When travelling to a new place, one of the things that you must do is enjoy the local food in the area. You should never be afraid to try local delicacies. And when you do decide to go on a food trip, be sure to do some research and check out the best places to eat in a particular city.
Growing up in the wonderful city of Cebu gave me the opportunity to identify the best restuarants in Cebu that you won’t find elsewhere. And that’s where you should start your dining experience – to unique and authentic Cebu-based restaurants and East, West cafe is one of them.
A few years back, I remember dining at East West and the moment I tasted their signature crepes, I fell in love with that small cafe. What I didn’t know is that East, West Cafe would prove to be one of those few restaurants in the city that would become successful and survive the harsh and picky taste buds of the Cebuano crowd.
You see, putting up a business in Cebu is not that easy. With the Cebuanos’ frugal nature, one would opt to spend their money wisely. And setting up a food business is even tougher. You have to win over the hearts of millions of Cebuanos if you want to survive in the food industry. In fact, many huge retail chains have tried but only a few succeeded. And I’m happy to say that my favorite dessert restaurant in Cebu is still alive and kicking. Oh yeah! 😉
During the past, whenever I dine at East, West Cafe, I always order my favorite mango sushi crepe. The crepe tastes so good that you will forget your name for a second. That’s why even if new crepe stores or stalls invaded the malls of Cebu, I’d still follow my heart’s desire and my taste bud’s yearning to devour on those yummy crepes at East West Cafe.
my all-time favorite Mango Sushi Crepe
What I didn’t expect was that I would get the chance to personally meet the owner of my favorite dessert place in Cebu through a random travel adventure at Moalboal. It would be on our second meet-up (at the Cebu Blog Camp3) that I would discover that one of my free diving companions during that Moalboal trip would be the guy behind East, West Cafe – Hendri Go. Being a travel buff, Hendri lights up at the slightest mention of travel adventures and he couldn’t wait to share his own stories during his travels around the world.
East West Cafe is located at the The Walk in IT Park, Cebu City. It currently re-opened and added more food choices on its menu after getting a new face lift, opening more seats on its mezzanine area. I also got the chance to ask Hendri about the history behind east, west and here’s what he had to say…
Doi: What’s the story behind East, West?
Hendri: Back in 2000, we had just imported a lot of stuff from Italy, that included coffee machines, crepe machines, and Panini grills and I wanted to use/showcase that. That’s the family business kasi, Hug Marketing Inc. We sell food processing, restaurant and bakery equipment; and weighing scales.
Bananas and Salted Caramel Crepe
Doi: How did crepes got in the picture?
Hendri: I like crepes and I thought it would be a good compliment to the coffee. Also, my goal really is to have a good place for crepes and casual dining in Cebu, infused with a bit of world music, loungey, and travel inspiration.
Bananas, Peanut Butter and Jelly Pocket Crepe
Doi: Why the name East West?
Hendri: East, West (note the comma) is from a Salman Rushdie book of short stories that I like. It’s a good way to describe what our food is, what we serve and who we are as Cebuanos/Filipinos. That we are the most western country in Asia and the confluence of two cultures is most prevalent and noticeable here. That we are a mix of east and west and I like to infuse what I like. So once in a while you’ll find shirts for sale, posters of theater shows that I produce, and sayings on the wall that I like.
Spaghetti Meat Sauce Pasta
Doi: Don’t you have plans of branching out?
Hendri: No. It’s a very personal business. I guess that’s why its never really ‘grown’ but I like it that way. It’s more manageable and less corporate.
Bacon Breakfast with egg and rice
Doi: Where was the first east west cafe located?
Hendri: East, West’s first branch was across the Emergency Room of Cebu Doc back in 2000. We started with just coffee then added food over the years.
Garlic Cream and Sausage Pasta
Doi: I’m seeing that you just renovated the place and added new interesting items in your menu. Can you tell me more about them?
Hendri: We have new crepes, new pasta, and new main meals! Our new crepes include the Bananas and Salted Caramel (my new favorite), Red Velvet and Green Tea & Mango. As for the pasta, we added the Chili Lime Cream and Chicken pasta. For the meals, our latest offerings include the Pepper Pork Steak and the Korean Fried Chicken Wings.
Green Tea and Mango Crepe
Red Velvet Crepe; photo credit: kurtzky
Doi: Sounds yummy! Can you tell me what are your top picks on your menu?
Hendri: It’s really difficult since all of the food we have are delicious. But if I were to pick, my favorites would be the Garlic Cream and Sausage Pasta, Mango Strawberry Slush and of course, the timeless Mango Sushi crepe.
And true to Hendri’s top picks, those are also my favorites at East West Cafe. In fact, I fell in love with crepes because of that heavenly mango sushi. It’s a must-try when you visit Cebu! I also like the garlic cream and sausage pasta. The sweet taste of the sausage compliments the garlic cream pasta and I simply love it.
Bananas and Hazelnut Crepe; photo credit: kurtzky
So if you are first-timers in Cebu and wanted to know the best place to eat dessert in Cebu or if you are looking for restaurants in Cebu, I highly recommend you visit East, West Cafe. And if you are dining as a group, you can reserve the mezzanine level for a more private dining experience.
Travel Bloggers enjoying the food at East, West Café
Do you have your own East, West story? Do share them as I’d love to hear them too! 😉
East West Cafe hours of operation:
Mon – Sat: 11:00 am – 2:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
For more East West Cafe in Cebu stories from friends, check this out: