April 11, 2012 – Sooo Pinoy Food Tour Day 1 in Cebu – Previous Post : Fiji Restaurant at Plantation Bay Mactan.

Located at Salinas Drive in Lahug Cebu City, Chika-an is a restaurant that features local Cebuano dishes. The place looks like an old house that is converted into a restaurant and the interior is so simple much like a vacant ancestral house occupied with tables and chairs in a restaurant setting.

Utan Bisaya
Utan Bisaya


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I planned to skip eating but when I learned that they are serving 2 vegetable dishes, I just decided to try it out as well. I like the taste of Ampalaya with dilis (tiny dried fish), the ampalaya is crispy and a little bit sour paired with another crispy and salty dilis which makes the dish a perfect pair. I grew up in Quezon and Ampalaya is a staple food, in fact we eat Ampalaya almost thrice a week.

Ampalaya with dilis
Ampalaya with dilis

Just like dinengdeng of Ilocos and Bulanglang of Tagalog Region, Utan Bisaya is also a soup dish composed of various local vegetables boiled and simmered in plain water. Utan Bisaya is just normally seasoned only with salt unlike Bulanglang that has gingery taste and Dinengdeng with bagoong na isda flavor.

Chika-an sa Cebu
Chika-an sa Cebu

These dish has a mixture of malungay and okra as the main ingredient but I find the restaurants version because it has more vegetables like squash, sitaw, tomatoes, gabi, spring onion and alugbati. I just love the taste of the soup, it is so simple yet so flavorful.

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