I found it dimmer than usual at first glance. Though the lighting coordination complimented well to the interior design, I couldn’t say that the ambiance is inviting enough for the lower middle class. I heard that Dong Juan offers food for every “Juan”, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Ordinary individuals may find it too flashy, but not opulent enough to invite the rich. Or, maybe, I am just a confused blogger.
Anyway, I noded to a Zomato’s invite after few months in hiatus. It brought me at the Persimmon branch of Dong Juan. Since I was the first to arrive, I spent time more on making observations about the ambiance. I kept most to myself, though.
What I dislike about food meat ups like this is the extravagant squander of shutter count. Participants put more value on the photographs. They don’t seem to care the flavors petering out as the food are cooled—mozzarella sticks, for instance.
Good thing that Dong Juan served multiple plates for each variety, I was able to taste the real pep which the restaurant is actually selling.
Dong Juan’s Original Favorites
Chili wings were served along with other starters. The garnish made the plating a lot gastronomic, which added a contrasting variation to the deep dark red sauce, coating the fried and crispy chicken wings. The sprinkles of sesame seeds made the munch more exciting, too.
I admit that it disappointed my scoville expectation. But somehow, I was glad that ’twas a bit tolerable for kids.
Not to mention, Dong Juan caters the entire family. They have fun and exciting paper games to ease the kids’ boredom while waiting for their meal. Also, they prepared a menu especially for kids.
The tender rib meat glazed with sweet barbecue sauce is also a stunner.
I found the all-meat pochero a bit odd. Traditional pochero is more of a soup-based, a runny stew of meat shanks. However, Dong Juan’s version is on thick gravy topped with potato chips. There’s no bone marrow at all. But I still liked it.
My personal favorite, however, is gambas pasta. Every strands of the noodle were cooked to perfection, and were seemingly soaked in flavors with utmost consistency. Though the sauce is oil-based, olive oil specifically, the dish don’t feel greasy.
The bonito flakes on top danced to every scoop. It did not only make a flashy presentation, it offered a great seafood flavor as well.
The Tablea Collections
Dong Juan recently launched their tablea collections. Their special pastas were made more special with sprinkles of grated tablea.
The bread on the side is also tablea-based. The bittersweet taste is something that you look forward to every morning, a perfect pair for a cup of hot chocolate.
My favorite among the tablea collections is the spanish chorizo pasta.
Nevertheless, it was the succulent carbonara in cacao de bola that captured the taste of the team. Most of the reviewers present on that meetup recommended the carbonara.
I suggest to reduce the portion of tablea from linguine meatballs with tablea marinara sauce’ recipe. It tasted bitter and, honestly, it did not match the flavor of the tomato-based sauce.
Mug Cake Flavors
For drinks, the kalamansi blush was the clear winner. The sourness of kalamansi is perfectly relished with the sweetness of the strawberries. Refreshing!
For desserts, Dong Juan served mug cakes. Dark fudge, red velvet, crunchy cookie butter, s’mores, and salted caramel were served at our disposal.
The flavor that caught my attention is the salty caramel. I am not really fun of pure sweet so I need a slight flavor variation. Salty caramel mug cake is the answer.
About Dong Juan
Dong Juan is actually a derivative of Don [Juan], an oligarchical term which seems unfitting for the restaurant’s target market. Thus, Dong [Juan] was born wherein Dong is a gentleman’s endearment and Juan is a colloquial for Pinoy.
Aubrey, one of the owners, explained that Dong Juan now means a food for every “dong”.
Address: Ground Level, The Persimmon Plus, M.J. Cuenco Ave., Mabolo, Cebu City
Operating hours: 11AM-10PM Daily
Contact number: (032) 5052121 | (032) 2665826
Facebook: Dong Juan