Located halfway along Newtown’s bustling Enmore Road, Sydney Cebu Lechon is a casual restaurant, serving authentic Cebuano Filipino dishes, with a native Filipino vibe. The menu here is slim but superb, inspired by the island region of Cebu – the birthplace of the people behind the restaurant. This includes the house specialty, Cebu lechon, a charcoal-roasted pork belly, full of flavour, with a distinct saltiness, as well as the braised soy chicken otherwise known as humba, a slow-cooked bird infused with vinegar, soy sauce, and other delights. And then, of course, there’s pinakbet – a popular mixed vegetable dish, sauteed in shrimp paste. Beyond the menu, the restaurant also serves up extra-friendly hospitality, greeting each and every one of the guests with a warm welcome, and thanking them kindly for their visit as they walk out the door. Something is clearly working here, since it opened in early 2019, its become a neigbourhood fixture, with a queue of keen diners often found waiting outside.
Filipino food is influenced by a variety of culinary cultures from around the world, taking cues from Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish cuisine. But make no mistake, the dishes that are born and bred in the Philippines have a distinct deliciousness all their own.
For example, there’s the famous adobo (meaning ‘marinade’ in Spanish), a dish of either chicken or pork, marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. And then, of course, there’s halo halo (meaning ‘mixed together’ in Filipino), a cheeky dessert containing ice shavings, evaporated milk and trimmings like sweetened beans, coconut gel and ube ice cream. And don’t even get us started on crispy pata – a perfectly deep-fried pork leg, served with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce – or sinigang, a delicious sour broth of vegetables and meat of your choice. The list truly goes on and on...
Luckily, Filipino food seems to be making its way to the mainstream (and rightly so), which means if you haven’t already, it might be time to jump on the jeepney and give these places a try.
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