CnT Lechon was just a very small enterprise started by Catherine and Norman Quijada in 1988. They named it after the initials of their daughters’ names – Charmaine and Tiffany.
The couple started by selling one lechon (roasted pig) every Sunday to their neighbors in Guadalupe in Cebu City. It must be the way they prepare and cook their lechons that kept Cebuanos and tourists returning to their small stall back then. The demand for their lechons grew steadily over the years as a result. And after more than a decade, this restaurant has already established 6 branches all over the metropolis.
Other provinces or even competing restaurants in Cebu would probably claim that theirs is a better tasting version. But CnT’s loyal customer base still come back every time despite the terribly long queues at all their branches. If that is the only criteria for judging, then the lechon war may have already been decided.
I have been to a CnT branch only twice. The latest trip was when we brought a good friend for a Sunday lunch at their North Reclamation Area building. And yes, there was already a good deal of people when we arrived at the 3-storey complex. That particular hour’s batch of priority numbers was all handed out too, which means that we have to wait a little longer before our number would be called up.
I amused myself by watching how other customers patiently waited for their turns. That was probably a bad idea since most of the time, I was fixated at the precise chopping strokes of the lady butchers and every crispy lechon skin that falls off the board. It seemed to me that the longer I waited, the harder it was for me to contain my already grumbling stomach.
My friends suggested for tiyan (belly) portions but when our number was called up, the mostly coveted part was already snatched by someone else. Since we could not wait for another whole pig to be butchered, we opted for the abaga (shoulder) part instead.
I am not kidding when I say that the lechon slices that we waited for almost an hour for, were gobbled in just a matter of minutes. The reasons for that are numerous. Aside from the crispy skin, CnT’s lechon also had just the right amount of saltiness that I look for in a roasted pig. There was absolutely no need for a sarsa (sauce) because the meat was flavorful and well seasoned. I could even taste the spices and herbs even at the bones. It was that delicious and memorable because our guest kept comparing CnT’s lechon to all the hometown versions he ate afterwards.
Our lechon meal that afternoon was indeed worth all the wait. It was probably a very busy Sunday, but I do hope that CnT could improve on their turnaround times so that they could also accommodate more orders and guests. Other than that, I could say that we had a wonderful Cebuano-styled lechon meal at CnT Lechon.
1377 Rama Ave, Guadalupe, Cebu City.
+63 32 2544249 | +63 32 2546641