Monday, August 5, 2013

Eating through Mactan: Ibiza Beach Club Churrasco

Grilled Rib Eye from the Ibiza Beach Club Churrasco
All-You-Can-Eat Churrasco for Php2,000;
Php2,500 with free flowing house wine
Go big or go home. That was our motto for this trip. It was going to be a very short one, true, but we will spend it like kings. And this means having a grand dinner fit for one.

As if the hotel knows our plans, upon check-in, a strategically placed poster in the lobby greeted us with: "Enjoy an authentic Brazilian Churrasco experience. Indulge in a variety of succulent meats, marinated in exotic herbs and spices and grilled to perfection. Available from  6:00 pm at Php2000 nett per person." 

So. Indulge we did. Php2,000 sounds steep but with the quality of food that you get, I say it's worth it. A good serving of lamb chop in Manila could already set you back Php700. Here, you could theoretically eat as much as you want. I say theoretically because with the sheer amount of equally irresistible grilled meats that is served to you, your stomach simply will not have enough room for more than one.

The meats in this all you can eat churrasco include ribeye, lamb chops, baby back ribs, pork belly, filet mignon, beef ribs, chicken thighs, rock lobster, leg of lamb, parrot fish, ostrich, jumbo prawns, and fresh squid.

Even dessert is grilled. A whole fresh pineapple is marinated in nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves before grilling and is served in a plate with yogurt, honey, and chopped pistachios.

That is not all. Before you actually sit down for the meat feast, you can hit the gourmet salad and sides bar first. On offer are fresh cut vegetables, cured meats and traditional Brazilian side dishes. Special mention to the Pao de Quiejo, delectable little warm cheese buns. I had a hard time not eating too much of them to save room for the churrasco onslaught.

When you tell your server that you are ready for the churrasco, he will bring you a plate with more food, as accompaniment for the meats-- grilled corn, baked beans, roasted vegetables, and rice. There is an empty spot in that plate that is reserved for the meats. 

Also in preparation for the meats are several tiny plates containing different sauces, red wine butter, tarragon butter (I think), clarified butter, and chimichurri. As with traditional Brazilian churrasco, every diner is given a disc with one side green and the other red. Turn the disc green side up, and you are telling your chef to bring the churrasco service tableside. Red side up is the sign of surrender.

Oh but it is hard to leave that beautiful, vibrant place even when you have eaten to your heart's content. Good friends and good food cast against a backdrop of pristine sand and sea and hip music... I think had it not rained that night, we would have stayed even longer.

Ibiza Beach Club is located in Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, Punta Engano, Cebu, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu. For reservations, contact (032) 492-7777. Visit the Ibiza Beach Club Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/IbizaBeachClubCebu

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