Culinary arts grad bets on resto with a view and smoked meat
There are days when you just want to drive to the woods, enjoy a bottle of beer and just feel the night breeze.
This is the picture that comes to the mind of 27-year old Monalisa Padayhag when she feels stressed.
“Whenever I want to feel calm, I just close my eyes and imagine that I’m by the cliffside, looking at a view, and drinking beer or wine. That’s what I do when I feel stressed or angry,” she said.
In order to share this kind of experience to other people, Padayhag opened up Woods Smokehouse along the Transcentral Highway in Barangay Busay, Cebu City.
The restaurant specializes in smoked meat and seafood that are cooked for several hours from scratch.
It can comfortably seat up to 80 people in both its upper and lower decks.
It was her several travels to different countries that helped Padayhag conceptualize her restaurant.
As a certified foodie herself, she knew she had to open up her own restaurant. She did so just last December 5.
“I have been planning on opening this restaurant for two or three years already. It just took some time to look for the best location. But I already had my concept,” she said.
With a starting capital of around P2 million, she bought several kitchen equipment and invested in training her five cooks and servers.
Right now, Woods Smokehouse opens from 3 p.m. until 2 a.m. on weekdays except Mondays when they are closed. On weekends, they open until 3 a.m. the next day.
Not a lot of people are able to appreciate the meticulous way of smoking meat.
Padayhag said it would take four to five hours to fully smoke just one kilo of meat.
The more meat, the more time it takes to smoke.
There are also not a lot of restaurants in Cebu that feature authentic smoked meat, she added.
Padayhag is an undergraduate of chemical engineering for three years at the University of San Carlos before she decided to pursue culinary and textile arts.
After graduating in 2014, she pursued further studies in a culinary school and even took up wine school.
Currently, Padayhag takes care of all food preparations at Woods Smokehouse.
She just trained some of her staff to be able to take over when she is not available.
Being very busy with running the business, Padayhag has not been able to focus yet on promoting her restaurant.
But there are still a lot of people who visit her restaurant.
“Our usual customers are young professionals. There are some families also. Some would drop buy after going to other places in Busay,” she said.
Word of mouth has helped them spread the news about the new place.
Aside from their quality smoked meat, customers would always enjoy drinking at the restaurant.
For now, Padayhag wants to focus on improving the business and getting more customers to experience what they offer.
But soon, she said she was hoping to be able to expand their menu.
At the same time, she also plans to extend the operating hours of the restaurant until breakfast since a lot of people who drink would like to enjoy some food afterwards.
The view of the sunrise, aside from the city lights, is also a must in Woods Smokehouse.
And it could even be an alternative destination for families to spend time this holiday season — enjoying the sunrise and the good smoked meat.
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