Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.
While the execution of the menu was a little hit or miss at the time of the review, the rich, multidimensional flavors of the better dishes along with the warmth and earnestness of siblings Marlon, Malvin and Cybill Tan were well worth experiencing.
Kinilaw, a Filipino tuna ceviche, has delightful tropical nuances and texture through coconut milk, shallots, ginger and rice crackers. Familiar lumpia rolls are upgraded through the technique chef Malvin uses to marinate the pork, spring onion and shiitake mushroom fillings. The Cebu pork lechon is a natural main course choice for bacon and pork belly fans, but the hero dish is chicken adobo, which presents a little like Thai khao soi, but instead bursts with its distinctive mix of soy, vinegar, peppercorn, garlic, lemon juice and coconut milk. The halo-halo, as presented by dessert chef Cybill, is a party of fruity ice flavor and texture in an oversized cognac glass sure to end the meal with a flavorful bang.
2211 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
tel 773 799 8650
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