Lemon Grass, Cebu

While still on the topic of Cebu, I thought I'd post my experience on Lemon Grass here back from 2007. Originally this was posted in blogspot but since I've already removed that blog, I'm reposting this here.

One of the restaurants that we ate at while in Cebu was Lemon Grass in Ayala which offered both Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. I was curious how "Thai" or "Viet" their dishes were going to be (Note: I haven't been to either Thailand or Vietnam so my comparison would be limited to the Thai and Vietnamese restos I've tried in Manila). Looking at their menu, with offerings such as Tom Yam Goong and Pomelo and Crabstick Salad, it looked like Pho Hoa and Jatujak put side by side.

Being that my parents had never eaten Thai nor Viet, I was glad for the opportunity to introduce them to these Asian cuisines (that also meant me picking up the tab). We had the Pomelo and Crabstick Salad for starters, Tom Yam Goong for soup, for the main dishes: Suon Noung, Pla Piew Wan, and Gai Hor Bai Toey, Bagoong Rice and Pineapple Rice, and don't forget the Citrus/Herb Lemonade which was the best(!) I've tasted.

Pomelo Crab Stick Salad
Pomelo and Crabstick Salad
This tasted like the Pomelo and Crabstick Salad of Pho Hoa except that while Pho Hoa has circular slices of pipino underneath the shredded crabsticks, they have theirs cut into sticks.

Pla Piew Wan (Sweet and Sour Fish)
Pla Piew Wan (Sweet and Sour Fish)
Now I forgot to ask what fish was used but the fish was fried to a crisp with sweet and sour sauce and sprinkled with nuts. For the price, definitely worth it!

Gai Hor Bai Toey (Deep fried chicken in Pandan leaves)
Gai Hor Bai Toey (Deep fried chicken in Pandan leaves)
Leave it to wastefulspace at multiply to describe this dish. I didn't much like it. And neither did my family. We weren't able to finish this off.

Citrus Herb Lemonade
Citrus/Herb Lemonade
By far, the best lemonade. And the cheapest. A pitcher could server 6 people already. Though we ordered another because we just can't get enough of it. As you can see from the image, it has basil, citrus, lime, and pipino (cucumber) slices which I don't usually see mixed in drinks. Anyone know how to make this?

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take pictures of Soun Noung (grilled barbecue spareribs), Bagoong Rice, Pineapple rice, and the soup Tom Yam Goong because everyone was busy eating and there wasn't any left to photograph. I would recommend though not to order both the Bagoong and Pineapple rice. While the Bagoong rice was salty, we found the Pineapple rice to be oily. So much for their prices. We ended up wishing we just ordered the Jasmine Rice. But the Tom Yam Goong tasted spicy and sour, just like it should and the spareribs were gone in a second. All in all, I spent PhP 1650.00 for 6 people which equates to PhP275 (roughly $6.00) per person (remember this is 2007). Not bad considering that if I were in Manila, I'd have had spent nearly twice that amount for the quality of food. So yeah, it was relatively as "Viet" and as "Thai" as it was going to be.

Lemon Grass
Unit M 1/L Ayala Food Center
Cebu Business Park
Tel. No. (63 32) 233 8601

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