Chef Marquin’s Moalboal is the latest food challenge taking the South by storm. Ask anyone from Southern Cebu where you should eat in Moalboal and they’ll likely say “have you tried Chef Marquin’s?” The man behind the name has quickly turned his little burger venture into a local legend, and after our visit it was easy to see why it’s so popular.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES
WHERE IS CHEF MARQUIN’S MOALBOAL
They’ve moved around town a bit, and Google Maps hasn’t quite caught up to their current location so don’t trust it. The easiest way to find Chef Marquin’s Moalboal is to search for Ralphseej Pensionehouse since it’s in the same complex.
DINNER AND A SHOW AT CHEF MARQUIN’S MOALBOAL
There’s grilling, and then there’s GRILLING and Chef Marquin’s Moalboal are specialists in the kind of grilling that mesmerises you long before you take your first bite. Of course, the patty is everything when it comes to a good burger and Chef Marquin only uses the leanest, freshest beef. His veggies are sourced locally and his bread is his own recipe made by a baker friend of his.
The grilling had a little sample of the flaming excitement that’s yet to come. After everything is prepared to perfection, it’s stacking time. Now, you can get a regular sized burger with one or two patties, but where’s the fun in that? With each new layer of meat and cheese came more flames to melt it all together.
The excitement isn’t over yet. The skewers that were used to help stack are removed and replaced with a big ol’ steak knife. This here is the real test. If the burgers stand up after the skewer has been pulled out and the knife plunged in, it’s passed Chef Marquin’s test.
CHEF MARQUIN’S MOALBOAL BURGER CHALLENGE
We took so long taking photos, Chef Marquin was worried it wouldn’t be hot enough, so what’s a man to do with a torch in hand? Light it up, duh. He also took this time to blacken the sesame seeds on top.
Every burger at Chef Marquin’s Moalboal presents a challenge, so there’s no prize for conquering it. That’s all just part of the game. Carson’s was a 6 patty monstrosity with bacon to boot, and Zowie’s was a humble 4 patty surf and turf combo. Burgers range from $5 USD (P250) to $13.50 (P650), depending on just how enormous you want it.
If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to actually eat it, we’re not really sure. There’s no method, you just have to go for it. We deconstructed ours and ate the top half first, then the bottom. Well, Zowie did. Carson failed his challenge and was defeated by the burger gods. Zowie crushed hers, including every last prawn.
We unfortunately don’t have any mid-eating proof of Zowie’s victory, since we were both covered in too much cheese, sauce and who knows what else to operate the camera. But believe us when we say it was pretty extraordinary. By the time we called it a wrap, we were both in food comas that lasted well into the next day. Chef Marquin’s Moalboal is not for the faint of heart or the small of stomach, but it sure is an unforgettable experience.
PIN IT FOR LATER
WHERE TO STAY IN SOUTH CEBU
Southern Cebu is where all the adventure is at, from waterfalls and whale sharks to island hopping and diving. When visiting anywhere in the south, the best place to stay is Moalboal. It has the most accommodation options, and is a fun little town with dozens of cafes, restaurants and bars. Check out our top four picks below for where to stay in Moalboal.
BUDGET/HOSTEL: CHIEF MAU
Right on the main strip of Panagsama Road you’ll find Chief Mau, a fun and social hostel that dubs itself the chillest place in town. Clean, modern and affordable, boasting a restaurant, bar and billiards, Chief Mau is a favourite amongst backpackers
MIDSCALE: ADAM’S VIEW HOTEL
Simple but with all the amenities and facilities you need – including a massive pool – Adam’s View Hotel is our top pick for those looking for a little more luxury than a backpackers. Located in the main town, Adam’s View Hotel is right next to Gaisano Mall, but still close enough to the action of Panagsama Beach to remain convenient.
LUXURY: TURTLE BAY DIVE RESORT
If you have deep pockets and an appreciation for the finer things in life, Turtle Bay Dive Resort is the place for you. Tucked away on a private cove in the quieter part of town, this luxury resort is perfect for couples looking for a little exclusivity.
AIRBNB: LRS APARTMENT
We can personally attest to how great LRS Apartment is, having spent two weeks there. Aside from a beautiful private pool, the apartment itself is modern, well furnished and spacious enough for a couple. (And a cat!) It’s just a 5 minute drive from the hustle and bustle of the restaurants and bars along Panagsama Road, but far enough away to offer a little peace and quiet. We can’t recommend LRS Moalboal enough!