The New Zubuchon Is the Best Excuse to Eat Lechon After Doing Some Early Christmas Shopping

Guess where they opened their second Manila branch.

Zubuchon Megamall
UG/F Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
Contact: 717-2135
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.




( As colorful parols and Christmas lights begin to decorate the streets of the Metro, you know the holiday season is just around the corner. And while Mariah Carey’s "All I Want for Christmas" has been on loop at possibly every department store you can imagine since the first week of September, you can’t help but think of all the gloriously succulent lechon you’ll be having when the office parties and family gatherings start arriving. The lechon, after all, is the star of every traditional Filipino celebration.




If you’re coming from the North or East, what’s even better is you won't have to go all the way to Makati for your lechon fix because Zubuchon has finally opened their second Manila branch at SM Megamall. The 80-seater restaurant, designed by Cebu-based architect Maya Franco, is cozy and modern with the brand's trademark prominent red and black accents on walls and tables.



By now, everyone knows that their famous lechon is stuffed with natural and locally sourced ingredients; no shortcuts, no artificial color and flavorings. If you look around the restaurant, you’ll see signs pinned to the wall reading, “No added MSG” and “Backyard-raised pigs.”


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Boneless Lechon


You won’t be able to take your eyes off the crispy, deep mahogany-colored skin of their Boneless Lechon (P290/small, P590/medium, P880/large), which will remind you of the classic Italian porchetta. Owner Joel Binamira says, “Cebuanos have a penchant for requesting the belly-section of a lechon as it harbors all the flavors swirling around [the pig’s mid-area] while cooking.”


And although their latest branch serves the same dishes we all come back for, perhaps another good thing to emphasize is they’re as ready for the holidays as we are. This December, Zubuchon will be offering Boneless Lechon Slab Packages (starts at P2,940/good for 15 to 20 people) for potluck parties. 


Zubuchon has come a long way from their humble beginnings in 2009. The restaurant prepares their lechon carefully, and it’s their attention to detail and quality that got them to where they are now—over 12 branches nationwide and they’re not stopping the growth of their Manila operations soon, with another one in the works. If all goes according to plan, the bigger and soon-to-open third branch will become the pick-up location for the Mandaluyong and Pasig area come mid-December. 



Original Lechon


Their Original Lechon (P290/small, P590/medium, P880/large) really needs no introduction. Joel describes the rigorous process they observe when creating the perfect lechon: “We took a long tradition of lechon-making in Cebu and brought it back to its historical roots. We chose to banish the copious amounts of MSG that many purveyors rely on to achieve that oddly referred to ‘local taste’ and instead simply stuff the pig with natural ingredients, cook it on bamboo poles over charcoal fires, as our ancestors have done for centuries. We don’t color the skin with soy sauce but rather spray it with fresh coconut water and natural sea salt.” 


Baked Scallops




Crab Relleno


The Baked Scallops (P230) is a noteworthy appetizer if you're also a fan of seafood. With scallops coming all the way from Bantayan Island, each piece is fresh and topped with a tangy and creamy blend of butter, cheese, and garlic. A sprinkle of breadcrumbs adds an addictive crunch. Another crowd favorite is the Crab Relleno (P190), or finely shredded crab meat cooked in aromatic spices and then stuffed in an empty crab shell.



Daing Rice


Why settle for plain white rice when you can get the Daing Rice (P230)? The salty dried fish bits add flavor to the rice, so every spoonful is a treat. 



Refresh yourself with their sweet shaved-ice drinks like the Guinomis (P120) and Mais con Hielo (P120).


“We emphasize local sources whenever possible and are proud to serve somewhat forgotten ingredients like kamias, real slow-cooked lechon broth, or slow-cooked adobos in palayoks.  When we opened, our goal was to level up the lechon-restaurant experience by providing a spacious, bright, clean and modern setting within which to enjoy traditional dishes done our way,” says Joel.


At this second Manila branch, no one will really blame you if you want to pig out, because how can you not? The food is still honest and true to its roots, with each dish taking you back to that memorable first time you tried Zubuchon in Cebu. 


Photos by Jericho San Miguel


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