Saturday, February 14, 2015

DINING | The Vito Selma-designed Rico's Lechon Acacia

rico's lechon acacia 01
Lovely lamps.

I like lechon (roasted pig) but I'm not a sucker for it. I've spent my entire college life in Cebu -- a place that probably every Filipino agrees is where you can find the best lechon -- and it had never been anything I'd crave. Nowadays, though, I've come to appreciate it, but only the Cebu variety.

While visiting family there just recently, we sort of went out of our way to check out this new Rico's Lechon branch designed by famed Cebu-based furniture designer Vito Selma. We didn't know where it was and so did our cab driver, who brought us to a different branch somewhere in Lahug instead. Unfortunately -- though which proved to be blessing in disguise -- they ran out of lechon. Unbelievable!

But then a restaurant staffer directed our driver to a new restaurant near Ayala Center Cebu. Bam! Tucked away in a small street behind the Infinity KTV Bar along Archbisop Reyes Ave, it was the branch we were hunting all along.

The interiors
Most lechon places I know in Cebu are basic and unassuming, and Rico's Lechon Acacia is no exception -- this despite the Vito Selma association. What Selma has done, though, is elevate the customary Filipino native design aesthetic, resulting in a fresh new perspective on traditional.

The restaurant has both an air-conditioned indoor section and an open-air dining area. Rows of tables and chairs fill up the indoor space, with one side dedicated to diner-type seating arrangements, Pinoy style. The indoor section also houses another room that I believe is reserved for small functions, with blinds that can cover its glass panel walls. Meanwhile, the kitchen is in full view, which every diner will pass by when entering and leaving the restaurant.

rico's lechon acacia 02
A fresh take on native Filipino design is what I call it.

rico's lechon acacia 03
This is in the air-conditioned area of the restaurant.

Bamboo, rattan, and that barrio fiesta vibe are all still present here, but somehow the designer has found more creative ways of making use of these traditional materials and elements in spite of reportedly working with a tight budget.

Hence we see bamboo in ceiling beams, doors, partitions, and more impressively as a dining table base and lighting fixture. Oh, and that one; I like how the bamboo poles rise from the floor to support the glass of the table and how all this is counter-positioned with poles that drop from the ceiling, some of which are fitted with light bulbs. This is inside the special enclosed section.

The walls, on the other hand, are livened up by painted banana leaves that surprisingly don't look tacky at all. There are also painted murals inside the enclosed private dining section depicting traditional barrio fiesta scenes. Meanwhile, the floor is just polished gray concrete but painted with blue and green tile accents.

rico's lechon acacia 04
Diner-type seating, Pinoy style.

rico's lechon acacia 05
The outdoor section. Took the shot when they were already closing, hence the pile of throw pillows and whatnot.

rico's lechon acacia 06
The kitchen in full view.

rico's lechon acacia 07
The counter-positioning of bamboo poles rising from the floor and dropping from the ceiling. Beautiful!

rico's lechon acacia 08
Sorry for the light reflection on the glass but I hope this gives you a better angle of the bamboo poles supporting the table.

rico's lechon acacia 09
One of two really huge "beauty queen" chairs that were quite popular in the 70s. Kwittiegirl wants one at home.

Of course we also get to see a sampling of Vito Selma furniture here, like those two humongous "beauty queen" rattan chairs and that cute puso-shaped lounger (Puso, playfully translated as "hanging rice," refers to rice cooked inside a pouch made of woven young coconut leaves. It's quite popular in Cebu and in some parts of the Visayas).

The food
Oh, I got lost in the design aspect and almost forgot about the food. The menu is pretty simple and straightforward, dominated by lechon, of course. Nevertheless, they also offer seafood, some veggies and noodles, fruit shakes, and a slew of Pinoy kakanin and desserts. As for the price, I find it inexpensive, or reasonable at most. (Click on the link to view the full Rico's Lechon Acacia menu.)

But we were here for the lechon and ordered just that, plus a sinigang variety (lechon in tamarind soup). I wanted to taste their spicy lechon but chickened out when the waiter said it was quite spicy. Besides, I'm not a huge chili fan anyway.

No surprise, the lechon was good; the meat was tender and full of flavor, and the skin, perfectly crispy. It's also cute how they serve rice here -- in tiny iron pots Filipinos refer to as kaldero.

rico's lechon acacia 10
Death by lechon. Look at those cute little pots.

Utensils and condiments are readily available on every table, though we're reminded by the sign on the bottle:

rico's lechon acacia 11
It means eating with your hands is best. Only Pinoys can relate, I guess.

'Ngaon 'ta!

Service
Clad in cute yellow Filipino costumes, the waitstaff here were all nice and efficient. Service was fairly quick, too.

*************************
In hindsight
Surely, if you love lechon and have a penchant for traditional Filipino design, then Rico's Lechon Acacia will most certainly delight you. Apart from the refreshing interiors, the food is good and reasonably priced, plus the service is good.

rico's lechon acacia 12
The puso-shaped lounge chair. Now how cute is that!

*************************
Rico's Lechon Acacia is located along Acacia Street. It's the street behind the Infinity KTV Bar along Archbishop Reyes Ave. near Ayala Center Cebu.
Tel. No. +63 32 2310958

16 comments:

  1. Lami-a!! Dugay na ko wala nakakaon ug Rico's spicy lechon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. i love the decor. the big lamps, the bamboo table, and the modest/simple beauty queen chair. priceless!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for featuring our newest branch in Acacia. I'm glad you love the venue but most of it our food and services. Continue to support us by liking here at www.facebook.com/RicosLechonOfficial or place your order here at www.ricoslechon.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think this is a must try to everybody especially Cebuanos.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was here and Rico's Lechon is the best tasting lechon. I'm glad I was able to eat together with my friends, relatives and family.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The first moment I heard about Rico's Lechon was when a close friend of mine posted a lechon which made me salivate and craving for it. With it's spices, tenderness and juiciness of the lechon, that moment I realize that I need to try it. During my father's bday, I never suggest any restaurant on where to eat but gladly, my parents wanted to try Rico's Lechon since it's a meters away from our small business. My mother is really a fan of other lechon restaurant but this time, she really can tell this is now her best which is the Rico's Lechon.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Few reasons why I love Rico's Lechon is that its uniqueness among other lechon I've tasted here in Cebu. One is that it's crispiness of its skin. Unlike other lechon, Rico's Lechon is fresh everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Is quite interesting to know more about Rico's Lechon and I love this blog!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good to know that there are lot's of people loving this restaurant and I'm one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We've been eating here every twice a month with my family cause they really like your lechon. My father is really a fan of your lechon and yea, he keeps on ordering your lechon for delivery if we have occasions. ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. same here! we eat here three times every two months.. best lechon ever :)

      Delete
  13. Thank you Rico’s Lechon for the best lechon that you offered to us.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've been looking for something that would beat my list of lechon restaurant. But yes, it is Rico's Lechon who beat them all. Kudos to Rico's Lechon.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The first moment I heard about Rico’s Lechon was when a close friend of mine posted a lechon which made me salivate and craving for it. With its spices, tenderness and juiciness of the lechon, that moment I realize that I need to try it. During my father’s bday, I never suggest any restaurant on where to eat but gladly, my parents wanted to try Rico’s Lechon since it’s a meters away from our small business. My mother is really a fan of other lechon restaurant but this time, she really can tell this is now her best which is the Rico’s Lechon.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...