My friends RJ, Doi and I wanted to try this new ribs restaurant at SM Seaside in Cebu but the waitlist for dinner service was hideously long that evening. Since we were all hungry, it was a toss up between a fastfood franchise and the mall’s foodcourt. We chose the latter of course even if that means going one floor higher and walking around a few steps more.
Allow me to elaborate what ‘a few steps more’ can actually mean at SM Seaside. You see, navigating around the circular levels of the Philippine’s 3rd largest mall can be an interesting challenge. The mall does not have useful maps that would provide anyone with clearer directions in getting to point B from point A. You might be walking a lot of steps more to a shop that’s actually located 2 stores away, albeit at the opposite direction.
When we arrived at the foodcourt, there were still a lot of diners but the queue was more distributed. We then decided to share the ‘burden of choice’ among ourselves by picking one meal from a different food stall and share our respective food finds afterwards.
I chose a 1/8 slab from Belly Buster (Php 250), the kiosk of which happened to be nearest our table. I would have ordered a solo Buster Meal (Php 150) but the staffs apologetically informed me that they ran out of pusô (hanging rice) already.
While they were busy preparing my order, I told them that my colleague and I actually visited their office last year. Right after a local daily declared that their lechon belly was the best in the city, we quickly drove all the way to Mandaue during our lunch break.
We were distraught to find out that the address listed on the news feature was actually a residence (where the porky goodies are presumably roasted) and not a full-service restaurant that we imagined. But I think he’ll be happy to hear that Belly Buster is finally open here at SM Seaside.
Each Belly Buster slice by the way was packed with flavor but not to the point that the spices overpowered the meat. The skin was also roasted to a delightful crisp. Most of all, it was not as greasy compared to that of their more established competitor.
It was hard to nitpick anything at Belly Buster, and I’m not saying that just because I was too hungry to overanalyze each single bite at that time. Maybe the absence of the pusô (and a bottle of ice-cold Sparkle) is their only fault. Thankfully my friends brought a plate of bibimbap and some makis as a healthier alternative.
Aside from SM Seaside, they also have an outlet at Banilad Town Center.