Every so often, a restaurant comes along that has me scrambling on what to taste first after seeing the dishes well laid-out and already spread at our dining table. My eyes were delightfully curious and mouth almost watering, this is the first impression i got upon entering the Hukad at Golden Cowrie Restaurant inside the Trinoma Mall.
Hukad means limitless serving of food or to limitlessly serve food on one’s plate and it’s an apt name for this cozy place serving Filipino food, some in home-style Cebuano offerings. It’s a cozy, unshowy restaurant that’s made a name for itself in Cebu and other parts of the Visayas and Mindanao with a short but perfectly formed menu and an easy-going conviviality.
It’s first branch in Luzon, Hukad-Trinoma is an exceedingly charming venue, its decor modeled on that of tree branches gingerly resembling a jigsaw puzzle, complete with iconic puso-shaped lamps inspired by rice wrapped in a casing of woven coconut leaves typically served during meals in Cebu.
The menu at Golden Cowrie is uncomplicated and with its traditional Cebuano roots it’s also fairly familiar. Given that the Hukad’s name has become synonymous with Cebuano cooking, it may seem odd to highlight, of all things, their interpretation of familiar local dishes like Crispy Pata, Pork Sisig, Pansit Habhab, Lechon Kawali and the like which are familiar fares in the metro. But the mainstay of their menu, the Lechon Cebu showcases other dishes that is rightfully Cebu!
“Ngohiong” is a lumpia-like stuffing of grilled pork, singkamas and a special powder which has a peculiar medicinal but delightful taste, the “Bantayan Baked Scallops”, fresh scallops from Bantayan Island of Northern Cebu, the Pomelo Salad and the “Budbod Turon” with Chololate Syrup. It’s thoughtful yet simple… Cebu’s sinful delights!
There’s an expertise to Hukad sa Golden Cowrie’s cooking that is both a feast to the eye and renders the taste buds excited as well. Favorites here include the “Sizzling Balut Sisig” with its delectable yolk, savory soup and its unrecognizable embryo, the “Tanigue Escabeche”, “Baked Bantayan Scallops”, the “Oxtail Humba” and the “Sinigang Baby Prawns”.
Only their “Crispy Pata” didn’t live up to our expectations. Though the deep fried pig leg was still tasty, it came a bit overcooked as some parts were tough to chew which should ideally be crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Here, the meat skin was burnt to oblivion!
Vegetarians needn’t go hungry. They got “Vegetarian Sisig”, same taste and experience, minus the guilt; “Grilled Vegetable Miki Noodles”, “Bloodless Dinuguan”, absolutely 100% meatless and bloodless. How, you ask? Taste for yourselves! Other green salads are also offered!
If you’re in Trinoma alone or with your family, visit Hukad which is near the garden entrance and enjoy Cebu’s pride of gastronomic delights!
Here’s a sneak peek of their offerings:
Hukad and Golden Cowrie currently have 24 locations across the country. Eight of which are company-owned while 16 are franchised. The goal is to have 100 stores by 2021. Hukad-Trinoma franchisee Howard Dee is proud to be instrumental in bringing Hukad to Metro Manila. “We eat there when we go to Cebu for vacation. Even my in-laws have been loyal clients.,” he reveals.
Currently running at the newest outlet is the “Sulit Meals at 149” promo, available from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily. Also being offered are the Feast Bundles, pre-set menus good for four persons that start at P1,399. The Trinoma branch can seat a total of 98 guests and has a function room that can accommodate 24 persons. They may be reached at (0917) 8094324.
For general information, log on to www.alwaysafeast.ph or find them on Facebook as “hukadgoldencowrie” and on Instagram @alwaysafeast. Franchising inquiries may be directed to (032) 231-2481.