Cebu Comfort Food: Dong Juan at The Persimmon Mabolo
What’s in a name? They say it could make or break you. Ask Donald Trump why he won the Presidential elections. Was it probably because his family name meant ‘winner’ in the dictionary?
Remembering my elementary days, we had a canteen manager whose family name was Adovo, a popular Filipino viand. The head of the campus ministry was Brother Santos, which translated to English meant ‘saint’. And the one in charge of the awarding ceremonies during Intramurals was always Mrs. Medalla, oh you get it. I don’t know if these were just coincidences or our school principal just had an epic sense of humor. You might ask, what’s this got to do with Dong Juan Restaurant?
Well, the first thing that popped into my head was my uncle whose nickname was actually Dodong, quite a popular name in the Visayas and Mindanao regions and on his recent visit here in Cebu, he told me the story of the first time he introduced himself as Dong to his American counterparts in the States. Guess what? His co-workers couldn’t help themselves but laugh and giggle which initially confused him until one of them explained that ‘dong’ was another word for the male sex organ in the American slang. Imagine shaking hands with someone and the first image you get was the p word. That would surely qualify as a good ice breaker.
You do understand that everything I mentioned was just a coincidence right? And we can’t argue the fact that Dong Juan is one of the best comfort food destinations in Cebu. The name would just probably make some American tourists smile with curiosity which would lead them to try the restaurant in the end.
Same goes for you, Juan dela Cruz because clearly, from a Filipino standpoint, the restaurant’s name could be quite familiar and endearing, which makes sense, since in foreign literature, the character of Don Juan is that of a great seducer. It’s up to you to decide after having a taste of their seductive offerings.
I, on the other hand, was able to try their best of the best all thanks to the team at Zomato, our partner for this foodie meetup. My top three favorites include their Sizzling Pochero (the gravy sauce was so heavenly plus add to that the crispy potato crisps), Carbonara (the pasta was al dente topped with bacon and grated cacao de bola which was truly a first) and Baby Back Ribs (meat-off-the-bone with a sweet and spicy kick and never ever neglect the side coleslaw ever). Their cheese sticks and chili wings were also a delight and quite a good way to stimulate your tastebuds for a full meal ahead. And oh, don’t forget to try out their dessert. Keywords: warm brownie plus vanilla ice cream.
Located at The Persimmon in Mabolo, this homey bistro stands as the best option in the area which is a stone’s throw away if you’re as strong as The Hulk from the other restaurants in Cebu Business Park.
So what are you waiting for? Go and visit Dong Juan at The Persimmon this weekend!