I went to Cebu a little over a month ago and stayed at the then Hilton Cebu (rebranded as the Movenpick Resort and Spa the day after I checked out). My room was a little small, considering it was already a deluxe room. I like the overall feel of it, though. It felt light and airy and very beach-y. I think it looked like you could step out of the balcony and be steps away from the beach, instead of it being 14 stories aboveground.
Apart from the chance to just lie around, read and soak up the sun, the other thing I was looking forward to doing at the Hilton Cebu was eat. Specifically, I wanted to try the Wagyu burger from Manny O’s Wine & Tapas. At roughly PHP 1,400 (about $32), it’s widely known as the most expensive hamburger in the Philippines (is this still true? Feel free to correct me if you know otherwise).
It’s not available from the room service menu, but you can still have it delivered up to your room, which I did as I was too lazy to haul my ass all the way to Manny O’s which is at the far end of the resort. That cost me a room service fee though, making the burger even more expensive.
The burger came in a bento box, which included fries, a side salad, soup and “dessert” (look how tiny that thing is). The burger itself is a little small-ish, given the price, but it wasn’t tiny either. It came in ciabatta bread and not a regular hamburger bun. I ordered it with “everything”, even if I didn’t know what “everything” meant when I was asked. I figure I might as well, since the burger was so expensive to begin with and I also wanted the full-on Wagyu burger experience. Besides, I could always take out anything I didn’t like.
It turns out everything means lettuce, tomato, cheese and an egg (I think there were pickles, too). My first question: no onions? I love onions on a burger, because I think the salty-sweet-tangy flavor complements the meatiness of the beef. I was a little let down that this particular one didn’t have any. My second question: an egg, really? I don’t understand why anyone would ever put an egg on a burger, but it was no big deal as I could easily take it out anyway.
With that out of the way, what did it actually taste like? So here we go… I like that it’s on ciabatta, I love how the crustiness of the bread holds up against the juice of the patty dripping down to the bottom. I, unsurprisingly, didn’t like the egg, so I took that out after two bites. And what about the star of the show, the reason this burger is so damn expensive to begin with, the meat? It was good… but not great. It wasn’t as flavorful as I expected a Wagyu beef burger to be. It didn’t strike me as particularly well-seasoned or grilled, even, as it didn’t have the smoky quality that grilling would usually give.
So what’s my final verdict on the country’s most expensive hamburger? Is it good? Yes. Is it worth the PHP 1,400? Not really. I guess you could say that I set my expectations too high for this one. But for the amount of money they’re charging for it, is it too much to ask for a burger that will blow me away?