Where to eat in Cebu? You know you’re at the right place when you find yourself in a restaurant packed with dining customers. Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant in Mactan is one of the best restaurants in Cebu where excellent Filipino food come together with drop-dead gorgeous views, a breath of fresh air, and inexpensive bill. This place was an hour of drive away from our hotel in Cebu City, but it was totally worth going for. 🙂
Review of Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant (Cordova, Cebu)
We expected that Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant’s staff would ask us to wait to be seated as we arrived at prime time. While waiting, we walked across the entire restaurant and checked out the interior design. Bright green chair fittings add a pop of color to the wooden fixtures that blended well with the “native” theme. Bamboo poles were everywhere, providing a sense of oriental, edgy yet comfortable vibe, as they hearken back to the days of hand-driven craftsmanship of Asian art pieces.
Surprisingly, there were far more seats at the back, supported with floating platforms where people can watch the boats glide by. Too bad the sky was as dark as black paint and there were no stars to bring even the faintest glimmer. Though we were not successful in seeing good views outside, we could imagine how it would be magnificent at daytime, since Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant has a good prime setting overlooking the sea.
The jeepney by the counter looked cute and we could not pass up a photo-op with it. Jeepney is the most iconic means of transportation in the Philippines, so having one placed inside the restaurant speaks volume about how the concept of the Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant’s decor style is intertwined with contemporary Filipino society. Nice! 🙂
The waiters and waitresses were too busy managing requests and arranging tables and seats for customers coming in. Raising and swaying one hand in the air wasn’t enough, so we did what we had to do. Everyone in our table raised and waved our two hands up high and looked at the servers going to our direction in the eye. 🙂 Yes, that’s what you can call desperation.
Else, our water glasses would have remained empty for the majority of the meal, our orders would not have been followed up, and our bill would have taken forever to get to us. Because of the extensive space of this restaurant and considering the size of the crowd, I think more staff on the floor are needed to serve customers more efficiently. Service overall was a wee bit chaotic but staffs were friendly.
Our meal started off on the right foot. Warming and soothing, Ginataang Munggo (PhP 120) is a vegetarian dish that’s cooked with coconut milk (gata) and tender mung beans (munggo). I loved that the fragrant coconut milk was able to coat every ounce of the mung beans in its rich and thick soup. The sweet potato tops (talbos ng kamote) hit the right senses with slight bitterness that became sweet after lingering on palate for a bit.
Soft and succulent, the Baked Scallops (PhP 150) were really fresh with rich melted cheese toppings that made us swoon. It wasn’t just a plate of baked scallops; it was a plate of heaven, and I’m still thinking about it now. So good and delightfully creamy, too!
We also fell in love with Kinilaw (PhP 175), a Filipino ceviche dish consisting of cubed raw fish marinated in vinegar along with diced tomatoes and spices. A pile of white fish saturated in slightly tangy sauce stung our tongue with a citric punch, and we can’t help but appreciate the perfect texture and firmness of the fish in every bite.
I don’t think I’ll ever quite tire of the magical combination of garlic and butter. When plump shrimps are cooked with this flavorful pairing, good things happen. These Buttered Garlic Shrimps (PhP 95) tasted delicious and were almost addicting, with sweet bursts of the silky butter sauce brightened with notes of finely chopped garlic. Awesome!
It would be sad to leave Cebu without tasting one of its finest food aside from the roasted lechon (suckling pig): the Lechon Manok (PhP 250/whole). Even without sauce or gravy, the chicken’s taste was impressive as a heady blend of spices played off beautifully. The skin came out not too scorched and the meat, juicy.
Some say you can tell how good a Filipino restaurant is by how well they make lechon kawali (Filipino crispy fried pork belly). Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant’s Lechon Kawali (PhP 210) version was on par with the standard quality we expected. The deep-fried pieces were intensely crisp and crunchy on the outside and moist and tender within. If your heart belongs to Filipino food, this is your jam. Order the lechon kawali with pride! 🙂
Price for Value: ★★★★★
You can expect a fiesta of wonderful Filipino flavors here at this buzzing floating restaurant in Mactan, Cebu. Prices of food are not astronomically high, so it’s best to indulge when you can. Low prices actually add up to a relaxing time since you don’t have to feel guilty about busting the budget. 🙂 I recommend adding Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant to your list of restaurants to try in Cebu. You won’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM