Zubuchon: A Different Kind of Lechon

Inquiries for my team building service have been starting to peak this mid-February and so I am pre-occupied with a lot of meetings here and there. I had one business meeting over dinner at the Zubuchon Escario Central Mall branch on a Tuesday night. One of the things I like about business meetings is being able to explore what restaurants have to offer.

Related article: So Much Fuss About Cebu's Favorite Lechon Lately

Zubuchon and Cebu Lechon

We all know that Cebu's lechon is craved for by many around the Philippines. Zubuchon's business is also built around lechon so people will at some point compare Zubuchon's own lechon with that of the traditional Cebuano lechon. I had the same curiosity. So I ordered Zubuchon's boneless lechon. The waitress who took my order wasn't probably paying proper attention and she brought us Zubuchon. While I accepted the order anyway and didn't make a fuzz out of it, this can be disappointing for some people.

Zubuchon restaurant

So how does Zubuchon compare to the traditional Cebuano lechon flavor? Like the traditional Cebu lechon, Zubuchon's version is also generally salty (You can really taste the rock salt or sea salt). The difference is that Zubuchon uses a lot of peppercorns to flavor the meat. While these unground peppercorns gives Zubuchon's meat its distinct flavor, I find them too much of a nuisance when eating as it's all over the meat and I bit on some of them.

I also noticed that the skin color of Zubuchon is paler in color compared to that of the traditional Cebu lechon. According to the literature on the Zubuchon website, this is because they wipe the skin with olive oil and spray it with fresh coconut water before cooking. In cooking traditional Cebu lechon, the meat is wiped with soy sauce and sugar water primarily. Zubuchon also pricks the skin of their lechon on purpose.

We also ordered the Zubuchon Pancit which was their take on the pancit canton. The noodle dish contained lechon bits, shrimps, carrots, onions, and bell pepper. I found the dish too salty and too fatty because of the lechon bits in it. 

noodle dish at Zubuchon restaurant
Zubuchon pancit

About Zubuchon

Zubuchon's name was derived from "Zubu", the name of Cebu in old maps, and lechon, Cebu's famous roasted whole pig. The man behind Zubuchon is Joel Binamira of MarketManila fame. Zubuchon started in 2009,  a year after famed chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain proclaimed that the lechon Joel cooked was "the best pig ever". You will see this quote prominently displayed in Zubuchon's stores.

Zubuchon restaurant

Zubuchon Branches

Zubuchon has eight branches around Cebu:

Main Branch/Head Office

2651 Villalon Drive, Cebu City
Telephone Number: +63 32 254 7342
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday

Escario Central Mall 

Escario Street, Cebu City
Telephone Number: +63 32 254 0247
Operating Hours: 
  • 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays
  • 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sundays

The Walk at I.T. Park 

Ground Floor, The Walk, Asiatown I.T. Park
Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone Number: +63 32 236 8253
Operating Hours: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.  Daily

City SOHO 

City SOHO Mall
B. Rodriguez Street, Cebu City
Operating Hours: 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Daily

One Mango Avenue

Gen. Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City
Telephone Number: +63 32 239 5697
Operating Hours: 
  • 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays
  • 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sundays

The Outlets at Pueblo Verde 

Unit 28 Building, The Outlets at Pueblo Verde,
Basak, Lapulapu City, Cebu
Operating Hours: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily

Mactan International Airport 

Domestic Pre-departure Area
Mactan Cebu International Airport
Lapulapu City, Cebu

Mactan Marina Mall

Block A, Ground Floor, Mactan Marina Mall
MEZ 1, Lapulapu City, Cebu
Telephone Number: +63 32 266 1310
Operating Hours: Open 24 Hours

Zubuchon actually stirred some online controversy when a news article claimed it is Cebu's favorite lechon. Do you think there is truth to their claim? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Lauren Gonzaga said...

Zubuchon, serving pinoys favorite delicacy. For me, it's lechon at its best!