Delicious Cebuano-Chinese cuisine at Anton’s Restaurant at the Amethyst Boutique Hotel Cebu. Memorable and must try food that had me gushing about the delectable flavors Chef Jay prepared for me during my stay.
Two things that I really loved about my staycation: the beautiful experience and the great food that I have tasted. Chef Jay has been with one of Cebu’s leading international resorts located in Mactan for more than two decades as Assistant Chinese Executive Chef and he has brought that expertise in Anton’s Restaurant Cebu. Three dishes were set before me, well plated and pleasing to the eyes that it has whet my appetite into overdrive.
Pan fried Canadian salmon
It was the main dish that was served. A slice of pan fried Canadian salmon with double soy sauce and wild Chinese coriander. The latter was sourced from the hotel owner’s farm. The fish was soft, succulent and tasty. The coriander adding an interesting texture and aroma to the delectability of the dish. The saltiness of the soy sauce gelled well with the acidity of the citrus made for a refreshing meal.
But to better appreciate this one, I was told to eat it with the XO fried rice. And darn, it was so good! For over a month now, I have been limiting my rice intake, but then, I can’t just let this pass. The XO sauce, which they also sell by the bottle is a special mixture of Japanese dried scallops and Hongkong dry shrimps. The sauce was originally developed in at one of the famed Hongkong restaurants during the 80s as a condiment used in Cantonese cuisine. And man, Chef Jay’s is very good! The heat (it has chili peppers) and the umami adds to its piquancy that I strived to finish both fish and fried rice!
The Dimsum Sampler, is a smaller version of Anton’s Restaurant’s bigger dimsum platter that they offer. The siomai is made from pork and scallops. It was the first one that I ate and consumed, all six! Meaty and well flavored, eating it with the XO sauce was a real delight! The deep fried bean curd is filled with a mixture of chicken, scallops and prawn. It went well with the sweet chili sauce. Chef Jay shared that for the chicken meat to be firm, native ones should be used.
But perhaps, the best dimsum item was the deep fried mixed meat wontons. Filled with prawns and seafood, it was crispy, crackling noisily at every bite and not greasy at all. Chef Jay told me that even if it has been sitting for four hours, it still retains its crunch! And I consumed all eight alternating with what remained of the XO sauce and mayo!
Wonton Lomi with cuapao
By this time, I was already getting full and I still have the last dish, Wonton Lomi with a side of cuapao. Darn. If I still had space for it, I would have eaten all these but I just had to have a few mouthfuls. Lomi is a popular Cebuano snack that can be a meal in itself. It is typically prepared with a sticky soup, thick noodles, shreds of meat and fresh egg stirred in while hot.
For this Cebuano dish, Chef Jay adds a Cantonese twist. Instead he used thin egg noodles and added wontons. No lye was used. The soup base is from native chicken that has been boiled for hours with ham bouillon added which is quite popular in Southern Chinese cuisine. The egg is also specially prepared. Instead of just stirring it in, he prepares what he calls crystal egg. It’s a rather laborious process but the end result is a clumpy egg that has a different texture that is soft and kind of creamy.
And let’s not forget about the cuapao. The first thing that I noticed was its form which Chef Jay says is rainbow like, describing the swirling. It was soft and paired well with the lomi. Dip it into the sticky sauce and you will be hankering for more. What makes this different from the typical cuapao you see in other restaurants is the care and technique put in making this one to achieve that swirl.
Should you try Anton’s Restaurant?
Definitely! The food that I had was just so good. And if you are into food and cooking, talking with Chef Jay, asking him about each dish as well as the techniques he used made me appreciate more the ones I have tasted. It was another beautiful experience, this time, the gustatory kind.
Although Anton’s Restaurant has a more extensive menu, the three offered were more than enough for me. And that makes me want to visit again this restaurant and try the other dishes. With Chef Jay’s expertise and experience, I’m sure I will be very much delighted in dining at Anton’s Restaurant.
Anton's Restaurant Amethyst Boutique Hotel Cebu No.7 M.Velez st., Capitol Site, Cebu City +6332-260-9350 firstname.lastname@example.org 0600H-2100H, Daily