Most Japanese Restaurants in Cebu, Philippines are quite expensive. But there's a humble Japanese-inspired restaurant that breaks this status quo. I am referring to Joed's Lutong Hapon along F. Cabahug Street in Kasambagan, Cebu City, Philippines. This one is right in front of the Sarrosa International Hotel.
|Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines|
Joed's Lutong Hapon
I first dined at Joed's Lutong Hapon back when I was still working as a guidance services specialist at the University of the Philippines Cebu. Joed's then was a humble carenderia serving Japanese dishes located beside a basketball court along Pope John Paul II Avenue (formerly Juan Luna Avenue). A few years later, it was transferred to a place near the Sacred Heart School- Hijas de Jesus in barangay Capitol Site. The current store is their third relocation.
Recently, I dined at Joed's with my brother Nathan and my business associate Nathaniel. We ordered sukiyakidon, ebi tempura, the Joed's super special maki, their special bento A, and the special bento B. For our beverage, we each ordered bottomless iced tea.
Special Bento A
Joed's special bento B has three (3) pieces of ebi tempura, two (2) pieces of gyoza in a bed of shredded vegetables, mango and cucumber salad, a cup of rice, miso soup, and eight (8) pieces of California maki. The price is PhP 250. Great value!
|Special bento A at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines|
Special Bento B
The special bento B consists of miso soup, a cup of rice, yakisoba, a generous serving of tonkatsu, and eight (8) pieces of crazy maki. This also costs PhP 250. Great value!
|Special bento B at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines|
Me and my brother are suckers for ebi or shrimp tempura so we ordered one serving at Joed's. Good value for money as an order contained five (5) pieces of medium-sized shrimp tempura for only PhP 120. Not the best shrimp tempura in town, but hey you get what you pay for. This one looked more like camarron rebosado than shrimp or prawn tempura I am accustomed to in Japanese restaurants.
|Ebi tempura at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines|
I'm a big fan of sukiyaki and ordered the dish as soon as I saw it on the Joed's menu. While this cost PhP 110 per serving, I was disappointed as the quality was far off from most sukiyaki I have tried before. Guess I got what I paid for.
|Sukiyaki at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines|
Joed's Super Special Maki
Joed's Lutong Hapon is primarily a sushi place. Being that, I asked for the chef's special which was the Joed's super special maki. The twist on this dish is that it uses watermelon fruit slices as a main ingredient along with sweet ripe mango slices, nori seaweed wrap, and steamed Japanese rice. It has a weird taste when I got the first bite but once I developed an acquired taste, it was not just tolerable but was actually pretty good.