Tavolata in Cebu is one of my favorite restaurants in the Philippines. It is one of the restaurants of the Abaca group and though I was under the impression that it was an Italian eatery, I am told that the chef and owner says it is only Italian inspired, using most of their ingredients to create new and unique recipes.

Indoor & Outdoor Seating

This week I was fortunate enough to have work take me to Cebu and I made sure to have at least one meal in my favorite stop.


I started with the bruschetta, which was really simple but done very well. The bread was toasted to a perfect crunch and topped with thick cut tomatoes. They were so sweet and balanced perfectly with the tartness of the artichokes. Drizzled in olive oil and vinegar then topped with fresh basil.

Bruschetta Tomato

The chopped salad was great. The greens were tossed with salumi, ham, pepperoncini, garbanzos and white beans. This salad was so hearty that it is a meal in itself.

Chopped Salad

I followed that with the salsiccia pizza, which had a really fantastic crust. It was thin with really crunchy ends. This is not the kind of pizza where you leave the crust on the plate. Plus, it was generously filled with the sausage and olive toppings. A winner for sure!

Salsiccia Pizza

Last but definitely NOT the least, as this dish is truly my favorite, was the oxtail pappardelle. I challenge you to find me a pasta dish anywhere else in the Philippines that is better than this! Imagine a sauce that is like a beef stew with tomatoes, fresh oyster mushrooms and thinly sliced garlic. Upon speaking to the manager Edwin (who, along with the rest of the wonderful staff, made the experience even better), the oxtail and beef are slow cooked for 10 hours, until they are completely tender.  This is then tossed with freshly made pappardelle. This dish is so decadent and no one ingredient overpowered another. Even if the meat was so flavorful, you still get sweet hints from the tomato and the earthiness of the mushroom. Granted, I am a meat lover, I was never the biggest pasta fan… but THIS I would fly to Cebu for.

Oxtail Pappardelle

Tavolata is located at the design center of Cebu, AS Fortuna at P.Remedio Street, Mandaue City 600. Call for reservations (032)5056211.

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