An authentic Cebuano experience is hard to come by—especially in Manila—but a small “restaurant” is making the effort. Ricky D’s Chorizo de Cebu is a roadside diner or colloquially known in Cebu as a pungko-punkgo (pungko2x if we’re aiming for accuracy) that serves typical Bisaya street fare.
What started as a food delivery business has unfolded into the ultimate pungko-pungko experience in Manila. For those of you who aren’t familiar, a pungko-pungko is an informal roadside diner you can find almost everywhere in Cebu City.
The reason it’s called that is because you have to squat (pungko) on a stool or on the ground while you’re eating your meal. There are no formal chairs and tables at a traditional pungko-pungko, maybe just a few small seats and a long communal table where you eat elbow-to-elbow with everyone else. It’s a very shared experience.
Ricky D’s serves all the dishes that you can find at any pungko-pungko in Cebu. Its menu consists of ginabot (P25), porkchop (P40), lumpiang togue (P10), lumpiang shanghai (P15), ngohiong (P17), bola-bola (P20), longganisa (P12), siomai sa tisa (P12), chorizo de Cebu (P35), tuslob buwa (P120), and puso (P17).
Of course, these menu items are priced by the piece.
For Cebuanos who are reading this and balking at the astronomical prices (yes, these are a little expensive comparatively), please remember that this is Manila we’re talking about. Something that makes Ricky D’s special is that they source all of its dishes straight from the Queen City of the South.
So yes, that siomai sa tisa is actually siomai from tisa.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cebuano street food, here’s a rundown of some of the unfamiliar dishes. Ginabot is similar to chicharon bulaklak, but much, much, bigger. It’s deep-fried pig intestine that’s crunchy on the outside and supple and tender on the inside. Ngohiong is like lumpiang shanghai’s more nuanced sibling. It’s primarily made with julienned palm hearts, pork, and five spice powder, wrapped in a lumpia paper, battered, then deep fried to golden perfection.
Siomai sa tisa is siomai, but it’s how siomai is done in Cebu. This specific type of siomai has accrued a cult following over the years for its delicious blend of meat and spices. It’s juicy, supple, and (irritatingly) always sold out when I’m home.
Tuslob buwa is something you’ve probably heard of if you saw the Netflix documentary on street food, but if you’ve forgotten or haven’t seen it: it’s sauteéd pig brain with spices and aromatics. You typically consume tuslob buwa by dipping your puso (palm leaf-wrapped rice) into the bubbling wok of brainy goodness.
Ricky D’s pungko pungko is located at 12 Victory Ave., Brgy. Tatalon, Quezon City. They’re open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., but you should probably go earlier since the food sells out fast. If you’d rather enjoy your favorites at home, you can order from them instead.