Cebu, Philippines — Dining in Cebu has been nothing short of nostalgic and history laden. Being and born in a city that has risen from a predominantly Spanish and Chinese ancestry, I had this affinity for history, food and culture. I cannot help but feel that every bite I take and with every sip, I am digesting heritage and history.
Circa 1900 Cebu was no exception. On its halls reek not just rich history but also a tradition of conservation and safe keeping. This establishment is nestled in a quite neighborhood in Sanjercasvil, a combination of Sanson, Jereza, Castillo and Villa, four of the most prominent families in Lahug. The entire property was a cluster of residences that was turned into a lifestyle and leisure destination, giving a break from the hectic and chaotic lifestyle in Cebu. Circa 1900 provides a respite for those who aspire to promote a lifestyle that embrace a sense of balance and well being through exercise, meditation, eating better, as well as preservation and appreciation of heritage of culture.
Owned by Apodis Circa 1900 Corporation, Circa 1900 Cebu is a brand that represents classic dining and nostalgia for a turn-of-the-century golden age. Since 2014, the establishment has been captivating customers with imaginative, quality cuisine set in a unique dining experience.
The founders of Circa 1900 Cebu are well experienced in the hotels and restaurants. Steve Shrimski is a chef with a career spanning the globe, being the Executive Chef of International hotels such as Accor Hotels, Four Seasons, Radisson and Renaissance. Managing Partner Eya Shrimski is an experienced F&B Executive and Trainer in Hospitality Management-turned-entrepreneur. Her career experience includes Accor Hotels, Century International and TAFE New South Wales. The globe-trotting partners bring their rich experience and multicultural take on cuisine to Circa. The corporation, Apodis Circa 1900, is among the subsidiaries of the Primary Group of Builders — a large corporation with multiple investments, including real estate development, manufacturing, medical centers and hotels. The formidable backing of Circa 1900 allows them to cultivate the brand and set high standards on their food, their outlets and their services.
Owned originally by the Castillo family, Casa Uno opens for dinner daily and function space. The Function Spaces Ground Floor Level includes: Garden for 150, The Stable for 15, Sala for 50, Cusina for 60 that has an option for PWD and elderly access. Upper Level dining area is for 100, and includes a private room for 30. I was fortunate to dine at the private room that was actually the dining room of the Castillo Family.
The private room has a door that opens to the terrace that gives a good view of the moonlight. It is also a good space to breathe after a filling, hearty meal. The original Machuca tiles are a feast to the eyes. Though it is already old, there is that feeling of being at home.
Casa Uno is best described in two words, food and wine. Definitely fine.
The adjacent house, Casa Dos, has been subjected to a lot ever since. On its stair railings are reminiscent of the bullet marks during the war, and the floors are also a mute reminder of the life of the Castillos who had lived in the house. On the upper floors, there is a painting of the Jerezas that also play a big part in the history of the house.
Casa Dos is also the go to place for breakfast, casual comfort food for lunch and in between meals, tapas and drinks before dinner or for after dinner drinks.
Uniquely, Casa Dos is a venue that offers mid size function space, and has the character and comfort that exudes the comfort of the contemporary vis-a-vis a well preserved architecture and design of time.
Casa Dos has The Belvedere, an open air function venue suitable for children’s party, pool side party and as a venue for Zumba, Yoga, PIlates and or Tai Chi. The atmosphere and ambiance of the venue is a on a competitive advantage, as nowhere in the city has this feature and is accessible enough.
Cicada is a tapas bar that offers a place for conversation, craft cocktails, and tapas. It has a very homey and rustic feel. The family photos of the original owners are placed on the wall making you reminisce family life and cohesiveness.
Adjacent to Cicada is The Noshery, a gelato station and air conditioned pastry work shop at the same time where artist, musician and craft persons have a venue to showcase their completed products, including pastry products on display as end product of the pastry workshop. This venue is provided with the purpose to foster community spirit and to encourage the practice of specific special art skill.
Circa 1900 Cebu is an example of an establishment that exudes international standards in a very relaxed atmosphere that does not scrimp on customer services, value for money and accessibility. I personally find both houses an asset to the dining scene of Cebu. As such, it provided the much needed affirmation of the following:
- Cebu has always been the best place to explore not just fusion Cuisine but also, something that is authentic and hits close to home. This holds true in Circa 1900 Cebu. It has been a haven for those who are adventurous enough to dig in well mastered craft, conversation and good time.
- Circa 1900 Cebu is something that we Cebuanos can definitely be proud of. The menu, wine selection, Sunset Cocktails and even the Pica-Pica has been well thought of. It is something that would keep you yearning to come back often and get more of it. Seriously.
- The establishment has taken Cebu fine and casual dining to a different level. It has raised the bar of food enthusiasts and has been a result that every innovation results from passion, skill and love for food, arts, music and everything else in between.
Personally, I find the establishment an avenue for me to spend my creative steaks and cultivate it, where I can be as creative as I can be. A place where life style and leisure is definitely a good combination. And definitely, I will come back again to experience it.
Circa 1900 Cebu has the following Hours of Operation:
11:00 AM – 02:00 PM
06:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Cicada Tapas & Bar
09:00 AM – 12:00 MN
For inquiries and more information, you may call:
Sales and Public Relations Manager
(032) 272 9469
+63923 297 5616 | +63917 655 5005
Facebook: Circa 1900 Cebu
Instagram: Circa 1900 Cebu
Snaps from my visit:
For the love of food, music and everything in between,
JL a.k.a Viajera Cebuana 🙂