Cebu Secret Chow: Kiss of An Ox

    I've actually only noticed this small unseeming restaurant at a glance when I ate at Doming's two years ago on a lunch break from culinary school. I liked how mysterious the facade was and it lingered at the back of my head. I just never thought of going there since no one really reminded me of it and I transferred residence which was too far from this location already. So introducing my first feature of Cebu's Secret Dining Spots from A-Z, Arano.

    Arano is located at Guadalupe, Cebu City. I don't really know the specific details of the address but if you know where Doming's (another secret dining spot!) is, it's situated right beside it. The most details I could give you are landmarks like, Guadalupe Elementary School and San Jose Bakeshop. Enter the road right across the school. This road has San Jose Bakeshop beside it and a signboard that says "Fairlane Village". Just go inside then turn right and follow the road til you see a low green gate (that's Doming's). Arano is located right beside that green gate. 

     It's actually one of those house-turned-restaurant dining hideaways. I chose to pop by for dinner to see the ambience at night. I believe that the entrance of a restaurant always makes the first impression for any guest. I liked the entrance because it is unique to find a door with a door knob right along the road. The fact that this was the setting actually made it inviting to open the door and see what's inside (Narnia-ish? lol). The walls are also covered with vines and there you find their signage, carved on wood. As i opened the door, it led me to a small room which was the bar. It was exclusively reserved that night so we proceeded to the actual dining area which was led by another door. The dining area was in a garden setting, generally outdoor and partly sheltered by an extended roof. It was a rainy night but if it weren't, I can imagine that it would have been a romantic night with a cool breeze at the garden. So anyway, I'm here for the food. My friend (the photographer for this feature) who has dined here several times recommended their lengua. We were all hungry and quickly ordered our menu choices. Of course, I went for the lengua. 

lengua @ 120 php
If you've never tasted or heard of this, or you have and just didn't know exactly what it was, this is actually braised ox tongue. Ooh la la. Some people shudder at the thought of ingesting such a thing but this is one Spanish delicacy I truly enjoy. Not too much, of course. There are various recipes for this but I don't have a specific preference as long as it pleases my taste buds. The lengua I had here was served with a mushroom gravy sauce. Tender, yes, but in terms of taste quality, it still had that odor that shouldn't be there so it was not perfectly prepared or spiced. The sauce was a little salty, too. I prefer the lengua of Montebello Villa Hotel. For the price, it's not a very generous serving. The slices were quite thin.       
porkchop @ 110 php
     My friends, on the other hand, had the porkchop. It smelled and looked palatable. It was topped with fried garlic and butter, and accompanied with a chunky mashed potato (not bad). I liked how chunky it was. It was a little dry though. I was actually quite jealous of this. This is definitely way better than Mother's Fried Chicken's famed porkchops (my dad was obsessed with this before).  
       Unfortunately, for this gig, I had to "eat and run" because my family wanted to go home early together. So overall, this is a conducive date spot with reasonable prices and menu and ambience is alright and casual whether for lunch or dinner. I would go back for the porkchop and their steaks are at most 350 php! I'd also want to try their callos next time. 

    I'd like to thank my dear friends who came along and Raymond "Momon" Racoma for taking me there. :D
clockwise from left: Kirby, me, Momon, Paolo, Issa, Kentoi
good food, good company
Photo credits to: Issa Perez http://littleblacksheepfashion.blogspot.com
                        Momon Racoma http://momonracoma.tumblr.com 

LIVE, LOVE, EAT! - Wolfgang Puck  

Til the next gig,

Justinne <3


  1. yummm! you're doing great, love!

  2. thanks, love! you're my inspiration. ;)

  3. Yumiii, look very tasty :) You're so pretty honey :) Great blog, I'm following :) Check my if you want to: http://hit-myself.blogspot.com

  4. Thanks, hitme! I'm flattered with your following. You're pretty, too! :)

  5. Haaaaaa I don't mean to comment-flood, but I love this place too =) Their facade reminds me of the Secret Garden: walls with vines and the door is somewhere there. And if you're in good timing, you get a little spanish class from the Senyor :)

  6. I miss this place. I should go back there soon!

  7. Do you have contact info?

    1. Just looked it up on the net: (032) 256 1934