Seven dishes you must try in Cebu: Jason Atherton, The Social Company

Jason Atherton offers a local's guide to the culinary highlights of beautiful Cebu, Philippines. 

1. CEBUANO ADOBO, CAFE LAGUNA

This is a classic Philippines dish and a firm family favourite in our house. Every region has its own style and the Cebuano style is made with vinegar. Cafe Laguna have a great cebuano adobo on the menu. See cafelaguna.com

2. BULALO

This is a slow-cooked soup made with beef shanks and marrow bones. The soup is boiled until the collagen and fat has melted into a clear broth. It's super tasty and can be bought at Carcar City Public Market.

3. LECHON

This is a big winner at Christmas time or any big celebration. It is a roasted suckling pig. You can find some of the best suckling pigs in the country in Cebu. My wife Irha is from the Philippines and every year we go there with our girls for Christmas. We will have lechon on the menu at my new restaurant The Pig and Palm this year. See thepigandpalm.ph

4. GREEN MANGO SALAD

Rumour has it Princess Diana ordered her mango from Cebu – I believe it because it really tastes amazing. This salad is a crisp and fresh a mixture of mangos, shallots, peanuts, shrimp, mint and cilantro tossed in a zingy dressing. This can be bought at Carbon Market – it's the oldest and largest farmers market in Cebu; well worth a visit. (MC Briones St, Cebu City.)

5. CRISPY PATA, ANTONIO'S FINE DINING

This is a famous Filipino pork dish that uses the whole pig's leg. It's seasoned, marinated for 24 hours and then deep-fried in hot corn oil. It's a classic Filipino dish. Head to Antonio's Fine Dining in Tagatay to taste it yourself. See antoniosrestaurant.ph

6. LUMPIA SHANGHAI

These are Filipino spring rolls filled with pork, shrimp and vegetables, served with a dipping sauce like hot chilli sauce. You can find these at Carbon Market, freshly made by the locals. They are incredibly tasty, a classic workers' street food.

7. EMBUTIDO

This dish was introduced when Spain colonised the Philippines. The recipe was tweaked by the locals to make it their own so there are lots of variations of this dish. It's essentially a super tasty Filipino-style meatloaf dish and you can get it at most local restaurants. A firm favourite of mine is served at Cafe Laguna.

London-based the Social Company's restaurants are spread across the globe and include Kensington Street Social within The Old Clare Hotel in Sydney and The Pig & Palm, a tapas restaurant in Cebu. See thesocialcompany.co.uk

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