Leading a simple menu of Filipino food at its best, Chika-an Sa Cebu in Ayala Center Cebu is quite “the talk of the town” when it comes to crispy pata, baked scallops, sizzling squid ala pobre, and buttered garlic shrimps. It’s one of the best and busiest lunchtime stops inside the mall. This popular chain also has branches in Bacolod, Iloilo, General Santos City, and Davao. When will it ever come to Manila? I’m psyched to know if there would be such a plan! 🙂 Here we tried a ton of great local food without breaking the bank.
Review of Chika-an Sa Cebu (Ayala Center Cebu)
Chika-an Sa Cebu has all of the fundamentals to become a consistently awesome must-hit. It is what you can call a versatile restaurant since much like the food, the atmosphere is funky, confident, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. With bright lighting and warm interior, it’s an ideal place to casually hang out no matter the situation or who you’re with. Though I would appreciate a splash of color at least on one side, I liked the brown to neutral tones and the simple arrangement of tables and chairs as they provide a relaxing vibe.
Service was pleasant, speedy, and attentive enough. We didn’t have to wait forever for the food.
Check out their menu here.
The Baked Scallops (PhP 125) were unpretentious and as expected, still on their beautiful half shells, the scallops were anointed with bubbling sweet butter that’s gently counterbalanced by the very mild seafood taste with a smooth texture. Try to imagine “a little bit of heaven” on your taste buds and you’ll be close. 🙂
We have noticed that there was hardly a local eatery in Cebu that doesn’t have chicken barbecue available on the menu. Chika-an Sa Cebu’s Chicken BBQ (PhP 69) was nothing more intriguing but its sauce was a clever way of enhancing the flavor of barbecue and harnessing its true potential.
With well-browned exterior, the chin-drippingly tender and juicy Grilled Marlin (PhP 160) quite resembled the texture of chicken, only a tad more stringy. Flavor was subtle and not too fishy like the tuna. It’s perfect with soy sauce and a dash of vinegar.
Chika-an Sa Cebu’s Crispy Pata (PhP 245-Small, PhP 299-Large) was a truly killer crispy pata. It had a memorable combination of texture and flavor, and its crunchiness makes it as one of the top dishes in our list of the most crave-worthy eating sensation in Cebu. The most coveted part was the interplay of the crispiness of its skin that shatters in one bite.
For our drink, we had a pitcher of the Citrus Quencher. Sweetness coupled by a bright citrus scent was natural, leaving the mouth feeling crisp and clean without the syrupy fizz that coats the tongue. If you’re more of a juice person than a soda person, this might also be your thing. Bottoms up! 🙂
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
Good and affordable food in Cebu is not exactly breaking news. Cebu is known as a foodie destination where you can go food-tripping to a lineup of restaurants that serve excellent Filipino dishes plus some real native staples without any gimmicks. At Chika-an Sa Cebu, pricing for the value we got was reasonable. This is one of the restaurants you must include to your list when you want a remarkable dining treat. 🙂