Couple BJ and JD Sulit learned how to make a mean pad thai while backpacking through Thailand and they’re sharing culinary learnings from their Southeast Asian travels at the ongoing Food.ISH Food Festival inside the Cebu Business Park.

During weekends this November and daily on December, the Sulits’ Banana Pancake Trail (BPT) Cebu food stall opens to orders for such cuisine as chicken satay with peanut sauce of Melaka, Malaysia; banh mi sandwich of Saigon, Vietnam; chori burger of Boracay, Philippines; and even such exotic cuisine as deep-fried crickets and worms.

(Note: The organizers have informed us that they will be transferring to the park in front of UCC cafe and Belo Medical Group clinic inside the Ayala Center Cebu starting December 4. They will open during mall hours and until midnight.)

Items in the BPT menu are affordable and you can have a filling meal of Thailand’s stir-fried noodle dish for only P95 or a Vietnamese sandwich for P85. BJ said they loved to eat at the marketplaces of the countries they’ve been too and learned how to prepare the dishes from locals.

Foodish Food Festival Cebu
BJ and JD Sulit cook Asian food that they learned to prepare while backpacking together. Their Banana Pancake Trail serves food at the Food.ISH Food Festival inside the Cebu Business Park.


Foodish Food Festival Cebu
PAD THAI. JD Sulit prepares the pad thai that we ordered.


Foodish Cebu Pad Thai
Delicious pad thai at a generous serving all for P95.


Foodish Food Festival Cebu
BANANA PANCAKE TRAIL. The dishes served by BPT Cebu a the Food.ISH Food Festival in the Cebu Business Park.


Foodish Food Festival Cebu
The Banana Pancake Trail, dubbed as such by Westerners because this was common among these countries.


Beside BPT is the Lion’s Den food stall of best friends Mari Noelle Lim and Tessa Juanillo where you can choose from a combination of Filipino and foreign dishes with a new twist. Chorizo and chicken cordon bleu are served as meatballs and pesto pasta comes with sausage slices.

If you’re a fan of Indian food, The Spice resto in Banilad has joined the festival, selling the popular fare samosa for only P120 at four pieces per order.

Unique dining experience

An initiative of Chavial Productions, a company put up by three friends, the Food.ISH Food Festival aims to provide a different dining place for locals and tourists.

“The food here has its own uniqueness, it’s not the usual fare we encounter. Add to that the view and ambiance and we have a place where people can relax as well as enjoy the good food and great music,” said Vernon Villareal, one of the brains behind the culinary showcase.

Foodish Cebu pesto pasta
LION’S DEN. This food stall is run by best friends and whips up such concoctions as this scrumptious pesto pasta with sausage slices.


Foodish Cebu Food Festival
DELICIOUS COMBO. We had pad thai from the Banana Pancake Trail and pesto pasta and chorizo and chicken cordon bleu meatballs from the Lion’s Den. Tasty meal at an affordable price.


Foodish Cebu samosa
SAMOSA. You can buy 4 pieces of Samosa for P120 from The Spice’s stall.


Chavial has made use of the vacant Linear Park between the Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI) building and City Sports Club as venue for the event. It has set aside 56 of the 63 stalls for food displays and these are mostly filled up. The common dining places, placed in the center, are covered with clear plastic-roofed tents to allow diners an unobstructed view of the night sky.

Food tents in one strip serve authentic international cuisine such as Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Singaporean, Indian, and Italian. Tents on the other side serve lechon, barbecue and other top homegrown food brands.

Villareal said they were overwhelmed by the number of people that showed up when they opened on November 13, a Friday. “They tell us we have a nice set-up and they’re happy with what we’re doing here. It’s very heartwarming,” Villareal further said.

The festival is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Sunday of November. By December 1, the food stalls will start serving at 4 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on weekends.

GELATO is served by Sheldon’s Dessert Factory in 25 flavors. They serve it in 3 scoops on a cone for P65.
GELATO is served by Sheldon’s Dessert Factory in 25 flavors. They serve it in 3 scoops on a cone for P65.


Foodish Cebu Briquito Silvanas
Briquito Silvanas


Cebuano comfort food

The festival also features the full range of Cebuano comfort and street food, from lechon to meat barbecues to chicharong bulaklak.

Kuzina Guadalupe carries Cebuano favorite lechon belly and even sells roasted turkey at its main branch in Banawa, Cebu City. Contact them at 0917-6317837 or 0923-5884424 for inquiries and orders.

Choobi Choobi, Apron Strings, Barbecue 14, and Yakski join the action with roasted and grilled meat and seafood dishes.

The Food.ISH Food Festival also has your desserts covered. There’s gelato in 25 flavors by Sheldon’s Dessert Factory, ice cream sandwiches by Frostbites, Belgian waffles, and Briquito Silvanas.

Foodish Cebu lechon
LOCAL FAVORITES such as lechon, tempura, squid rolls and fish balls are also available at the food festival.


Year-long food festival

Villareal said another goal of the event is to help promising chefs, individuals with culinary expertise, and food establishments get their menu out to a bigger audience.

The company said in a press statement that they plan to make the Food.ISH a year-long festival with themed months. They said they want it to become “Cebu’s own version of the very successful weekend food bazaars in Manila, examples of which are the ones in Mercato and Salcedo Village”

“We hope to invite not only local and international food merchants of Cebu but in other cities as well, such as Davao, Manila, Cagayan, or perhaps the nearby islands such as Bohol, Iloilo and Dumaguete,” said Food.ISH marketing director Franco Alvarez in the statement.

Foodish Cebu Food Festival
NOT JUST FOOD. There are also dry goods stalls in Food.ISH Food Festival like this dress shop. Organizers said they want a good mix of stalls to offer festival visitors and customers.

Marlen is the editor of and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.

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