Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More of Marshall's Irish Pub

I am dogged by the luck o' the Irish (bad luck) when it comes to getting invited to food tastings and freebies all these bloggers I read about get to enjoy, but then again I never was and never will be a food blogger. I just like to eat (and write about it if and when the food, whether good or bland, induces some inspiration), that is all. And so I have abandoned all freeloading hope.

Then out of nowhere (not exactly nowhere, but by some six-degrees-of-separation kind of luck) I get to take part in an Irish Pub's food tasting. Like a leprechaun who has found a pot of gold, I leap with glee. Woohoo!

At Marshall's Irish Pub, a long table was set up with green-capped bottles of water and flutes of champagne waiting for the tasters.

It started off on a high note (who wouldn't be excited to taste Irish Pub fare for free?) with Larry Marshall, evidently the owner of Marshall's Irish Pub, taking the singer's seat by the entrance with a microphone in hand (the pub has live acoustic music every night at nine). Not to sing but to welcome the invited guests and to talk about how the pub came to be and what is served here.

So how did the pub come to be? Larry found there was only one Irish pub in Cebu and it was located in the edge of the city. Too far for all you urbanites. To bring Irish fodder closer to the city dwellers, in June 2012 Larry opened his gastropub at Century Plaza Commercial Complex in uptown Cebu. (Update 2014: Marshall's Irish Pub has relocated to Mango Square, just a two-minute walk from the previous location.)

Marshall's Irish Pub possesses a 75-item menu featuring the many ways you can have your potatoes (the Irish equivalent to rice) and some not-your-everyday restaurant food, such as crocodiles and ostriches. We don't normally encounter crocodiles and ostriches in menus around Cebu, but at Marshall's Irish Pub it is also proudly announced on each table.

The pub's food tasting extravaganza, which we later on realized really was an extravaganza in the true sense of the word, started off with the appetizers. Five appetizers served dish by dish.

Hot N Spicy Platter
Buffalo shrimp, jalapeño poppers, Buffalo wings

 Potato Platter
Potato skins, chili cheese fries, spiced potato wedges

Seafood Platter
Fried shrimp, fish sticks, calamari

Crocodile Bites

Shrimp Cocktail

The platters were tasty. I like spicy food so the Hot N Spicy platter (Php 665), especially the jalapeño poppers, is my favorite of the batch. Then it's a tie between the Potato Platter (Php 340) and Seafood Platter (Php 685).

The Pub boasts of serving fries that come from the US. It does taste better than the fries you get from fast food restaurants here. Although I don't mind what country the fries come from, one thing's for sure, my appetite isn't xenophobic. Moving on, the potato skin was a fairly new twist to potatoes. I'm liking the idea that the cheese and ground meat made it look like a slice of pizza. The chili cheese fries tasted less spicy, or maybe because my taste buds tolerated the sting since I had jalapeño spiciness still lingering in my mouth. The wedges were also good, but I can't rave about it now for I have tasted the Pub's potato wedges a couple of times before.

The Seafood platter did get a lot of good murmurs from the other tasters. The fish sticks were soft, and the fried shrimp was tasty crunchy. I hesitated to try the calamari since I'm not fond of munching hard rubbery food. But theirs was soft and chewy. The only negative comment I heard was that the calamari was "near raw".

My first time to eat croc meat. The crocodile bites (Php 395) taste like fish but with a consistency nearer to pork minus the grease. I overheard that the best part of crocodile meat is its tail. Before I forget, the calamari and crocodile bites were beer-battered using the famous Irish Guinness Beer.

I like shrimp. I love shrimp. Unfortunately, the shrimp cocktail (Php 345) did not appeal to me. Enough said.

Wait! There's more. After the appetizers, came...

Irish Stew (beef)

Shepherds Pie

Baby Back Ribs (full rack)

I found the Irish stew (Php 495) very peppery but it worked for me. The lamb in shepherds pie (Php 695) was tough...or maybe I was just lucky? Lucky to have picked the tough piece. I was never fond of lamb so I might be biased here. The baby back ribs (Php 990 for a full rack, Php 495 for half) was...okay. By that I mean I've had better.

When Larry announced there was more on the way, the high note slowly dwindled to a less enthusiastic murmur from the bloggers around me, not because the food was unpleasant but because it was too much. Stomach gauge needles were now dangerously near the full mark, and the pub was barely halfway thru with serving the main courses (they were serving us ten main courses on top of the five appetizers!). Larry, the owner, should have warned us a day or two before, and we could have skipped breakfast and lunch on food tasting day.

We plowed on.

 Country Fried Steak

Ostrich Steak

Grilled Lamb Chops

Ostrich Burger

Shamrock Cheeseburger

The Ireland Dip Sandwich

Chicago Chili Dog

By this time I could only take in one-inch square of each. First, the one-inch square of country fried steak (Php 695). I liked its gravy and the wheat bread was wonderfully fluffy. As for the supposed star of this dish, the beef tenderloin steak, wasn't too tender if you ask me. At this point, please do not trust my judgment. I am near the full mark and cannot fully relish the bounty before me.

The ostrich steak (Php 695) and the ostrich burger (Php 425) made me appreciate ostrich meat, but my pockets, if I get ostrich meat cravings, will hate me for this. It is expensive. The lamb chops (Php 695) were fine; I liked it better than their baby back ribs, though I shouldn't compare pork and lamb.

The last four dishes served were sandwiches, all paired with potatoes. The shamrock cheeseburger's (Php 395) a hefty 1/3 pound of ground beef. The dip of the Ireland dip sandwich (Php 595) is beef broth. Chicago chili dog's (Php 245) hotdog is pure Angus beef.

There were some hits and some misses in terms of taste. For the price, the Pub's not for me, an average-earning worker. I found everything too expensive. But, hey, the servings are huge! Platters, of course, were meant to be shared among four persons. The stew, shepherd's pie, and full rack of ribs looked like it could feed up to four. The rest can be shared by two.

Lastly, since this is a pub we are talking about, I should mention that Marshall's Irish Pub has more than a dozen imported beers on the shelf. If you're one who doesn't stray from local beer, those are available too. Drop by for happy hour from 4PM to 7PM for discounts on selected local beers. If beer isn't your drink of choice, the pub's got your back. Would you like a cocktail, mixed drink, liquor, or wine, lad?

Marshall's Irish Pub
Unit 41, Century Plaza Commercial Complex
Juana Osmeña St., Cebu City

Mango Square, Gen. Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City
(032) 412 6418 / 0917 631 2413
Daily 10AM to 3AM

How Larry Marshall generously fed fourteen people:
Zero. Nada. Nil. Thank you Marshall's Irish Pub for the colossal treat. According to my calculator, for the hefty food alone (10 appetizers and 20 main courses for the entire party), it would have cost about Php 18,500 including the 10% service charge.

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.


  1. Guess you finally had your break at those invites for food tastings! Me next~ :D

    1. Now I don't need to gatecrash. Hehe. Yes you're next!

  2. Went there yesterday and had the shamrock cheeseburger. Taste was so-so, not bad, but definitely not the best. It was served with a generous serving of the fries. But I was there for the burger, not the fries. Paid around P420 for the burger meal alone without drinks. Definitely not going back there.

    1. Oh sorry to hear that. I agree with you on the price. But if you consider a place to drink beer and hangout, MIP's not that bad. If ever you visit again, come with friends, and a full stomach. :)

  3. Great post! Love how it's so honest and the onion rings are my fave there. Hahaha. They have one of the most beautiful, perfect onion rings in town. :)

    Babe for Food - your BFF in Cebu dining! :)

    1. Yup, the simple onion ring was a standout. I also liked the gooey calamari. Did you? Haha

  4. The food looks really delish. Nom nom! I'm drooling at the sight of it. I agree, for an average earner, it will be heavy on the pocket, but if the cost is shared with friends, then I don't mind splurging. eheheh ^___^

  5. The prices were actually dropped by around 35% on almost everything on the menu a couple of weeks ago. Just thought I'd share.

    1. That's good news for cheapos like me! I'm gonna go back soon! Yahoo!