fried Lechon Dumplings (not shown). The Fish Skin Nachos was best eaten with the kinklaw (raw fish in vinegar) it was served with, otherwise it would be a bit too bland. I only had a small ladle of the monggo (mung bean) soup. It was a thick and hearty version of what I am used too and had a nice gata (coconut milk) flavor. Last, the dumplings. These were really great and were totally unexpected with a burst of lechon juiciness in every bite. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of it.
I was really pleased and satisfied with all the food but I felt it was missing something which I can’t pinpoint. Or maybe it’s just me. I guess I was looking for an experience similar to when we eat a whole lechon during family reunions in either side of the family. Where everyone would gather around the whole roast pig and wait in anticipation for that first crackling sound when the pig’s skin is pierced by a sharp knife followed by the steam coming out of its flesh. Where some would aim to get the crispiest of skin while others aim of the tastier ribs and belly. Ahhhh. But, I have to be realistic, that ain’t happening in a restaurant! haha Anyway, ZUBUCHON was nonetheless still delicious. I am happy they opened shop here in Manila.