Golden Cowrie traces its origins to 1982 when its pioneer outlet was opened in Lahug. The brand Hukad was developed in 2008 as a handle for the mall-based branches of Golden Cowrie. Now, the Cebu-grown brand finally opens its first branch in Luzon at Trinoma Mall.
Upon entry, you'll notice it has a homey atmosphere comparable to those Sundays where you feast at your grandparent's house. The highlight of the restaurant would be the suspended puso-shaped lamps inspired by rice wrapped and boiled in a casing of woven coconut leaves typically served during meals in Cebu. The coco shells, crushed bamboo and other details that are seen around the restaurant showcases Cebuano craftsmanship and creativity.
Hukad's menu of modern Filipino cuisine lists more than a hundred dishes. From Cebu's famous Lechon Belly to Ngohiong which is a popular Cebuano street food, at Hukad sa Golden Cowrie, it's not a feast without any of our Filipino food favorites. Start with a lighter and healthier fare with the fresh Pomelo Salad (P229) in a calamansi-based dressing topped with crunchy dried squid and their Bloodless Dinuguan (P165) made with tofu and black beans – the reason why the dish still has the texture of the usual dinuguan. Both dishes are part of its growing vegetarian menu that includes a meatless sisig, an eggplant sandwich and more.
What's a Cebuano feast without their famous Cebu's Lechon Belly (P259/¼ kilo; P435/½ kilo; P615/¾ kilo; P785/1 kilo) – lemongrass-stuffed and flavorful roast pig belly. Hukad's lechon belly is packed with herbs and spicy, you wouldn't need any dipping sauce since it's flavorful on its own. We also learned the pork bellies are seasoned in Cebu and is roasted fresh daily in Manila.
Besides its vegetarian sisig, you can choose among the varieties of sisig available: the classic Pork, Squid, Tofu and what caught everyone's attention – the sizzling Balut Sisig (P175). A dish that's perfect if you have any foreign visitors who would want to sample on the Philippines' popular street food.
Other notable dishes that are good for sharing include the Baked Bantayan Scallops (P195) that are guaranteed fresh daily; the Ngohiong (P99), similar to a spring roll that's seasoned with five-spice powder and is a popular Cebuano street food; and Crispy Pata (P430/S; P495/L; P595/XL) which won people's choice for best crispy pata in one of their local newspaper's survey. Extra rice, please!
Hukad which means limitless serving of food or to limitlessly serve food on one's plate, the restaurant gives diners the option to have unlimited rice (P49 for plain or garlic) with all your orders served on lined warm banana leaves on your plates.
A Filipino feast wouldn't be complete without any panghimagas! The Ube Halaya Crisp a la Mode (P130) is a thing of beauty. It is served with a huge scoop of queso ice cream, it made everyone's eyes light up. Crack the crisp shell open and you'll find some warm all-natural ube halaya that's whipped up in-house. A different kind of suman, the Budbud Turon (P99) is wrapped with spring roll paper and fried until crispy and golden brown so it's perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Currently running at this newest outlet is the “Sulit Meals at P149” promo that's available from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily. Also being offered are the Feast Bundles, pre-set menus good for four persons that start at P1,399. The Trinoma branch can seat a total of 98 guests and has a function room that can accommodate 24 persons.