Parrt Ebelle: grilled tasik and hearty tinola
It’s named as such as diners here call their servers as ‘part,’ an endearment like ‘pare,’ ‘bro’ or ‘orb’ if you are so inclined.
The beautiful chaos continued after the heavy pot, thickened with wood-fire soot, was carefully placed on the counter.
Everyone looked hungrier by that time yet no one grew impatient. We all knew that each of us will have his or her turn. This is a happy place and not even the occasional idiot who cuts in the queue could change that.
Terrible parking and not Instagram-worthy
Let me get this out first – parking is very terrible at Parrt Ebelle. Although they do have a few spaces at the back, the cars will still spill over into the streets.
Even so, we actually don’t mind settling for a farther spot. This also saves us from the challenge in negotiating our way back to the highway as cars will be crammed around the eatery even if it’s already past noon.
There’s also nothing Instagrammable here. You won’t see a cute succulent on your table or a hipsteresque chalkboard menu or a kitschy fountain by the entrance.
We didn’t eat here for the restaurant’s basic interiors anyway. We came for the sutukil – sugba (grilled), tuwa (clear broth) and kilaw (ceviche). This timeless trinity of Cebuano comfort food could represent anything that’s delicious and good and right in the universe.
Grilled tasik and hearty tinola
We sometimes can do away with the kinilaw but we always order the grilled tasik (wild cobia) and the hearty tinola (pronounced as ‘tinuwa’ or ‘tuwa’ in these parts).
The latter is a very straightforward soup with the fish, the morning’s fresh catch, as the star. The scallions and tomatoes are just thrown in for additional flavor.
When everyone else orders the marlin or the tuna, we go for the tasik, a deep sea fish with a fatty texture that’s similar to that of the tangigue (Spanish mackerel).
At Parrt Ebelle, they perfectly grill thick, well-seasoned slabs of the tasik – juices are intact and the surface is evenly crusted. Eating one is almost a religious experience until you realize that you are already on you second or third serving of mais (corn grits).
I lost count already to the number of times my colleagues and I have dined at Parrt Ebelle. We usually come here during payday or to celebrate someone’s promotion or even if there’s no occasion at all. A simple invitation of a “Mag isda ta na!” would already suffice.
Maybe because we also know that a seafood feast here is very affordable. And that even if we will smell smoky afterwards, we still will always have a good time.
Part’ebelle Seafood Restaurant
J. De Veyra St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
Opens daily from 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM.