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In a province dominated by the “Sutokil,” Bucket Shrimps stands out.

In Cebu, Sutokil is king—Sinugba (grilled), Tinola (soup), and Kinilaw (raw fish in vinegar). Sutokil has stood the test of time for a reason. But for Bucket Shrimps owner Chad Colmenares Regner, Cebu is craving for something new. Bucket Shrimps started in 2013, and now, seven years later, has four different locations in the province of Cebu: Capitol (original branch), Tisa, Mactan Wharf, and Seaview.

     There are a couple of other branches outside of metro, but Chad reveals they are franchises. “There’s one in Bohol and Batangas. Davao was supposed to open, but they got caught in the pandemic,” Chad shares.

     He says they’re just waiting for travel restrictions to ease up before flying to Davao to train the staff. Now that Cebu is already open for tourists, Chad has managed to pull off the impossible—open a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic.


     While most businesses had to close down their operations entirely, Bucket Shrimps opened its Mactan Wharf branch. From a small business in the garage of Chad’s grandmother to a nationwide chain of restaurants, it’s safe to say that Bucket Shrimps has made it. Chad confesses that he’s just as amazed, considering that Cebuanos are particular with their food. “What we’re offering is really simple,” he says. “Beach concept— no aircon, no utensils. You just use your hands.” The star of the menu is the Seafood Bucket, which is literally buckets of shrimp, crab, scallops, and more. But the secret (or not so secret) to their success, Chad reveals, is their sauce. “Nobody can follow my sauce. It’s not even a secret. My cajun is [imported] from the United States; I get a box every month. When it arrives, I tweak it and add a couple of things,” he says. Apart from the Cajun sauce, you can also try other sauces: garlic butter and bagoong curry.


     The restaurant also offers grilled liempo, chicken wings, sinigang, calamari, and pusit. Despite the odds, Bucket Shrimps has become one of the best restaurants in Cebu. In fact, it was named the 22nd best restaurant in the Philippines by the Big 7 Travel website, and it has been featured by numerous celebrities. “It’s been seven years since we’ve started. And it’s been a really good ride for me,” Chad ends. 

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