When it comes to home-grown restaurant groups in Cebu, no one does it better than The Abaca Group. The group started with the acclaimed resort of the same name. Then it branched out into Maya Mexican, A-Cafe, Tavolata, Phat Pho and now Beqaa.
I've already reviewed A Cafe in 2012. And I absolutely loved it. Maya always has the best tequilas and the grub to go with it. I tried Phat Pho and loved it in spite of some people saying that they were put-off since it was fusion Vietnamese (purist problems). Then I had dinner Tavolata a few months back and was blown away as well. Every restaurant under the Abaca umbrella hasn't disappointed. And in Cebu, that's a rare feat. Cebuanos are known for many good things. But for having restaurants that have consistent food quality through the years and good customer service is not one of them yet. Maybe it's our laid-back vibe. But whatever it is, I am often disappointed by either the deteriorating food quality or appalling service in many of our local food establishments -- especially at the pricier ones since I'm paying significantly more.
In Tavolata I had a epiphany while seeing the place packed on a weekday. Cebuano preferences are changing. Whereas we used to pride ourselves in being very unassuming in our food choices, people of late are becoming more interested in trying finer dining and international cuisine. And they've become more willing to pay. Abaca prices their dishes to Manila standards. But you can't seem to complain because taste profiles are excellent, ingredients are top-notch and portions are generous. Plus service is excellent! Cebuanos are notorious spendthrifts. But the dining public in Tavolata seem to have no problems shelling out. I think it's a good sign. I hope it signals more diversity of food choices in the metro. And I hope it teaches more and more people that eating luxe (sometimes) is one of the best activities ever!
So it comes to no surprise to me that Beqaa is just as good as it's older resto siblings. This has a Middle Eastern concept (Lebanese, I think), so expect a lot of lamb options, flat bread dips, hummus...you get the picture. I especially loved the Falafel Royale. That was one crispy falafel ball -- yum! And the Creme Brulee had a really divine creaminess to it.
Prices are P400-600 per plate. Reservations are necessary.
For more information, contact Abaca at their Facebook Page here.
My taste buds envy you already if you're looking to try!