It’s an amazing experience to explore the new world of food to another level. However, it’s also fulfilling to have a bite of the food we dearly love as it never fails to send us back to the memory lane and be nostalgic with every munch. Let’s have a thorough chitchat at these simple, easy but good food.
I was invited to a “mano a mano” taste test against four different dishes from two humble stalls at Cebu Business Park’s Sugbo Mercado. Let’s talk about what Belly Babs and Cluck Stop can offer you and your tongue… and tummy.
Fried + Chicken equals childhood food
Who can beat the iconic fried chicken as your most memorable favorite food when you were just a kid. Unless you’re allergic to chicken, I really pray that you are not, it is the food of any age, at any time. The Cluck Stop’s one-piece chicken, with rice and coleslaw, is right in the budget for only ₱75 per serving.
Eating fried chicken with your family, friends, or colleagues at work is obviously “a thing” and it’s not complicated. But since it’s located at the newest food marketplace in Cebu City, the level of fun and excitement is a step or two notches higher. Plus, there will be a wide chance that you will meet new people who have the love of food as you do.
You try their take on the Chicken Cracklings (₱65 per serving), or let’s call it the “chicken skin”. What makes their style different is the idea of removing the excess fat and making every bite much crunchier that everyone will surely love to have. The vinegar and onion sauce adds flavor to it and also serves as a nice condiment to break those fatty skins that were able to get away from their knives. But when I have a sample of their food over the weekend, I was able to finish everything without asking for another dose of the sauce because I don’t need it for this one.
The Chicken Cracklings were so good I ate them all at a very short time, and to think I still have more than half serving of the white rice that came with the order.
Something you need to try at Cluck Stop
I strongly recommend the Chicken Cracklings at Cluck Stop (and ask them if they can make the sauce even spicier). From the other chicken skin, I have tasted from different places around the city, theirs is less fatty but much crunchier. I am thinking they have mastered the science of the deep fryer. I say bravo to that.
On the other note, I would love to have more of the fried chicken if they have different variants for flavor. When I say different flavor, I mean garlic, honey-and-butter, or something experimental that is true Cebuano taste like the “dicer” sauce. It’s that special barbecue sauce that is so red and sticky it sticks everywhere. It’s made up of soy sauce, brown sugar and catsup (according to a very brief research online. Thank you, Internet!) It maybe is weird but that’s how it goes when you’re adventurous with taste.
Hoping that the fried chicken god will hear my prayers on this. Amen.
Butter, garlic and there’s something else
It can be the very first thing we can think of if we talk about food at parties, outings or just an ordinary day that involves food. I am talking about the pork belly. It is like this: we marinate it with soy sauce, vinegar, calamansi, and let’s say a spoonful of sugar or more (depending on how many kilos of meat you wanted to grill).
But this is unusual for a pork belly; unusual but good. Belly Babs’ version of the pork belly is something familiar but different. I tasted butter, garlic and something else I don’t know and I am sure it’s a family secret recipe because when it comes to this sort, it surely belongs to this category. The pork belly at Belly Babs is easy to eat. You can tear the grilled meat into pieces by just using your bare hands.
What amazes me is the absence of a dipping sauce. With that alone, I can say that the sauce that they marinate the meat and cook it with is already giving it sufficient taste. For only ₱98, you can have a slab of Bellylicious Belly with white rice.
The pure meat goodness of their Spring Roll is also delectable and satisfying. Every bite is juicy since it’s all meat. The sweet and spicy dip is there. The very common sweet and sour chili sauce adds height to the fried spring roll.
I strongly recommend this food from Belly Babs
You should try their Bellylicious Belly. The flavor is amazing and unique. I have tasted the base flavor of the garlic and butter but the “something else” I am very curious about, I need to go back and persuade the cook to tell me what it is.
The Spring Roll is good, too. It’s the all-meat goodness that makes it different from somewhere else. Every roll has no potatoes, no carrots, but all pure meat. But what if they have a spicy garlic dip? Would it still be good? I don’t know. But let’s see very soon when I go back there when Sugbo Mercado at Cebu Business Park opens again.
Sugbo Mercado at Cebu Business Park
This is the second branch of the famous Sugbo Mercado. Their first location is at the Garden Bloc, Cebu IT Park. But for Belly Babs and Cluck Stop, you need to be at the Cebu Business Park branch that’s open every Friday to Sunday, from 3PM to 11PM.
Belly Babs and Cluck Stop share one booth, so it’s easy for you to locate (most especially if you at the Ayala Road side of Sugbo Mercado).
For more details about what they can offer you this weekend, join Belly Babs and Cluck Stop on Facebook and have a taste of the Bellylicious Belly, Spring Roll, the Chicken Cracklings and Fried Chicken if you want something not complicated but somehow sophisticated in taste and serving.
What I mentioned here is my say on how I have tasted their food. Your experience might be different. That is why, if you have tried the food at Belly Babs and at Cluck Stop, I hope it would be fine with you to share your thoughts in the comment section below.