I recently got a chance to eat at Azul Surf at Mango Square Mall and I had an awesome dining experience. In Cebu, Azul is synonymous to Tuslob Buwa, a local version of fondue with a brainy twist. I am really surprised that Azul Surf is not just about devouring fatty food while enjoying bottles of Red Horse beer. This restaurant owned by Ian Sekong of Powerspoonz, actually serve several delicious and affordable items that are solid lunch/dinner alternatives that can be enjoyed even without beer.
If you visit Azul Surf, you might think that you are in a seaside bar in a surfing town like Lanuza or Siargao. The walls are adorned with surfboards and photos relating to surfing. Ian Sekong said that he is a frustrated surfer and he likes the idea of owning a surfer bar. He admitted that he designed the place with surfing as an inspiration and I think he pulled it off. Sekong's design acumen made Azul Surf look Instagram-worthy enough to be a date place.
The obvious bestseller of this place is the Tuslob Buwa. I even made a feature of Azul's Tuslob Buwa a year ago. I called it Pork Brain Fondue because it involves a group dipping puso (hanging rice) to the bottom of a small pan that has simmering sauteed pork brains. It is one of the best "bonding" food ever. If there is a food version of "tagay", it would probably be called tuslob buwa. If you go to Azul Surf, you might order this but the restaurant is not all about tuslob buwa. Here are eleven excellent dishes that you can also order at Azul Surf along with your tuslob buwa:
Eleven Excellent Things to Order at Azul Surf
11. Calamares (Php 100)
Let's start with you delicious fried starters. Azul Surf serves freshly fried battered squid in a bamboo plate with vinegar. The Calamares is a good starter and it also goes so well with some garlic rice. It also pairs well with Red Horse.
10. Ebi Tempura (Php 100)
This Japanese-inspired dish is practically similar to Calamares except that it uses shrimps. It comes with a soy-based dipping sauce.
9. California Maki (Php 100)
Surprise, Surprise! Azul Surf serves a decent California Maki for only 100 pesos. The plating is #Foodporn-worthy. It is a joy to eat with some soy sauce and wasabi. They also have Tuna Maki at the same price.
8. Garlic Pesto Pasta (Php 80)
The tuslob buwa place actually serves some yummy pasta dishes. The Garlic Pesto Pasta is perfect for the ladies and the weight watchers who do not like to eat meat. This pasta dish is mildly seasoned with a generous amount of pesto.
7. Pasta Carbonara (Php 80)
At 80 pesos, the pasta carbonara dish is a bargain. It tastes good and it is well presented that if you post it in Facebook or Instagram your followers will never think that you are in a tuslob buwa place. Having good-looking pasta dishes gives Azul Surf a date place vibe. Aside from carbonara and pesto, they also serve seafood pasta at the same price.
6. Kinupsan (Php100)
This is one of my favorite viands at home and Azul Surf's version is the perfect "finger food" for some beer. Kinupsan is the melt in your mouth fried pork fat. It is like bacon without the meat. It should not be an everyday dish, but it is hard to find a sumsuman or beer mate that is as good as kinupsan.
5. Seafood Pizza (Php 130)
Pizza is one best things to order when you come to a restaurant as a group. Azul Surf serves four different pizza creations: seafood, Margherita, meaty and pesto. They use Mozarella cheese and the pizzas have a thin crust which makes it another great beer match.
4. Surf and Turf (Php 120)
Since Azul Surf has a surfer bar theme then the best dish to order would probably be their Surf and Turf. At 120 pesos, you get serving of rice with a pair of shrimps and pesto-flavored beef.
3. Singsing (Php100)
One of the best "pulutan" to have, would be innards. If the king of innards at Azul Surf is the brain then the queen would definitely be singsing or chicken hearts. Singsing in Cebuano and Filipino means rings and the dish got its name because the chicken hearts look like small rings when sliced. The hearts are served in a sizzling plate and topped with some fresh shallots. The singsing is a bit salty and its good with some rice or being washed down with beer.
2. Sisig (Php100)
When you ask Filipinos especially from Luzon what their favorite pulutan would be, most likely you will get sisig as an answer. This dish invented in Pampanga using the pork's face is a permanent fixture in the menus of Filipino restaurants and bar. Azul Surf's sisig is a bit "sweeter" than the singsing. It is definitely one of the best partners for beer.
1. Samgyeopsal (Php200)
If pork brains are too "wild" for you then Azul Surf offers their Samgyeopsal as an alternative. It is a grill-it-yourself meal set that includes 2 kinds of Kimchi, 2 cups of rice, onion, cabbage, and slices of pork belly. Also included in the set is a good amount of sesame oil mixed with salt and pepper that is going to be used for cooking the meat. Korean restaurants use lettuce instead of cabbage. Surprisingly, the cabbage also go very well with the grilled meat and the super spicy kimchi.
Most dishes are simple and straightforward yet, the items go so well with the relaxing atmosphere at Azul Surf. At around 10 pm, Azul Surf transforms into one of best places to chill in Mango Avenue as local bands showcase their musical talent with some lively music. It is indeed a great place to spend time with friends. The bar opens daily at 10 am and closes at 6 am the next day.
Check out Azul Surf at Mango Square Mall and comment and share to us how do you like the place.
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