Find out why locals keep coming back for the 24-hour eatery’s Pochero de Cebu
Arguably the city’s most famous “drunk food”, Pochero de Cebu is a staple among the local night owls who delight in tender beef tendon with the marrow intact, an ear of sweet yellow corn, cabbage and julienned bamboo shoots nestled in a piping hot, clear beef bone broth. The most famous version is acknowledged to have come from the restaurant, Abuhan (Cebuano for hearth) on the ground floor of a venerable Cebuano institution, the Kan-irag Hotel, along Ramos Street. But when the hotel closed down in 2009 after 37 years of operation, the original staff (waiters, cashiers, and the kitchen crew) then opened their own 24-hour joint and began to serve everything on the original menu.
Although the Abuhan name still lives as a franchise, devotees of the original recipe only come to Kusina Uno. Apart from the authencity of the dish, there is the unmistakable draw of familiarity. The original Kan-irag Hotel waiters know you by name and often only ask if you want “the usual”. That could be pochero soup, the sinful gravy-laden sizzling pochero, chicharon bulaklak (deep fried pork mesentery), or tortang talong (eggplant omelet), because mama always told you to eat your vegetables.
Kusina Uno, GND Arcade, F. Cabahug St, Kasambagan; tel: +63 32 238 5283
This article first appeared in the April 2017 issue of Smile magazine.