Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Restaurant Review: Island Grill in General Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City

Towards the end of 2013, many restaurants in the city proper were opening. One of them located in Mango Avenue or Gen. Maxilom Ave, is Island Grill. To recall, Island Grill used to have stalls in mall foodcourts only. The opening of a restaurant in Ayala signalled their entry into the restaurants with a modern carinderia feel.

Compared to other establishments offering Filipino dishes, Island Grill is more affordable and yet they offer good food. Their best offering is perhaps in their grilled dishes especially involving pork and chicken. Especially the Chicken Bacolod style. But I knew that already. For their Mango avenue branch, I tried their grilled fish dishes.
Grilled tangigue

The tangigue was fine although I can't explain why I was still looking for something more about this particular grilled fish. Maybe the cut was too thick but that is good news for some as that would mean they would consume more.

This particular dish was much better. (Forgot the name of this fish).

One of their cheaper offerings is dinuguan and it is not the diluted kind.

They offer  many other choices and the price is student-friendly. With their location in Mango, students (like those from STC or Velez College), now have another option for their lunch destination. It's relatively cheaper yet the food tastes nice in general.

The food are displayed for you to see like in carinderias or in their mall stalls but you can order like in restaurants where you are given a menu list. Place is airconditioned, clean, pleasant to the eyes although not really big.

So students and employees nearby, you now have another choice especially if you are craving for Filipino food but you do not want to spend much. It's located near National Bookstore and across JESA ITC Building.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Food Review: Boosog at Juana Osmena Street, Cebu City

Juana Osmena Street is becoming the new destination for Filipino food lovers with the opening of two restaurants in the area offering Filipino dishes. One such establishment is Boosog, the same one found in Mabolo. We will talk of the other restaurant in another post.

Boosog is located in the corner of R. Aboitiz and Juana Osmena Streets, within walking distance of St. Theresa's College, Redemptorist Parish and National Bookstore. They offer several choices of Filipino dishes.

When me and my wife checked the place, there were many foreigners dining. We tried their pork sinigang, rellenong talong, and baked scallops. With regards to the aforementioned foods, here's the verdict.

Pork sinigang is one of the favorite dish ordered in Filipino restaurants and so we ordered one. What we got was a bowl with quite a big serving perhaps good for 3 to 4 persons. The soup is plenty with bits of meat and fat, not the usual bony sinigang cut. It tastes quite good even if the soup appears to have some help with sinigang mix as there are also natural ingredients added. They are also a few leafy veggies thrown in the mix. However, it took perhaps 30 minutes for the dish to be served. Perhaps the seeming delay in the serving of the food we ordered may be because they just opened.

I liked the rellenong talong with the right mix of onions, tomatoes and other ingredients.

The baked scallops were prepared differently. It was as if, the scallop meat shaped into squares were bought separately and placed on the shells when baked. I would have preferred the scallop meat left attached to the shell unaltered in appearance (not trimmed). The result was that the scallops meat appeared to be too small than usual and therefore, it's difficult to appreciate the flavor. This is one dish they need to improve as other restaurants have baked scallops as one of their best sellers.

On a separate occasion, I got to taste the sinigang ulo ng isda. Among the food we ordered, it was ghe one I liked best. Even if the soup was plenty, we almost consumed the entire soup.
The restaurant interior

Tinolang isda

We have yet to try the said restaurant's pride -- the mongo with seafood and many other food choices. One thing's for sure though.

With regards to the place, it appears very clean and elegant. There is I think 3 function rooms outside the main restaurant itself. The rest room appears well-maintained. There is also parking space in front of the restaurant.

The restaurant is worth trying with it's wide range of Filipino food choices and nice ambiance. One can save money if he or she dines with a group as the servings are big and the prices are reasonable.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Big Tom's Charbroiled Burgers in Juana Osmena Street, Cebu City

One of the hottest food stops in Cebu City right now is this charbroiled burger joint in the middle of the city. It is known as Big Tom's. The place used to be a house if word around town is to be believed. Entering the place, one can't help but notice the jars overhead used as makeshift lamps. The atmosphere is especially perfect for the Instagram generation with wifi available and social media icons drawn using chalk on one of the place's walls displaying the establishment's name prominently. Now let's go to the meat of this post.

The menu
The above photo shows the menu highlighting the different choices at one's disposal depending on your preference for burgers. Available sizes are 4 oz and 6 oz burgers.

Burgers are served with a knife and fork along with a wooden chopping board to help you dissect your prey with ease. Many would wish some more fries will be added though. Now for the burger itself.

This is the Deluxe Cheeseburger. The bun has just the right degree of fluffiness and firmness so as not to hinder your appreciation of the meat.  Inside, there's tomato, lettuce and Big Tom's sauce.

If you noticed, the cheese is Cheez Whiz-looking. Since they put in their blackboard that they are using cheddar cheese, I was expecting the quite solid cheddar cheese slice. Some might prefer to have the traditional cheddar cheese slice for their burger.

The burger is charbroiled, well done, not flat with just the right thickness. Big Tom's claimed that the patty is freshly prepared daily, never frozen, 100% pure sirloin beef. So let's do the taste test.

The patty is quite juicy, not dry. The sauteed onions are small enough that it will not stop you from savoring the patty. The add-on veggies and sauce complement well the burger's taste which was blended with just the right mix of ingredients and charred just right, not overcooked or burnt. Approve. Thumbs up. Although I personally wished they have the solid cheese.

They also have other items in the menu aside from burgers like spaghetti and meat balls and some more.

Correction, it's spaghetti and meat ball without an S. Just a single meatball although the meatball was big and yummy. Again, I don't know. I'm for grated cheese instead of the quick-melt kind with my spaghetti. The serving is for someone with a big appetite but it costs around 150 or 160 PHP if I remember correctly.

Overall, Big Tom's offer great tasting charbroiled burgers. And I forgot to tell you there is wifi.

So want to visit Big Tom's today? Pa-burger naman dyan?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ah Phets Noodle Haus and Rice Toppings

One Sunday, me and my wife were randomly looking for something new to eat and we chanced upon one in Escario Street in the same vicinity as Buddies and near Best Western Plus Lex Cebu. It is Ah Phets Noodle Haus and Rice Toppings and we were in for a surprise.

Since their name has noodles in it, we tried their bestseller, the Beef Brisket noodles.
Tasting it, one can tell that they are indeed Chinese style noodles. Ah Phet is generous when it comes to their meat and other ingredients with a reasonable price of 65 pesos. Can't wait to try their other noodle dishes soon.

But it's not just the noodles which deserve a thumbs up. They also have other satisfying items in their menu.

Oriental Spring Chicken
Oriental Spring Chicken
One is the Oriental Spring Chicken. At 110 pesos, you get one half chicken serving. Big, isn't it? And it comes with pickled cucumber and carrots and matching sauce. And fried rice. Again, the dish is really Chinese style.

Pata Tim
Humba Pata Tim

That picture above is Humba (Pata Tim). The Cebuano favorite is combined with a Chinese restaurant staple to produce a very tender, delicious dish which comes with rice, a separate Pata Tim broth and cucumber with carrots which serve as a good partner to most of their dishes.

Looks like she can't wait to eat it.

If you are looking for a hybrid of a traditional Cebuano Chinese restaurant and a Chinese fastfood chain, Ah Phets is a very good alternative. Below is some of their other dish offerings.

They may not be well known but they are worth the try.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Greenwich New Pizza Thins Now In Cebu

Last Friday, no less than Greenwich long time endorser and kabarkada John Lloyd Cruz was in town at the Radisson Blu Hotel to introduce the New Greenwich Pizza Thins to Cebuanos thru the local media and bloggers in the #PizzaThinsInCebu event which I was fortunate to attend.

But you don't have to take his word for it. You can try it for yourself. Well, I tried it for myself and so far, I liked it. I am a thin crust pizza person so it was not surprising that I liked this new pizza offering of Greenwich more than their thick crusted counterparts.

The Pizza Thins have four varieties. Thw Hawaiian, Peperroni, Signature Special and (not in the picture) the All Meat starting at a price of P189 for a double size pizza.

The Hawaiian balances the taste of the ham with the sweetness of the pineapple.

 The pepperoni is where you can appreciate the thin pizza's crispiness best.
Signature special
The Signature special along with the Hawaiian is my favorite. It is the combination of all the other three plus (as you can see in the photo) some more spices and ingredients like onions, mushrooms and green peppers.

What's nice about this new offering is that the thin crust allows one to appreciate more the ingredients making it more flavorful. And even if it is not obvious, the pizza still taste cheezy. The pizza is best eaten while freshly made as it is crispy to the bite. You are not shortchanged of the meat even.

Senior marketing manager for brand development Lulu de Castro shares, "The new Greenwich Pizza Thins is our answer to the requests of pizza enthusiasts who wish to savor our pizza toppings in a whole new way."

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Kusina ni Nasing Boneless Lechon Review

A lot of my friends consider the liempo in Kusina ni Nasing as one of the best. From their humble beginnings with liempo as their flagship product, Kusina ni Nasing has added more like their lechon manok, grilled panga and now, the Boneless Lechon. Here is my review for their Boneless Lechon.

Like their liempo, the Boneless Lechon is full of flavor probably because of the spices added to it. However, it appears to be more oily that its liempo counterpart and unlike other Boneless lechon, the pork lechon taste is not evident. I have tasted other boneless lechon brands which retain the typical lechon flavor and kusina ni Nasing's boneless lechon is not like that. However, this is not to say that it isn't delicious. But between their liempo and their boneless lechon, I still like their liempo more which by the way also has a pork rib sibling.

To "remove the guilt" of eating lechon somewhat, brown rice is available along with their sukang tuba, sili and onions to make the boneless lechon experience complete.

Below are the other food products offred by Kusina ni Nasing with the price of some varying depending on their weight.
A reminder before we end this post -- Eat moderately, OK?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Restaurant review: Choobi Choobi in Parkmall

One of the latest restaurants to open in the vicinity of Parkmall is Choobi Choobi, a restaurant that offers mainly Filipino dishes. Choobi Choobi means lingaw lingaw because the owner believes that when you dine in their restaurant, "ma-lingaw" jud mo. You will not get bored eating.

The restaurant itself is located on the second floor and is open-air type.
It's location and it's being an open-air type establishment is a blessing for food lovers as you get the feeling you are eating on the beach especially if you order seafood or grilled dishes as you get to feel the breeze. "Makagana ug kaon," as they say in Cebuano.

The place is quite spacious and I noticed a TV screen in one end of the venue showing cable TV program.

Let us go to the food. First up are the dishes not usually served in other establishments.

Ever tried balbacua minus the sabaw? Yup, this is the first time I saw crispy balbacua.

Crispy balbacua with bagoong at 168 PHP
Then you have some sort of sprouts (I forgot the name, sorry). But it's not alfafa sprouts.

Then there is the crispy adobong kanding. Usually, kanding (goat) dish is prepared as kaldereta. Not in this dish. It's pinirito.
Crispy adobong kambing at 168 PHP
Next is my personal favorite... LOLA PEPANG's Fried Manok, the owner's family recipe. The chicken is one of the tastiest fried chicken I have tasted. It's not lechon manok but fried chicken. Whole fried chicken. Cooked whole, not half to ensure the recipe's desired taste remains intact.
Part of the whole chicken serving upclose (costs 300 to 360 PHP)

Lola Pepang's chicken (Pardon me for the lighting..I'm using a smartphone)
Then we have a constant presence in Filipino restaurants which is also offered in Choobi Choobi, the Crispy Pata.
Choobi Pata priced at around 320 to 350 PHP and comes with sauce 
Those who are health-conscious need not worry visiting Choobi Choobi because they offer good fish dishes like the Pampano....
Grilled pampano
Their tuna belly is fresh, "hindi malansa". No itchiness after eating and cooked just right.

Too satisfy the Japanese in one's taste, Choobi Choobi also has Shrimp Tempura.
Shrimp tempura
My fellow blogger loves this dish best....the Shrimp in the bag. The shrimps are plenty inside the bag and could come with gata or without. I prefer the one with gata as it complements well the shrimp's natural taste. There's some broth in the bag to put in your rice if you want.
Shrimp in the bag with gata
Choobi Choobi actually provides a lot of choices like Tinolang Manok Bisdak, Utan Monggos to name a few. Another thing I like about Choobi Choobi is their iced tea which is not powdered iced tea but natural and somewhat fruity. It is said to be the the same iced tea offered in a popular hotel.

You get your money's worth eating at Choobi Choobi's. Really "choobi choobi" as it's name suggests.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Krispy Kreme 76th Year Brunch Specials

Assorted Pull Aparts
During an informal meetup with my fellow bloggers at Krispy Kreme (KK) IT Park, I just learned that KK in Cebu (IT Park, Ayala Center and SM City) offer Brunch Specials in celebration of their 76th year. For your brunch (until 2 PM), you can have a choice of any of the Krispy Kreme Pull Aparts as shown in the photo above and pair it with Brewed Signature Coffee 8 ounce for 110 PHP.

Alternatively, you can choose any Kruffin as shown below instead of Pull Apart and partner it with the same coffee for the same price of 110 PHP.
Assorted Kruffins
If you want a lighter Brunch Special, you can have the Original Glazed and 8 oz coffee for 76 PHP or any of the other Assorted Doughnut with 8 oz. coffee for 85 PHP.

Original Glazed
Happy 76th year Krispy Kreme!