Saturday, July 27, 2013

Eating through Mactan: Giuseppe

Carpaccio Di Manzo
Black Angus tenderloin topped with lettuce, mushrooms, parmesan,
and olive oil balsamic dressing

Php300 or Php520 for sharing
A couple of weeks ago, we went on a holiday in Mactan Island, Cebu. Being the one who suggested the trip, albeit inadvertently, I took on the responsibility of making the itinerary for the trip. It was a task I took seriously, and I made a very detailed schedule from distances in kilometers from place to place to hyperlinks to websites with information about a particular stop. 

As expected, I paid special attention to the places where we would eat. I scoured the net about what Mactan is known for in terms of food and the answer I got is sutukil. Sutukil is an acronym formed from the first syllable of three Cebuano words, sugba, tulaw, and kilaw, which means, grill, stew, and eat raw, respectively. And that is precisely what you get in sutukil restaurants, seafood that are either grilled, stewed, or eaten raw (or perhaps "cooked" in either green mango or citrus juice or vinegar). Sutukil restaurants appear to be mostly open-air seaside establishments built with light materials like nipa and bamboo. Kind of like dampa.

 When we got to Mactan however, the sutukil restaurants near Movenpick Hotel (our home away from home for the weekend) did not inspire confidence. What we found very inviting instead was Giuseppe Pizzeria and Sicilian Roast. Run by a brother and sister team from Sicily, Giuseppe in Mactan is a cozy little restaurant just a stone's throw away from Movenpick.

Giuseppe has an open kitchen and it was such a treat watching Chef Moreno Benigno and his staff go about their business. They have a printed menu, but daily specials are handwritten in chalk on the board right above the kitchen counter. While we settled in our table, we were welcomed by Floriana, the chef's lovely sister, and she patiently walked us through Giuseppe's menu.

Cocktail di Gamberi
All our food was executed expertly. The star ingredient in every dish is allowed to shine, and for good reason. The shrimps in the Cocktail di Gamberi for instance are as fresh as can be. 

Pizza Alla Gregorio
Tomato, Mozzarella, sausages, salami, smoked ham and Parma ham

And they do not scrimp on the good stuff here. Just take a gander at the Pizza Alla Gregorio, teeming with premium quality sausages, salami, smoked ham and Parma ham. The crust, on the other hand is out of this world. Perfectly crackly and chewy, it owes its impeccable form to a traditional wood-fired oven.

Tortellacci di Pollo al Tartufo
Chicken tortellacci with truffle sauce

Spaghetti Bolognese
Spaghetti with classic Italian meat sauce

Php330 or Php460 for sharing
Tagliatelle Porcini
porcini mushroom sauce and cream

The pasta, on the other hand are hand made. The tagliatelle was nice and al dente. The tortellacci di Pollo al Tartufo was superb. I've always adored tortellini and the tortellacci, the big kahuna of tortellinis, was a real feast. The truffle sauce that the chicken-stuffed tortellaci was draped in was exquisite.

No overly complicated flavors here to confuse and overwhelm the palate, just seriously good home-cooked Sicilian cuisine.

Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast is located in Mactan Seaport Village, Punta Engano Road, Mactan Island, Lapu Lapu City, 6015 Cebu. Contact Giuseppe via cellphone at 0917-3163207 or landline at 032-4062432, or send an email at Visit their website at

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