The other day, I attended the Media Launch for Hukad sa Golden Cowrie at the Trinoma Mall in Quezon City. This is the first Hukad branch in Metro Manila, and is located at the first floor, Garden Area of Trinoma.
HUKAD SA GOLDEN COWRIE
Hukad is already an established restaurant chain with 23 branches in the Viz-Min regions, and it serves mostly regional Cebuano fare. I was told that the word Hukad means limitless serving of food or to limitlessly serve food on one’s plate. One of the staff goes around with a bucket of rice and asks diners, “Hukad?” because they have an option for unlimited rice (P49).
“Our serving sizes are good for sharing that’s why in Hukad, it’s always a feast. We use local ingredients like scallops fresh from Bantayan Island of Northern Cebu. We also have local partners in towns known for their organic production of various ingredients such as Dalaguete (Cebu’s Vegetable Basket),” says General Manager, Kenneth Kokseng.
Of the dishes I was able to try, the ones I liked were the Pomelo Salad (P229) from sister company Salinas, the Sinigang with Baby Prawns (P250), the Baked Bantayan Scallops (P195) the Cebu Lechon Belly, the Adobong Talong (P139), and the Crispy Pata.
The Pomelo Salad had juicy, juicy pomelos (suha), red onions, and a sweet and sour dressing. Yum! The Sinigang was deliciously tart but balanced.
But for me, the reasons to go back to Hukad are the Cebu Lechon Belly (P259 for 1/4 kilo) and the Crispy Pata (P595 for the extra large one pictured below).
Hukad’s Crispy Pata won a People’s Choice Award for Best Crispy Pata in a Sunstar Cebu newspaper survey. It’s not served with any sauce, but is flavorful by itself, especially when partnered with the accompanying achara. But they will serve you a soy-based sauce if you request for it.
They also have a Balut Sisig (P175), which tastes like Sisig, but more decadent with the Balut.
For dessert, the Ube Halaya Crisp ala Mode (P130) is the one to get! It’s a big scoop of mango ice cream atop a thin pouch made of fried rice paper hiding some real Ube Halaya inside. I was told that the Ube Halaya did not have any food coloring or some such added to it. The color is just from the ube itself.
The restaurant interiors were kind of like beach & island chic. Relaxing and laid back with touches of the islands, like the use of shells, coconuts and puso-shaped lamps inspired by the puso (rice wrapped and boiled in a casing of woven coconut leaves) that has become one of the icons of Cebu. The interiors were designed by Hannah Lim of HL Designs.
Golden Cowrie traces its origins to 1982 when its pioneer outlet was opened in Lahug. The brand Hukad was developed in 2008 as a handle for the mall-based branches of Golden Cowrie.
The chain expanded quickly after they opened for franchise in 2010. 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.
The Trinoma branch is currently running 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, you may go to www.alwaysafeast.ph or on Facebook as www.facebook.com/hukadgoldencowrie and on Instagram @alwaysafeast. Franchising inquiries may be directed to (032) 231-2481.
Cebu : Golden Cowrie in Lahug, SM City Cebu, Robinsons Cybergate, Marina Mall Mactan and Hukad in Ayala Terraces, Parkmall, South Town Centre and SM Seaside.
Other areas of Visayas: Golden Cowrie in Bohol, Hukad in Robinsons Dumaguete, Tacloban, Boracay, SM Iloilo, SM City Bacolod.
Mindanao: Hukad in Davao Abreeza, Davao SM – Lanang, Davao SM Ecoland, Gensan Veranza, Ozamiz, Robinsons Butuan, Gaisano Mall Tagum, KCC Zamboanga, Prime Arcade Pagadian.
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