Puso Bistro & Bar

Good food and surprises at Puso Bistro & Bar

I was really looking forward to the Sunday lunch of Quest Hotel Cebu’s buffet at the Puso Bistro & Bar because I know lechon is served. Not just any kind of lechon but, of course, the renowned Cebu lechon that is highly coveted. Especially that I’ve been craving to have a good one as I spent a month in Thailand and it was there I understood how it is to pine for food that you grew up with. Thus images of tasty, red and crispy skin was already playing in my mind as I went down the elevator and to the restaurant.

Puso Bistro & Bar is the main dining outlet of Quest Hotel Cebu. It’s where breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets are served as well as delicious ala carte dishes. It is known for its flavored puso, the restaurant’s take on the iconic Cebuano hanging rice which I’ve tasted before and other Cebuano dishes. When I entered, there were still a few people around but even then, the glorious lechon, glistening under a spotlight was already calling me out.

I got the knife and plunged it at the shoulder part then slowly ran it down, carving out a piece of red skin and tender meat. At my table, I slowly bit into the skin and I can only close my eyes in delight: the wonderful crackling of the crisp morsel and savored it’s mild saltiness. And bit another as images of Sunday lunches at home ran in my mind. After a few minutes, with all the bits consumed, I went back and got more. Puso’s lechon is good. Savory good.

Okay, the buffet has a lot to select from. One time I was there, steamed blue crabs was served. Imagine, for a buffet that is quite affordable, serving big blue crabs. And lechon. Breakfasts are filling but you have to request for bacon or danggit as it is not served eat-all-you can. But Puso is more than the buffet. The merienda set is something that you should also try. These are popular Filipino snacks served in bilao (native serving trays) that can serve 2-3 persons. You can check out the image below for the selection but I can attest to the wonderful taste of the dinuguan and the palabok as well as the luscious cassava cake.

And then the ala carte dishes which you can also order for room service. The selection is extensive but I got more interested with the Chef’s Specials. I love how they reconceptualized the humble lumpia and served it in a new way. The deep fried wonton wrapper and filling layered instead of being wrapped. But it’s the Linguine aligue that I really love. It’s rich and easy on the palate. The Cebuano pochero however was unfortunate. Yes, the soup was superb and great. You can savor the richness of the beef and the tempered gingery taste. It was already there but the meat needed to be cooked further to tenderize it better. As a consolation though, I was able to scoop the marrow.

If there’s one dessert that you have to eat in Quest Hotel, hands down, get the Luxury Cheesecake. One of the best I’ve had. But to better appreciate it, head to the image below, admire its beauty and keep in mind that it has a well defined body which you can only savor with a slice. And another. And another one. Feel the smoothness with your tongue and let it’s flavor tease your palate. Glorious.

Ala carte dishes including some Chef's Specials, clockwise from top right: Cebuano pochero, traditional Cebuano clear ginger soup of beef shank, sweet corn, bamboo shoot and native pechay. While the soup is good, the beef is unfortunately tough; bananalicious pie, buttery crust filled with vanilla cream and chunks of bananas drizzled with chocolate and caramel syrup and topped with whipped cream; Sarimanok, chicken breast rolled and stuffed with ham and queseo served with spaghetti of vegetables and mango sauce; and Salmon Teriyaki, marinated in honey-teriyaki glaze and served with Japanese spring vegetable ragout

Ala carte dishes including some Chef’s Specials, clockwise from top right: Cebuano pochero, traditional Cebuano clear ginger soup of beef shank, sweet corn, bamboo shoot and native pechay. While the soup is good, the beef is unfortunately tough; bananalicious pie, buttery crust filled with vanilla cream and chunks of bananas drizzled with chocolate and caramel syrup and topped with whipped cream; Sarimanok, chicken breast rolled and stuffed with ham and queseo served with spaghetti of vegetables and mango sauce; and Salmon Teriyaki, marinated in honey-teriyaki glaze and served with Japanese spring vegetable ragout

Linguine Aligue: linguine pasta in white wine and crabfat sauce topped with grilled shrimp and musrhoom, garnished with shaved queso de bola (emmental cheese) and toasted french bread slices. Another recommended dish, it's rich yet delicious.

Linguine Aligue: linguine pasta in white wine and crabfat sauce topped with grilled shrimp and musrhoom, garnished with shaved queso de bola (emmental cheese) and toasted french bread slices. Another recommended dish, it’s rich and delicious.

Sumptuous lechon for Sunday lunch buffet. The skin, especially at the shoulder part is so good I had to go back and slice off some pieces. It's well seasoned and just so crispy, while the meat is tender and flavorful too!

Sumptuous lechon for Sunday lunch buffet. The skin, especially at the shoulder part is so good I had to go back and slice off some pieces. It’s well seasoned and just so crispy, while the meat is tender and flavorful too!

Region 7: a ceviche of tanguigue (spanish mackerel) , green mango, cucumber, shallots and guso seaweed dressed in native pinakurat vinegar. Fresh and wonderful dish and with the addition of the guso seaweed, a delightful play of textures.

Region 7: a ceviche of tanguigue (spanish mackerel) , green mango, cucumber, shallots and guso seaweed dressed in native pinakurat vinegar. Fresh and wonderful dish and with the addition of the guso seaweed, a delightful play of textures.

Lumpia Napoleon: sauteed heart of palm (coconut palm ubod) layered in crispy fried wonton skin and glazed with garlic peanut sauce. Lumpia is traditionally done as wrapped veggie/meat but this time, this Chef's Special layers the lumpia.

Lumpia Napoleon: sauteed heart of palm (coconut palm ubod) layered in crispy fried wonton skin and glazed with garlic peanut sauce. Lumpia is traditionally done as wrapped veggie/meat but this time, this Chef’s Special layers the lumpia.

Luxury Cheesecake: white chocolate cheesecake topped with sweet ripe mango strips. Its one of the best cheesecake that I've tasted, luxuriously velvety and smooth but not too sweet which I like very much.

Luxury Cheesecake: white chocolate cheesecake topped with sweet ripe mango strips. Its one of the best cheesecake that I’ve tasted, luxuriously velvety and smooth but not too sweet which I like very much.

Puso Bistro & Bar's buffet has a good selection of desserts, barbecued meat, main course, japanese, salads and fruits, appetizers and much more.

Puso Bistro & Bar’s buffet has a good selection of desserts, barbecued meat, main course, japanese, salads and fruits, appetizers and much more.

Merienda or snack time is definitely something to look forward to. These merienda sets are Filipino favorites like, clockwise from top right: pansit palabok with camote balls and biko (rice cake); dinuguan with puto and torta with fried bananas; make-your-own-pizza and binignit with cassava cake (really good!) and banana fritters

Merienda or snack time is definitely something to look forward to. These merienda sets are Filipino favorites like, clockwise from top right: pansit palabok with camote balls and biko (rice cake); dinuguan with puto and torta with fried bananas; make-your-own-pizza and binignit with cassava cake (really good!) and banana fritters

Just a sample of the buffet and "taho man"

Just a sample of the buffet and “taho man”

Thanx to Quest Hotel Cebu for the stay and sumptuous food.

Puso Bistro & Bar
Quest Hotel & Conference Center
Archbishop Reyes Avenue
Cebu City, Philippines
+63 32 4025999 / +63 32 2305888 / +63 917 3129794
[email protected]
https://www.questhotels.com

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

3 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    April 17, 2016 @ 21:39

    Good food and surprises at Puso Bistro & Bar: I was really looking forward to the Sunday lunch of Quest Hotel … https://t.co/uMCKSCDX0z

  2. @QuestHotelCebu
    April 18, 2016 @ 11:50

    Many heartfelt thanks, https://t.co/QgTriVUXZU, for the wonderful feature with fabulous photos! https://t.co/Q5T22VwRhp

  3. Sean L. Mueller
    April 25, 2016 @ 18:54

    Thank you for such a great blog. Where else could anyone get that kind of information written in such an incite full way? I have a presentation that I am presently working on, and I have been looking for such info.

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