Tag Archives: CebuEats

Italian Wine Pairings at Aqua

Last Saturday, after super typhoon Ompong left the Phillipines, life carried on and everyone was grateful that it brought no harm to the country. The disaster preparation and response were remarkable. Despite the ferocity of Ompong, only a few reported unfavorable incidents were reported. The Philippines must have been on its right way to resiliency. While still feeling the tail of the storm, the weather calls for some good wines for thanksgiving and of course, to warm the spirit in air.

Aqua in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa hosted a timely Italian Wine Dinner. It was exquisite. It masterfully curated and paired the lovely dishes prepared by Chef Andrea Burziu of Aqua with the perfect Italian wines from Wine Depot.

We started with a rather unconventional appetizer of deep fried ox tongue, saffron mayonnaise and some greens paired with my favorite wine of the night, the 2015 Col di Sasso from Banfi, Tuscany. The tongue was braised/simmered and deep fried to produce that prized tenderness coated with batter for deeper flavor and crunch. The saffron mayonnaise was a good compliment to the tender-bouncy-textured tongue.

Chef Andrea Burziu told us that for our second dish he has a little surprise for us. On our plate was an oversized Ravioli stuffed with spinach and handmade ricotta giant topped with sweet cheese fondue paired with 2016 Moda from Talamonti, Abruzzo. The surprise was that as soon as we break the ravioli a runny and creamy egg yolk oozes out. It was rich, delicious and crazy beautiful. If chinese dumplings have Xiao Long Bao, this one is for the Raviolis. It got me asking how did they do that?

Our main was a steamed grouper in Potato and Parsley Mousseline crust with Eggplant and sun-dried tomato ratatouille paired with 2016 Trebbiano from Talamonti, Abruzzo. It’s funny how this dish is reminiscent of our well-loved escabeche. I must learn how to cook that ratatoulle. It was divine!

To cap the dinner was a Strawberry Mascarpone Tiramisu it was so gorgeous I didn’t touch it for a long time that I just had to ravel its beauty; that alone, is already enough. But of course, I gave in. I had to eat it paired with 2014 Collepino from Banfi, Tuscany.

That was a lovely dinner with varied table topics from wines, the filipino food on making its way to the world, the hospitality industry and even about wellness in dining.

Thank God, Ompong was already out of the country.

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Kimstaurant is now in Cebu

An irresolute crying clouds covered the whole city but my stomach is firmly convinced by its whining that it is hungry. Rainy days and hungry always get me hound for soulful food which today led me to Seoul. I mean to korean food.

Don’t you just love korean food on rainy days? The samgyupsal and bulgogi combo is a serious rainy day treat. Hot, spicy, filling, and healthy.

In Cebu, more and more Korean restuarants are opening their doors to Cebuanos. The latest I tried is Bacolod’s favorite Kimstaurant located at The Greenery in Pope John Paul II Avenue in Mabolo.

Here are some of my personal favorite arranged in order.

1. The Beef Galbi Jiim — braised beef short ribs — are fall-off-the-bone tender and rich in flavor. It is a stickier version of Korean Beef Stew.

2. Their Bulgogi is one of the best here in Cebu. Serve hot off from the pan, it is sweet, tasty, with hints of spice. The beef is conspicuously fresh.

3. Japchae, a mixed dish at boiled bean threads, stir-tried vegetables, and shredded meat.

4. The double fried soy glazed chicken is divine. I’m definitely sure you will love it.

5. Yakiniku offerings of Samgyupsal and Galbi are of course must.

While at Kimstaurant, I highly recommend that you try the refreshing Aloe Vera Juice. Speaking of fresh, the raw beef meat with egg (Korean Steak Tartare) is also something worth exploring.

Kimstaurant is open from 11:00 am. to 11:00 pm. Make your reservations by by calling +63 945 988 5541.

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Spanish Buffet at Montebello Villa Hotel

Spanish cuisine is something that is not very strange to the Filipino palate. Its traces are evident in our feasts on celebrations and special occasions. From tapas to roasted whole pigs, Spanish cuisine is regarded as a luxurious indulgence.

I was curious about the Spanish Night in Montebello Villa Hotel after reading some facebook posts of my friends raving about it. I immediately chatted two friends, Carlo and Ted, who are also aspiring chefs themselves, to accompany me and check on the Spanish buffet. I wanted to learn more about Spanish cuisine, and these two will be able to provide fresh perspectives and inputs about it.

 

Ted, Ethy, and Carlo.

 

Reservation is always appropriate. A call to the hotel to reserve a table for three was in order especially that the Spanish Buffet is only available every Saturday night.

The moment we were seated, we were approached by the waitress in red and black flamenco dress for our drinks. I had Sangria of course. It was served in full glass with a prominent scent of mixed fruits.

Swirl.  Smell. Sip. 

At first sip, I already know that it could be a good contender for the best Sangria in town to date. Sweet, effervescent, and innocuously potent. It was reminiscent of my own Sangria concoction I had during every fiesta. A mix of 3:1:1 red wine, white wine, and Sprite, with slices of my favorite fruits. It was a Spanish Holiday in a wine glass.

It wouldn’t be a Spanish buffet without the staple callos and lengua. I honestly had kept my expectations low considering the price of the buffet at P649.00 per person. Surprisingly, they are sensational! A product of laborious food preparation, the meat is tender and the spices are balanced, nothing overpowers the other. It was very good that I became so curious about the chef behind them. I asked a little background of the chef. I was told from a grapevine that the chef was from a restaurant which used to be on the top spot in Cebu Spanish food dining. No wonder these food do not only taste familiar, they were actually exceptional.

 

This Lengua is TDF!

 

Callos is an acquired taste. Glad, I acquired it.

Another favorite that I should mention was the Pescado En Salsa Verde (Hake in Green Sauce). The aroma of the spices and butter not only teased your sense it lingered in your mouth. Although the piece of fish that I had was a bit dry, the sauce still made it noteworthy. It was indeed an unforgettable dish that goes along with the memorable spanish songs like the timeless Bolare played by the band on the background.

 

Pardon me for skipping the dessert. I am not really a dessert kind of eater. I am trying to cut down my sugar intake so that I can still have my coke and favorite coffee. The dessert spread on the buffet were promising though. I saw some churros and flans.

 


Why not have the dinner by the pool?

 

The Spanish Buffet is available every Saturday Night. It opens at 6:00PM. Candle lit dining by the pool with some Spanish vibe on the air could be a very good option. 

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Thai Fun Food Festival at Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu

Very recently Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu opens “Thai Fun Food Festival” at The Sails restaurant wherein diners will have a chance to win a round-trip ticket to Phuket, Thailand courtesy of Cebu Pacific, inclusive of two nights hotel stay at its sister hotel, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket.

In between courses, I flexed some muscles to make room for more spicy food!

Everyday from September 10-18, 2016, The Sails will showcase the best of Thailand cuisine prepared by real Thai chefs from Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket. The three guest chefs will be seen in action around The Sails, cooking and serving authentic and diverse specialities that reflect the Thai culture, ingenuity and tradition.

It’s difficult to choose if I should have Tom Yum Soup or Chicken with Coconut Milk so have I have both.

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Tom Yum Soup and Chicken with Coconut Milk Soup

Chef Christian Bouby, the executive chef, is proud to put the spotlight on the three guest chefs from Phuket, Thailand, namely Wiwat Yong-en, Sutee Yamkratho and Teenasit Nakrua.

“Thai cuisine captures the interest of many, not only for its enigmatic and exotic cultural influences, but also for the interplay and harmony of flavours present in each dish,” explains Chef Bouby. “The playful and creative nature of the Thai people is visible on every plate they serve. They are very adventurous when it comes to texture and essence.”

Here are some food on the buffet:

goong-sa-long-stir-fried-prawns-with-vermicelli

With this alone, the trip to Movenpick is already worth it. 

thai-umbrella

The salad and appetizers were big teasers.

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Another stellar dish from Thailand. I usually make Thai Beef Salad at home. 

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Thai food is always a food adventure.

beef-in-masaman-curry

How can I forget you? I will go back to Movenpick just for this. 

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Dessert? My favorite of course is Thai’s Sticky Rice. I really don’t know why I can’t hack it at home. 

“We live by our service philosophy of bringing something fun and fresh, to be a trailblazer of genres and flavours,” says Mr. Harold Rainfroy, general manager. “We always aim to bring in new excitement in various seasons to delight our guests of different nationalities.”

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GM Harold Rainfroy, Exec. Chef Christian Bouby with guests Thai Chefs: Sutee Yamkrathok, Teenasit Nakrua and Wiwat Yong-en from Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket  and  F&B Manager Mr. Jerly Tio

“Our team is excited to work with these three kitchen superstars,” adds Mr. Jeryl Tio, food and beverage manager. “They are bringing with them years of experience and innovation in Thai culinary traditions, with age-old recipes tweaked with modern sensibilities. The menu selections they’re preparing for this food festival will use special ingredients they’ve sourced from Thailand. That’s as far as we go when it comes to bringing authentic flavours to the table, and it’s definitely something we all look forward to.”

Dinner buffet is at PHP1,600 nett per person.

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Cebu Food Crawl 2016

As the the Project Director of Cebu Food Crawl, I am very excited to announce that the Cebu Bloggers Society will once again organize the Cebu Food Crawl this year. 25 food, lifestyle and travel bloggers and social media influencers from Cebu, Manila, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Tacloban, Bohol, and General Santos are expected to come to Cebu to explore the best restaurants and food establishments the made Cebu an indispensable gourmet destination in the Philippines.

Cebu Food Crawl will take the participants and their blog and social media followers into a gastronomic journey of the exquisite and delightful taste of Cebu hinting everyone with new destinations in the progressive dining scene of Cebu.

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Cebu Food Crawl 2016 Poster


Cebu Food Crawl will take place on August 26-29 and is aptly themed: “Destination Food”. The 4-day food tour of different restaurants and hotels will highlight Cebu as a prime spot for food travelers. Beyond the pristine white beaches and beautiful islands, Cebu is a melting pot of varied food influences inherited from its early inhabitants and colonial past enhanced with modern techniques and technology. Cebu Food Crawl celebrates Cebu as a foremost gourmet destination best known for practicality and glamour of its food.

This edition of Cebu Food Crawl will be bigger with the participation of top-notch establishments and restaurants like Ayala Center Cebu, Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, Marriott Cebu City Hotel, Rico’s Lechon, Mactan Newtown Alfresco, Anzani Group of Restaurants, Salinas Restaurant by Golden Cowrie, Choobi Choobi Restaurant, Gibbs’ Hot Wings, Profood, International Corp., Café Jasmin, and Sugbo Mercado, that will highlight food offerings that are synonymous to Cebu.

All participants will post on their respective social media accounts and blogs with the official hashtags of the event: #CebuFoodCrawl2016 and #BisayaNaFood for their audiences to follow.

 

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Vikings Luxury Buffet Cebu opens! 

Finally, the long wait is over. Vikings Luxury Buffet Cebu is now open in SM City Cebu with more than 350 seating capacity and 2 VIP areas. 

Vikings Luxury Buffet – Cebu


Weekday Lunch

Kids Below 3ft – FREE

Kids between 3.1ft to 4ft – P188.00

Kids between 4.1ft to 4.6ft – P388.00

Adults – P688.00

75 years old and above – 50% special discount
Weekday Dinner / Weekend & Holiday Lunch and Dinner

Kids Below 3ft – FREE

Kids between 3.1ft to 4ft – P288.00

Kids between 4.1ft to 4.6ft – P588.00

Adults – P888.00

75 years old and above – 50% special discount
All prices are subject to 5% Service Charge. 
Promo Alert: Dress like a Viking (any gear) and get 50% discount until May 12, 2016. 

Reserve your seats by calling (032) 255-3888 or 09989969888. They open 11:00 AM for lunch and 5:30 PM for dinner. 

Two more restaurants by Vikings will open soon at SM Seaside City. Watch out for it soon here. 


#EatLikeAViking #cbsForever 

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Kadaugan sa Mactan 2016 Activities at Mactan Newtown

Have you been to the Kadaugan Food Fest 2016? If not, this Friday might be the best day to go at the Liberty Shrine in Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City. Aside from the usual nightly entertainment and food display from top hotels and restaurants in the City, a major concert will be held at the neighbouring Mactan Newtown.

On April 22, 2016, in time for Kadaugan Festival Celebration, Barbie Almalbis, The Dawn, Shiela and the Insects, Drive Me to Juliet, Jewel Villaflores and Break Offenders will stage a concert entitled “Sound of Victory” at the Mactan Newtown, a few meters away from the Liberty Shrine. 

  
The concert is open to everyone but those who will have a minimum of 200 purchase at Mactan Newtown tenants/stores on the event date will be prioritized.

While you are there, you may check the following activities within the Mactan Alfresco in Mactan Newtown.

  

Your One Stop Food Tour

For dining and leisure activities, the township is home to the Mactan Alfresco, an outdoor dining strip inspired by Singapore’s famed hawker or food hall centers. The food strip features a varied selection of authentic Cebuano restaurants that are sure to be enjoyed by craving locals and tourists looking to dine on the best of Cebu’s cuisine.
Feast on Lechon Overload

Find only the freshest Lechon at Mactan Newtown’s 6 roast pits where you can witness tender Cebuano Lechoncooked before your eyes by Lechon experts like Ayer’s Lechon and Anna’s Lechon.
Be Captivated by Cebu’s Rich Culture

Mactan Alfresco also offers a cultural showcase every weekend. Guests can watch thrilling performances from 6:30-8:00PM to experience Cebu’s diverse culture and history. See traditional dances like Ritwal, Banga, Tinikling, Sinulog, Singkil, Subli and captivating Fire Dances performed on stage.
Shop for Souvenirs

Take a piece of Cebu home with you from the assorted souvenirs shops available at the venue. Find everything from t-shirt souvenirs, snacks, home décor and furnitureto make your trip more memorable.

A Beachfront Lifestyle for You

Tempted to live close to this action? Visit the MactanNewtown Showroom for a glimpse of the country’s first beach side township and the “Live, Work, Play, Learn” lifestyle offered by Mactan Newtown.

The Mactan Newtown is a pioneer development offering Megaworld’s trademark township model. 

Contact Details:
709-9888
709-0888
0917-8380111
http://www.megaworldlifestylemalls.com.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana at Streetscape Banilad

There is a new buzz in town; a pizzeria that serves the latest food craze to hit Cebu—the classic neapolitan-style lean dough pizza. While still on its soft opening La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana continues to draw curious crowds and A-listers to try its good Italian stuff prepared by, no less than, italian chefs themselves.

 

A neapolitan pizza is a classic pizza in its simplest form. It is made from a lean dough: a mixture of flour, water, salt, and yeast. It has no oil, no sugar, nothing. The flour is generally a high-protein flour, often of the Italian “OO” type. Simple and few ingredients but complicated preparations —the slightest mishandling of the wood-fired modern brick oven that should be kept at blazing hot temperature would mean adverse impact on the product. La Nostra had already got the hang of it.

 

It was rather a quiet Wednesday night —maybe because of the gloom and drizzles —when we visited La Nostra. An hour before they will close at 11:00 PM, 3 out of the approximately 12 tables were occupied. The menu is straight forward with 5 courses: pizze (P480 – P560), pasta (P210 – P350), main dish (P350 – P440), desserts/gelato and drinks. It is limited, they explained, because they are still on their soft open. Some items, like the star pizza, are not even on the menu but you may ask the servers for their availability.

Our order came fast in less than 15 minutes —a surprise for us since most friends who already tried La Nostra were complaining about the waiting time. Pizza was delivered at the right temperature and the wine was poured on time.

 

We had Pizza La Nostra (P520/2) half ‘n’ half with Quattro Formaggi (P550/2), Pizza Nutella(P260) and a glass of wine. I was from a meeting an hour ago where I had to eat, hence, I was very conservative with my order.

La Nostra literally means “ours” while Quattro Formaggi means “four cheese”. Pizza La Nostra is the house’ very own creation. Ham, butter and basil with Flor di Latte and cream sauce on top the Neapolitan-style pizza lean dough. Four cheese is a combination of flor di latte, gorgonzola, ricotta and asiago with olive oil.

 

Their pizza came thin (but not very thin) spotted with small dark spots surrounded by paler dough —it must have been from a good charring in the oven— with an aroma distinct to a classic pizza. It was crispy on the outer crust but was moist and chewy on the interior. The flavor of the dough compliments the toppings either the ham or the Nutella.

Everything we ordered was perfect. The Ham was great and excellent with the basil —no wonder La Nostra Pizza is their best seller. I will definitely come back for the Ham. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with Nutella. Just by its name, it’s already instagram worthy.

 

La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana is located at Streetscape, Paseo Saturnino, Ma. Luisa Road, Banilad, Cebu City. They are open on Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. For reservation, you may call (032) 3507872.

NKRating: 7/10

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Golden Prince Hotel’s Prince Fusion Gourmet Buffet for P420

Golden Prince Hotel’s Prince Fusion Gourmet is now offering seafood dinner buffet every Friday and Saturday for only P420.00. Included in the menu are fresh tuna, large prawns, crabs, rock lobster and cheesy baked oysters. The price is really insane it made me think if they really want to make money on this offering. Sushi is also regular on their menu.

   

   
At the helm of the kitchen is Chef Marlou Almasco who designed not only the seafood choices but also the cebuano fusion recipes like grilled native chicken and pork belly, beef salpicao (really tender) and spicy squid. An interactive pasta station is also included for those who can’t shake off their carbs. 

  
  
No buffet would be complete without desserts. For Prince Fusion Gourmet it’s a spread of red velvet mini cakes, leche flan, fruit salad, sago gulaman and the must-try creamy halo-halo — a concoction of creamy ice shavings, fresh buko, langka, saging, leche flan, cereals and a scoop of ube ice cream. This I can really say it’s a yummy halo-halo with no hints of preservatives from canned ingredients. 
  
   

Golden Prince Hotel’s Prince Fusion Gourmet Dinner is open every Friday and Saturday from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM. You may call (032) 233-8660. It’s an intimate venue with 32 pax seating capacity, reservation is advised.  

Insider info: On September 2015, Gold n Prince Hotel will open it’s expansion tower. It means additional 120 rooms on its existing 57 rooms at Tower 1. 

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: Ramen Sora 

It was late in the evening, around 10:00 PM, when we were undecided on what to have for late dinner. My self-imposed rule is that when in doubt, the Japanese knows better. Hence, we went to LightSite, A. S. Fortuna for some Japanese ramen quick fix at the newly opened ramen house, Ramen Sora. 

  

Their modern wooden-tile floor compliments their 17 wood tables and chairs, diners are instantly transported to a zen place while waiting for the delivery of their orders. In our case, it was a short one.

  
The sky was the inspiration behind the recipe of Ramen Sora which, literally means “Noodle Soup” and “Sky”. It is a collaboration of 2 seasoned chefs one from the east (Sapporo, Japan), Chef Tomio Takada and the other, from the west (Las Vegas, USA), Chef Yoshinari Ichise. The result is a ramen with light and playful flavors in an aromatic soup that spouts a good kind of funk. 

  

Our order was their famous miso ramen (deluxe). Ramen Noodles with Pork Chashu, egg (tamago), preserved bamboo shoots (menma), spring onions (negi) and nori in a traditional japanese miso soup. 

The noodle is the best noodle I had in Cebu, they have to import it from Sapporo Japan. 

Our order arrived on time at the right temperature. The serving is huge, one serving could in fact feed 2 persons, not bad for a ramen with a price tag of 405 pesos. They also serve shio and shoyu soups.
  

We also ordered the best pair for our ramen, the quintessential gyoza. They were fresh and good but would have been better if mildly spiced. 

  

Ramen Sora is open from Monday to Sunday 10 AM to 11 PM on weekdays and 12 midnight on weekends. 

You may call 520-3331 for reservations. They usually have a long queue on Sundays. 
  

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