Pieces Of A Wunderkind's Mind

Snippets of Life, Love, Food, Travels, Discoveries, and Whatnot

Lami Kaayo: A Tale On ‘Ladles’ & ‘Cowrie Shells’

on November 11, 2010

Note: The first part of the title is in Cebuano and can be translated to mean “very delicious”.

This one’s a long-overdue entry. I should have written this six months ago, right after I got back from a short Cebu trip. When I was there, I got to eat in this particular restaurant strategically situated in a capacious corner space at the 2nd level of the Terraces, Ayala Center. Food, then, was still as good as the service. But recently, I have been hearing/reading mostly negative reviews about it. Nevertheless, I would still love to share with you my Hukad experience. Smiley

Hukad, which literally means “ladle” or sandok in Filipino [or when used as a verb, can also mean “to scoop”], is an upscale outlet of Golden Cowrie, a native Filipino restaurant that has been a benchmark in the Cebuano restaurant scene since 1982. Hukad employs a concept different from the Golden Cowrie chains throughout Cebu as it focuses on the Cebuano’s character of being social eaters. Though the location is in an Ayala Mall, the restaurant was designed to appear as homey as possible in order to invite more families to dine in it. Think Kanin Club [in terms of ambiance].

pusô-shaped lights [Click to enlarge]

TRIVIA: Pusô [hanging rice] is a famous Cebuano dish. It is, basically, rice wrapped in coco leaves which is then boiled. It is served by slicing the coco leaves in half exposing the rice. Puso rice pieces are strung together and servers just cut them off and slice them in half for serving, hence the term “hanging rice.”

banana leaves for plates

Hukad offers unlimited servings of rice, scooped on your banana leaf by attendants who roam the restaurant. These servers carry a whole pot with this long wooden hukad, used to dig up the steaming white rice.

Image grabbed from TSIF. [Thanks!]

My dad looks on as Rice Lady does her thing.

Here are what we had for lunch that day:

Green Mango Salad [Php65]

Imbao (Clam) Soup [Php105]

Adobong Kangkong [Php72]

Kinilaw na Tanigue [Php129]

Calamares [Php135]

Grilled Baby Back Ribs [Php289]

fresh buko juice

Food was newly cooked and served hot. Service was rather quick considering the fact that the dishes are prepared only upon ordering. The green mango salad had bagoong in it so I didn’t get to try that one. [Yup, I don’t like bagoong and I will never do!] My mom enjoyed it . Dad thought it would have been made better if the mangoes were more sour. The Imbao soup was good for 4-5. It had a clean, earthy taste that I liked. The taste of the adobong kangkong was really remarkable. It had the exact adobo flavor that I always look for… garlicky with a balance between salty and sour. More importantly, there was no hint of sweetness. We thought the kangkong was overcooked, though. The tanigue [sea bass], on the other hand, was fresh and the whole dish had just the right amount of acidity. The calamares was delicious. The batter was tasty in itself and the squid rings, tender. It was wonderfully crisp and we didn’t even bother to use the dip it came with. The only disappointment with this dish was its serving size. The portion was a bit too small. The baby back ribs were juicy, perfectly seasoned, and gave off this lovely smoke-y flavor but we would have appreciated it more if it was fall-of-the-bone. We finished everything just the same Smiley and downed our lunch with fresh buko juice, served with ice. Smiley

Overall, food was pleasant. Nothing extraordinary, though. I’ll give it a rating of 8.5 out of 10 for the taste department. In terms of presentation… okay, let’s just pretend I never mentioned that. But if you are fond of Filipino cuisine [with family and/or barkada bonding on the side], I can say that Hukad could give you a run for your money. It’s just a matter of choosing the right dishes and picking the right time to dine in. [The place is almost always packed, especially during the lunch hours.] Their baked scallops, I heard, are a must-try. Maybe I’ll try that on my next Cebu vacay. Or I might just go visit Golden Cowrie, instead. Will update you, as always! 😀

Hukad sa Golden Cowrie
Second Level, The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu
Cebu Business Park



2 responses to “Lami Kaayo: A Tale On ‘Ladles’ & ‘Cowrie Shells’

  1. Smarla says:

    awwww this is in cebu. 😦 i hope they have a metro manila branch. haha, im not sure when i’ll be able to go to cebu again.

    I haven’t tried puso yet, i only got to see it while we were doing a city tour of Cebu. 🙂

    thanks for this post. now i want to go to cebu again 😀

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