ORMOC – A carinderia here serves lechon that is so good, even celebrity chef Sandy Daza can’t stop raving about it.
“OMG!” wrote Daza in a recent Instagram post, where he said Pare’s Lechon is “the most delicious lechon I have ever tried this side of Leyte.”
He went on to tell a friend: “This is in a league of its own. Grabe the skin and meat combination with spicy vinegar and atchara. Hoowow!”
So what’s so special about Pare’s Lechon?
Owner Victor Juezan explained that the lechon skin is beautifully golden and crispy because they rub each pig with olive oil before roasting.
The young pigs – aged around a month and a half – are flavored with rosemary, thyme, lemongrass, and a secret blend of spices, removing the need for any sauce.
“Hands-on ako rito, ako talaga ang nagtitimpla,” Juezan proudly said. “Recipe ko talaga ito.”
“Kahit ‘yung sa may pigue ng baboy, may lasa na ‘yan. Di tulad ng ibang lechon na sa may belly lang ang lasa,” he added.
Those who have tried Pare’s Lechon will notice that it has a flavor profile similar to the roasted pig of Zubuchon, a popular Cebu restaurant that opened in Manila last year.
And this is no coincidence. Turns out, Juezan is one of the people behind Zubuchon’s recipe.
“Kasama ako sa gumawa ng Zubuchon noon, walo lang kami noon,” said Juezan, who moved to Ormoc to be with his wife. “Nag-resign ako sa Zubuchon at gumawa ako ng sa akin.”
He stressed, however, that there is no bad blood between him and Zubuchon owner Joel Binamira.
“Si Joel, boss ko siya dati. Alam naman nila [na nagbukas ako ng sarili kong restaurant],” he explained.
Binamira, for his part, seems to be proud of Juezan’s solo venture.
He told Daza on Instagram: “Sandy, that’s because Victor came from Zubuchon… He was with our pioneer team!”
Pare’s Lechon is located at Real Street in Ormoc City. It also has a food court stall at the newly opened Robinsons Place Ormoc, a more convenient stop for mall-loving tourists.