Sunday, 18 May 2014

Lechon (Philippines BBQ Pig) in Singapore at Iskina Cebu

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

After falling in love with lechon during my trip to Cebu, I had often wondered when will I be tasting again the Philippines national dish which Anthony Bourdain described as simply "the best pig, ever". 

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

So, after reading from Susan Wong's blog that we can get lechon at a Singapore kopitiam(!), I wasted no time in making my way down to Geylang to get my lechon fix.

(Thanks, Susan for sharing :D  )

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

Chris, the owner of Iskina Cebu is from Talisay City in Cebu, a city famous for it's lechon. Living in Singapore for many years, Chris pines for food from his hometown. 

Chris realised that the only way to have his comfort food is to make it himself, and decided to open Iskina Cebu. Iskina means corner, so this stall is literally, Singapore's Cebu Corner.

Lechon-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

Nova from Cebu is the chef at Iskina Cebu. 

Making lechon takes a lot of hard work and heavy lifting. (Each pig weighs at least 20 kilos.) The pig has to be marinated and packed with spices, and then put above red hot charcoal to BBQ for 5 hours.

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

Nova has to constantly attend to the burning coals, shovelling it to make sure that the heat is at the right temperature and evenly spread.

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

The pig also has to be rotated constantly to ensure that it is evenly grilled.



That takes a lot of skill, expertise and close attention.

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

The lechon is ready! Best eaten hot, fresh off the charcoal pit, the lechon is usually ready at Iskina Cebu stall at 12:30pm (on weekends) and 5:30pm (on week days).

Tip: Be there at least 30 minutes before, to queue for the best cut :D

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

That rhythmic "tuk, tuk, tuk" dull thumping sound we heard in every food corner in Cebu, is now right here at Iskina Cebu.

I guess the familiar sound would be comforting and therapeutic to Cebuanos. 

It's music to my ears too :D

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

I had the Lechon de Cebu set which costs SGD10.

The set consisted of roasted pork and a bowl of white rice served on a rattan plate lined with waxed paper. 

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

The skin was crackly and slightly hard with soft, juicy fat below. 

I love this.

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

The meat was tender, moist and mildly flavoured. Chris told me that the more gentle flavours were in response to customers' preference here.

The pigs at Iskina Cebu are sourced from Australia, so the texture and porkiness is what most Singaporeans would be familiar with. 


The indigenous breed of pigs used back in Cebu has finer, less fibrous texture and juiciness approaching that of roast chicken.

The flavours back in Cebu are also more robust and more deeply infused in the meat fibres.

(My post on lechon in Cebu, home of The Philippines' best lechon.)

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

These huge birds look enticing.

I shall be back to try Iskina Cebu's BBQ chicken (Manok de Balamban) next time :D

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

Another customer's Cebu style roast belly pork (Liempo de Balamban) set (SGD6).

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

Needless to say, the best lechon is in Cebu, but here in Singapore, Iskina Cebu lechon is the only best lechon we can have now.

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

Iskina Cebu is right opposite and connected to Paya Lebar MRT station by an underpass.

Lechon-Philippines-BBQ-Pig-Singapore-Iskina-Cebu

Iskina Cebu is the stall at the right hand corner of the kopitiam at Blk 1016 in Geylang East (right in front of the bus stop).

Restaurant name: Iskina Cebu
Address:  Blk 1016, Geylang East Ave 3, Singapore (Opposite Paya Lebar MRT station)
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/6YH9T
GPS: 1.318444,103.891581
Hours: 12:00 noon to 9:00pm (Closed on Monday)
Non Halal

Date visited: 18 May 2014

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

13 comments:

  1. i cant wait to try this!! :) btw its cebuanos not cebuans :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Tony, I think the time in your article should be 12.30 pm (afternoon) not 12.30 am (after midnight). Am I right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes. My mistake. Amended now. Thanks for pointing out.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for this article. I miss lechon cebu, have to visit this place soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. lechon only available after 5:30pm on weekdays. You visited on weekends right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ah yes, I was there on a Sunday. Thanks for the info. I have updated the blog post. Appreciate it.

      Delete
  5. Tried today..failed to attract me..no vegetable and soup..and the pork too dry..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Do they sell the whole lechon?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Should use pigs from Pulau Bulan, Indonesia which are readily sold in wet markets, sans the porkiness taste of Aussie pork

    ReplyDelete
  8. Another lechon stall just open for business after Kovan MRT. Same coffee shop where famous Ponggol Nasi Lemak operate.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How much would a whole Lechon cost?
    How can contact?

    ReplyDelete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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