Where to Eat in Cebu: Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant

Rarely can you find a restaurant that manages to excel in all aspects of food service. High-end places that boast of great ambience and service sometimes fall short in the value-for-money aspect. Sometimes a place feels too perfect but you pay a fortune for such an ungenerous meal, and despite the pleasant experience, you are unsure if you want to come back. When I found Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant in Cebu, I was so sure I have found a paradisiacal venue that screams of nothing less than perfection. Courteous and friendly staff, quick service, a cozy ambience, heavenly food, and surprise: affordable prices!

If you have been following my blog, you will have gathered that the value-for-money factor heavily dictates how I choose a place to dine. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fine-dining restaurant or some unheard-of hole-in-the-wall in the city, as long as I feel that I got what my money is worth, I am happy. I consider other things like service and ambience negotiable, but to discover that Lantaw has it all was like a revelation to me.

While planning my Cebu trip last year, I listed down several restaurants I wanted to visit, one of which is Lantaw. We weren’t able to go—blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol—so when my sister went to Cebu with me this year and said she wanted to go to Lantaw, I could only express my sheer happiness by hurling away random breakable things.

It might sound weird to some people, but when I’m traveling, I’d rather miss the sight-seeing activities than let go of a visit to a restaurant I’ve been dying to try. Perhaps that’s what a real foodie is! I’m so happy that my sister loves eating as much as I do!

Worried that the place is packed when we get there, my sister and I, together with our Mom, decided to go by 3p.m. to escape a possible huge lunch crowd. Located in the outskirts of Cordova in Mactan, Lantaw Floating Restaurant is approximately an hour from Cebu City via taxi. Although taking a cab was more expensive (around P400), we chose the easier option since commuting would mean three jeepney transfers and a tricycle ride. Our choice was fortunate and perfect because when we arrived, only four tables were occupied.

Upon seeing the place, I immediately feel in love with its relaxing vibe: cogon-and-bamboo huts, on top of wooden decks, interconnected by wooden bridges. It has a homey and cozy feel that instantly perks up the appetite. Built atop the seawater, Lantaw Floating Restaurant feels like a sanctuary that could fit into my criteria of a get-away anytime.

The open area seemed really posh but since it was hot that day, we opted for a table on the covered deck. I love the gray-and-green motif paired with the other wooden materials!

A friendly waiter immediately approached us to get our orders. I loved how he helped us decide by spelling out the ingredients of dishes I had never heard of before! To start with, we had some Baked Scallops. Back in Manila, I would have paired this with beer but in Lantaw I just indulged on the freshness of the seafood, the cheese adding a delightful creaminess to it.

In Lantaw Floating Restaurant, seafood seemed like the obvious must-try so red meat was totally banned from our table that day. Aside from the scallops, we ordered the Garlic Buttered Shrimps and Grilled Tuna BellyBoth dishes were so fresh that it seemed to me as if they cooked them straight out of the sea. I wish we had gotten the prawns instead, so that the shell was easier to peel, but I have no problems as to how this dish tasted—it was awesome! For me though, the real winner was the Tuna Belly. It was so flavorful you won’t need any dipping sauce at all. I swear I am never eating Tuna Belly again in non-Visayan places!

Adventurous as we were, we asked for the Utan Bisaya without actually knowing what it was. Turns out it was a kind of soup made of malunggay, kalabasa, sitaw, gabi, okra, talong, alugbati, and tanglad.

It was amazing because it didn’t have a hint of any seasoning but it was incredibly delicious! Not to mention that it was nutritious—I could almost feel myself getting rejuvenated and going back to my youth, LOL! Look how fresh everything is!

For drinks, we had the Cordova Cooler, a delightful mix of orange, calamansi, and watermelon juices.

How refreshing it was to sip on this while the sea breeze blew on us as we ate. I don’t deserve this kind of life!!! I’m not worthy!!! Hahaha!

Of course, a meal is not complete without dessert. Torn between the Lantaw Halo-Halo and the Bibingka Cake ala Mode, I choose the latter since it was something I don’t get to eat really often. Doing so was probably the best step I have ever taken in my entire life. To describe Lantaw’s bibingka as just “good” is fucking unacceptable, offensive, and blasphemous—it must be put into the highest pedestal of Filipino desserts! Read more about this bibingka cake here.

I asked the server what it was made of but she won’t tell. I could have sworn some magic ingredient aside from rice or flour was there. I also asked her if I could buy in bulk but she said no. I wanted to throw her into the water, LOL.

We had wanted to wait for the sunset after our superb meal, but we also had plans to catch the last mass in Sto. Nino church after. My Mom said we could stay a bit more, so I got myself a beer and just marveled at the breathtaking sights.

This cute little boy was causing a ruckus while his parents ate. Isn’t he adorable?!?!

After we settled our bill, the server offered to hail a cab for us. She said we could stay in our table and she would inform us when the cab arrives. Isn't that nice? It took some time for them to get a cab for us, since Lantaw is a little out-of-the-way, but fortunately the dinner crowd was starting to pour in, and some of them got there via taxi.

Total wallet damage for our Lantaw Floating Restaurant lunch consisting of one appetizer, soup, two entrees, beer, a pitcher of Cordova Cooler, and two servings of bibingka cakes: P950. Not bad for a full-course meal for three people. I swear I could never get something like this in Manila!

I don’t get it why some people can’t believe that food-tripping is more fun in Cebu. They haven’t even tried going there just for the gastronomic adventures—I mean, the city tour and Bantayan Island are not bad stuff to do but they are not enough reasons as well why one should skip on awesome meals like this. Cebu’s food tourism is very developed, and it’s probably why I love it so much. I’m on the verge of even worshipping it!

My visit to Lantaw Floating Restaurant crossed out another item off my foodie bucket list. Even before experiencing this, I knew that going there would be worth all the trouble. This is proof that being adventurous truly has rewards!

Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant
Day-As, Cordova, Mactan, Cebu
(032) 514 2959
Operating Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

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  1. Looks like a nice place to eat. Diggin' the furnitures.

    1. It is! :) Try it the next time you're in Cebu. Thanks for dropping by!


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