At Café Marcelino is a wide array of delights like boiled tuna belly, crispy tuna belly, tuna panga, kinilaw and mixed seafood tinola. One of the more popular dishes is the “Kiampaw nga Nilarang” or simmered Skate Fish. It is one of the unique finds by its senior cook, Charton Compra, and is thought to be the best representation of local Cebuano food. Skate Fish, more commonly known in Cebu as “Kiampaw,” is abundant in the Visayan Seas. Josephine Deldig, F&B Manager of Café Marcelino adds that Kiampaw gives off gelatinous juices when cooked and this creates a very characteristic texture to the dish. Kiampaw nga Nilarang’s ingredients include onions, green bell pepper, kamias (cucumber tree), ginger, and green mango. Chef Charton uses a special secret ingredient to enhance its flavor and make it creamier – and distinct from the savoury sourness of sinigang.
The result is a thick stew with a very smooth and unmistakable flavour of the sea. The Kiampaw has its own creaminess that goes with that distinct tenderness of white-fleshed deep sea fish. Kiampaw is a truly Cebuano way of cooking that seems to make the most of the ocean’s bounty that Cebu is so blessed with. Kiampaw is in fact, a favourite Cebuano way to cook a lot of the locally-harvested seafood like stone fish and bakasi or ubod (saltwater eels). The dish is not as well-known as the other attractions of Cebu but is definitely well worth looking for on any trip to this city. It’s a perfectly delicious example of what a rich trove of native culinary treasures we Filipinos can enjoy.
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The Sooo Pinoy Campaign, a project of Unilever Food Solutions (UFS), celebrates our diverse culinary heritage by spotlighting special food attractions and regional specialties all over the country. We went on the Cebu Leg of the Soo Pinoy food tour and found an unforgettable treat at Café Marcellino, at the 3rd level of the Cebu Business Hotel along the historic and venerable Colon Street.
The Sooo Pinoy campaign is launched by UFS to help promote the rich Filipino culinary tradition. Like the Sooo Pinoy Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SoooPinoy or follow @SoooPinoy on Twitter.