01 02 03 Good Food Trips: Orange Karenderia: A Posh But Exotic Karenderia Experience 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Orange Karenderia: A Posh But Exotic Karenderia Experience

Sorry for the delay in writing a new blog post. Things have gotten hectic for me in terms of work and a budding food business I have started. Not to mention, I haven't felt like writing for the past few weeks. It's gotten so bad that I don't even want to get any writing projects right now and instead, try my luck in another passion of mine-- cooking; which is what I have been doing to keep my mind preoccupied against things. And when I'm cooking, it certainly feels good. The moment my friends taste the dishes I've concocted, especially the ones I've imagined, ah! Pure joy. There's no other feeling like it.

Amidst plenty of restaurants that have popped up in Cebu over the past few weeks, I have been able to try as much as I wanted. With my newly rekindled love for the culinary arts, I have become more curious to cook dishes at home so I can feel good about myself even just for dinner time. And even if I wanted to say that I dine in the poshest and exquisite establishments in town, I know that it's not true. I only choose to visit those days on certain events. Most of the time, I'm eating home cooked meals in one of the karenderias along TESDA; just outside IT Park-- where a full meal will cost you a little over P50. Though at times it may feel risky with its MSG-clad dishes, unhygienic surroundings and slightly adventurous feel, I have to say some of the dishes are actually pretty good. I just make it a point not to eat there too often or if ever, I insist we use our own utensils just to be sure. But for those who have weaker stomachs and a demand for a cleaner, cooler dining space, a (slightly) new establishment has opened up right beside Pizza Republic and its gaining the attention it so rightfully deserves.

Photo from Orange Karenderia Facebook Page

Photo from Orange Karenderia Facebook Page

Orange Karenderia is an air-conditioned, affordable restaurant just a few minutes walk from IT Park. The reason why it is called as a karenderia is noticeable by the way diners share tables with other people, especially if the place is crowded. And indeed, not a day goes by when the establishment isn't jam-packed with diners of all ages. Complete with mouthwatering dishes that fit for just about anyone's palate, there is surely something fitting for everyone's diet.


Upon entering, you'll be greeted by a chitter-chatter of happy diners enjoying their food. Up ahead is an open kitchen where the crew is busy with their assigned tasks, each manning their own booths to ensure that diners get their orders in time. Much like its next-door neighbor, Orange Karenderia is designed in an industrialized setup; much like that of a sophisticated mess hall complete with wooden chairs and decorative barrels.

Unlike a karenderia, however, you do not need to line up in the counter and pick out your orders. Instead, you will be assisted with a table and a waiter will attend to you to get your orders. With the menu posted on chalkboards above the counter, you'll have to let your eyes wander around the area just in case you missed something from the options available.


One of the things to appreciate about Orange Karenderia is that it allows you to become an adventurous diner with the exotic items they offer on their menu. Some of the exotics they offer include: Crispy Tuna Bihod (Female fish eggs), Guisadong Bihod, Bagaybay (Male fish eggs), Kusog (Tuna tendons), Chicharon Bulaklak, and Chicken Liver & Gizzard. According to a friend, Crispy Tuna Bihod is the 'poor man's version of caviar.'

Photo from Orange Karenderia Facebook Page

On my first visit to the restaurant, I was greeted with three items on their menu that seemed alien to me. In fact, I felt like I was in a Malaysian or Singaporean restaurant after reading the items they readily offered. Fortunately, the server was patient enough to answer my questions and translate each option to me. And thanks to my poor memory, I have to Google them!

Photo from Orange Karenderia Facebook Page

Larang Tasik is a unique Cebuano dish which is comparable with the more famous tinuwa or tinola. Compared to it, however, larang has a slightly oilier and thicker soup. The recipe calls for a meaty type of fish simmered in a broth of onions, leeks and garlic; where it is left to stew into a hearty soup. As for the meaning of these words: Tasik (Snake head), Mamsa (Talakitok), and Endong (Moray eel). Talk about being adventurous!

Apart from these three soup dishes, the items on their menu are prepped and cooked fresh so they request between 9-12 minutes waiting time. I was able to try the Larang Endong, which I found contradictory. The soup was the delicious and far from the typical tinola taste. But when it came to the fish, it was too fatty for me. While I do like fat in my fish, the amount served to me wasn't too appetizing.

Larang Endong (P80)

Another dish that we were able to try was the Grilled Pork Belly, a typical Filipino dish. Orange's version however is composed of slices of liempo that aren't too thick. It has a sweet taste to it that reminds me of home.

Grilled Pork Belly (P120)

We were also able to try the Sizzling Squid Sisig, which I found too spicy for my taste. I also wish the squid was chopped into finer bits instead of its current size so it would be more enjoyable-- but that's just my opinion.

Sizzling Squid Sisig (P120)

A dish that we loved, however, was Betsy's Garlic Chicken. Think Bon Chon minus the bone and the dry chicken meat. The sesame seeds gave a fine taste to it that would really make you crave for more!
Betsy's Garlic Chicken (P130)

My boyfriend ordered the Orange Juice one time and I thought it tasted too sweet. It was served in a Ball Mason jar, which gave a quirky twist to it.

Orange Juice

As for dessert, we've only been able to try their Leche Flan but it's enough for us. Unlike others, Orange's version of this much-loved Filipino dessert is a creamy and addictive end to a fine meal. It wasn't too sweet but just enough for someone with a sweet tooth. It definitely is a must try!

Leche Flan (P60)

Other must-try dishes that I've heard from my friends include the Crispy Tuna Buntot and Crispy Tuna Belly. I'm already looking forward to these two dishes on our next visit!

Orange Karenderia is located at La Guardia St., Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City. They are just beside Pizza Republic. Operating hours are from 11:00am-11:00pm daily. For reservations or inquiries, call 09177210923. 

They also have a branch in Maguikay, Mandaue which is open from 10:00am-9:00pm Mondays to Saturdays.

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