I am a sucker for views so this was very high up on my agenda during my Cebu visit. It wasn’t also difficult to get everyone in my family on the same page since they all wanted to come here anyway. I mean, tell me, who doesn’t want sprawling city lights view while dining alfresco like this?
WHAT DOES LANTAW MEAN?
If I were to base the meaning of Lantaw from the Cebuano dialect point of view, I do not really see any direct translation to English. The word is an action word and is usually used when we, Cebuanos, want to see something from a distance. Such as a medieval guard perhaps looking from the top of the tower fortifications for incoming enemies. Or anybody, in particular, looking over and observing something from a distance. It has something to do with ‘looking’ and a ‘fair amount of distance’.
That is lantaw. Probably the same reason why Lantaw Native Restaurant, a homegrown Cebuano restaurant featuring dishes in the Visayas region have adopted this name.
Quite interestingly, as this has somehow reminded me of the saying here in the Netherlands – ‘De kat uit de boom kijken.’ (The cat looking over from the tree). The meaning is not literally the same, though. It is the actual phrase that the cat is sitting up the tree and looking at everybody and the surroundings. The cat is basically doing the Lantaw thing. Naglantaw.
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Most of the Lantaw Native Restaurants, which by the way, I have been to all, have the setting of an overlook, like a viewing terrace looking over to something in the distance.
At their Cordova, Mactan Island branch (read my previous visit here), the restaurant sits on a wooden floating raft on the flat Mactan Reef. Their branch in the city at SRP is beside the sea and has views to the strait of Cebu (also read my previous visits here and here). Here at Busay mountains, the restaurant is perched on an elevated terrace with spectacular panoramic views of the whole city.
It was quite busy when we arrived and we had to wait for about 15 minutes before we were ushered to our table on the lower terrace. What can I say, the view here was just amazing. The waiting time was well worth it. It is breathtaking! Cebu is right before us and the city lights looked like diamonds twinkling in the dark night. This is what I call a real dinner with a view.
This is the lower terrace of the restaurant.
DINNER WITH A PANORAMIC VIEW
Our dinner here at Lantaw Native Restaurant Busay was the finale of a long day of a chain of events. We first started with the company Christmas ‘Eat-All-You-Can’ lunch at Vikings in SM City where I managed to get out, luckily, still breathing. Seriously, those kinds of restaurants are super deadly. I would not recommend people to go here regularly. Followed by a trip to the Sirao Flower Farms to catch a glimpse of the colourful celosia beauties, and then here at Lantaw Busay, where we close the evening with marvellous views of Cebu.
Because my stomach was still healing from the buffet lunch, I only ordered coconut juice and a dessert to share with the rest who are interested, Turon with ice cream. So yes, I abstained from joining dinner and went straight to dessert, haha.
Turon is a typically Cebuano street food that in recent years, have managed to reach the menu of many restaurants in town. It’s basically plantain banana and jackfruit wrapped in thin egg roll wraps and deep fried in oil. The servings here at Lantaw were quite generous so I shared the dessert with the willing parties.
We were actually a bigger group this time since Myrhh’s nieces and nephew came with us. The group ordered Crispy Pata, Adobong Kangkong, Grilled Tuna Belly, Green Mango with Shrimp Paste, Lumpia Shanghai Pork Rolls, Baked Scallops in Cheese and Breaded Squid Rings. Paired of course with rice. The lack of vegetables in the dinner line up is very noticeable, which, by the way, is a typically Filipino thing. Sadly, many locals are not very fond of eating vegetables. Some people even make jokes about them as plants and weeds, haha. Had I joined in the dinner, I would have ordered Pinakbet or Chopsuey!
So, what do we think about this place? Well, we highly recommend going here. The food is quite good and very affordable, but the views and the outdoor ambience are the reasons why you come here for. They are just gorgeous. You come here for the experience. Definitely one of the best restaurants in Cebu with the best view.
- Arrive early (preferably 18:00) if you want to get the best tables on the terrace. The waiting can take as long as half an hour or even more during peak dining hours.
- Make sure you reserve a table ahead of time if you come with a large group.
- This restaurant is best reached with your own transportation. For non-locals, it is better to arrange a taxi service that can pick you up after dinner as well.
- Free parking of course but it can get very busy. The last stretch of the road is quite steep but manageable.
LANTAW BUSAY PICTURE GALLERY
For some inspiration...
This is the main complex and receiving area of guests of the restaurant.
The views from the upper terrace of the restaurant.
We are waiting for dinner to arrive.... and looks like everyone ordered fresh mango juice?
Traditional Crispy Pata (deep fried pork leg), Breaded Squid Rings (also deep fried) with sweet and sour sauce and Adobong Kangkong with fried garlic (sauteed water spinach).
Baked Scallop with melted cheese on top, Grilled Tuna Belly with atchara and Lumpia Shanghai Pork Rolls with sweet and sour sauce.
My hearty warm and cold dessert meal, Turon (banana and jackfruit wrapped in thin egg rolls and fried) with Ice Cream and my drink, Buko Juice. I also tasted the Green Mango with Shrimp Paste.
My smart aleck nephew made a new friend, in the nephew of Myrhh =)
Aren't the views here just grand? And the alfresco setting, so fresh and local...
If I joined in the dinner, I am sure I would have ordered some of these dishes with vegetables. These were about to be served.
Travel Period: December 2016
Destination: Busay, Lahug, Cebu City (Cebu - Visayas Region), the Philippines
Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)
All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.