Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bibingka and Budbud (Suman) outside Redemptorist Parish, Cebu

Misa de Gallo is part of the Filipino tradition come Christmas season. And where there is Misa de Gallo, there is Bibingka, suman, puto, etc. nearby.

After the mass, church-goers flock at the makeshift stalls and buy these products from the vendors in any church in the Philippines. The Redemptorist Parish in Cebu is no exception.

P60 is the price of 3 Bibingkas wrapped together in banana leaves. The bibingkas here are said to come from Mandaue so they are expected to be very good.

Unlike the Luzon version, tehre is no margarine or "itlog na maalat" in this bibingka. Note some coconut meat bits. My friend Bjorn has an article on Yahoo Philippines Cebu Kini blog as to how a bibingka  like this is made. This bibingka is guaranteed delicious.

The budbud (made of "pilit") is also good considering that is a budbud made in the city. It can be eaten with or without sugar although not all budbud sold in the Redemptorist grounds tastes the same. For a price of P25, you get 5 budbud if I remember it right.

These two are nice to take home after a Misa de Gallo. You are not only blessed spiritually after a Mass, your stomach also gets a gastronomic treat which is very Filipino.

See you in the Misa de Gallo!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Margarita Family Cuisine: Dining with a View

It's party everywhere this season. If you have got a craving for Chinese or dimsum food but want to eat in an atypical Chinese dimsum restaurant meaning you will be eating in a place with a view of Cebu landscape or seascape, then this may be the place for you, your family or your date.

I am talking about the Margarita Family Cuisine found on top of the 9th Floor of Robinland near Cebu Doctors' University in the Reclamation Area.

It is recommended that you get a reservation before going there as there might be weddings or other events occurring there.

I like their waiting lounge with a large LCD TV and very comfortable sofa.

Like your typical Chinese restaurant, there's the soup with quail eggs and there are some shrimp dishes like the one above. One serving can feed around 4 to 5 which is not bad.
The Patatim is very tender and the sauce was good. I did not feel the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.
Their version of Chow Pat Chin has more quail eggs than veggies so it seems. But I like the taste though.
The best part really is feeling the cool breeze of the nearby sea as you eat and seeing the city lights.
By the way. On the other side of the building was a birthday party held outdoors also with a view of the city lights.

On another big hall in the same penthouse floor was a wedding party with a band I can recommend -- the Royal Plus Trio band which performs in Marco Polo Hotel every Thursday and specializes in wedding reception performances and musical entertainment for other occasions. They play the instruments so well that even without drums (they have a nice keyboard with a real good sound system of their own and a saxophone, the music played approximates the original. They play a wide selection of songs and can do sing-alongs great for parties..

Expeirnce Margarita Family Cuisine yourself and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Razon's, the latest halo-halo to open in Cebu

In what was once Grand Majestic Express in the former Belvic/Odeon Theater complex, stands the newest halo-halo in town -- Razon's Halo-halo and Palabok, said to be the best Halo-halo in the country which originally came from from Pampanga. Since the name implies that the establishment's best is in it's Halo-halo and  Palabok, then me and my wife decided to invade Razon's and try both.

I must say the halo-halo here is different from the usual halo-halo served by fastfood chains and other halo-halo specialty establishments. The most glaring difference is the absence of a scoop of ice cream. You have relatively lots of macapuno too and the taste I can compare to a "binignit" served cold. That is the simplest description I can come up with. The ice is very fine unlike other halo-halos where the ice is quite big.

I think when it comes to halo-halo, people have different preferences so I cannot say with certainty how others will react after tasting this particular halo-halo.

Now, let's go to the palabok.

From the taste of the palabok, it seems that one of the ingredients is ground chicharon. The taste is like a typical palabok but the sauce is too sticky for me for a palabok.There seems to be something missing from the ingredients I am looking for in a palabok. Maybe each region has its own style of palabok so I just have to get use of this type of palabok style perhaps.

There are other Filipino dishes offered by Razons and if there is any other "rason"(meaning reason) that you drop by this place, it is their what I consider as a "pasalubong" section where you can buy some native delicacies and other small food products.

The place is air-conditioned and very prominent is the newspaper clippings regarding Razon's in the counter area. They offer free pitcher of service water to help you "push" your food to your stomach.

If you are curious for a different kind of halo-halo, then you may want to try Razon's. Again, it is in the old Belvic theatre just across Gran Prix Econotel near the original Robinsons Cebu in Fuente corner Ramos Street.

Dong Juan in One Mango Cebu

Prior to my culinary adventure in Dong Juan, I already kept hearing nice things about it from friends...and me and my wife had to try it for ourselves.

I know of the 2 previous branches of Dong Juan -- in Guadalupe and in Mabolo. Luckily, there is a branch nearby in Mango Avenue otherwise known as General Maxilom Avenue, specifically in One Mango Commercial Complex.

Looking at the menu, there is a wide array of choices and  we chose the basic ones -- the Dong Juan Cheeseburger at P119 each, Linguini Meatballs at P109 and onion rings.

To my surprise, the onion rings were quite big. The spicy vinegar-like hot sauce is a perfect dip for the onion rings.
The linguini is not your typical Filipino sweet style spaghetti but the mix of cheese, herbs, spice and meatballs is just right. One serving is good for 2 to 3 people depending on how big your companion's appetite is.

The burger serving is quite big and complete with lettuce, tomato, "pipino" or cucumber and cheese.
The burger patty is juicy, cooked enough (not raw) and appears to be beefy. It comes with potato chips making up for a filling meal. The dough resembles wheat bread although I do not know what bread it really is. 

"Dali ra makabusog" ang Dong Juan. 

For those who like burgers and pasta, Dong Juan is one of those establishments where you can enjoy a good bite of these. But I just wished the branch in Mango were bigger especially that the brand has gotten already some loyal following and curious customers filling the place that day.