- See more at: http://labstrikes.blogspot.com/2014/12/divide-blog-post-into-pages.html#sthash.VMavzbHj.dpuf Wonderful Cebu

Cowgirl Snacks at Rodeo Grill Barbecue + Sizzlers in Cebu City, Philippines

Rodeo Grill Barbecue + Sizzlers had buy one, take one offers on cowgirl snacks and we took on two of them when me and my brother visited SM City Cebu in late April of 2016. Cowgirl snacks refer to smaller portions served at Rodeo Grill, a wild west saloon-inspired restaurant with several branches in Cebu City, Philippines.

Rodeo Grill Barbecue + Sizzlers in Cebu City, Philippines
Rodeo Grill Barbecue + Sizzlers in Cebu City, Philippines

Cowgirl Snacks at Rodeo Grill in Cebu City, Philippines

We ordered two (2) sets of cowgirl snacks: crispy chicken and pancit canton. Since we ordered between 3 to 5 p.m., the buy one, take one promo was still on. So we got two (2) servings of each item we ordered. Too bad they ran out of cowboy burgers that time. Those burgers must have really been good!

Pancit Canton 

The pancit canton came with a pair of toasted bread slices and a pair of hard-boiled egg slices. It's a light snack with less salt than I was used to which is good because it's healthier with the reduced sodium in it. It also has a good mix of vegetables in the noodles. Cost: PhP 119 per order.

Pancit Canton at Rodeo Grill Barbecue + Sizzlers in Cebu City, Philippines
Pancit Canton at Rodeo Grill Barbecue + Sizzlers in Cebu City, Philippines

Crispy Chicken

The crispy chicken was true to its label, maybe even too much crisp in it. Two (2) slices of breaded fried chicken was served on a bed of crispy noodles with half a cup of white rice and gravy.  The snack-size portion had a small slice (wing) and a large slice (breast) but was surprisingly filling. We barely finished this part of our meal. Cost: PhP 169 per order.

Crispy chicken at Rodeo Grill Barbecue + Sizzlers in Cebu City, Philippines
Crispy chicken at Rodeo Grill Barbecue + Sizzlers in Cebu City, Philippines

Overall, it was a normal dining experience at Rodeo Grill Barbecue + Sizzlers but two (2) dishes and a single visit would not justify a verdict. So, I look forward to coming back and trying the other dishes. Specially that cowboy burger. I hope they have it in stock on my next visit.


Traffic Solutions for Cebu: Motorcycle Safety (Part 4 of 8)

Generally, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in a crash compared to car occupants. While motorcycles account for only 2 percent of vehicles on the road, they are involved in more than 10 percent of crashes. (Source: Aerotech News)

This is because motocycles don't have most of the safety features of other vehicles. Refer to the infographic below:

Safety features of cars compared to motorcycles
(grabbed from Texas Department of Transportation)

Educate Yourself About Motorcycles

Motorcycle Hand Signals
(grabbed from Michael Padway & Associates)

Heed Motorcycle Safety Tips

Here are the top 5 motorcycle safety tips from Aerotech News:
  1. When new to riding motorcycles, get the proper training and licensing. While licenses for both two-wheel and four-wheel motor vehicles are the same in the Philippines, It is important to have the proper training when planning to ride motorcycles. 
  2. Wear the proper protection equipment, specially a helmet. Laws in the Philippines require an ICC (Import Commodity Clearance) standard helmet for motorcycle riders. While this law is loosely implemented, do comply for safety reasons.
  3. Don't buy or ride a motorcycle beyond your riding ability.
  4. Ride defensively. Be alert to the actions and activity of other vehicles and other users on the road.
  5. Be visible. Wear brightly colored clothes during the day and reflective gear at night.
Motorcycle safety
(grabbed from reCap Le Capitale's Blog)

Wear The Required Safety Gear


Wear the required safety gear
(grabbed from Electric City Abate)






BIG Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

Hotels in the Philippines usually are constructed where there's a lot going on. The trend in Cebu, Philippines nowadays is to build where there is nothing happening yet but where there is potential for business development. While the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines was built in the 1960's, it has only recently seen a construction boom. Most notable recent constructions are two (2) major hospitals, a university, an Old West-themed diner, a shopping center, and an urban resort. Other establishments of note are a few strip malls, a membership-only shopping center, a hypermarket, some entertainment joints, and a number of offices and warehouses.

BIG Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
BIG Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

One hotel also started operating in the area starting the middle of 2015. BIG Hotel is a business/industrial hotel under the umbrella of the Travelbee Budget Inns and Hotels. To book a room, you may use the Agoda search box provided below.

Here are Eight (8) Reasons Why I Like BIG Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

standard room at BIG Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Standard room at BIG Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines


1. It is Surrounded by a Variety of Dining Options 

When visiting Cebu for it's culinary wealth, a good place to start are the restaurants at Parkmall and City Times Square. Popular restaurant choices at Parkmall are Shabuway Japanese Restaurant and Hotpot Cuisine, Kogi-Q Grill-All-You-Can Restaurant, Choobi-choobi, Da Vinci's Pizza, Mang Inasal, Mooon Cafe, Hukad, Cebu's Original Lechon Belly, and Kublai Khan Mongolian Barbecue. 

There are three (3) eat-all-you-can buffet restaurants in City Times Square, namely Tokyo Table, Buffet 101, and KingOne Rotary Hotpot. There are also lots of other restaurants at City Times Square. 

There are also restaurants that are not too far away such as Sushi Boy and Cafe Racer.

2. Lot's of Entertainment Choices Nearby 

The area around BIG Hotel is fast becoming an entertainment hub for a variety of activities. For karaoke lovers, there's Hi-Fi Family KTV at City Times Square, Also at City Times Square is Exit Now, an escape theme game. Then there's Liv Super Club also at City Times Square for those who wish to dance to techno music.

Across City Times Square is Parkmall also with a variety of entertainment options such as segway rentals, video game arcade, and occasional live band music. St. James Amusement Park is also not far away and so is Amnezia Superclub.

3. A Relatively Quiet Location 

While Mandaue City has a notorious reputation for it's terrible traffic situation, BIG Hotel is situated at an area where traffic jams are rare so that is a plus. While it is also very near malls, BIG Hotel's immediate environment turns quiet after mall hours.

4. It's Midway Between Cebu City and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport or Mactan's Beaches

Visitors who do not want to stay too far away from the airport and wishes to stay at a quieter place than Cebu City may find BIG Hotel a good match. It is right in between the way from Cebu City to Mactan Island where the airport and famed Cebu beaches are located.

5. It is Right Next To Two (2) Malls 

BIG Hotel is within a very short walking distance to Parkmall and City Times Square, two (2) major malls in Mandaue City's north reclamation area. It is also a short jeepney ride away from SM City Cebu or a 15-minute taxicab ride to Ayala Center Cebu.

6. It Suits My Minimalist Preferences 

There's nothing fancy about BIG Hotel. No elaborate wall paints, no expensive abstract decors, no shiny floor tiles. Just the way I like it. I am not easily impressed with elegant interior design and I appreciate a minimalist theme and that's the way it is at BIG Hotel.

front desk and lobby at BIG Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Front Desk at BIG Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

7. It's Not Too Pricey 

I was surprised to find out about the room rates at BIG Hotel. I was expecting I would pay more for a night of stay there. It turns out their published rates are a good deal.

Standard Room PhP 1,600 per night, twin sharing, with complimentary buffet breakfast
Family Room PhP 2,280 per night, triple sharing, with complimentary buffet breakfast
De Luxe Room PhP 2,480 per night, twin sharing, with complimentary buffet breakfast
Executive Room PhP 2,160 per night, twin sharing, with complimentary buffet breakfast
Penthouse Loft PhP 2,880 per night, twin sharing, with complimentary buffet breakfast
Suite PhP 3,280 PhP 3,280 per night, twin sharing, with complimentary buffet breakfast

8. It's Very Close to Two (2) Major Hospitals

BIG Hotel's proximity to two(2) major hospitals also lessens worries about any medical emergency that might happen. Chong Hua Hospital's new location and University of Cebu Medical Center or UCMed are both a stone's throw away from BIG Hotel.

Contact Information for BIG Hotel in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

Street Address: Mantawe Avenue, North Reclamation Area, Tipolo, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Telephone Numbers: 
  • (+63 32) 345 1316
  • (+63 32) 344 1316
  • (+63 32) 421 1316
Mobile Number: +63 925 858 1316
Website: www.bighotel.ph
E-mail address: reservations@bighotel.ph

3 Dishes That Caught Our Attention at Everest Food Corner in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

Since Everest can easily be associated with the cold, ice cream is the flagship product of Everest at the South Coast Center in Linao, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines. But aside from Everest Ice Cream Haus, there is also the Everest Food Corner where guests can place short orders. We dropped by the store in early June 2015 and ordered the three (3) dishes in the menu that immediately caught our attention. Continue reading to find out what we ordered.

Everest Food Corner in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Everest Food Corner in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

Lechon Kawali 

Lechon Kawali is a Filipino dish which is deep fried pork belly with a crunchy skin. Everest Food Corner's rendition of lechon kawali saw us munching on small strips of pork belly as opposed to the usual bigger cuts from other restaurants. This one was good. An order costs PhP 118 and could feed one (1) or two (2).

lechon kawali at Everest Food Corner in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Lechon Kawali at Everest Food Corner in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

Garlic Butter Shrimps 

I'm not sure if this was shrimp but by how huge they were, it seemed to be garlic butter prawns instead of shrimp. And it's not only the size that is good about this order. Although not the best garlic butter prawn (or shrimp?) dish I have come across, this was pretty good. The cost of one (1) order is PhP 168 and could feed one (1) or two (2) persons.

garlic butter shrimps at Everest Food Corner in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Garlic butter shrimps (or prawns?) at Everest Food Corner in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

Birthday Pancit

You can have everything on your birthday. That seems to be the quote that inspires birthday pancit, sauteed egg noodles with meat strips, sausages, shrimp, squid, quails' eggs, fish balls, cabbages, carrots and a lot of other ingredients in it. It doesn't have to be your birthday at Everest Food Corner to enjoy this mouth-watering treat. An order that costs PhP 189 could feed three (3) to five (5) persons.

Birthday pancit at Everest Food Corner in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Birthday pancit at Everest Food Corner in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

More About Everest Food Corner

Business Address: Ground Floor, South Coast Center, Linao, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Telephone Number: (+63 32) 273 0534 or (+63 32) 511 6787
Mobile Number: +63 922 841 6451 (Sun Cellular)

7 Reasons to Stay at the Diamond Suites in Cebu City, Philippines

There are many big name hotels in Cebu City, Philippines. But that does not keep smaller hotel brands from gaining a significant share of Cebu's tourism market. In fact, there still seems to be a shortage of hotel rooms for tourists visiting the Queen City of the South. One hotel that stands proud among its big name competitors is Diamond Suites located at 8 Apitong Street corner Escario Street, Camputhaw, Cebu City, Philippines. Here are seven (7) reasons why tourists visiting Cebu should consider staying at Diamond Suites. 

1. You Can Book Here Right Now!

Yes, you read that right. You can book your stay at Diamond Suites right here, right now. Just enter your details in the Agoda search box right below:


2. They are Very Close to Everything in Cebu, Philippines

Diamond Suites is a stone's throw away from the Cebu Business Park, probably the most important business district in all of Cebu. All the major things that people do when they come to Cebu is accessible via public transport from Diamond Suites. It is a jeepney ride away from Cebu City's old Spanish quarters, the port area, the old city midtown area, some major hospitals, universities, and other areas of significant tourist interest. The international airport is at most an hour ride away considering the heavy traffic along the way. Diamond Suites is also just a short cab ride away from the northbound and southbound bus terminals.

3. The Cakes at Grain Restaurant are Amazing 

Dessert lovers can rejoice in the thought that the cakes served at Diamond Suites Grain Restaurant are amazingly delicious. I got to try their pastillas cake, coffee caramel cake, kiwi cake, and mango cheesecake and writing this now makes me crave for it. The oh so fluffy and cheesy ensaymada can also be a hit among foodies.

4. They Only Have Memory Pillows in The Rooms 

When you retire to your hotel room at night after a long business day or tiresome touristy escapade or a happy day of shopping or at early dawn after some wild partying at night, the memory pillows at Diamond Suites follows the contour of your neck and head, making sure that you sleep comfortably. All 102 hotel rooms at Diamond Suites have memory pillows. That is all 87 de luxe rooms and 15 superior rooms.

Diamond Suites in Cebu City, Philippines
One of the rooms at Diamond Suites in Cebu City, Philippines

5. Cool Down At The Swimming Pool 

Sometimes the days can get hot. A dip at the Diamond Suites' swimming pool will be truly refreshing on hot, humid days. Sometimes people just want to chill. The cool waters at the swimming pool will certainly be a good chill place. That and a pool deck bar.

6. Stay Fit at the Gym 

For the fitness buff, Diamond Suites has a basic fitness gym. It may not be a fully-equipped gym but it does help guests maintain their exercise routine while on a business or leisure trip.

7. Customer Service is Superb

The one thing that Diamond Suites employees stand out from the rest of the hotels in Cebu is their superb customer service. Also very few hotels in Cebu can claim that they are certified PWD-friendly. The Department of Tourism has certified Diamond Suites as fit to serve the needs of persons with reduced mobility. So far, I have only come across three (3) hotels in Cebu City that can claim the same credentials.

So what are you waiting for? Book now at the Diamond Suites and experience diamond standard hospitality in Cebu!

A Treat For The Sweet Tooth at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Upon invitation of Keene Albert Tan, the marketing officer of Diamond Suites in Cebu City, Philippines, I was able to sample their signature cakes with my business associate Lorenzo in June 2016. I sure hoped my blood glucose levels were not too high that time as we were served a huge variety of dessert items, mostly cakes from their signature collection. It was truly a treat for our sweet tooth, and maybe just too much of it we realized after.

The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
From L-R: Keen Albert Tan of Diamond Suites, writer Lorenzo Jose Cahig, and blogger Thadz Engaling

Dessert at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Here are the items served to us:

Cakes at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Cakes at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Kiwi Cake

We started off with the kiwi cake, which was topped by real kiwi fruit slices and sprinkled with kiwi seeds all over. We thought this was a kind of a weird cake idea. Sure enough it took a little time to get accustomed to that acquired taste from the restaurant's resident chief baker and pastry chef.

Kiwi cake at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Kiwi cake at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Coffee Caramel Cake

This one's a really little too sweet for us. It's a good thing this came served with a pair of chocolate balls that was more chocolaty bitter than chocolaty sweet and it kind of balanced off the sweetness. The brewed coffee helped too.

Coffee caramel cake at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Coffee caramel cake at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Pastillas Cake

The pastillas cake is Grain Restaurant's signature cake. If you love pastillas, that soft milk candy, you will love this cake too! PhP 118 for a slice. Each slice also comes with a cherry on top as well.

Pastillas cheesecake at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Pastillas Cake at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Mango Cheesecake

My personal favorite is the mango cheesecake with a real ball of mango on top of it and a hint of mango in the cheesecake itself.

Mango cheesecake at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Mango cheesecake at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Ensaymada 

Finally, we were served with Grain Restaurant's huge, cheesy, and fluffy ensaymada. The good thing about this ensaymada though is that it only sells for PhP 48 a piece, a good bargain.

Ensaymada at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Ensaymada at The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

More Information About The Grain Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Weekend Buffet 

The Grain Restaurant also serves buffet meals on weekends. Asian dishes are served on the buffet on Fridays. On Saturdays, the buffet features an international cuisine. Cost is PhP 408 per person.

Location 

Business Address: Ground Floor, Diamond Suites and Residences, 8 Apitong Street corner Escario Street, Camputhaw, Cebu City, Philippines

My 5 Favorite Dishes at Harbour City Dimsum

In general, Chinese culinary culture has a very large influence on Filipino cuisine. It is no surprise therefore that Chinese food is quite popular among Filipinos. This is no different in Cebu, Philippines. Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant is part of a group of Chinese-inspired restaurants that has caught on the Cebuanos love for Chinese food.

My Five (5) Favorite Dishes at Harbour City Dimsum in Cebu City, Philippines 

I have listed my favorite dishes I usually order when I eat at Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant and they are:

Steamed Fried Rice 

The Filipino rice-eater that I am, I always order at least a bowl or two (2) of their steamed fried rice. It's my favorite among their rice bowls. This steamed rice bowl is topped with a delicious serving of fried pork and shrimp sprinkled with green peas and served with a rich and thick sauce.

Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Steamed fried rice at Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Steamed Hakao 

Steamed shrimp balls in an egg-based wrapper served on top of a bed of carrots sounds pretty good to me. Better than shao mai I should say.

Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Steamed hakao at Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Sweet and Sour Pork 

I am a lover of both pork dishes and sweet and sour recipes. Among my favorite sweet and sour food is the sweet and sour pork dish at Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant.

Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Sweet and sour pork at Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Quail's Egg Shao Mai 

Who doesn't love shao mai? And Harbour City Dimsum has a lot of variety to choose from: plain shao mai, shark's fin shao mai, mushroom shao mai, bacon shao mai, and my favorite is quail's egg shao mai.

Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Quail's egg shao mai at Harbour City Dimsum Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Fried Shrimp Balls

Shrimp is one of my favorite seafood items amd the fried shrimp balls is the third (3rd) item on this list with shrimp on it. Just goes to show how much a shrimp-lover I must be. The shrimp balls at Harbour City also comes in a steamed variety.

Harbour City Dimsum Branches Around Cebu City, Philippines

SM City Cebu 

Lower Ground Floor, SM City Cebu
North Reclamation Area, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone Numbers:
  • (+63 32) 232 0705
  • (+63 32) 232 0741

Ayala Center Cebu

3rd Level, Ayala Center Cebu
Cebu Business Park, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone Numbers:

  • (+63 32) 231 6283
  • (+63 32) 231 2284

SM Seaside City Cebu

2nd Level, SM Seaside City Cebu
South Reclamation Project, Cebu City, Philippines

Cute Book Nook at Sunday 2 PM Book & Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

There is a budding cafe culture in Cebu and the trend in this Central Visayas regional capital is themed cafes largely inspired by Koreans. One Korean-operated cafe is located at the corner of the Sarrossa International Hotel building along F. Cabahug Street in Kasambagan, Cebu City, Philippines. The joint is called Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe.

Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines
Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

We actually came across Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe by accident. We were looking for another cafe but ended up at Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe. We also came in less than two (2) hours before they were to close that night. I was with my business associates Lorenzo and Nathaniel that night as we were working on project proposals for several prospective clients who inquired about our team building services. As we buckled down to work, Nathaniel ordered some coffee while I got myself a sandwich, a glass of pink lemonade, and a cup of hot peppermint tea.

Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines
Pink lemonade from the Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines
Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe is a very small book-themed cafe, only about four (4) tables. While the pastel-colored walls give the cafe a vibrant aura, little ceramic decors and teddy bear stuff toys add to the life of the cafe. The artistic clutter of post-its with a variety of messages on it make the cafe look a little more cramped than it already is. Bookworms will love this place as there is a good collection of books on their shelves. Other than books, the cafe also has a reliable wifi connection that customers can use, a host of local and international magazines, Guests can charge their gadgets for free and watch the cafe's DVD collection as well without any extra charges.

Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines
Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

Contact Information for Sunday 2 PM Book and Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

Street Address: 
Ground Floor, Sarrossa International Hotel building, F. Cabahug Street corner President Quirino Street, Kasambagan, Cebu City, Philippines

Telephone Number: (+63 32) 520 5174

E-mail Address: sunday2pm@hotmail.com


Business Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Sunday: 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

3 Kinds of Cake at Pink Heaven Bistro in Cebu, Philippines.

I have always wondered why a lot of my friends post often on social media about Pink Heaven Bistro at the South Coast Center in Linao, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines. So I checked it out when I was in the area last June 2016. Just a few days after that visit with my brother, Pink Heaven opened a branch at the SM Seaside City in Cebu City, Philippines.

Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Pink HeavenBakeshop and Bistro in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

Here is what we ordered and enjoyed at Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro:

Cakes From Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro in Cebu, Philippines

Sans Rival 

Pink Heaven Bistro claims to make the best sans rival in the the whole of Cebu. Such a very bold claim. To be honest though, I'd rank their sans rival second only to that of Dumaguete City's Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries which has now opened a branch at the Robinsons Galleria Cebu in Cebu City, Philippines. This is largely based on personal preference. And if there is one thing Pink Heaven beats Sans Rival, it should be the serving size. Pink Heaven's serving size for it's sans rival is way much larger than that of Sans Rival's single order. A serving only costs PhP 99.

Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Sans rival from Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

Mango Heaven 

Aside from their bold claim to serve Cebu's best sans rival cake, their other specialty cake is the mango heaven. Now, this is truly a heavenly sweet tooth treat for mango lovers and cake lovers alike. And it seems like Pink Heaven Bistro's trademark is that they serve very huge slices per order.

Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Mango heaven cake from Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

Cassava Cake

Another huge slice of cake for a serving that costs only PhP 60. Not as sweet as I expected though but that's okay because I can sure taste real cassava in it.

Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Cassava cake from Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

Contact Information for Pink Heaven Bakeshop and Bistro in Cebu, Philippines

Talisay City Branch 

Street Address: South Coast Center, Linao, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Telephone Number: (+63 32) 491 4242

SM Seaside City Cebu Branch

Second Level, Mountain Wing, SM Seaside City Cebu, South Reclamation Project, Cebu City, Philippines


Instagram: @pinkheavencebu
Twitter: @pinkheavencebu

Maayong Hapon! AKITA; A Japan-Nice Restaurant

We Cebuanos are known for being Otaku or lovers of the Japanese culture. We are avid fans of the undying Manga and Anime series, we even sing songs by Japanese artists and bands as well as cosplay as Japanese show characters; but even more so, we Cebuanos are true lovers of the Japanese food. Am I right or am I correct?

Itadaki-Masu! (Happy Eating!)

Akita Japanese Restaurant in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Akita Japanese Restaurant in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

 Akita, A Japanese Restaurant located at Kasuntingan, Mandaue City (right beside Kusina Uno) made its way in Wonderful Cebu's on going list of Best Japanese Restaurants at the heart of metro Cebu, Philippines.

Owned by a Japanese national who now lives in Australia and is managed by Ms. Jacky who is also an ESL teacher, the place gives you pastel green walls, which makes the ambiance instantly pleasing and appetizing; and before you even get the chance to count the other colors in their interior, you'll be greeted by their friendly staff, the Japanese way. I can't imitate it, but it kinda sounds like "Ira-shai-mase!" Something like that. (*Laughs in Japanese.)

I know you must be thinking that since it's a Japanese restaurant, the food is expensive. Well, my amigo, not this one! Akita has one of the cheapest menus I've seen in Japanese restaurants, next only to Jo-ed's Lutong Hapon and Tokyo Joe's.

Gyoza at Akita Japanese Restaurant in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines


They have tasty appetizers to mouth-watering salads to best-of-everything Bentos to belly-busting Ramens, with prices that range from 100 to 350 pesos! Ain't that cool!?


Akita Japanese Restaurant in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
The food at Akita Japanese Restaurant in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

For the most part, their menus are as best as could be expected. Among all else is their Butadon, rice bowl topped with thinly sliced pork (grilled) and their oh-such-succulent Gyoza (steamed). SO MUCH WIN! It's also interesting to note that this Japanese restaurant serves Mediterranean Salad. Variety is good, right?

Akita Japanese Restaurant in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Bento at Akita Japanese Restaurant in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines


As I have so much to talk about this restaurant, I will focus on one single menu which I think is the best of their bests.

The Spicy Ramen. (I really went back for this one.)

The Ramen, I suppose, would represent the restaurant perfectly. It comprises what Akita is about, like their philosophy and values are part of the main ingredients.

Traditional Japanese noodles topped with thin-stripped pork (blanched), string beans, sweet corns, and other healthy vegetables, the Ramen's best quality is its flavorful soup that makes an orgy of taste and sensations inside your mouth. I'll spare you the details so as not to spoil the surprise. Ha-ha. And oh, it's good for two! So bring a date. 

Definitely a must-try for Japanese food lovers. Hurry up though! Because Akita gives 20% off of all their food items this June 2016!

They promise to run different promos every month. Nowhere can you ever find a more customer-friendly Japanese Restaurant in these areas.

...

4 Stars!

All-day Breakfast at Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

Some people are early birds and wish to have breakfast early. Some are late risers and prefer to have breakfast much later in the day. Yet some just can't have enough of breakfast food. Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe caters to just about anyone of the aforementioned. An all-day breakfast club run by Chef Alyssa Lao, Birdseed traces it's name origins to a slang for breakfast. 

While the popular quote "the early bird catches the worm" may be a good reference to early risers and the worm as the bird's breakfast, most if not all birds do eat seeds as a common meal making them one of the biggest agents of pollination. Birdseed therefore captures more of the all-day breakfast vibe.



Birdseed Breakfast Club is located at Unit F19 at Axis Entertainment Avenue, Vibo Place, N. Escario Street, Camputhaw, Cebu City, Philippines. It opened last January 16, 2016 and now opens from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. Below is their contact information:

Telephone Number: (032) 254 9463

E-mail Address: birdseed.cebu@gmail.com


Menu at Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe serves American food, Asian fusion dishes, breakfast items, sandwiches, sandwiches, coffee, and soul food. The menu is actually divided into the following sections: 
  1. Soups 
  2. Salads
  3. Pancakes, Waffles, and Toasts
  4. Sandwiches
  5. Go Green
  6. Mains
  7. Drinks
  8. Coffee Bar

When we dined in for brunch one day in May 2016, we ordered the triple-stack buttermilk pancakes with maple butter and a breakfast skillet as suggested by the waitstaff.

Triple-stack Buttermilk Pancake with Maple Butter at Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines 

A stack of three fluffy pancakes with a generous topping of slowly melting butter. As a side to it, we had a choice of spiced maple syrup, strawberry, or blueberry syrup. We took the spiced maple syrup. The pancakes are not too sweet. Just pour in the maple syrup to your liking to make it sweeter.


Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines
Triple-stack buttermilk pancakes with maple butter at Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

Breakfast Skillet at Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

Priced at PhP 390.00 per serving, the breakfast skillet can feed 2 to 3 persons. It has two sunny side up eggs, french toast, herbed hash browns, three (3) breakfast sausages, wilted spinach, roasted tomatoes, and a few strips of bacon. It is a filling meal for two (2) people. Not one to have if you want a light breakfast meal. 


Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines
Breakfast skillet at Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

Other Interesting Items on the Menu at Birdseed Breakfast Club + Cafe in Cebu City, Philippines

Vegans and vegetarians may order from the Go Green section which lists vegetarian pita pizza (PhP 240.00) and double double vegetarian burger (PhP 250.00) as choices. Silog meals are also available for those who wish to enjoy a Filipino breakfast with choices of Spanish chorizo, bacon, salmon, beef tapa, and beef brisket and kimchi as main entrees.

Never Again at AnDiana's Restaurant

Andiana's Restaurant is right beside Barbeque Boss at the corner of Pope John Paul II Avenue and F. Cabahug Street in Kasambagan, Cebu City, Philippines. They also serve just about the same menu as Barbeque Boss. We tried to dine in their once and it wasn't the best of experiences.

Andiana's Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Andiana's Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Food was Okay at Andiana's Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Most of the food wasn't bad at Andiana's Restaurant. We ordered a serving of dynamite, a few sticks of pork barbecue, and a serving of calamari. The pork barbecue was delicious. But the calamari were but overcooked breaded squid rings we barely ate it.

Andiana's Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Calamari and pork barbecue at Andiana's Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

The dynamite was pretty good although it did not come in the same sizes. Some were longer and some were shorter.

Andiana's Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Dynamite at Andiana's Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

There are three (3) reasons why we are never eating at Andiana's Restaurant again. First, it seemed like they did not care much about sanitation and it took some convincing to have their staff clean out the table we were seated at. It was too dusty I caught a sneeze. Second, service takes a very long time considering they are a very small restaurant. Third, prices on the menu and the wall posters are not the real prices. We paid much more than what we expected because we were told those were no longer valid. I was too tired to argue, or I just settled because they forgot to place some items on our tab anyway (They did not charge us for several glasses of iced tea and several cups of rice). When I noticed that, I thought to myself it suits them for duping us with the prices. We paid just about the same amount we would have paid if they did not mess up the pricing for us.

You Will Love The Coffee and More at Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines

Coffee shops in Cebu, Philippines are mostly overrated and are usually expensive. I dare say this coming from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines on a recent business trip. Bacolod City has basic coffee shops that serve brewed native coffee for as low as PhP 10.00 per cup. Now compare that to the coffee served at Cebu shops that go by the hundreds or just a bit less.

Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines
Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines

Thankfully though, I stumbled upon a coffee shop near the heart of Cebu City where the price is not that bad. I'm referring to Barako Haus at the corner of Juana Osmeña Street and Maria Cristina Street, a stone's throw away from the Baseline residences. A dimly lit cafe with furniture in dark brown varnish, Barako Haus is a cool place to have breakfast, meet up with friends, or just simply hang out.

Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines
The interior at Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines


Barako House in Cebu City, Philippines
Cozy lounge at Barako House in Cebu City, Philippines

Refillable Coffee at Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines

Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines
Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines

Well, technically their coffee is still priced high: PhP 85.00 for a cup caffe Americano using Arabica beans, PhP 75.00 for a cup of caffe Americano using Maharlika coffee or Liberica beans, and PhP 240 for a cup of civet coffee. The good news however, is that they offer refillable coffee alternating between Maharlika or Arabica servings. Their refillable coffee can be refilled thrice after the first serving. If you want milk with your coffee, just pay a PhP 5.00 add-on. With refillable coffee, a cup of coffee at Barako Haus can cost as little as PhP 17.50 per cup. And you can choose to have it served hot or iced.

Maharlika Coffee at Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines

Maharlika coffee uses Liberica coffee beans and is widely known in the Philippines as Kapeng Barako, a staple in Batangas province. The Maharlik coffee at Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines is sourced from Batangas! It has a stronger coffee flavor compared to Arabica coffee.

Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines
Iced coffee at Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines

What Else to Enjoy at Barako House in Cebu City, Philippines

Aside from serving good coffee, Barako Haus also offers all day breakfast meals, pastries and dessert items, pili nuts, pasta, grilled sandwiches, and smoothies. Complimentary breakfast for Mandaue Hotel situated above is served by Barako Haus. Breakfast options are chorizo de Cebu, bacon, tocino, and tapa. All breakfast meals come with your choice of scrambled or sunny side up egg, a cup of coffee, atchara, and a cup of plain rice. Bacon is my personal favorite among their breakfast meals.

Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines
Tocino for breakfast at Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines


Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines
Chorizo de Cebu for breakfast at Barako Haus in Cebu City, Philippines
I love their Oreo cheesecake cookies, the pili nuts with garlic, and the grilled chicken and egg sandwich.