Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mesmerizing Culinary Show at Cebu City's Anzani Restaurant

One lazy night in Cebu, I suddenly had the urge to try something different. I debated if I go to a Spanish restaurant called Arana (recommended by a friend) or an Italian restaurant called Anzani (mostly because I had a problem with Arana's location). After checking out directions, I decided with Anzani. Like the previous restaurant, Anzani is urban chic and ultra modern, with a tablet used as a menu. What's with Cebu and all these modern trappings? I haven't even encountered a tablet-wielding restaurant in Manila yet here I am experiencing tablet-ordering twice in Cebu. I badgered the waitress to help me out with my full course. I mean, If I was gonna pay an arm and a leg, I might as well make it right and not leave it to chance. The choice was either a halibut or a sea bass, each one an obscure concept for me - so I went with the price.


1. A sous chef brings a table filled with culinary gadgets and a huge bandehado of fish sitting on the platter - all COVERED WITH ROCK SALT! So it's a fish that looked like it's wrapped in icing!

2. Sous chef takes the mallet handed over to him. I was wide-eyed with amazement. This was a show right in front of me. Then he hammers the salt-covered fish until it breaks into crumbs.

3. Out pops the sea bass. He skins it, then pours lemonade and olive oil over the fish meat.

4. He carefully slices through its length, then debones in exquisite fashion.

5. Then he cuts the meat into pieces and puts them on my plate cluttered with salad.

6. If it were malansa, then there'd be injustice in the world to pay a thousand bucks for this fish alone, right?

7. Masticate, swallow, then sip a glass of chianti, imagining this was Villa Raiano Fiano di Avellino. But heck, I'd also settle for a coca cola.


The soup was choreographed too. An empty plate had a mound of cappuccino at its center, with bits of tendrils of whathaveyous, then the waitress carefully pours the mushroom soup around and around the cappuccino island until its full. I was hypnotized. The end.
I liked how everything turned out... like going out for a night at the theatre, Only it was performing "food preparation". I had to consciously shut down my jaw. Sorry po, taga Maynila lang. 
Anzani is a bit pricey. Let's say Seychelles-dining caliber. Mario Anzani is the Italian chef and owner. One can choose to dine inside (like me) or outside overlooking Nivel Hills, still in Cebu City. Next door is the more laidback Champagne Room.

Anzani Restaurant is located at Panorama Heights, Nivel Hills, Lahug, Cebu City. It's just north of the Gorordo Road driving towards Tops. A bystander initially pointed us to Sanson (the Rockwell compound). A JY Square is accessible about less than a kilometer away. Call them at (032) 232 7375. They're usually open until 12 midnight, with last order at 10:30PM though I did notice arrivals at almost 11. 

This is the Eye in the Sky.

Mushroom soup

Pick a bread, and i chose this perched on a pot.

Fish covered with rock salt, now crumbling into pieces after getting struck with a mallet.

Sous chef garnishes my sea bass with olive oil and lemonade, after skinning it. Then he cuts through it and exquisitely debones it.

At the wine room, a photo of The Sophia Loren hangs down.

Terrace tables of Panorama Heights in Nivel Hills. Yes, it's still part of Cebu City.

Tablet ordering (again) in Cebu City.

#food # dining #gastronomy #foodtrip #cebucity #foodporn