KESO: Elevating the Simple Sandwich in Mabolo, Cebu

This new restaurant can renew your love for classic grilled cheese sandwich.

By: Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon | November 02, 2016
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new sandwich shops in Cebu

Keso, a newly opened sandwich shop at The Greenery, Mabolo

Most people eat a sandwich as a snack and don’t usually consider it as a meal. This is true especially for rice-loving Filipinos. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, rice is a staple food which typically accompanies most of the viands we eat. A lot of establishments even offer unlimited rice on their menu.

But going against the grain of this popular Filipino food preference is Keso, a newly opened sandwich shop at The Greenery, Mabolo. From their classic grilled cheese sandwiches, to the heartier, protein-packed options and sweet offerings, their carb of choice here is soft and buttery brioche bread. So rice lovers, be forewarned: there is no rice, much more extra rice, here. Just good, comforting sandwiches that could very well be your next best love.

Early beginnings

new sandwich shops in Cebu

Customers grab a bite to eat at the second floor of Keso.

As a kid, Chef Munesh Gopaldas would eat grilled cheese sandwiches prepared by his mom or grandmother. This served as inspiration to open up a sandwich shop in Cebu, together with his co-founder Dexter Rama.

While there are restaurants that serve sandwiches in Cebu, more often than not, these are expensive and lean towards the gourmet side. Thus Dexter and Munesh saw the need for a casual but affordable sandwich shop in the city. And so in December 2014, they set out to test their idea in Sugbo Mercado IT Park. To their surprise, they received positive feedback from their customers. This led them to open their own brick-and-mortar store last July 18, 2016.

On the menu

At the front and center of the menu at Keso is the brioche bread. Every day, batches of freshly baked brioche bread and buns are delivered from their commissary to their kitchen. They cut the bread by hand themselves, after which it becomes a blank canvass for a wide range of their dishes, whether savory or sweet.

new sandwich shops in Cebu

The Keso classic triple combo

For first time visitors, Chef Munesh recommends trying out their bestseller Keso classic grilled cheese sandwich. It can be ordered a la carte (PhP85) or as part of the Keso classic triple combo (PhP145). This sandwich has a combination of cheddar and mozzarella cheese nestled between thick-cut slices of brioche bread. When it goes in the griddle, the filling melts and creates a photo-worthy stretch of cheese when you split the sandwich with your hands.

new sandwich shops in Cebu

Asian chicken sandwich, one of the signature items at Keso

To go with it is a tomato soup with a swirl of cheddar cheese sauce on top. Made fresh in their kitchen every day, the tartness of the soup complements the sandwich quite well and can warm one up even in the coldest days. This pairing is good for sipping and dipping, which is the recommended way of eating it. The meal also comes with a serving of French fries that on its own, can quite frankly steal the show from the soup and sandwich. These fries are sprinkled with a spice blend they make in-house and is a more sophisticated take on the salty iterations served in fast-food joints.

new sandwich shops in Cebu

Keso grilled smores sandwich

On the other hand, those looking for a heavier protein fix can choose from any of their signature sandwiches such as Asian chicken (PhP155), pulled pork (PhP155), fish fillet (PhP175), beef and mushrooms (PhP195), and shrimp and slaw (PhP205).

To round out their menu, they have a selection of sweet sandwiches, too. One of these is the grilled smores sandwich (PhP155) filled with melted milk chocolate and marshmallows, sprinkled with powdered sugar on top, then drizzled with chocolate just for good measure. This sandwich can easily take one back to childhood camping days, with graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows roasting on a fire. Other sweet sandwiches include blueberry and cream, apple cinnamon, mango surprise, and Keso French toast.

new sandwich shops in Cebu

The Keso breakfast plate comes with coffee.

To make their sandwiches truly unique, diners can customize their sandwiches with extra toppings which are just PhP20 to PhP30 each. Diners can choose from extra cheddar or mozzarella, cheese dip, egg, bacon, jalapenos, slaw, sautéed mushrooms, and pickled onions. Their sandwiches can also be part of their all-day breakfast plate, served with typical early-morning fare such as bacon, eggs, and coffee. Prices range from PhP120 to PhP195.

The menu at Keso was deliberately designed to let people rethink how they see a sandwich. “Keso is also a movement. Hopefully, people will appreciate and treat a sandwich as a meal, and give it a little more respect,” says Chef Munesh.

With the delicious and imaginative ways that sandwiches are served in Keso, diners have more ways than one to enjoy a humble piece of bread.

For more sandwich shops in Cebu, please check the Dining & Leisure category of the ShoppersGuide Directory.

Prices are subject to change without prior notice.

Keso is located at the ground floor, Unit 3 of The Greenery, Pope John Paul II Ave., Mabolo, Cebu City. They are open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday to Wednesday, and 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM Thursday to Saturday.
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About Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon
Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.
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