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It was in 1997 when founder, Enrico ‘Rico’ Dionson, first made his way into the lechon business. However, his lechon recipe was not quickly one that was accepted by his customers and clients. In fact, among the most memorable customer feedback he got was when he was told that his roasted pigs were too salty: “just add in water and you already have a sea”.
From that moment on, Mr. Dionson vowed to make his roasted pigs of high quality and excellent taste. So good, in fact, that former President Joseph Estrada took notice of it and invited him to the Malacañang Palace to prepare dozens of lechon for a gathering.
It was then that his business took off.
Previously, he was happy to sell around 2 to 3 lechon each week. Currently, his huge company is able to sell around 2,000 to 3,000 pieces of lechon each month. That is one huge leap from someone who started taking bets in a cockfighting arena.
Nearly 20 years later, Rico’s Lechon has become a popular choice for lechon lovers not just from Cebu but from all parts of the country. Rico’s currently serves diners through their two restaurants, one in Mabolo and another one in Mactan Promenade, but their website and mobiles are also extremely busy in receiving orders from outside central Cebu.
But, exactly why is Rico’s Lechon a big hit among its customers?
Why not ask popular bloggers from both Cebu and around the country to tell us why they think Rico’s Lechon is among the best, if not THE best, lechon de Cebu?
Here’s what they all have to say…
“It’s already spicy, no need for a dip!”
~ Carlo Olano, Cebuano Food Blogger from Kalami Cebu
“Crispy skin with just the right flavors!”
~ Janine Anongos, Cebuana Lifestyle Blogger from Wandering Ella
“The meat is packed with flavors and the skin is really crispy. Their spicy variety might be one that can put you in tears but it is also one that will make you get unlimited servings of rice!”
~ Pam Baroro, Cebuana Family Travel Blogger from Hey, Miss Adventures!
“What is distinctly Cebu lechon is when you can savor the full flavor of the lechon without the need for a sawsawan (dip/sauce). Rico’s Lechon offers this!”
~ Ruben Licera Jr., Digital Marketing Strategist from RLComm
“The meat was tender and well-seasoned. Its spicy flavor was nothing we’ve had before and was definitely close to addictive. For those who love lechon and spicy food, this is the perfect dish to cozy up to.”
~ Roch, Food and Lifestyle Blogger from Roch Kirstin
“When I got home in Manila, Rico’s Lechon was our family’s dinner. We heated it for 25 minutes in the turbo and there, I experienced one of the best lechons I’ve ever tasted. It was soooo tasty and spicy HOT, even the skin was still very crunchy! I didn’t regret buying this one.”
~ Cham Estrera, Travel Blogger from Walk with Cham
“Rico’s Lechon is, by far, the best lechon I’ve ever tasted. Everything about it was exceptional – taste, texture and even the aroma while carrying it for a good 30 minutes inside a taxi cab. Best of all, it will not give you a clogged arteries experience. So, I give it a 10/10 all the way!”
~ Rica, Travel Blogger from Rica’s Rucksack
“No surprise, the lechon was good; the meat was tender and full of flavor, and the skin, perfectly crispy. As for the price, I find it inexpensive, or reasonable at most.”
~ Armel Madsen, Blogger from Half White Boy
“When they said spicy then it is literally spicy but it will not let you hate the lechon; rather it will let you crave for more! We tried both spicy and regular lechon and just a heads-up guys, prepare lots of rice! End your meal with softdrinks for sure, it will give you the best burp of the day.”
~Lovelea Ho Suarez, Diner (via Zomato.com)
“This restaurant is just divine. We have no words for their spicy lechon. Despite arriving after the usual lunch rush, we were quite surprised to see this place still packed with people. It is so good that you don’t even need sauce to go with it. A trip to Cebu City wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Rico’s because this is just simply the best there is.”
~ Cole and Julio, Bloggers from Visuals x Victuals
“Rico’s Lechon in Cebu is dubbed as the best, according to many and me. Can you imagine spicy crunchy lechon’s skin dipped in an abundant chili pepper sauce with warmish rice and an ice-filled glass on the side? BIG BURP!”
~ Cebuanafied, Blogger from Cebuanafied
“We ordered both the original and spicy lechon; and I liked the spicy lechon better as it has more taste and kick (obviously). The skin was crispy and the meat was tender. When I asked our Manila guest who’s a first timer on Cebu’s lechon, all she could say was: “Ang saraaaap” (so delicious) and that already speaks a lot of how good lechon is in Cebu. You could never go wrong tasting Lechon de Cebu for the first time at Rico’s.”
~ Eula, Blogger from Eula Panda
You can try out Rico’s Lechon for yourself by ordering their whole lechon pieces (or getting them by the kilo) in classic and spicy varieties.
Their whole lechon sell at a range between PHP4000 and PHP6000 while their lechon de leche is sold at PHP3500. You can also get a kilo of lechon for PHP595 for the original version or PHP640 for the spicy version. If you dine in at any of their restaurants, you can get a taste of their other lechon-inspired dishes as well as other healthier options.
Don’t forget to wash down your lechon meals with a glass of their Cucumansi Quencher.