When it comes to any special gathering, the lechon or "litson" is always the ultimate star of the dining table, don't you agree?
This is why Filipinos highly anticipate a roasted pig at the most special occasion like fiestas, weddings, anniversaries, reunions and just about every huge gathering that wants to please their guest with the very best dishes.
The lechon is placed in the middle as a centerpiece. Its rightful place should always be at the center. But in some events, they are placed at a certain corner because they still need to chop this pig into pieces to be served to the guests. Like bone-in-hams, rib-eyed steaks, roasted turkeys, etc., the lechon defines the best event from an ordinary event.
This is probably why when news about Zubuchon coming over to Manila was heard, many wanted to know when they can have a piece of this "best pig ever."
Zubuchon, coined from the words ZUBU (Cebu's name in old Spanish maps) and LECHON, aims to produce very high quality and superb tasting lechons and related food products and dishes using the finest ingredients and artisanal methods. To provide good value and superior service for customers while achieving profits for the benefit of all the stakeholders, with an emphasis on employees and the communities we operate in, makes this business establishment "real."
As stated from their Facebook page, Zubuchon source their pigs from backyard raisers all over the province of Cebu, are fed 100% organic feeds a week before they are cooked to totally cleanse the pigs’ systems. A "Zubuchon" lechon is stuffed with more than a dozen herbs and spices, and the pig’s skin is “acupunctured” or pricked all over, then sprayed with fresh coconut water. These processes result to a crispy and brown skin once roasted. No MSG nor soy sauce are used. The lechon is roasted over charcoal, using bamboo poles.
Getting confirmation from their official Facebook page, Zubuchon of Cebu hopes to open in Manila early 2017. This means anytime soon they'll be announcing a grand opening of their Manila branch.
Just as how popular restaurants from the provinces are beginning to make their presence felt in Manila, Zubuchon - which was made famous by the visit of Anthony Bourdain years ago - is now setting up a branch for their fans in Manila. Bourdain mentioned the lechon as the "best pig ever" in his defunct travela nd food sho "No Reservations."
The first branch of Zubuchon in Metro Manila will be located at Yakal corner Talisay Street at San Antonio, Makati, according to food mobile app Booky.
However, the Cebuanos are very much serious with their lechon. There are some netizens who are claiming that Zubuchon is not really the authentic Cebu lechon experience. They are saying that "Zubuchon isn’t legit Cebu lechon. It’s just… lechon made in Cebu." - Anna Oposa.
Michael Alino says "It's not a rumor when it's said to open in Manila...however, being Cebu's best lechon is indeed, not just a rumor, but a farse. I mean, as a true blue Cebuanon who grew up eating and loving lechon, it's like near to an insult when in fact your lechon fell a notch beneath the standards of the tradional Cebu lechon. And a real Cebuano like me knows my lechon. And no matter how you dress it up with good branding, along with some spruced up dining establisments, it simply couldn't compensate with how mediocre you did with the way you roast your whole pig and call it Cebu lechon."
Jeff Mendoza says "For me, an authentic lechon cebu, the skin should be smooth and crispy, well seasoned especally in the rib area with lots of (tangad, sibuyas dahonan ug uban pa) and the meat should be soft. Traditionally Cebuanos season their lechon at the center part of the pig where the flavors are equally distributed. Comparing it to Zubuchon's version, the skin was too salty while the meat was a bit bland. The skin is not smooth instead it looks like that of a chicharon where you can actually taste a mild bitterness of burnt skin. This is not the traditional lechon that makes me crave for lechon. though others might not agree and have a different preference, Lami gihapon ni."
But from what we see all over the online world, not everything you read is true or 100% reliable. These may be just designed to ruin Zubuchon's reputation. Like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, taste is also on the tongue of the taster. What's good enough for me may not be acceptable for someone else.
Zubuchon already released an official statement regarding the issues:
"For the record, WE NEVER CLAIMED WE ARE THE BEST, NOR THE FAVORITE. NEVER.What you have been reading on social media were authored by the sites' writers and using our photos taken from this FB page.
We NEVER PAID, NEVER SOLICITED, NEVER ASKED anyone to write about our Manila opening. What they wrote was their own opinion.
Let us all respect each other's preference and stop putting each other down. Our opening in Manila will create more jobs, help Cebu's local economy (as most of our products, even the pigs! will be coming from Cebu). We are currently employing close to 300 Cebuanos/Visayans in Cebu which in turn are supporting more than a thousand family members. We want to increase this number because our PRIMARY objective in creating this business was to provide REGULAR employment.
Let us create more jobs, feed more people, send more children to school.
Because in the end, making your life better and helping one another is what your life's goals should be about...
Below is our Company President's statement in his blog, Market Manila. We will put this issue to rest right here.
Thank you and we hope to see you in Manila"
Before making a judgement, it should be best if we try Zubuchon out first. Becoming gullible to rumors is not healthy. I'm sure the owner Joel Binamira would attest to the quality of their lechon as it would not remain in operation if it was not as they say it is. I've been to Cebu many times but just never had the opportunity to visit a Zubuchon branch. I'm hoping to try it as soon as it opens its branch in Manila.