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Remembering Anthony Bourdain: Here are some stores offering scrumptious lechon, which he declared the ‘best pig ever’

By BROOKE VILLANUEVA Published Jun 09, 2021 5:25 pm

It’s been three years since the death of the great Anthony Bourdain, which devastated millions of people in the food scene and beyond. That included Filipinos, with whom he has made an incredible connection by declaring lechon—a popular dish in the country—as the “best pig… ever!”

The celebrity chef fawned over the country's version of the roast pig in an episode of his travel and food show No Reservations in 2009, which was filmed in Cebu. At the time, he got a taste of it from food blogger Joel Binamira, who writes online under the name Market Manila. Binamira then used exactly the same recipe for Zubuchon, which he started months later in the same year. 

As we remember his brilliance not only as a chef but also as a storyteller, we also spare a thought for his famous words that have brought this local dish to the fore of the international food stage. Apart from Zubuchon, here are other well-loved stores offering scrumptious lechon in the metro.

A Lydia’s Lechon specialty since 1983, this hit offering showcases the goodness of juicy lechon when it’s stuffed with seafood paella. You can order it in different sizes (lechon de leche, regular, medium, large, and extra large) with prices ranging from P9,800 to P17,800.

Speaking of stuffing, there’s also the famous Pepita’s, where you can delight in cochinillo (good for 4-6 pax) for P8,500 or lechon de leche (good for 10-15 pax) for P11,300. While we suggest enjoying it with some truffle rice stuffing, there are other options, too, such as the chorizo with crab-fat rice and tanglad with garlic. Extra rice stuffing costs P1,850.

Rico’s Lechon is another Cebu favorite, which has also been hot in different parts of Manila. Lechon de leche (good for six to 12 people) is priced at P6,200 for the regular, and P6,500 for the spicy variety, while the family size (good for 15-20 people) is priced at P7,900 for regular and P8,400 for spicy. It’s also available in small to x-large ranging from P9,800 to P16,600 for the original and P10,250 to P17,500 for the spicy.

Do you prefer smaller servings instead? SALO’s lechon belly is being sold in different sizes: small (250g – P350), medium (500g – P650), large (1 kg- P1,250, 2kg – P2,500, and 3 kg P3,750), and full roll (4 kg – P4,950), making it a must-have on the dining table for small gatherings.

Here's something for you, vegans. This "vellychon" (P695 per slab) by Elpi Vellychon Haus is made with only 100% plant-based ingredients. The things that make it a good lechon alternative are its crisp on the outside, and fat on the inside texture that perfectly resemble the legit taste of meat.

Photo from Elpi Vellychon Haus' Facebook page

Article thumbnails from Joel Binamira/Zubuchon