Quibranza: Mott 32 works its magic at the 032

·2 min read

Only in Cebu. Imagine that.

Tourists (probably everyone not based in Hong Kong, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Singapore, Seoul and Bangkok—locations where there is already a Mott 32) will try to tick this restaurant off their bucket list by dining in the seventh Mott 32 in the world here in Cebu.

Considering a reservation? Do it. Make a call.

I was critical of the concept of “elevated Cantonese food” at first but was proven wrong.

I swallowed back my pessimism the moment my palate locked in that very first forkful of tender, honey-glazed Iberico Pork—the stuff of dreams. So good that in fact, this dish is one of two menu items that must be ordered in advance; the Peking duck being the other.

It only took one trick up Mott 32’s sleeves and I was hooked. Starting with the Barbecued Pluma Iberico Pork (with Yellow Mountain Honey) was like Manny Pacquiao catching you with his signature left. I woke up, now ready for 12 rounds of eating.

Next was the Soft Quail Egg, Iberico Pork, Black Truffle Siu Mai. Imagine biting into the siu mai with the yolk from the quail egg bursting inside your mouth. Glorious.

Another interesting plate was the Sautéed Haricot Beans with Diced Australian Wagyu Beef. It looked plain but the Mott 32 magic was on full display here. It had a bit of heat, and was downright savory yet remaining crisp. Having this with the Crabmeat Fried Rice, Flying Fish Roe was purely delightful.

We then feasted our eyes on the glistening Apple Wood Roasted 42 Days Peking Duck (Signature Mott 32 cut) carved table side. We had it three ways: With cucumbers, leeks, hoisin sauce and brown sugar wrapped in thin Chinese “pancakes;” just the skin with brown sugar; and just the meat from the leg and breast, enjoyed plain or with the sauce.

There were the heavy hitters (Crispy Triple Cooked US Black Angus Short Rib and Signature Smoked Black Cod) and the stellar starters (Scallop, Prawn, Hot and Sour Shanghainese Soup Dumplings and the Chicken, Prawn, Taro Croquette) that were all totally delectable.

Rounding up the experience was Mott 32’s Signature Cocktails: The Hanami, the Forbidden Rose and the Hong Kong Iced Tea. The first one is a favorite.

After seeing my photos of the food, people have asked me two things: “Is it good” and “is it worth it?” I will answer both with an anecdote.

Returning to the moment of my “elevated Cantonese food” conversion experience, I played “The Price is Right” with colleagues right after that first bite.

Surprise. I got it right down to the very last peso.

A magician never reveals his secrets but this much is true: Mott 32 Cebu in NUSTAR Resort & Casino is a place where you get what you pay for, and more—Cantonese fare that goes above and beyond what is expected.