Cebu’s popular restaurant Hukad sa Golden Cowrie finally opened its first store in Luzon. I had the chance to visit the branch in Trinoma and savor their delicious food offerings. I went home delighted with the feast that I experienced, and a bulging tummy.
The restaurant, which traces its origins to 1982, offers fantastic modern Filipino dishes from different parts of the country. That’s quite interesting. It’s normal for restaurants coming from a particular region to highlight only the dishes from their area, but not Hukad.
It felt like I was touring the Philippines as I tasted dishes from different provinces. Hukad sa Golden Cowrie is brave enough to give these dishes a twist. This resulted to a gastronomic feast of different flavors. Let me share with you my favorites.
Pomelo Salad is the perfect way to start a meal. I love that the Pomelo doesn’t leave a sour or bitter taste in my mouth. It’s simply refreshing. The sprinkles of fried daing na pusit (dried squid) gave the salad a different dimension on flavor and texture.
I wanted a soupy dish when eating and I’m glad there’s Sinigang Baby Prawns. The sourness is just right, although I would prefer that it would make me wiggle. I love the fresh baby prawns which, in my opinion, are not baby at all when you look at the size.
Cebu’s Lechon Belly is to die for. The skin crisp, the meat melts in my mouth. Really yummy! Take me back to Hukad now!
Balut Sisig is another dish worth ordering. I love Balut, but I have yet to eat it cooked this way. It’s rich and flavorful. There’s no need to be concerned about the duckling because everything is chopped.
We had a humongous serving of Crispy Pata. The meat is tender and easy to scoop out of the bones. Pampabata!
I love the play of sweet and sour flavors in my mouth whenever I eat Escabecheng Tangigue. There’s also a lovely texture of the silky smooth sauce over the crispy fish.
If you’re a vegetarian (really, how can you survive that?), Hukad sa Golden Cowrie has dishes for you. There’s the Bloodless Dinuguan made of tofu, the Vegetarian Sisig and Adobong Talong. Surprisingly, I enjoyed them all. Two thumbs up!
The dishes are really good, I had 3 servings of rice. Good thing there’s a staff waiting to be called upon and scoop steamed rice from the rice bucket. In between bites, I’d sip on the refreshing Pineapple Cucumber Agua Fresca.
Then comes my favorite part of the meal – dessert. And we had two! Ube Halaya Crisp ala Mode and Budbud Turon. I would have wanted more ube halaya inside the crispy contraption. I did enjoy the cheese-flavored ice cream.
A hit from our group is Budbud Turon. It’s suman wrapped and deep fried to golden perfection. The dessert is made even sweeter with chocolate syrup.
My favorite doesn’t end on food alone. I like the puso-shaped lamps hanging on Hukad’s ceiling. It’s inspired by the rice wrapped and boiled in a casing of woven coconut leaves usually served during meals in Cebu.
The restaurant has that homey feel to it. I learned that the interior was created by interior designer Hannah Lim of HL Designs. There’s coco shells, crushed bamboo and laminate details that showcases the craftsmanship and creativity of Cebuanos.
Hukad sa Golden Cowrie Trinoma can seat a total of 98 guest and has a function room that can accommodate 24 persons. The newest branch is currently running the “Sulit Meals at 149” promo, from 2pm to 5pm daily. I’m going back with my family for the Feast Bundles. It’s pre-set menus good for four persons starting at Php1,399.
We were told that there will be a second Hukad sa Golden Cowrie in Metro Manila opening within the year. Get the updates through www.alwaysafeast.ph or connect with the restaurant on social media – Facebook (www.facebook.com/hukadgoldencowrie) and Instagram (@alwaysafeast).