Larsian Cebu, also known as Larsian sa fuente, is a street food that offers varieties of seafood and barbecue in Cebu city. It is located between Robinson Cybergate and Chong Hua Hospital, and it is usually busy during the evening or weekends.
Larsian Cebu is one of the most popular street food among locals in Cebu City. This place undergoes renovation in May/June 2018, and it was reopened in the same year in November.
Initially, I was reluctant to go there, because I heard from other people's experience, they said it gave them food poisoning or diarrhea. However, this incident happened before it was shut down and renovated. Based on what I read in the news, the stall owners underwent training about sanitation and handling foods. When I heard they had a seminar, I said to myself "why don't I give it a try, and see if the food is good and clean"
Location and the Opening Hour
Larsian Cebu is located between Robinson Cybergate and Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City. Just adjacent to the Larsian sa Fuente, there is a parking area, where you can park your cars when eating there. This is important since this could be convenient for families that uses cars.
The opening depends on each stall since some opened as early as 6 am, while others opened at 10 am, or some even operate 24 hours. Personally, it is preferable to go when the sunset at 6 pm since the weather will not be hot during that time.
Note: This place is currently closed until further notice.
It was during evening dinner at 6:30 pm I went to Larsian Cebu along with my relatives and my mother. Surprisingly, the view inside looks clean and well organized. When entering inside, we were welcomed by stall staff/owners, which in my opinion, they are a little bit pushy. They were trying to convince you to buy their foods, but that doesn't bother us anyway.
When I toured the stalls, they sell mostly seafood and barbecue. However, one of the stalls primarily serves dessert and fruit which is found in the middle of the last corner. Their seafood includes Tuna, Bangus, Squid, small and Jumbo shrimp, and other fishes. On the other hand, they also serves barbecue chicken and pork, liver, hotdog, and other organ meat.
Their Cooking Method
When you order their foods in the stall, they will send it to the cooking area where they grilled your barbecue and seafood. I posted the picture below so you can get an idea.
Our Foods in Larsian Cebu
We ordered chicken and liver bbq, grilled fish and shrimp in one of the stalls. The staff gave us an option if we want the shrimp to be served either as a garlic butter shrimp or shrimp sinigang (sour soup), which we eventually choose garlic butter shrimp.
They don't offer plain rice, so we were served with puso rice which wasn't bad since it was soft to eat. And lastly, after we ate our dinner, we decided to order a dessert found in another stall. When entering Larsian, you will have to walk straight to find that stall. I forgot to take a picture, but it easy to find that place. They served fruit juices, Halo-Halo, and ice cream. I ordered Vanilla Ice cream served in a cup.
My Review in Larsian Cebu
As a half foreigner who was born abroad and not used to street food here in the Philippines, I have to say overall the place is not bad as I thought. This is my 2nd time (all after renovation) to eat here in Larsian, and I have not experienced any food poisoning or diarrhea. The pictures I provided above was during my 2nd visit. During our 1st visit, we ordered grilled Red Snapper fish (Maya Maya fish), grilled Bangus (Milkfish), and Tinola fish (a fish soup).
The chicken and liver barbecue taste good, but not the best barbecue in the Philippines. However, the seafood is my favorite since you have varieties of food to choose from. The garlic shrimp, the red snapper fish, and fish tinola are the best, and they are very delicious. However, the grilled Bangus is a bit underwhelming since there was not much flavor on it. The grilled fish (not sure what type of fish is it) in the picture above is also tasty
In terms of prices, the barbecues are affordable, which is very popular among locals. However, the seafood is a bit out of the budget since the price of the fish depends on the size of it. I noticed when visiting each stall, they display the price of the chicken & pork barbecue, chorizo, or hotdog. However, the prices of other fishes, including shrimp, will not be shown on the menu. The owner will be the one telling you the price of each seafood displayed in the stall. We paid almost 450 peso when ordering the grilled fish.
Of course, Larsian Cebu has its downside as well. While we were eating in the table, several annoying flies are trying to land your food. You have to repeatedly use your hand to move them away, which could ruin your appetite. I have not experienced that when I was in Sugbo Mercado in I.T. Park Cebu.
Also, the faucet water is not working, which is surprising, but the water is provided in a Tabo. I will rather not use the water that is already in a Tabo, because some people are directly putting their hands in the Tabo, which is unhygienic. Instead, we used our bottled water, or alcohol to wash our hands.
Rating in Larsian Cebu
If I will rate this place, I will probably give it 6.25/10
- The Food- 6.5/10 (Their food taste good but not the best barbecue I tried. However, the seafood is the stand out, except the underwhelming Bangus).
- The Price- 7/10 (The price of the barbecues are relatively affordable. However, the seafood is a bit expensive among locals. Most of the fishes cost between 450 to 600 philippine peso)
- The Customer Service- 6/10 (They have good customer service. However, the staff/owner becoming pushy to the customer is a little bit annoying)
- The Environment and Sanitation- 5.5/10 (Thankfully, I don't have any food poisoning or diarrhea. However, the water faucet is not working, and there are annoying flies trying to reach your food while eating)
As long as you don't mind with the flies and bring your alcohol or water, Larsian is a recommended local street food to try in Cebu City. Many stalls offer the same food, and probably one of them taste better or not. More importantly, I don't see any rats or experienced food poisoning.
I believe cleanliness is very important among locals and tourists. Because they all undergone seminar training, I trust the food in the stall is clean. I just hope they will fix the water faucet for hand wash as fast as possible. Nonetheless, for safety purposes, it is best to check every stall and smell if the food is fresh or not. If you will love to try local food but still reluctant to try street foods in Larsian Cebu, there are many great restaurant such as Laguna Garden Cafe, where they serve delicious Filipino foods.