Episode 100: Zubuchon comes to Manila!

sam_1274Dreams do come true! Zubuchon, Cebu’s famous lechon, is coming to Manila!

Social media went abuzz when Joel Binamira (@therealmarketman) posted on Instagram about the preparations for a Manila branch. Binamira (also known as Marketman) is behind the Market Manila blog, and the same person who launched Zubuchon.

zubu2Netizens immediately inquired where this new branch will open. Binamira revealed that the branch will be located “about 100 meters behind the Makati Fire Station”, which is just around the San Antonio area. The target date, he added, is around February.

zubu1Another well-anticipated news is the menu. Zubuchon’s Manila fans are hoping they could try out here the same dishes and drinks as the ones in the main Cebu branch. (Some items they’re clamoring for are the lechon belly sandwich and the kamias shake.) Binamira also hinted that he’ll do taste-testing with selected Instagram followers this February.

Zubuchon was established in 2009. The name comes from a combination of “Zubu”, (the name of Cebu in old Spanish and Portugese maps) and “Chon” (lechon).

Binamira’s lechon gained fame earlier when celebrity chef and “No Reservations” host Anthony Bourdain came to Cebu in 2008 to shoot his unique way of cooking lechon. Bourdain called this lechon “the best pig ever”.

Zubuchon takes pride of using organic pigs, fresh fruits and vegetables, homegrown spices, and good olive oil in cooking their lechon. The best part is that it doesn’t have MSG, and the best meaty parts are kept intact while roasting. The result is a unique lechon with crunchy skin and juicy, tender meat.

It’s been six years since I first tried out Zubuchon in Cebu as part of a writing project on lechon. Finding Zubuchon was quite an adventure, but it was worth the trip because the lechon was just that good.  (It’s Anthony Bourdain’s fault why I became a fan of lechon in the first place.)

Now that Zubuchon is coming to Manila, our cravings for great Cebu lechon should be tempered a bit. The biggest question now is: how do we get invited to the opening?

Zubuchon on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/zubuchonph/
Zubuchon Website http://zubuchon.com/



Episode 71: Unlimited Grill Works at Charaptor

We at TV5’s “Aksyon sa Tanghali” and “Foods Tayo” believe there are lots of up and about restaurants in Metro Manila that can tickle the taste buds and budgets of foodies. Some are old places made popular by word of mouth, while others are newly opened but have generated much buzz.

Whatever the case, we seek out restaurants that will prove to be a hit to the masses, the criteria of which are having a wide array of choices, with a family-friendly ambience, and at the most affordable prices possible.
One such place that we visited is Charaptor Barbecue, a popular buffet restaurant that opened early this year at Brgy. San Antonio, Makati.

Just as its name implies, Charaptor is known for its grill-all-you-can, eat-all-you-can barbecue buffet. The choices include various marinated cuts of chicken, pork, beef, fresh seafood like fish, squid, shrimp, vegetables, mushrooms, cold cuts, and street food such as isaw and squid balls.

One may also choose among 16 unique dipping sauces to go with your barbecue. The possibilities of what you can work on with your grill are unlimited.

Each table has its own charcoal grill where you can cook the dish of your choice. The meats are marinated,
but they provide two small tubs of marinate that you can brush on your meat while it is being grilled.

When I said grill-all-you-can, I mean grill-all-you-can. If you’re patient enough, you can have your barbecue and eat it too, so the saying for wedding cakes goes.

Charaptor is a family-friendly restaurant, never mind that you’ll end up smelling like a charcoal grill after your meal, but it’s also a favorite spot among beer drinkers and those looking forward to unwind for the night. 

Just remember to come early or get reservations, because the restaurant gets filled up quickly. Don’t worry, though; there’s always a steady supply of meat ready for grilling.

Charaptor is open everyday from 10AM to 2PM for lunch, and 6-11PM for dinner.
9752 Kamagong St. corner
Arange St. Brgy. San Antonio Makati City                       
To learn more about “Foods Tayo,” visit:
To have a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re up to (and for some hardcore food porn), visit:
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Episode 36: Hungry for Hungree Burgers

One day, during a lazy day at home, I suddenly craved for a burger. I could go to any fastfood chain and get their biggest burger on the menu, but that wasn’t what I have in mind. I wanted something I’ve never tried before.

I haven’t been eating fastfood stuff since my chori burger hunt in Boracay. I’ve avoided burgers for a while (eating too much burgers is unhealthy), and I haven’t been eating out much, for that matter. It’s one of those dilemmas a food writer would experience one way or the other: no plan, no budget, no contacts, no reservations.

On the other hand, a craving is one of those things that spur a foodie into action, as long as the wallet allows it, I believe. But I digress.

A quick search in the internet led me to Hungree Burgers, a stall in a far-off corner of Makati. Too far from home, but the reviews were great. Go to Hungree Burgers, they say. It will be fun, they say. They serve really big burgers, they say. And go to Hungree Burgers I did.

Hungree Burgers is owned by noted jazz singer Arthur Manuntag. He opened the busines in 2000 as a hobby, but the burgers quickly gained a following among burger lovers and foodies. He now owns three branches serving these, should I say, titans or monstrocities, depending on your eating capacity. They look like regular buy-one-take-one burger stands, except you know the type of burgers they serve.

The star of Hungree Burgers is the eight-inch diameter burger, believed to be “Asia’s First & Original Giant Burger”. This is a big, family-sized burger patty topped with mayonnaise, ketchup, a few slices of cheese, cucumbers, and tomatoes. You can either order the Super Hungree (single patty), or the Super Dooper (double patties). It can also be sliced in pieces of six or eight. It’s that big, and just one slice is enough to sate your cravings, or leave you full at most.

If it’s any comfort for those who have smaller digestive systems, they have regular sized burgers and hotdogs. But I didn’t travel all the way to Makati just to get a small burger.

About ten minutes or so later, my Super Dooper was ready to be devoured. Carrying a soft box containing a damn heavy burger is difficult. Maybe a thicker carton box or some paddings would help. It was then that I realized I don’t want to be a greedy, meat-devouring pig, despite being hungry and capable of eating an eight-inch burger.

So off I went to Cafe Vinny’s to share the goods with the staff, and spend the night with a few glasses of whiskey. What a way to end a day of craving.

For some people, a burger isn’t just a quick snack while on the go; it’s also comfort food. They find delight in a soft bun stuffed with thick, juicy beef patties, fresh vegetables, flavorful cheese, and whatever add-ons that tickle their taste buds. For this, they want their burgers warm, heavy, and appetizing to the senses. They want their burgers to be worth the trip, worth the wait, and affordable. Most of all, they like their burgers big.

I haven’t even craved for burgers after that ordeal with the Super Dooper. Maybe it would be a while before I do, and by then I hope I could pass by Makati again, if only to have another stab at that thing by myself this time.


Hungree Burgers

1421-B Zobel Roxas St.
fronting Rafael Palma Elementary School & SM ACA Kamagong

3714 Bautista corner Casino St.

#11 corner Armstrong & Moonbeam Sts.
Bricktown Village, Moonwalk