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Rico's Lechon: ‘Da Best Gyud’ Comes to Manila

For many years now, one of the worse kept secrets in Cebu was that if you were after the best lechon emanating from the city, no matter what others would say, it was Rico’s Lechon that one would turn to. This was especially so if one had a yen for Rico’s very unique Spicy Lechon variant. While it wasn’t readily available at the Cebu Airport, I know of several friends who would literally beg returning visitors to drop by Rico’s Mactan branch and bring home the ‘spicy bacon’.


Rico’s Lechon signature product

Aware of the equity that Rico’s Lechon carries, restaurateur George Nocom Pua readily admits that as far back as five years ago, George had been in discussion with Enrico ‘Rico’ Dionson about franchising the business. And as luck would have it, what was constantly out of the question, suddenly became an option to acquire the name and culinary expertise. So now we have the very first Rico’s Lechon on the BGC Fort Strip, and a second branch to open at the Glorietta in September of this year. 


The on-site roasting area


What George brings to the table is the business acumen to take Rico’s Lechon to an all-new level—and George is excited as it’s actually the first homegrown Filipino food concept he’s developing. In the past, George’s Meat Concepts Corporation was responsible for food brands such as Tony Roma’s, Modern China, OPPA Chicken, Ogawa Traditional Japanese, KPub BBQ, and Thai BBQ. 

We can write about the food and there is a lot on board beyond the Lechon—but first things first, and if you’ve never tasted Rico’s yet, you don’t have any excuse now. The Lechon is roasted on site, and the special ‘Suka’ dipping sauce is a real winner. On the other dishes available at Rico’s, I would highlight the Sinigang Na Baka at Baboy—this a soup combination that George himself developed and I really liked. Their  Seafood Kare-Kare comes highly recommended, and naturally, they had Sizzling Lechon Sisig. The Chicken Inasal is a good choice, and it’s all part of making Rico’s more than a ‘one trick pony’ food concept.


The Sizzling Lechon Sisig, the Seafood Kare-Kare, and their Chicken Inasal


Your writer with Issa Litton and George N. Pua, the new owner of Rico’s Lechon

George envisions it to be a family dining option that celebrates the best in native Filipino cuisine, and it’s just a matter of time before we witness the expansion plans George has for Rico’s Lechon. But for now, it’s Fort Strip BGC and Glorietta next month, and the BGC branch has a Take-Out window so you can bring Rico’s right to your home dining table.


Photo by Philip Cu-Unjieng

Lead images from @ricoslechonofficial