The original plan that evening was to do a quick run right after I pick up my takeaway at Tatang’s Boneless Lechon, a lechon place tucked in an unassuming corner in Lahug in Cebu City.
It was not my first time there by the way. My friends and I frequently visit Tatang’s even when they still operated as an open-air eatery along AS Fortuna. We have been avid followers of their boneless lechon since then. The meat is packed with the right balance of brine and local aromatics. The roasted skin tastes and sounds extra crispy every single time.
We usually order their spicy version which is untamed in heat. It is best tempered with sinamak (spiced vinegar), generous helpings of rice or pusô and a bottle of ice-cold Sparkle.
But my already weak attempts at a healthier lifestyle was made even weaker as I stared at the belly logs gloriously roasting by the charcoal pit. It was just too hard to resist.
Since I planned to bring 3 kilos of Tatang’s Boneless Lechon to Dubai, I reasoned to myself that I needed to perform a ‘quality control’ from this batch.
I then abandoned my running plans, ordered a Tatang’s set meal and left as soon as I was done with my QC. If I stayed longer, I might consume another serving of their porcine masterpiece. I also successfully reminded myself that I have to freeze these babies and meticulously pack them in my check-in luggage.
Looking back now, I consider it a delicious Christmas miracle that these survived a brief Manila layover and the longer flight afterwards and that most of all, they got past airport security.
We reheated the slabs in a broiler – one for noche buena and one for media noche. They looked a bit dried up after reheating but the signature spices and flavors were all still there. The skin still crackled in every bite.
I wished I brought an entire Tatang’s Boneless Lechon (around 5-6 kilos I gather). But I rest in the thought that these few slices brought more than enough Filipino holiday cheer to my family and friends almost halfway across the world.
Tatang’s Boneless Lechon
📍 Wilson Street, Lahug
Cebu City, Philippines
Opens daily from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
For inquiries and deliveries: +63 32 316 4719 or +63 9175478561
Dine-in restrictions and the restaurant’s business hours may change based on the latest community quarantine status and rules.
Editor’s note: This restaurant feature was originally published in another blog back in 2018.