Lunches are a personal affair. Sometimes, they’re rushed. Sometimes, they’re a sacred moment between work hours. But every so often, there’s that magical lunch that morphs into an afternoon affair, bursting with flavors, memories, and laughter. Me and my husband’s recent visit to Ilaputi Restaurant in Ayala Center Cebu was just that.
Tucked in a quieter corner of the bustling mall, Ilaputi boasts of its unique fusion of Asian flavors that sing to your tastebuds. It’s the kind of place that’s a testament to the concept of “hidden gems.”
My husband, the pickiest of eaters, found a favorite in the Dragon Chop. Priced at 650 pesos, this dish offers a hearty serving of protein – perfect for someone like him, an American with a penchant for meat. The Cotton Candy drink, at 275 pesos, was an experience unto itself! A delightful blend of pineapple, raspberry, lemon, orange, strawberry, and egg white. I’ve never seen him this excited about a drink before!!!
As for me, I was in the mood for something zesty, so I went for the Zing! drink. At 350 pesos, it’s a refreshing medley of apple, carrot, orange, and a kick of ginger. It was the ideal pairing with the Sticky Char Siu Belly. This dish, with its grilled pork belly doused in a home-made Chinese 5 spice barbecue sauce, served alongside garlic ginger fried rice and chopped stir-fried bok choy, was sheer brilliance. The bok choy had a special kick – I suspect it’s horse radish, which I adore. Every bite teleported me to the bustling hawkers of Singapore.
Don’t even get me started on the other drinks! If you’ve been here with friends, the Supladagaga and Sakura Fizz are must-tries. And for those who fancy an extra kick, just add 80 pesos for a splash of alcohol. Oh, and the coffee? Perfection at 150 pesos, especially when accompanied by their mouth-watering moist cake.
Another thing I truly appreciate about Ilaputi is its ambiance. The staff exudes the warmth of a home, making you feel like you’re dining with family. The owners, true blue Cebuano locals, wear their pride on their sleeves. I even had the pleasure of meeting Chef Jan once, and his passion for food is palpable.
Ilaputi isn’t just a restaurant; it’s an experience. A fusion of flavors, artistry in every dish, and the promise of an Asian flavor adventure. And more than the food, it’s the camaraderie, the laughter, the stories shared across the table that makes every visit worthwhile.
If you’re ever in the mood for a culinary escapade, surrounded by the friendliest staff and a relaxed atmosphere, Ilaputi is the place to be. An underrated gem, but once you visit, you’ll undoubtedly keep coming back.
Come, and embark on a delightful gastronomic journey at Ilaputi! They are located at L/1 Luzon Avenue Entrance, Ayala Center Cebu.