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Entoy’s Bakasihan: Pride of Cordova

Entoy’s Bakasihan is a fresh reef eel restaurant located in Cordova, Cebu. It has been featured in Netflix’s Street Food Asia.

Game for a special gastronomic adventure?

Try some exotic fresh seafood for the price of carenderia food! Located in Cordova, Lapu-lapu, Entoy’s Bakasihan is probably the oldest and most famous restaurant serving bakasi or reef eels. The grassy and muddy sea’s tidal flats attract the reef eels to the area, hence the establishment of the restaurant.

Entoy’s Bakasihan Cordova Cebu

Cordova is a coastal town on the tip of Mactan island, about 10 km from the airport. Entoy’s Bakasihan is a humble seaside carinderia located in this town that specializes in nilarang na bakasi, a native Cebuano sour stew. It has been around for decades. After the typhoon Yolanda, the restaurant began serving other dishes like fried eels and other local seafood dishes like octopus, prawns and crabs. It is owned and founded by Florencio “Entoy” Escabas, a 71-year-old fisherman and entrepreneur.

Entoy Escabas: the man behind the humble eel restaurant

Entoy’s Bakasihan is not only a good source of livelihood for Escabas who has been a fisherman himself for 30 years, but a lifeline too to so many fishermen in their barangay.

“Life is always hard for fishermen in this poor village. So I decided to create this business in order to improve the lives of fishermen,” said Escabas in an interview.

Entoy came up with the idea to establish the bakasihan when he noticed that nobody wanted to buy reef eels even when they were abundant and easy to catch. He developed a recipe for Nilarang Bakasi with his wife, Bernarda, who was a great cook. Soon it became a sensation not only to the locals but also to the tourists who come to town only to try his famous dish, which gained a reputation as an effective aphrodisiac.

Florencio "Entoy" Escabas (via Netflix)

Entoy’s Bakasihan menu

They serve fresh bakasi for Php100 per 2 dozen. They cook their fresh eel in many ways: sautéed in soy sauce with black beans and soured with tamarind along with Entoy’s secret ingredients, linarang style which is likened to sinigang, and fried.

They also have other items on their menu like linarang-bakasi, kinhason, adobong nokos, guso, shrimp, ginamos, suwaki, pancit, fish, shellfish, sliced octopus, broiled crab, and fried prawns. Per serving of each costs Php30.

Feature on Netflix’s Streetfood Asia

The first season of Street Food, a culinary docu-series in Netflix featured street food in key cities in Asia. They tackled human-interest stories and humble origins of street food that are told primarily from the perspective of people who have made street food the source of their livelihood.

Entoy’s Bakasihan got featured in Street Food Asia series early last year. The show featured the historical sea food eatery and the story of Entoy Escabas. Because of this feature, the carenderia earned more visits by locals and foreigners alike who have seen the episode.

How to get to Entoy’s Bakasihan

Address: Kampay Beach Barangay Buagsong, Buagsong Barangay Road, Cordova, Mactan Island, Cebu. It’s 1-2 hours drive from Cebu City, and approximately 40-minute drive from Mactan Airport. They operate from 8AM to 7PM, Mondays to Saturdays.

By van: Ride a V-hire from the SM City to Gaisano Cordova Mall. Fare is ₱30 (one way). From there, take a habal-habal going to Entoy’s Bakasihan or a tricycle or trisikad. Fare is ₱20-50 (one way).

By car:  Parking space is available.

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