Joed's Lutong Hapon in Cebu

Most Japanese Restaurants in Cebu, Philippines 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, Philippines. This one is right in front of the Sarrosa International Hotel.

Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

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 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.

Recently, I dined at Joed's with my brother Nathan and my business associate Nathaniel. We ordered sukiyakidon, ebi tempura, the Joed's super special maki, their special bento A, and the special bento B. For our beverage, we each ordered bottomless iced tea.

Special Bento A 

Joed's special bento B has three (3) pieces of ebi tempura, two (2) pieces of gyoza in a bed of shredded vegetables, mango and cucumber salad, a cup of rice, miso soup, and eight (8) pieces of California maki. The price is PhP 250. Great value!

Special bento A at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Special bento A at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Special Bento B

The special bento B consists of miso soup, a cup of rice, yakisoba, a generous serving of tonkatsu, and eight (8) pieces of crazy maki. This also costs PhP 250. Great value!

Special bento B at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Special bento B at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Ebi Tempura 

Me and my brother are suckers for ebi or shrimp tempura so we ordered one serving at Joed's. Good value for money as an order contained five (5) pieces of medium-sized shrimp tempura for only PhP 120. Not the best shrimp tempura in town, but hey you get what you pay for. This one looked more like camarron rebosado than shrimp or prawn tempura I am accustomed to in Japanese restaurants.

Shrimp tempura at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Ebi tempura at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Sukiyakidon 

I'm a big fan of sukiyaki and ordered the dish as soon as I saw it on the Joed's menu. While this cost PhP 110 per serving, I was disappointed as the quality was far off from most sukiyaki I have tried before. Guess I got what I paid for.

Sukiyaki at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Sukiyaki at Joed's Lutong Hapon Japanese Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Joed's Super Special Maki

Joed's Lutong Hapon is primarily a sushi place. Being that, I asked for the chef's special which was the Joed's super special maki. The twist on this dish is that it uses watermelon fruit slices as a main ingredient along with sweet ripe mango slices, nori seaweed wrap, and steamed Japanese rice. It has a weird taste when I got the first bite but once I developed an acquired taste, it was not just tolerable but was actually pretty good.

A photo posted by Thaddeau Engaling II (@thadzonline) on

6 Filipino Favorites We Tried at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

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 six (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 at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Crispy pata at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines

Baked Scallops 

Always on the hunt for the best scallops in Cebu and the Philippines, I ordered the baked scallops. Although Hukad's version does not make it to the top of my list, it should contend to be second or third best at least.

Choices for the best baked scallops in Cebu:



Baked scallops at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Baked scallops at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines

Fish Tinola 

I am not a fan of tinola but we ordered this dish since my uncle and aunt are fond of this soup. This one was tinolang tangigue, one of the favorite fish tinola recipes many Filipinos enjoy.

Fish tinola at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Fish tinola at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines

Calamari

These breaded squid slices deep fried in oil is a family favorite and we did not miss ordering this. I should say this is among the better renditions of the dish I have tried. 

Calamari at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Calamari at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines

Camaron Rebosado 

When they ordered camaron rebosado, I was worried about how small the serving size would be. But I was pleasantly surprised to be served medium-sized shrimps and a portion that can satisfy 3 to 4 people.

Camaron rebosado at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Camaron rebosado at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines

Pancit Habhab

Pancit Habhab at Hukad is loaded. The noodle dish came with a lot of cabbage strips, carrot slices, mushroom, bell peppers, onions, scallions, and meat.

Pancit Habhab at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines
Pancit habhab at Hukad Restaurant in Cebu, Philippines

Unlimited Rice

We enjoyed our meal so much specially that rice was unlimited. Unlimited rice offers are now becoming a trend for restaurants in Cebu and the entire Philippines.

Hukad Branches in Cebu

Hukad Restaurant has four (4) branches in Cebu:

Ayala Center Cebu 

2nd Level, The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu, Barrio Luz, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone Number: (032) 417 1301
Store Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Parkmall 

Parkmall Cebu, Ouano Avenue, Tipolo, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Telephone Number: (032) 236 3509
Store Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

SM Seaside City 

Level 2, Cube Wing, SM Seaside City, South Road Properties, Cebu City, Philippines
Store Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

South Town Centre

Ground Level, South Town Centre, Cebu South Road, Tabunok, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

Native Chicken Barbecue at Penong's

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 Barbecue, Seafoods, and Grill

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

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


Pancit canton at Penong's Barbecue, Seafoods, and Grill in Cebu City, Philippines
Pancit canton at Penong's Barbecue, Seafoods, and Grill in Cebu City, Philippines

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 barbecue and chicken barbecue combo meal at Penong's Barbecue, Seafoods, and Grill in Cebu City, Philippines
Pork and chicken barbecue combo meal at Penong's Barbecue, Seafood, and Grill in Cebu City, Philippines

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.


grilled pork belly at Penong's Barbecue, Seafoods, and Grill in Cebu City, Philippines
Grilled pork belly at Penong's Barbecue, Seafoods, and Grill in Cebu City, Philippines
There's a lot of other interesting dishes in the Penong's menu. They have short orders and platters that can serve three (3) or more persons.




Location and Contact Information of Penong's

Street Address: Juana Osmeña Avenue corner Escario Street, Kamputhaw, Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone number: (032) 416 0176 | (032) 254 0311
Mobile Number: 0943 136 5701
Facebook Page: Penong's Barbecue, Seafood, and Grill

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 it. The Cebuano version is mostly just pig's blood or that the meat is so finely minced you hardly notice it's there. It's referred to as dugo-dugo instead of dinuguan.

When I moved to 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. That is dinuguan thas has real meat on it. One can order Mang Inasal's dinuguan a la carte or with three (3) pieces of puto (Filipino rice cake).

All-meat dinuguan at Mang Inasal in Cebu, Philippines
All-meat dinuguan at Mang Inasal

Other Mang Inasal Favorites

My other favorites at Mang Inasal are their chicken inasal and pork barbecue. They also have other Filipino favorites in their menu such as pancit palabok, halo-halo, pork sisig, inihaw na bangus, pancit bihon, sago at gulaman, turon, and leche flan.


Chicken Inasal at Mang Inasal in Cebu, Philippines
Chicken inasal at Mang Inasal


Mang Inasal Branches in Cebu, Philippines

Bogo City

P. Rodriguez Street, Carbon, Bogo City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily


Carcar City

Gaisano Carcar

Carcar City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily

Cebu City

138 Mall 

088 Colon Street, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  daily

APM Mall 

APM Shopping Mall, A. Soriano Street, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

Elizabeth Mall

3rd Floor, Elizabeth Mall, N. Bacalso Street corner Leon Kilat Street, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily

Gaisano Countrymall

Ground Floor, Gaisano Countrymall, Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue, Banilad, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Gaisano South Colon

Colon Street corner Leon Kilat Street, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 
8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday | 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday to Sunday

Lahug

Salinas Drive corner La Guardia Street, Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily

Osmeña Boulevard

Barbara Building, 17-C Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily

Prince Warehouse Club-City Hall

Prince Warehouse Club - Cebu City Hall, M.C. Briones Street, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours:
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday and Saturday | 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday and Sunday

Robinsons Place 

Level 1, Robinsons Place, Fuente Osmeña, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily

Shopwise Basak 

Cebu South Road, Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

SM City Cebu 

Lower Ground Floor, SM City Cebu, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

SM Seaside City 

Ground Floor, SM Seaside City, South Road Properties, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

Solara Mall-Cebu 

Solara Mall, Mango Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily

Sto. Niño

Osmeña Boulevard corner F. Gonzales Street, Barangay Sto. Niño, Cebu City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 
9:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday and Saturday | 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday and Sunday

Consolacion

Citymall Consolacion 

National Highway, Cansaga, Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

Consolacion Cebu 

National Road corner Tugbungan Road, Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

SM City Consolacion

National Road, Barangay Lamac, Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

Danao City

F. Ralota Street, Danao City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays | 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sundays

Lapulapu City

Gaisano Grand Mactan

Basak-Marigondon Road corner Ibabao-Gisi-Agus Road, Basak, Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Island Mall Cebu 

Upper Ground Floor, Gaisano Island Mall, Pajo, Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

Mactan Marina Mall

Mactan Export Processing Zone 1, Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily

Mandaue City 

Centro Mandaue 

Rizal Street corner Del Rosario Street, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily

J Center Mall 

165 A. S. Fortuna Street, Bakilid, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

Pacific Mall

Ground Floor, Super Metro Mandaue, Pacific Mall, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. weekdays | 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. weekends

Parkmall

Parkmall Cebu, 168 Ouano Avenue, North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

Minglanilla

Gaisano Minglanilla

Poblacion Ward II, Minglanilla, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekdays | 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekends

Talisay City

Gaisano Fiesta Mall

Ground Floor, Gaisano Fiesta Mall, Tabunok, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily

Toledo City

Ground Floor, Metro Plaza, R. Macapagal Road corner M. Barbara Street, Poblacion, Toledo City, Cebu, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily

4 Flavors at Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

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, Philippines
Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

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 (4) 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 (4) options: barbecue, chili, country, or Jack Daniels.

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 Pork Chops at Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Jack Daniels at Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

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

Chili pork chops at Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Chili pork chops at Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
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, 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 in Cebu City, Philippines
Mugcake at Chop Stop Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
One item in the menu that also got me interested but have not tried yet is unlimited margarita. Maybe next time.

7 Events Best Held at Virgin Beach Resort in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

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 and 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 in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

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



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.

2. Family Bonding

Spend some quality time with your family at Virgin Beach Resort. Have fun with your kids at the swimming pool. Eat a hearty meal together as a family at the Orchid Bar and Restaurant. Watch some feel good movies. Play some sports. Or just plainly be contented in the company of your family.

3. Solo Time

Visit Virgin Beach Resort for some me time. Read good books. Enjoy a relaxing massage. Commune with nature. Enjoy the breeze all to yourself at Virgin Beach Resort.

Virgin Beach Resort in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
All by myself at Virgin Beach Resort in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

4. Reviewing for the Board Exams

When studying for an important exam such as the board exams, you would want to be in a place where it is quiet and where there is a lot less influence from the outside world. The location of Virgin Beach Resort is perfect for this. There are also some motivational and inspirational books in their collections that will surely boost the morale and spirit of reviewers.

Book and magazine collection at Virgin Beach Resort in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Part of the book and magazine collection at Virgin Beach Resort in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

5. Camping

Those who want to go camping at a safe and secure site in northern Cebu will find Virgin Beach Resort a good place. There are spaces by the sea where campers can pitch a tent. Two (2) tents are also available for rent. Or campers can always bring their own tent. Fee is only PhP 300 per night for the use of the camping grounds and that already comes with a free breakfast at the Orchid Bar and Restaurant.

6. Retreat or Recollection

Virgin Beach Resort is also a nice place to hold retreats and recollections for groups of different sizes. Virgin Beach Resort is a perfect place for soul-searching because it is a quiet place. It is an ideal spot for self-reflection, meditation, or to simply just filter out the noise when you have big and important life decisions to make. It also helps that there are good self-help books in their collection.


7. Romantic Date

While there is no romantic sunset to watch at Virgin Beach Resort, the privacy that the resort provides makes it an awesome place for a romantic date. Lovers would definitely have quality time with each other when they stay at Virgin Beach Resort.

Chix Savour: Chinoy Restaurant in Lahug, Cebu City

Most Chinese restaurants in Cebu and the Philippines are either dimsum places, fastfoods, 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 so they can be more aptly be referred to as a Chinoy restaurant.

Chix Savour Chinoy Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

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, Philippines. 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.


Meatball congee and tofu at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Meatballs congee and Tofulicious at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Chix Savour's fried whole chicken was the dish that started it all. This chicken dish is real juicy and it comes with a tasty gravy as well.

Whole fried chicken at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Whole Chix at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

If the whole chicken is too much for you, you can always order the Chix Sarap meal which serves a quarter of the fried chicken with rice, gravy, and some shrimp crackers.

Fried chicken at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Chix Sarap at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

My personal favorite was the crispy kangkong, breaded spinach that is deep fried to give it enough crisp. It is perfectly paired with a mayo-ketchup dip.

Crispy kangkong at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Crispy Kangkong at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Another dish that tickled my taste buds was the Big Brother Belly, grilled marinated pork belly which also happens to be the favorite of Ms. Annrea Sy-Almario, one of the owners of Chix Savour.

Pork belly at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Big Brother Belly at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Some of the bloggers liked the rice toppings. We were served two (2) kinds: lengua asado and pork asado.

Pork asado at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Pork Asado at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

After the meal, we were served some buchi. The buchi at Chix Savour is unique. Instead of a plain peanut butter filling, they add in some chocolate into the mix.

Buchi at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines
Buchi at Chix Savour Restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines

Location and Contact Information of Chix Savour

Street Address: Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City (across Metrobank), Philippines
Mobile Number: 0932 850 8771
Facebook Page: Chix Savour Restaurant
Operating Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.