Joed's Lutong Hapon

Most Japanese Restaurants in Cebu are quite expensive. But there's a humble Japanese-inspired restaurant that breaks this status quo. I am referring to Joed's Lutong Hapon along F. Cabahug Street in Kasambagan, Cebu City. This one is right in front of the Sarrosa International Hotel.

Joed's Lutong Hapon

I first dined at Joed's Lutong Hapon back when I was still working as a guidance services specialist at the University of the Philippines Cebu. Joed's then was a humble carenderia serving Japanese dishes. It was located beside a basketball court along Pope John Paul II Avenue (formerly Juan Luna Avenue). A few years later, it was transferred to a place near the Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus in barangay Capitol Site. The current store is their third relocation.

Joed's Lutong Hapon
Joed's Lutong Hapon

6 Filipino Favorites We Tried at Hukad Restaurant

Hukad Restaurant by Golden Cowrie is a favorite food place for Cebuanos. Even on ordinary weekdays, this place can be packed and most specially on weekends. I went with family on Palm Sunday this year to dine at the Hukad Restaurant branch at The Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu and here are the 6 favorite Filipino dishes we ordered:

Crispy Pata 

My kins are really heavy pork eaters and we could not resist ordering the large-sized crispy pata from the Hukad menu. This one was boiled until it was tender before it was fried. I liked how succulent the meat was. 

Crispy pata
Crispy pata

Native Chicken Barbecue at Penong's Native Restaurant

One of the better placed restaurants along the stretch of Escario Street in Cebu City is Penong's Native Restaurant at the corner of Juana Osmeña Street and Escario Street. Penong's serves mostly grilled Filipino favorites as well as other Filipino-inspired dishes.

Penong's Native Restaurant

Penong's specializes in barbecue, seafood dishes, and grilled food. When we dined at Penong's, we ordered pancit canton, the chicken and pork barbecue combo meal, and the pork belly meal. Their combo meals or value meals comes with unlimited rice and atchara or pickled papaya.

The pancit canton was really good. It had a lot of ingredients. There was pork, squid, shrimps, cabbage, onions, bell peppers, and lots of other vegetables.

Pancit canton at Penong's Native Restaurant
Pancit canton

The chicken thigh barbecue was okay, the skin a little too charred for my preference. The meat flavor was good and just enough juiciness. The pork barbecue however was a bit hard and the size is not that big.

pork and chicken barbecue combo meal at Penong's Native Restaurant
Pork and chicken barbecue combo meal

The pork belly was grilled on a stick and this one was evenly cooked although a little too dry. The portion is also a satisfying one, not too big and not too small.

pork belly at Penong's Native Restaurant
Pork belly

There's a lot of other interesting dishes in the Penong's menu. They have short orders and platters that can serve three or more persons.

Location and Contact Information of Penong's

Street Address: Juana Osmeña Avenue corner Escario Street, Cebu City
Telephone number: +63 32 416 0176 | +63 32 254 0311
Mobile Number: +63 943 136 5701
Facebook Page: Penong's Native Restaurant

Toledo Branch

Street Address: Diosdado Macapagal Highway, Toledo City, Cebu
Mobile Number: +63 917 323 3668
Business Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Mondays to Saturdays)

Have you tried the grilled specialties at Penong's Native Restaurant? What is your favorite item on their menu? You may share your them in the comments section below.

Real Dinuguan Served at Mang Inasal

Did you know that Cebuanos have a different version of dinuguan or  pig blood stew? I grew up eating the Ilocano version of the Filipino dish. Thanks to my maternal grandmother's culinary traditions. The dinuguan that I was used to eating as a kid had real meat slices in it and several of the pig's internal organs mixed in the dish. The Cebuano version is mostly just pig's blood or that the meat is so finely minced you hardly notice that it's there. It's referred to as dugo-dugo instead of dinuguan.

When I moved to Talisay, Cebu in 1993, I hardly had dinuguan the way I used to before. Luckily, Mang Inasal now serves the dinuguan dish that I knew from my childhood days in Zamboanga del Norte. That is dinuguan thas has real meat on it. One can order Mang Inasal's dinuguan a la carte or with three pieces of puto (Filipino rice cake).

All-meat dinuguan at Mang Inasal
All-meat dinuguan at Mang Inasal

4 Flavors at Chop Stop Restaurant

I first came across a Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City on opening day at Robinsons Galleria at the North Reclamation Area. I did not mind it then as there were a lot of new restaurants to try at the newly-opened mall.

Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City

It was my brother Nathan who invited me for lunch at the Chop Stop Restaurant in SM Seaside City, also a new mall that opened just a week or two ahead of Robinsons Galleria. As we entered the restaurant, we asked what was the chef's special and they readily offered their chops. The fried chops can either be chicken or pork and it can come in four different flavors. It can come in 1-piece or 2-piece chops. When ordering, you first choose either chicken or pork for your meat. Then you choose your sides which can either be buttered vegetables or nachos with salsa. After that, you choose your sauce from four options: barbecue, chili, country, or Jack Daniels.

Chop Stop Restaurant
Chop Stop

Jack Daniels Chops

Their bestseller is the Jack Daniels chops, fried pork or chicken chops adorned with a sauce whose main ingredient is Jack Daniels whiskey. The Jack Daniels sauce has some kind of a sting from its alcohol but it's a good one as it adds flavor into the meat.

Jack Daniels chops at Chop Stop Restaurant
Jack Daniels chops

Chili Chops

Another flavor that we tried was the chili chops. These are pork or chicken chops with a dressing that is spicy but with a hint of sweet.

chili pork chops at Chop Stop Restaurant
Chili pork chops

Barbecue Chops

Yet another flavor we tried is the barbecue chops. This one is also good, a hint of smoke in the meat but with just enough sweetness and sourness too.

Next time we will dine at Chop Stop Restaurant, we will be trying the country sauce and see how good that can be. The sauces at Chop Stop are good but I wish that the meat was more tender.


We also tried their mugcake. This dessert is like a warm brownie cup with ice cream on top.

mugcake at Chop Stop restaurant

One item in the menu that also got me interested but have not tried yet is unlimited margarita. Maybe next time.

Chop Stop Restaurant Locations in Cebu

There are currently 3 branches of Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu:

IT Park 

Ground Floor, i1 Building, Asiatown IT Park
Apas, Cebu City

Robinsons Galleria 

3rd Floor Robinsons Galleria
Gen. Maxilom Avenue Extension, Cebu City

SM Seaside City

3rd Floor, SM Seaside City
SRP-Mambaling Road, Cebu City

Have you tried the chops at Chop Stop Restaurant? What is your favorite flavor? Let us know in the comments section below.

7 Events Best Held at Virgin Beach Resort in Daanbantayan

Cebu has long been known to be a beach destination. While the more popular beach resorts are those located in Mactan Island, there is actually a lot more to that that Cebu can offer in terms of beautiful beaches. Northern Cebu has its share of own beautiful beach places. The relatively quiet town of Daanbantayan has quite a few places worth checking out. Malapascua island is the more popular of these beach destinations in this town. But there are a few others on the part of town that is on mainland Cebu. I happened to stumble upon one of these beach resorts in one of my vacation trips in northern Cebu.

Virgin Beach Resort 

Virgin Beach Resort is a quaint, family-owned, and family-oriented resort in Sitio Suba, barangay Malbago, Daanbantayan. I stayed 1 night at the resort recently last 12-13 March 2016. Judging from my night's stay at the resort, here are 7 events that can best be held at this American-owned beach resort in northern Cebu:

Virgin Beach Resort
Virgin Beach Resort

1. Team Building Programs

Cebu Teambuilding Services identifies Virgin Beach Resort as among the affordable and conducive places to conduct team building programs at in northern Cebu. They have a good size function room and lots of open spaces to have team building activities on.

The function room at Virgin Beach Resort
Function room

Chix Savour: Chinoy Restaurant

Most Chinese restaurants in Cebu and the Philippines are either dimsum places, fast foods joints, or high end restaurants. Only recently have I come across a Chinese restaurant that caters to the working class. Well, it's not totally a Chinese restaurant. They serve a mix of Chinese dishes and Filipino favorites. Therefore, Chix Savour can be more aptly be referred to as a Chinoy restaurant.

Chix Savour Restaurant

Chix Savour started with students in mind and now is looking at expanding their market to target the working class, most of which are the call center agents or those working in the business processing industry at the nearby Asiatown I.T. Park in barangay Apas, Cebu City. I recently ate at the place with the #CBCFoodies, the food bloggers who are members of the Cebu Blogging Community, one of the more active blogging organizations in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

As starter, we were served some meatballs congee, tofulicious, and siomai. All these dishes paved the way for an amazing lunch. The tofulicious dish is a star. This was pleasantly different from all the tofu dishes I tried at other restaurants. Chix Savour's tofu has more crunch and tastes fresher as this is prepared in store.

Meatballs congee and tofu at Chix Savour Restaurant
Meatballs congee and tofulicious