Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen opens at Ayala Center Cebu

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Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen, New restaurants in Cebu, Filipino Restaurants in Cebu, Cebu Golden Restaurant group, Pinaupong Manok, Kristine Kokseng, #RefreshinglyFilipino, #alwaysafeast, Cebu Best Blog

Cebu Favorite Filipino restaurant brand Golden  Cowrie opens an Ayala Center Cebu branch of its newest brand, the Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen. At the Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen, diners can enjoy many of their classic dishes as well as the new favorites like Pocherong Bungkag and Pinaupong Manok.




Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen

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Deeply rooted in the heart and culture of every Cebuano, Golden Cowrie has become an institution for bringing generations of diners together for 35 years. With already 30 branches nationwide, it adds Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen at the Garden Area of Ayala Center Cebu to its growing family.

The premium brand under the Cebu Golden Restaurant Inc. portfolio, the restaurant celebrates culinary creativity and highlights dishes that are made in the heart of the home. Its menu features classic recipes to pay homage to the heritage of Philippine cuisine and new flavors to explore its potential.

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“At Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen, one savors both traditional and refreshingly Filipino flavors. It offers the same taste of tradition that families keep coming back for while offering a glimpse of where and how far local cuisine can go in terms of modern execution and play of flavors,” director for product development Kristine De La Riva-Kokseng explains.


Bringing Cebuano and Filipino Cuisine to another level

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At the launch of the new restaurant,  I tasted many of their featured dishes and I was impressed.  I tasted familiar dishes and flavors but with an added twist or two. Here are the dishes that I tried and my thoughts about each one of them:


Pomelo Salad

Pomelo and singkamas tossed in calamansi dressing topped with crunchy dried squid

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We started our meal with a pomelo salad that had singkamas and dried squid.  This was an excellent starter.  It was mouthwatering because of the pomelo and calamansi dressing. The variety of textures were a joy in the mouth. The singkamas was crunchy and the fried squid added another dimension to it. Flavors were great.


Cab-Cab with Bangus Pate

Crispy fried cassava cracker with smoked bangus pate on the side

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This was an interesting combination.  When I was a kid growing up in Bohol, I enjoy eating cab-cab with latik or black sugar sauce.  It was usually eaten as a snack or dessert.  Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen went bold by making this an appetizer and pairing with a smoky bangus pate.  To be honest, I would love the cab-cab with something like ice cream. I even quipped that this cassava goodie would make a perfect cone for an ice cream.  But using it as a cracker for a pate was also a genius idea and I liked it too.   I almost cannot stop eating the cab-cab with the smoky milkfish pate when it was served.


Cucumber and Green Mango Agua Fresca

Refreshingly detoxifying blend of cucumber and green mango drink

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Cucumber and green mango makes an awesome juice/shake combo. It was refreshing and truly perfect for summer. 


Sizzling Chicharon and Red Egg


A crunchy and savory combination of chicharon and salty egg (itlog maalat) with a bit of spice


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This dish would remind me of sisig but with a crazy twist.  I really thought it was sisig. This dish was made of chicharon (crispy pork skin) and salted egg. Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen once again played with contrasting different textures. The salted egg was creamy while the chicharon was crunchy.  Flavor-wise it had a great spicy kick.  This dish would be great with beer and/or garlic rice. 


Pinaugang Balbacua

Oxtail braised in aromatics and served in thick flavorful sauce - not the soupy balbacua you know

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If I make a list of my top 5 Cebuano dishes, I would definitely put balbacua in there.  The calorie-packed soup made of oxtail is just sinfully good.  Well, Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen made an interesting version of it.  Instead of soup, they served a balbacua with a super reduced sauce.  For me, it was closer to kare-kare than the balbacua that I have grown up eating.  The meat, fat, and skin were tender and the usual flavors were there but I still associate more with the tagalog kare-kare than the proud bisaya balbacua.

Zarzuela de Mariscos

Seafood cooked in light tomato sauce, olive oil, tomatoes and coco wine

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I love seafood.  The Zarzuela de Mariscos is solid.  I really enjoyed eating the octopus tentacles. It was perfectly cooked and I wanted it all for myself.

Tahong in Coconut Milk

Imported mussels cooked in coconut milk

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I enjoyed this one as well especially the sauce.  It was the type of sauce that I would pour over hot white rice.  It was rich and its spiciness was distinct. 

Vegetarian Humba

A vegetarian version of the classic pork dish

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It so happened that I was seated with a pescatarian friend and she was really happy that Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen has a lot of options for those who do not eat meat. This version of the Cebuano dish has the sweet-salty sauce of the humba.  It had eggs, tofu, and mushrooms.  It's another interesting invention by the Golden Cowrie group.  It reminded me of their vegetarian Dinuguan that made me a big fan of their non-meat inventions.

Pinaupong Manok

Bathed in hot oil, cooked in salt, and other secret spices
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This was my "Dish of the Day!".  Not only it was photogenic, the fried chicken was awesome. The meat was juicy and the skin was crispy.  The pinaupong manok was savory and it reminded me of celebrations in the past when fried chicken was a big treat to us.  Fried Chicken has been fairly common nowadays and this generation can practically eat every day.  When I was growing up, it was a special dish. This dish reminded me of that time when fried chicken was your favorite because it was what you eat on joyous occasions.  I would definitely be ordering this one when I go back here.

Halo-Halomazing

A classic Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice, milk, fruits, gulaman, and sago. Perfect for the summer heat
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A meal will not be complete without something sweet. We started with sour then we had something salty, spicy, and savory.  To cap everything is the sweet and cold Halo-Halomazing. The ice was so fine and the serving size was perfect. 

All in all, it was a great meal. I tasted a lot of new dishes which made me curious about what else is on their menu.  I will be back maybe even several times this summer since my mom and many relatives are coming home from abroad.  Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen is definitely one of the best Filipino Restaurants in Cebu.  Check it out and let me know what you think about their dishes but giving us a comment.

Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen, New restaurants in Cebu, Filipino Restaurants in Cebu, Cebu Golden Restaurant group, Pinaupong Manok, Kristine Kokseng, #RefreshinglyFilipino, #alwaysafeast, Cebu Best Blog

Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen is located at the Garden Area of the 4th Level of Ayala Center Cebu New Wing. It is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Visit www.alwaysafeast.ph for more information and contact 0995-4292561 for reservations. Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen is operated by the Cebu Golden Restaurant group. In Cebu, Golden Cowrie is located at Salinas Drive Lahug, Marina Mall and along A.S. Fortuna. Hukad sa Golden Cowrie, its mall-based brand, has branches in SM City Cebu, Robinson’s Cybergate, The Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu, Parkmall, South Town Centre, and SM Seaside City. Nationwide, Golden Cowrie and Hukad branches are found in Bacolod, Bacoor, Butuan City, Bohol, Boracay, Cotabato, Davao, Digos, Dumaguete, General Santos City, Ilo-ilo, Pagadian, Ozamiz City, Tacloban, Tagum and Zamboanga with a Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen at S Maison, MOA Complex.

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