7/1/11

Cebu Secret Chows: The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow


     I've heard of this little secret restaurant since last year and have been itching to check it out since. The only details I knew about it were that it was located at Maya St. Sto. Nino Village, Banilad and it served an affordable  gourmet set menu. I've heard nothing but good reviews about this place so I finally took on the mission last Saturday (May 25) with two of my college classmates (Carl and Neil) and two of my culinary schoolmates, Kazoot and Dexter.


      Maya St. is the first corner on the right from the entrance of Sto. Nino Village. There is no sign at all that there lies a restaurant along this street. I actually dropped by this street like a week ahead just to check where it really is. Yes, I spoiled the fun of looking for it. Haha. When I went there with my friends though, we just walked from the entrance of the village all the way to the restaurant. Cul de Sac actually translates to "dead end". True enough, it is located at the dead end of Maya St. A very simple facade yet inviting enough to make you want to step inside and see what there is.


      As I stepped inside, I was quite surprised by how small yet chic it was. It had a seating capacity of only 17 heads and offers both indoor and outdoor dining. With the interiors, you could easily make out that the owner is a woman. The color theme was blue and white and the setting is reminiscent of English tea time.

      This little gem is owned by a Mrs. Uytengsu who had studied culinary in Australia. The specialties here are Osso Bucco, Fish with Lemon, and Porkchops. I heard their pasta is good, too.

     
        Okay, so let's get on to how this works. Ordering a meat or seafood dish entitles you to the set menu which includes a bowl of soup, the main course served with rice, and a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Price range is 180-280 php. Not a bad deal at all! They also offer pasta and Filipino dishes. 

      We were offered two choices for our soup - mushroom or pumpkin. I'm more of the pumpkin type. So I had the pumpkin soup, Osso Bucco and their special tropical drink. 

The hungry pack:
from left: Carl, Neil, Kazoot, Dexter, me
Carl is a budding master chef, Neil is my foodie in training, Kazoot is my best friend from culinary school (she's a great pastry chef) and Dexter is also my close friend from culinary school. Dexter is an excellent Chinese chef and just arrived a few days ago from Aussie. Kazoot will be boarding a cruise ship in a few days. 

My order
 
soup:
pumpkin soup
The soup was delightfully light and creamy. Unfortunately, I still have poorly developed taste buds and I think it's also degraded from all the school junk I've been eating so I couldn't quite make out what spiced this soup. SORRY. :(
It was really good though. Very satisfactory. 

Main Course:
Osso Bucco - 280 php
This was quite a hefty serving for me. I was impressed. It looked good AND tasted good as well. Their version of the osso bucco was braised beef shanks. The standard recipe actually uses veal shank but this was a set meal at 280 php so... do the math. :)
I have a monster appetite but I was even struggling to finish this which means it is worth every cent. It was not as greasy as I've had in other resto's and it was fall-off-the-bone tender. The marrow melts in the mouth. I'm sure this is the crowning glory of this resto.  

Shrimp Linguine Marinara @ 110 php
My Tita Issa said she tried the pasta here and she liked it so I was quite interested how good it was. I wanted something with seafood so I chose the marinara and shared it with Carl. The sauce was quite thick for me so I wasn't that satisfied but considering the price and the serving, it was reasonable. Nothing extraordinary though.

Beverage:
Tropical smoothie: apple and cucumber <3
80 php

I love fruit and vegetable combination drinks! Sweet and refreshing. This was their special drink.

This is Carl, my younger brother/bodyguard/classmate. He also cooks really well. I should feature him sometime. :)


the dude with his food :))
Fish Fillet w/ Lemon - 190 php
This is one of the specialties of Cul de Sac. The fish was pan fried to perfection. Lightly crisp on the outside and firm yet juicy on the inside. The sauce was light and lemony and complemented the texture well. This was delightful.


Neil's

Fruit and Shrimp Salad - 80 php
Neil actually had the Chicken Afritada for his main course but it did not look that appealing so I didn't bother shooting it. Hehe.

Dexter's


Rhapsody in Blue - 200 php
This is actually fish and shrimps in a white wine cream sauce. I'm not really sure why it is named so but I'm guessing blue depicts SEAfood. This wasn't really anything special. Sorry. Hehe. I still prefer the fish fillet w/ lemon.

Kazoot's

Fish and Shrimp Curry 190 php
We were all given a scoop of chocolate ice cream each for our dessert as part of the set meal. I think 3 out of 5 of us were very satisfied with our meals. I personally loved my drink and was just so stuffed from that gigantic serving of osso bucco. This is definitely a place worth going back to. Most of the menu items are value for money. I'd recommend the tropical smoothie, the pumpkin soup, the osso bucco and the fish with lemon. :)

More details about the restaurant:
 

I suggest you give them a call to set a reservation if you plan to dine there because the place is quite small and is usually buzzing on weekend dinners. 
Since I can't show you a map for the location, just click this link. :)


Til the next Cebu Secret revelation! 


Babe for Food
your new BFF in Cebu dining

5 comments:

  1. Aww I love this place! When people ask me for affordable dinner date suggestions, I always suggest this place. Their service is quite slow though but I still go back. :) 10 Doves St is lovely as well.

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  2. Thanks, Christina. I have yet to check out 10 Dove for myself. :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing Cebu's secrets! Wanna check this place out :-)

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  4. Hi. Is this resto still open to date? I'm interested to have a taste of their foods. Thanks for sharing. I like your blog and posts. More power. Hope to see you around 👩

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