Cebu City, Philippines
The final episode of Street Food takes us across the Asian region to the Phillipines. With an in-depth look at the culinary scene of Cebu City, this centuries-old trading hub has long been synonymous with the fresh seafood this region has become famous for. With global influences on sea-trading and boasting a geographically envious location, Phillipines benefits from an amazing seafood-influenced Filipino street food scene.
Unfortunately it’s not all good news here, as we’re shown by over a quarter of the population living below the poverty line, Florencio “Entoy” Escadas is one man that’s managed to find a way to change the fortune of patrons across the region. In turn, this also helps the fishermen in the community too. As we take a closer look, we get a glimpse of the man at wor. After taking a look at reef eel and the specific aphrodisiac quality this dish has, we cut across to see one of the most popular street foods in the city.
Salty, juicy and delicious, Lechon Cebu is a delicacy that’s been passed down through the generations in Leslie Enjambre’s family. Lechon is so popular infact, it’s almost unheard of that this isn’t the centerpiece for some feasts. Along with this dish, Tuslob-Buwa, made with sautéed onions, garlic and pig brain, has been brought to the mainstream culinary scene through Azul, a popular restaurant attracting a younger crowd.
Rounding out the episode, and the series, we take a look at Rubilyn Diko Manayon who opened a roadside arinderia in Cordova. Boasting over 18 different dishes and armed with a varied range of culinary delights, the most popular here by far is her Lumpia. These Chinese-style spring rolls have made a massive impact on the street food scene in Cebu when they were introduced and remain a popular choice to this date.
Although this episode isn’t quite as emotionally charged or insightful as some of the other episodes in this series, there’s enough here to make it a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable one nonetheless. The beautiful establishing shots and various scenes depicting cooking techniques work really well and the chefs themselves are as likable as ever. I do hope Netflix renew this series though, as there’s enough here to make it stand out alongside Chef’s Table while showcasing some of the best street food chefs around the world.