At first, when I heard about it, I thought it was a hostel but when I finally set foot on its door, I was surprised how classy and posh this filipino restaurant at the ground floor of J Centre Mall occupying the vacated space of the defunct Neo Neo Restaurant.
Their elaborate bar welcomes diners with a promise of good celebrations ahead. The wood furniture and wrought iron accents set off a warmth balance with the high-toned atmosphere that the lit hanging chadeliers proffered— I thought I was in a very sophisticated steakhouse. Their mini wine cellar highlights the restaurant’s dedication to provide good drinks and cocktails for whatever occasion.
The food arrived timely. It was all-filipino on the menu, or at least filipino inspired. They serve the kind of food you grow up with— home food with a better ambiance.
We started with a triumvirate of filipino vegetable salads: Langka, Talong, and Guso. It is almost impossible not to stimulate your appettite with If something sour and salty.
A feast of main dishes follow. My first pick was baked scallops. It was fresh. I particularly took notice of the cheese they are using, it was very good. The rellenong alimasa was a delight. The crab meat was authentic and fresh. It has less flour and more meat. The staples in every filipino feast were served as well. The lechon bisaya g manok was a show stopper. The sizzling sisig, pochero, and beef salpicao surely did a great job in stuffing us. But when the mi goreng landed on the table, I was very certain I will like it. Indeed, it stole the show. This one is a must-try when you visit this restaurant. You can thank me later.
SARS-COV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is putting the world to its knees, isolating countries, locking people in their homes, overwhelming hospitals, and claiming lives. It is unclear when we shall the situation be normal again as scientists cram for cure and vaccine. We are just advised to stay at home.
It has been at least two weeks since the Philippines, in particular, Cebu, has been placed under quarantine and people, including me, don’t know what to do and how to prepare for the worst.
While quarantined, I have posted some general advice on how to cooperate with government and stay updated with correct information. I have lectured in some of my group chat on some of the policies as well as the science of this pandemic.
Here are some of it:
“In this time of global pandemic and public inconvenience, always remember that this is not about you being poor nor them being rich, you being helpless and them being blessed, it is about a nation wanting to survive.
Always look at the bigger picture.
Your sacrifice maybe more real and bigger than others, when you are to surrender all that you have, but be consoled with the fact that you are doing that for the love of your country, for your yourself, and for a healthier future of your children’s children.
Let us all be creative in making both ends meet. We know that God will never forsake us and this government is doing everything it can do. Let us just do our share. Stay at home and Pray!
To our government, the implementation of these draconian measures, especially in Luzon, will be easier if we can find a way to assure especially those living on paycheck to paycheck that there will be food on their table as they defer their livelihood. And also, please reconsider the lifting of the ban of international flights.”
— posted on FB on March 18, 2020.
“Social Media Timeline is relative. Always vet and relate the news that your are reading. Follow credible sources of information as much as possible. We process news differently, hence, the source matters for our proper digestion. Don’t allow anyone to chew it for you. Freedom of expression only guarantees a mouth that can speak but not a brain that can think.
You may not eliminate rumors, simply, they are irresistible. But it would be of great service for everyone if you will not post it on your wall if the information is not yet vetted especially if it can cause fear or panic. You might want to limit it within your group chats whose members, as you may know, are capable of absorbing such unverified information.
Criticism is alright as it is part of our political maturity but, as any other debate, a critic should offer a counterproposal to elevate the discussion and improve the delivery of service. Your idea might be a great input to our implementors. Opposing for the purpose of opposing is obviously what we don’t need right now. You may revisit your oppositions on elections day.
Levity in dire circumstances like now might be good for some but not to all. Please, no practical jokes.
Cooperate with what the authorities say. Let us all assume that they are looking after our general welfare. It is for the safety of everyone, Dili na personalan. You may file your complaint, if there is any, later.
Lastly, the best way to blunt the blow of the Covid-19 pandemic is to STAY INSIDE YOUR HOUSE. We can reduce the R0 by just turning our TV, computers, and radio on or reading your books the whole day. Learn to PAUSE and that is a MUST.”
-— posted on FB on March 16, 2020
“When this ends, AND IT WILL, we shall all share a drink, by the beach, with the breeze blowing in the night, under a tree, around a camp fire, with LANY on the background, embracing and hugging each other like how friends should be.
Just hang in there.
Let’s make this a good time to miss each other and deepen that bond even more.”
I suspect that Valentine’s Day celebration will be something different this year as FB remains replete with posts about the worldwide pandemic, the novel coronavirus ARD. Lovers will have to plan accordingly to avoid big crowds and enjoy privacy without skimping on comfort and indulgences.
In Cebu, what comes to mind for Valentine’s Day is the exclusive Oakridge Executive Club. It offers a magnificent view of the City and premium items on their menu. The place is on the 12th floor of a building and public access is limited. It is quiet and romantic. You’ll be sure that when you dine there, focus will just be on your companion.
On February 14, 2020, a lover’s menu will be offered for lunch and dinner, “Wine & Dine”. Lunch is at P1,395 nett per person inclusive of welcome drinks, a 3-course meal with a glass of wine, and a special gift while Dinner is at P1,695 nett per person with a 4-course premium menu, a glass of wine, romantic seranade, and a Valentine’s gift. The Little Valentine menu for kids is also available, inclusive of a 2-course meal and a special gift.
I recently joined the preview of the offering with the rest of the media group. It was a delightful group date.
Here are some of the items on the menu.
May favorite was the Yin & Yang (Fillet Mignon and Grilled Prawns) I am really curious on what they do with the fries and the Young Love Salad. The dressing of Balsamic Vinegar and some honey combined with the feta cheese is divine. There compatibility got me emotionally affected. I was swooning!
For reservations contact them through the following:
Last night, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu opened its 5-day celebration of Swiss culinary journey offered at Cafe Marco.
Cafe Marco transformed into a cheese heaven of raclette, elemental, gruyère among others. Tip: Raclette is a staple in every Swiss cuisine celebration. Should you try it may I suggest to pair it with pickled cucumber or pickled pearl onions.
They have a full spread of breads and cakes, of course with swiss chocolates, in homage to Switzerland as a country of breads.
The skewered beef fondue was also a scene stealer. It was tender and at the same time bounces back in every bite. Perfect! You might also try some processed meat, ham and sausages. They also have the fame They all go well with the sauerkraut.
All of these together with the regular offerings of (japanese, chinese, carving stations) is available at Cafe Marco, lunch or dinner
Last weekend I just had the best facial treatment experience in Cebu at Bodyworx Medical Spa in Retail Unit 1, Solinea Tower 1, Cebu Business Park.
Dr. Sugar Estella-Mantilla and Dr. Andy Mantilla are aesthetic medicine doctors who are both driven with passion in giving the best treatments and hands-on care to all their patients. They are obsessed in providing high-end services and personalized facial medical care.
They offer not your typical off-the-shelves facial treatments; every patient will undergo a free/complimentary skin analysis using their state of the art Visia Skin Analysis before any treatment will be applied to them—the skin evaluation is so advanced it can even determine skin age. After that is the part where it becomes personalized, based on the skin analysis result they will recommend the perfect and most appropriate facial treatments for their patient.
For the luxurious feel and comfort, you’ll be surprised how their prices differ from the other premium clinics. Plus, you’ll get to consult and meet the doctors themselves. For myself, I got a good skin regimen advice after they examined and evaluated every skin care product with their brands that I am currently using whether or not they are appropriate for my skin type and if they could address to my skin problems. That is a major takeaway!
It is one of those clinics that will certainly win your trust at first visit. After my treatment which took around 3 hours I was already excited for my next session.
New Operating Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 10 am-9 pm
Sunday: 10 am-6 pm
Doctor’s Clinic Hours:
Consultation and patient’s for laser: 1:00-5:00pm
Book an appointment today.
Call or text +639663778935/ 0324792081 to set an appointment.
I had the chance to try the new items on the menu of Enye by Chele Gonzales at Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan. Enye is one of Mactan’s pride restaurants that appeal to all ages. Its food is classic, yet timeless and the ambiance is artfully fashionable with intimate atmosphere.
A welcome glass of a newly popped bottle of wine commandeered and psyched up our senses to gourmandize the 12-course dinner Chef Chele Gonzalez had assembled himself as a special preview of their reengineered menu. For 3 hours, he thrilled us with Enye’s new offerings together with their perfected staple — the Paella Negra.
We started with four appetizers. First, the Wagyu Beef Flamenquin, a breaded, deep fried wagyu beef with camembert filling. This is one of my personal favorite among the new items. A crunchy crust that enveloped the tender wagyu and melting camembert cheese was a party of texture in the mouth.
Vieiras Gratinadas came next. It was a gratinated baby scallops with bechamel sauce, ham and cheese. I could smell the fresh ocean waves roiling into our plates.
Then came the croquettes. The first was Croquetas de Setas y Trufa, a bechamel croquettes with mixed mushrooms and truffle oil. This was scene stealer. Although the presentation was simple, its flavor was bursting. It made me realized that Bechamel is the life partner of mushrooms. Their combination is divine.
Another set of croquettes was rolled out on our table. The Croqueta De Mariscos (seafood croquette) highlighted the fact that we were just a few meters away from the whispering sea of Mactan.
It was an umami overload, after the appetizers. We proceeded with the first “official” course, the White Snapper Fish and Scallop Ceviche. Interestingly, I’ve learned that ceviche is not necessarily the same as “kinilaw”, the latter uses vinegar to cure the fish while the former uses citrus juices. On our plate was a white snapper cured by Peruvian Tiger’s Milk, a citrus-based marinade with fish juices, tempered by coconut milk and curry espuma or foam. Everything was in equilibrium, infusing air to the coconut cream and curry provided a gentle stabilization of the acidity extracted from the lime.
Just as when our sense of taste was reset by the tartness of the ceviche, the Seared Foie Gras was served. The runny yolk that percolated on the seared foie gras, together with the port wine sauce, was devilishly piquant. I forgot that they were two cholesterols plotting a conspiracy. I was so in the zone, I could not abort the mission.
We were getting ready for the two mains, but before that, we washed up with some soup, a Baked Grouper Fish Fillet. The aroma from the broth, although served on a lower temperature from what we expected, was not just a tease to the olfactory nerves, it was also good for the gustation system. The swimmer crab provided a distinct flavor that carried the dish all the way to the last bite.
The mains were Paella Negra and Cordero Asado de Manera Tradicional.
The Paella Negra on their old menu was already exquisite as many other Paella Negra out there in the market. Yet, they are determined to position their Paella Negra ahead of the game. Instead of the typical shrimps, mussels, mayonnaise and whatever customary seafood toppings, they topped it with grilled large octopus tentacles, juicy scallops, and green herb and saffron aioli to kill the competition down to its knees. It was a knock out — a unanimous decision, at least in our long table of ten. I think the secret was the Soccarat, the crust that formed at the bottom of the paellera, as any good paella should have. No, it is not burnt, never. It takes a very experienced chef to determine the perfect time when the paella is ready. Ours was served on the dot. Perfect!
The slow braised lamb shoulder paired with rustic roasted potatoes and some greens filled us to the brim. The roasted potatoes coated with some spice was something I would want to eat again the next day. I was so close to ordering one for take away.
Certainly, the dinner was never exhausting but definitely we didn’t mind to get some energy boost from the new sweet treats of Enye.
The Apple Tart was an interplay of textures from the light and bubbly apple foam, soft and chewy roasted apple, and smooth vanilla custard and ice cream.
The Choco Mango Cebu pairing was my favorite dessert. It was like they were having their day off from the tug of war of flavors. It was so well balanced, no overpowering. Everything contributes to its refreshingly vintage indulgence.
The Tarta de Queso Casera made a sensible connection of the definitive taste of apples and mangoes. The rum ice cream on the side wrapped up the night.
Enye operates from 6:00pm to 10:30pm everyday. It is always a good idea to reserve a table for special dinner. Dining at Enye is always special.
Atty. Ethelbert Ouano (@iamethelbert) together with other Sun Prepaid Ambassadors Michael Karlo, Banisa, and Sinjin. #SUNParaNimoCebu
Celebrate Cebu this Sinulog in the most immersive way possible through a culinary journey that explores the best and most popular heritage and contemporary food from Cebu.
All these food are served under one roof without the hassle of heavy traffic jams. In one buffet spread, one can enjoy different kinds of kinilaw, Cebuano entrees including lechon, kalderetang kambing, and humba and for dessert, masareal and tagaktak. These are the Cebuano food offered in the latest edition of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel’s Culinary Journey, Sugbusog Gihapon along with the staple international offerings of the restaurant.
In time for Sinulog, Marco Polo Plaza Hotel celebrates the grand festival with a feast of classica cebuano favorites at Cebu’s Best Premium Buffet Restaurant, Cafe Marco, from January 15 to 21, 2019.
Let me share to you my appetizer, main course, and dessert plate.