Tokyo Table Buffet in Mandaue City, Cebu

For the second time in two weeks, my brother and I tried another eat all you can buffet restaurant at City Times Square in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines. This time, we dined at Tokyo Table Smokeless Grill + Sushi + Asian Fusion.

Eat all you can buffet at Tokyo Table in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Eat all you can buffet at Tokyo Table in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

The Food at Tokyo Table

The Japanese Section at Tokyo Table

Tokyo Table is a Japanese restaurant in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines. The highlight should therefore be Japanese cuisine. I didn't feel that though as the Japanese section was confined to some obscure corner in the buffet area. More aptly, we can refer to Tokyo Table as an Asian fusion restaurant. There was a sushi bar, a tempura and karaage bar, and a sashimi bar. Sadly though, I can't find any sukiyaki, my favorite Japanese dish.

The sushi bar had a variety of selections: Tokyo Table Signature Roll, Ebi Tempura Maki, Futomaki, Maki Crunch Roll, Mango Crunch Roll, Spicy California Maki, Chef's Roll, Philadelphia Roll, and Salmon Sashimi Roll.

Note: The vegetable karaage/ tempura and ebi tempura were kinda bland for my taste, I needed lots of soy sauce to make them savory.

Salad Bar at Tokyo Table

Salad greens are also available at the Tokyo Table buffet for those who wish to eat healthy.

Dimsum Station at Tokyo Table

Dimsum dishes are also available at the Tokyo Table buffet. Dimsum items offered were Empress Roll, Quail Egg Siomai, Steamed Pork Spareribs, Bola-bola Siopao, 

Soup and Entrees at Tokyo Table

I felt that the entree dishes of various culinary influences (mostly Asian) were more highlighted than Japanese food. On the menu the night we dined were Peking Ribs, Ants Climbing Trees, Onion Garlic Pork, Fujian Noodles, Lumpia Chives Wrapper, Fish Finger Honey Mustard, Five Spice Chicken, Chicken Mojito, Buta Kimchi, Salmon Scotched Egg, Fish Hoisin, Chicken Taro Puff, Fish Pepper n' Thyme, Quail Egg Potato Nest, Steamed Fish Fillet, Pechay Guisado, Shrimp Balls, Sizzling Sisig. For soup, there was Salmon Cha Han and Fish Lip Soup.

Grill and Shabu-shabu Choices at Tokyo Table

Each table at Tokyo Table is equipped with a smokeless grill. One may also request a shabu-shabu pot instead of a grill. Items available are shrimps, squid, salted beef, Samgyeopsal, Yakitori, chicken satay, black pepper beef, black pepper chicken, beef bulgogi, spicy beef bulgogi, pork bulgogi, spicy pork bulgogi, sweet corn, lettuce, chicken barbecue, pork barbecue, chicken gizzard, chicken liver, green mussels, salmon head, skinless longganiza, hotdogs,

Note: Ask for assistance from the waitstaff when turning the knob of the burner on and off.

Beverages at Tokyo Table

The buffet cost at Tokyo Table already includes several drinks one can choose from: soda choices from the Pepsi Company, red iced tea, lemon iced tea, blue lemonade, Nescafe coffee in various mixes, good old Taho, mango sago, and draft beer. All beverages are bottomless.

Dessert at Tokyo Table

Tokyo Table offers a vast selection of dessert choices. You can make your own halo-halo or you can choose to have just some ice cream. Popsicle sticks are also available. Then there's a lot of cheesecakes, some custaroons, buko pandan rainbow, agar rainbow, mango float, black forest cake, choco fudge, Brazo de Mercedes, and a looooot more! Your sweet tooth is definitely in for a treat.

Note: I enjoyed all the dessert items I chanced upon. Desserts are a highlight at Tokyo Table.

A Few Other Notes

If you are a group of 8 or more diners and will be spending a minimum of PHP 5,000, you may opt for a more private dining experience. The private dining rooms can be used by a group of 8-15 persons who are spending a total of PHP 5,000 or more.

The buffet costs ranges from PHP 616 to PHP 840 for adults depending on the days. Buffet meals at Tokyo Table are cheapest during lunch on regular weekdays and are most expensive during dinner on weekends and holidays.


Tokyo Table is located at the City Times Square, Tipolo, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines.

Buffet Restaurant In Cebu: Golden Cowrie

Golden Cowrie: An Affordable Buffet Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines

Thanks to a tip from Carlo Andrew Olano of Kalami Cebu blog, I find myself eating yet again at a buffet restaurant in Cebu with my brother: Golden Cowrie along A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines. Golden Cowrie's Feast All You Can costs PHP 299 for lunch and PHP 399 for dinner.

The Food


At the time we dined at this famous restaurant in Cebu, soup choices were Pork Sinigang, Mongo, and Bicol Express. The Bicol express was really good. It wasn't too spicy, just enough spice to tickle your taste buds. The pork sinigang was also good except that there was just too much fat in the pork in it.


The one item that caught my attention right away was baked scallops. Go easy on these though specially if you have a sensitive stomach. As far as I know, Golden Cowrie is the lowest-priced buffet restaurant in Cebu that serve baked scallops on their menu.

They also served us some complimentary Cowrie chips, which tasted like salted camote chips. They were good.


The cucumber with onions in vinaigrette dressing at this restaurant in Cebu is to die for. Or maybe, I just love cucumber that much. Other salad options were atcharang papaya(pickled Papaya), and green mango salad.


There weren't a lot of choices in the buffet at this restaurant in Cebu, but the dishes were definitely good ones, maybe because these are all familiar Filipino dishes. There was Crispy Pata and Boneless Lechon Belly. Then there was Patatim, Bam-i, Squid Adobo, Ngohiong, Lechon Manok, Garlic Shrimps, and Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet.

The shrimps, though overcooked, were delicious. The squid adobo was good too while the Ngohiong was kind of ordinary. Some parts of the Crispy Pata weren't that crispy but the ones that were indeed crispy was really good. And oh, the lechon belly was good too except for some rind that weren't too crunchy as well.


There are only a few dessert choices at this restaurant in Cebu, but the Maja Blanca is really delicious. Biko was the only other prepared dessert item while there was also some watermelon and pineapple.


The buffet cost already includes bottomless iced tea. Golden Cowrie is among the few buffet restaurants in Cebu that includes a bottomless beverage without extra charges.

The Place


Golden Cowrie is located along A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines. It is right beside Super Metro at the place where Kaona Grill once was. Public utility jeepneys plying routes from northern Metro Cebu to Talamban pass right in front of Golden Cowrie.

When driving, Google Maps shows you the location of Golden Cowrie.

Golden Cowrie on Google Maps

Contact Information

For reservations and inquiries, one may dial (032) 345 6860.

Cebu Blogging Community: It's Not JUST All About Blogging

The Cebu Blogging Community held its first ever Ultimate Meet-up at Diamond Suites Cebu last March 7, 2015. The well-attended event was made possible through the help of generous sponsors. Diamond Suites provided for the use of the conference room and the pool deck, as well as for snacks and dinner. They were also kind enough to give the bloggers of Cebu a tour of the hotel rooms. Other sponsors were Cebu Domain, Cebu Teambuilding Services, Flawless Face and Body Clinic, and Philippine Information Agency.

Cebu Blogging Community: It's All About Blogging

For all it's worth, Cebu Blogging Community is a community of bloggers. It is all about blogging and more. The 1st CBC Ultimate Meetup was first and foremost a gathering of bloggers in Cebu who are bonded by a sense of community and camaraderie, a common goal of advancing public accountability for bloggers, and a passion for advancing and promoting blogging and citizen media as a mainstream media channel.

It's All About Blogging: CBC & Blogging Ethics

One of the highlights of the 1st CBC Ultimate Meetup was the signing of the manifesto on public accountability for bloggers. Eleanor NewMedia discussed the importance of ethics in blogging as a citizen media platform as well as gave some pointers on writing feature articles. Since everyone understood the relevance and significance of a code of ethics for bloggers, the response to the signing of the manifesto was simply overwhelming.

It's All About Blogging: Community Rules

As in any community, rules are important. CBC Rules were discussed in the meetup, the rationale for each rule explained, and opened up for discussion among those present. While there were contentious discussions on the rules, it was understood that the current rules are set up to ensure things are run smoothly. Of course, any later rule change is open for discussion with the goal of advancing CBC's interests.

It's All About Blogging: Blog & Win 

Several contests were also made available to bloggers of Cebu where they can win a free hotel stay at Diamond Suites, an unlimited BBQ dinner for 2 at Diamond Suites, and gift packs and PHP 500 vouchers from Flawless.

Cebu Blogging Community: It's Not JUST All About Blogging

More than just blogging, it is the sense of community, great camaraderie and warm friendship that well define what Cebu Blogging Community is about.

It's not JUST All About Blogging: Getting To Know CBC Members

The CBC Ultimate meetup was not just all about blogging. It was a great circumstance to get to know the people behind the blogs. Bloggers of Cebu made good use of the opportunity to get to know other members. Cebu Teambuilding Services made good use of the limited space to have participants randomly mingle with each other. 

It's Not JUST All About Blogging: Raffles

More than just talks all about blogging, there were some prizes that were randomly raffled off: Flawless gift packs, Google shirts, Coca Cola USB drives.

It's Not JUST All About Blogging: Dinner and Pool Party

After an overload of information all about blogging the whole afternoon, it was time for CBC Folks to party at the pool deck of Diamond Suites. With an artist singing while strumming his acoustic guitar, dinner was served. The inviting waters of the pool will have to wait a bit after dinner. Several CBC folks also shared their musical talents, highlighting that bloggers are not just confined to skills all about blogging.

Indeed, the 1st CBC Ultimate Meetup was a great success in fostering camaraderie among bloggers of Cebu, in advancing and promoting public accountability and ethics in blogging, and in making the CBC rules well understood. I am so looking forward to the next meetup.

KingOne Rotary Hot Pot: A Royal Dining Experience

My brother and I are a big fan of food. Recently, we tried on a new dining experience at KingOne Rotary Hot Pot Cebu branch, dubbed as the best shabu-shabu dining experience in Manila. KingOne is part of the Yakimix restaurant group. So off we went to City Times Square in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines to try out a royal buffet dining experience.

The Cost

A royal dining experience does not have to be expensive. Prices for the eat-all-you-can dining experience at KingOne Rotary Hotpot Cebu starts for as low as PHP 499. For an additional PHP 55 charge, one can already have unlimited drinks.

Our Tip: Look out for their promotions to maximize the value of your dining experience.

Prepare Your Own Unique Dining Experience

Sauces and side dishes

Before we get to start with our kingly dining experience, the waitstaff brought us soy sauce and 8 sides: sliced green pepper, dilis, fresh cucumber slices, kimchi, black fungus, sauteed beans, achara, and mushroom. Sliced red pepper, minced ginger, salt, and a special sauce was already on the table too.

Choose Your Soup Base

To start with the dining experience, you get to choose your soup base. Pick one or two from the menu. Once you made your choices, they will bring your soup bases to your table and place the pot on a built-in hot plate. Bring the soup bases to a boil and then start dropping in your handpicked ingredients.

Choices for soup base are plain soup, satay soup, century egg & wansoy soup, Japanese miso soup, Hongkong curry soup, korean kimchi soup, Thailand Tom Yum soup, Hongkong-style pork bone soup, and spicy Szechuan soup. The Hongkong curry soup, Korean kimchi soup, Thailand Tom Yum soup, and Szechuan soup are soup bases that are spicy.

Our Tips: 
  • Their bestseller is plain soup, Hongkong-style pork bone soup, and satay soup. The house specialty is the super spicy Szechuan soup. We had Thailand Tom Yum Soup and Japanese Miso Soup.
  • You can tell the waitstaff how much spice you want in your soup base.

Select a Free Short Order

Your royal dining experience comes with one free short order. Your choices are tempura, salt & pepper spare ribs, salt & pepper fish fillet, fried large intestine, fried wanton, fried rice, and plain rice. I am a big fan of Japanese food and seafood, so I took the tempura.

Our Tip: Do not order rice from the short order menu as rice comes unlimited without extra charge.

Order a Drink

At an extra cost of PHP 55, you can already compliment your royal dining experience with a bottomless drink. Soft drink choices are blue lemonade, ice tea, Pepsi light, Pepsi regular, rootbeer, 7-up, and Mirinda. For PHP 75, one can have a bottomless fruit shake. Shake choices are Lychee Jello Shake, Strawberry Jello Shake, Calamansi Jello Shake, Green Apple Jello Shake, Mango Jello Shake, Fresh Papaya Shake, Fresh Mango Shake, Fresh Pineapple Shake, and Fresh Watermelon Shake.

Our Tip: Order a fresh fruit shake to go with your unique dining experience. For your succeeding refills, you then can have any other soft drink for no extra charge.

Pick Your Ingredients

You can handpick your ingredients as you are afforded a great degree of control to make your dining experience personal. You can either ask the waitstaff to bring them to you or you can pick from the conveyor belt. You can have seafoods, fresh meat, vegetables, noodles, and house specialties.

Seafood choices are prawns, sliced squid, crab sticks, fish fillet, salmon fish head, nylon shell or halaan, fish lips, and sea cucumber. fresh meat choices are imported lamb meat, U.S. supreme beef, sliced beef, beef libro, goto, sliced pork bacon, pork tito, large intestine, pork liver, pork litid, pork blood, pork blood with glutinous rice, pork isaw, sliced chicken, chicken gall bladder, and special wine chicken. Vegetable choices are watercress, polonchay, kail lan, Baguio pechay, Tagalog pechay, lettuce, lettuce China, Kangkong, Golden mushroom, tomato, radish, wintermelon, sweet corn, young corn, seaweed, black mushroom, abalone mushroom, spinach, mixed vegetables, cabbage, and okra.

House specialties include fresh beef ball, fresh beef ball with black pepper, fresh beef ball with cheese, golden mushroom beef roll, beef ball, meat ball, lobster ball, cuttlefish ball, mushroom meat ball, golden mushroom pork roll, meat ball sandwich, Singapore fish ball, crab claws ball, Mozarella cheese ball, Singapore fish cake, cuttlefish roll, Japanese fish roll, shrimp wanton, shrimp dumpling, kuchay dumpling, Japanese fish tofu, and fish paste.

Our Tips:

  • If you came for the totally unique dining experience, sit on a table by the conveyor belt where most of the ingredients are placed.
  • If you are seated away from the conveyor belt, your dining experience will be more comfortable if you just tick the boxes on their order slip and have the waitstaff deliver them to you.
  • The mozarella cheese balls are a must try!

Start Cooking and Enjoy Your Dining Experience

When you got the ingredients you want, put them all in the boiling soup base. Wait for it to cook. As a general rule, they float up when they are already cook. You can then start enjoying your dining experience.

Some Pleasant Surprises

What made our dining experience good were a few pleasant surprises the restaurant gave us. We got a complimentary fruit platter that was neither on the menu or the order slip. They gave us half or a ripe mango, a few pineapple slices, some watermelon slices, and a serving of ripe papaya slices.

When we got our bill, they gave us a 5% discount. We did not know what that was for. And we did not bother to ask. They also gave us discount coupons. They sure know how to keep us coming back for the a kingly dining experience.

Getting in Touch

To book a reservation at KingOne Rotary Hotpot, call (032)505 9768 or (032)505 9748. 

How To Get There

KingOne Rotary Hotpot Cebu is located at unit 219-A at the 2nd floor of City Times Square, Mantawi Avenue, North Reclamation Area, Tipolo, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines. City Times Square is right across Parkmall. Jeepney routes that pass by or nearby the area are route number 01K if you are coming from Cebu City, and route number 25 when coming from the northern part of Metro Cebu.

When you are driving, here are directions from Google Maps:

Hidden Valley, Hidden Paradise, Paradise Valley: Which is Which?

It's funny how there are three resorts in adjacent towns in Central Cebu that have almost similar names that is not difficult to interchange and be confused with. So for the interest of the confused tourist, let's take a look at these 3 mountain resorts: San Fernando town's Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort, Pinamungajan town's Hidden Valley Mountain Resort, and Barili town's Paradise Valley Mountain Resort. And no, all 3 resorts are separately owned and managed. By the way, credits for the blog post idea goes to Janine Ella Anongos who left a comment in a previous blog post stating she got confused which resort is located in which town.

Don't be confused: Hidden Valley, Hidden Paradise, Paradise Valley: Which is Which?

Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort (San Fernando, Cebu, Philippines)

Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort is located in Barangay Ilaya, San Fernando town in Southern Metro Cebu, Philippines. The resort features several swimming pools, hotel rooms, conference facilities, a restaurant, and other recreational amenities.
Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort, San Fernando, Cebu
Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort in San Fernando, Cebu, Philippines
(photo grabbed from resort website)

Hidden Valley Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Wave Pool Resort (Pinamungajan, Cebu, Philippines)

The Hidden Valley Mountain Resort and the Hidden Valley Wave Pool Resort are two resorts owned and managed by the Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Both resorts are located in Barangay Lamac, Pinamungajan town in Midwestern Cebu, Philippines

The Hidden Valley Wave Pool Resort is the first of its kind in the entire Cebu province. It only opened recently last December 18, 2014. Currently, the resort is still adding several other features such as hotel rooms and an open air spa. Plans are also made for a skybike and zipline.

On the other hand, the Hidden Valley Mountain Resort has been in operation for the past 17 years. It has several swimming pools, hotel rooms, and training or conference facilities.

Paradise Valley Mountain Resort (Barili, Cebu, Philippines)

Paradise Valley Mountain Resort is located in Barangay Paril, Barili town in midwestern Cebu, Philippines. The resort did some aggressive marketing in the 90's as they had frequent commercials on television then.

So there, Hopefully this post helps in addressing some of the confusion.

Free Stay in Daanbantayan

Who does not love freebies? I'm sure I do, and I'm also sure many of you do. While there is no such thing as free lunch anymore, cold hard cash is no longer the exclusive currency nowadays. Economies have come full circle and barter trading in modern times do exist. Let me share about two places in northern Cebu's Daanbantayan town who offer freebies: Virgin Beach Resort and Skip's Beach Resort.

Free Stay at Virgin Beach Resort

free stay in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Virgin Beach Resort
(photo grabbed from resort's website)
Virgin Beach Resort in Sitio Suba, Barangay Malbago, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines offers a familiarization tour of their resort in exchange for a link on your site that points back to their website. The familiarization tour offer is only good for a complimentary room good for one night on their superior room (fan only, no aircon). No meals are also provided and they charge a corkage fee for foods brought from outside. The offer is good for one free night every calendar year for the link on your blog or website. It's not really totally free, since you may have to spend for your meals. I personally think that it is a good offer though as it saves you a lot by not paying for a room, which starts at somewhere around PHP 800 a night.

Ron Perry, the American resort owner of Virgin Beach Resort who is married to a Filipina from Bogo City, is a very amiable guy and you can converse with him freely. He is truly someone who has found his home in beautiful Cebu island.

Read more about this offer at Free Stay for a Night in a Tropical Paradise.

Lots of Freebies at Skip's Beach Resort

Skip's Beach Resort claims to be the only totally free campground in Southeast Asia. They also offer a lot of other free items even for those who just stop by to say hello. I still totally do not get the philosophy, but Skip Ellsworth (May he rest in peace!), the American who built the resort, seems to be just giving back to others all the blessings he enjoyed in life.

Here is a list of free items they offer for free at Skip's Beach Resort (even to those who are not paying to stay in their resort or hotel:
  • Free Use of WiFi DSL Internet Connection
  • Free Use of Sailboats or Bancas
  • Free Use of 10-Speed Bicycles
  • Free Open Beach Cottages
  • Free Use of Snorkeling Gear
  • Free Use of Flotation Tubes for Swimming
  • Free Use of Public Campground with Permanent Shelters
  • Free Use of Fishing Equipment (Rods & Reels)
  • Free Orientation (about Daanbantayan and Malapascua) and Coffee for Visitors who Just Stop By
  • Free Karaoke (No need to insert coins, it's totally free!)
  • Free Lounging at the Lobby/ Bar/ Dining Area even if not staying at the resort
  • Free tag-along trips to the market, to Cebu City, and to local villages
  • Free Use of Toilet Facilities
  • Free Use of Dirty Kitchens and Grill Areas
  • Free Use of Electricity to Charge Mobile Phones and Laptop Computers
It did sound too good to be true the first time I cam across this, but it definitely is for real. I last spoke to Skip a couple of years before he died in 2008. Despite his pain and suffering, he was a very generous and kind-hearted man.

free stay in Daanbantayan, Cebu
Free Cottages
(Photo grabbed from Skip's Beach Resort Website)