Abaca Restaurant, Cebu


Some say, Jason Hyatt’s Abaca is one of the best restaurants and boutique hotels in Cebu. Abaca is famous for its flat bread pizzas and steaks. The place is named after the indigenous material abaca, which is predominantly used around the resort.

I first heard about Abaca from Jason Magbanua, who was raving about it as one of the best wedding destinations he has ever filmed. Some Cebuanos would often go to Abaca just for the flat bread pizza and eat it with a view of the awesome sunset.

Is Abaca really the Best Gourmet Restaurant in Cebu?

The BEST of Cebu City Series:

It is about an hour away from Cebu City, located near the airport, way past Shangri-la Mactan and the controversially pink Hilton Hotel. It is beside the Microtel Hotel. Dining in the restaurant is by reservation only. Set your dinner reservation at 8pm to allot time for the rush hour traffic if you are coming from the city.

Request to reserve the open air patio, which looks out into the sea. These are the best seats in the house in an air-cooled restaurant. Priority is given to in-house guests for the patio tables, though.  All patio reservations have a corresponding table inside the restaurant just in case it rains.

It is a good hang-out place for drinking while waiting for the food or eating dessert after the main course.

The service was quite friendly and amusing. We called them the “right-away” waiters because every time we asked for anything, they would say, “Right Away, Ma’am/Sir.” But in reality, we had to follow up or else it would have been forgotten right away.

Maybe there is a flaw in the waiter assignment system. A waiter is not assigned to one particular table. You will see all of them pass your table, looking away, probably wishing that you won’t order anything. Every time you catch them, they are trained well to say “Right away,” but forget about it after.

Or perhaps, Jason Hyatt was not there that night, so the service was a bit lax.

Abaca’s menu reminds me of a combination of Antonio’s Breakfast and Dinner fare combined.

Abaca Restaurant Menu: Appetizers, Pizza, Bread, Main DishWine & BeveragesDessert

The prices indicated are absurdly plus 10% service charge and 12% VAT. All of the good restaurants in Manila already fold the VAT in with the price. With Abaca, I felt deceived by the menu prices when I saw the ++ in our final bill.

Duck Confit Salad (P465 +10% SC +12% VAT). Hazelnut, goat cheese, balsamic plumped currants.


Mari, May and Maong were raving about the salads in Abaca. It reminded me of Antonio’s in Tagaytay, which is also famous for its salads. Abaca gets its fresh ingredients from Jason’s farm.


Mortadella Flatbread Pizza
(P395 +10% SC +12% VAT). Fontina, organic arugula, garlic herb bechamel.


We really came to Abaca to get a taste of its famous flat bread pizza. The thin-crust pizza, cut into squares, was served on a rectangular cutting board. We loved the combination of the fontina cheese (cow’s milk Italian cheese) and bechamel white sauce, which was accented by the bitter taste of the arugula.


Braised Duck Leg Flatbread Pizza
+10% SC +12% VAT). Homemade ricotta, caramelized onions, olives.


Most of the people raved about the Mortadella versus the Braised Duck Leg. I guess the simpler the combination, the better it is for the pizza.


Abaca Burger
+10% SC +12% VAT). Angus beef, smoked bacon, emmental, house pickles.


Kiki and Beng ordered the Abaca Burger and split it. Beng just got the vegetables because she’s vegetarian.


Abaca Bouillabaisse
+10% SC +12% VAT). Prawn, squid, shellfish, seabass, crostini.


This Bouillabaisse was also split into two, and this is one of the half portions. Each type of seafood was cooked to perfection. But when I asked our companions about their verdict on the Bouillabaisse, the answer that I got was that the salads were really good. 🙂


Braised Beef Shortrib (P905
+10% SC +12% VAT). Celery root puree, wild mushrooms.

The meats are really good in Abaca. We usually order the non-steak meat dishes in restaurants to see if they know how to cook their meat. This braised short rib was so tasty that we wondered what was in the secret sauce of this dish. Whatever it is, this unique dish is worth more than its price tag of P1,115. 🙂

Haven’t you noticed in all the restaurants that serve steak, all the waiters there seem to be trained to push the steaks as the bestseller of the house? I don’t usually believe them unless customers really rave about their steaks.

Roasted Oxtail Cannelloni
+10% SC +12% VAT). Melted leeks, fontina, red wine.

This was a new and pleasant addition in the menu, recommended by our waiter. We loved the red wine tomato sauce reduction with the soft roasted oxtail meat and with my new favorite cheese — Fontina!

Thanks to Mari for being the cover model of this blog post! 🙂

Punta Engano Road, Mactan Island
Lapu-Lapu City 6015, Philippines
Cebu Telephone Number: +6332 495-3461

Live an Awesome Life,

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009.

blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
prof. blog: AntonDiaz.com
mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
email: anton@diaz.ph

22 thoughts on “Abaca Restaurant, Cebu

  1. the prices seem unbelievably outlandish for the kind of food served in Abaca… i still believe Anton, that Antonio’s IS THE only restaurant in the country today with food that can command the prices it does, and yet i find myself happily reaching out for my wallet and paying – for value, for the restaurant’s classy, paradisiacal ambiance, for Tonyboy Escalante’s fare in the menu, the quality of ingredients used, presentation, the top notch silverware, flatware and crystal used, the crisp white linen – and the flawless service – nothing still comes quite close to Antonio’s among the hotel-unrelated restaurants in this country.

  2. Is this place owned by a foreigner couple? I think the place was featured in the weekend mag of Manila Bulletin a few years ago and it is managed by an Asian whose husband is a hotelier. Anyway, with regards to its pricing, they are actually violating a DTI administrative order that says all prices should already be inclusive of the 12% VAT, that is, the said tax should be incorporated into the price. I hope they can correct this.

  3. Thanks Teddy for the usual insightful comments! I agree that Antonio’s is
    still the best 🙂 Abaca’s boutique hotel is actually good with an ocean view
    of the sunset.

  4. We had dinner in Abaca last night during a quick stop over in Cebu and calling it expensive is a huge understatement! We shared a pizza, salad and grilled salmon and 2 cocktails and our bill was P4,000! My duck confit salad looked like a mish mash of leftover duck from the night before (far from the plating above) while the salmon was very malansa. It was quite disappointing to say the least! On a good note, the service was very good and the staff attentive.

  5. While in Cebu, have you tried the Casa Verde? My friends went there en route to Bohol where I met up with them. They were raving about the baby back ribs at Casa Verde. Unfortunately, I haven’t been back to Cebu to try it.. maybe you can give us insights later… Thanks

  6. abaca boutique & restaurant is the best place where you can relax and find yourself at home and welcome anytime you dine in.. AND THAT IS PROVEN!

  7. rae is right…it is actually illegal to not include the 12% VAT in the prices in the menu. remember the series of raids that DTI held a few years ago in MOA? DTI actually have a hotline where you can report restaurants that violate this order, and i used it before to report the New Bombay Restaurant.

  8. Rooms are fabulous, but food is so-so. Admittedly the lemon ricotta cheesecake is to die for. Still, this restaurant is so very overrated. Even the chi-chi Cebuanos don’t eat there as there are better alternatives which give more bang for their buck. Curiously, next door at Microtel Mactan, Abaca also runs Rice, the hotel’s food outlet w/c serves really delectable Asian cuisine at decent prices. Strange disconnect. Btw Anton, between Abaca’s flatbread pizza and C’s panizza, I’ll take the latter anytime.

  9. My family of 5 adults (and serious foodies) from the US will be visitng relatives in Cebu in December and will be staying for 3 nights at Abaca. Where can we get the best Lechon Cebu? Where else to dine? What local cuisine should we looking for?

  10. Try Chika-An, Golden Cowry, or Abuhan for Cebu Specialties 🙂 You might want
    to buy Enjoy discount card because you’ll save a lot when going around in

  11. I guess you guys haven’t been to The Tinder Box in Banilad? They are by far the #1 fine dining resto to go to in Cebu. The atmosphere is not pretentious at all despite its elitist look.
    Prices are by no means cheap but you get what you pay for. Service is excellent!

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