In today’s creative world, local businesses are showing their sense of Filipino pride. These include new players in the dining scene, with numerous local-concept restaurants and bars opening all around town.
One of these is Pukot Kitchen, a family-run restaurant and bar nestled in one of the serene and safest neighborhoods in the city, El Dorado Subdivision, specifically on No. 8 Adelfa St., Cebu City, just below the dormitory rooms of The Flying Fish Hostel.
Pukot, a Cebuano term meaning “to catch fish by netting,” got its name from the boutique hostel.
“We wanted to be cohesive with the Flying Fish Hostel. The guests would symbolize the ‘fish.’ We want to catch the fish and bring them to our restaurant,” happily shared marketing manager and creative head Daisy Zambrano.
This promising newcomer is a hive of culture and dining. From its light fixtures, tables and chairs, decorations to tableware—everything is made by local artisans and from local raw materials. It is also a home to local artists as it showcases different masterpieces including its net-inspired wall in one corner, and some goodies from local entrepreneurs.
Pukot Kitchen actually started with the family’s matriarch Emily Wilson, who has always been in the hotel-restaurant industry, and who’s always in the kitchen cooking up comfort food for the family using the freshest ingredients. As its tagline goes, “Anything goes in this kitchen—we feel it, we make it; we love it, we serve it.”
The family had a restaurant before, according to Daisy, but this time, she and her siblings are old enough to be in the business. “It’s a chance for the whole family to come together and work.”
Daisy’s sister, Joelle Renee Villahermosa, is the family restaurant’s general manager. Brothers Jack and Jules are operations head and assistant marketing, respectively.
Pukot Kitchen offers eclectic cuisine but would like to classify the items on its menu as comfort food.
“Nothing pretentious nor over the top, but just as good as you’d imagine it to be,” Daisy explained. All of its offerings are made from scratch including the chorizo used in one of its hit dishes, rigatoni alla vodka e chorizo. Daisy was proud to share that some of the main ingredients used in Pukot’s dishes are homemade by their mom.
The restaurant’s crowd favorites include fried chicken, pan-seared salmon, rigatoni alla vodka e chorizo, and moules mariniere. Its bar is also impressive with its selection of cocktails such as its signature cocktail brebaje de paco.
Pre-Covid-19, Pukot Kitchen could seat up to 24 people at the tables, eight at the bar, and 12-15 people outside for an al fresco dining. Now, it can accommodate only half of these numbers for safety reasons.
Though Pukot Kitchen is the newest dining destination, it continues to maintain the peace and quiet, and safe environment of the subdivision, and makes sure everyone follows all safety protocols: “No masks, no entry.”
Pukot Kitchen is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations are encouraged.