Wine Fest: More Than Grapes & Meaningful Conversations

Cebu City, Philippines — Last February 15, 2017 I was invited by the Waterfront Cebu Team to join the slated Wine Fest at the Gourmet Walk. It was an afternoon of pure excitement and delight since I got reunited with my friends from Cebu Blogging Community and Cebu Bloggers Society. Both organizations had been crucial in molding who I am now as a blogger.

Wine Fest: More Than Grapes

The Wine Fest was a brainchild of the Food and Beverage Manager and Assistant, Mr. Mike Gayoso and Mr. Raffy Babula. They wanted to showcase our New and Old World Wines that had been in Waterfront for the longest time. Wine suppliers participated and made us feel that we are in Europe with their vast wine choices.

 

The Wine Fest was also a gathering of blogger friends who liked to wine and dine. I was able to meet new ones as well as bond with the old ones over ostrich and crocodile meat. It was a night of good laughter and good conversations. We were graced by the General Manager, Mr. Anders Hallden during that night.

How It Began

Wine (from Latin vinum) is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes. Grapes are fermented without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients. Wines are not only a great companion to food but also are a great way to celebrate your day’s success. Cebu’s premier hotel and entertainment destination, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino’s Gourmet Walk lets you enjoy old and new world wines.

Wine Fest at the Gourmet Walk has wine selections for both the red and white ones. It also lets you experience the happy sensation of drinking wines. Each and everyone can enjoy this by joining our free wine tasting for selected variants. There are also selections that you can buy by the bottle to fully experience its lush and full bodied flavor. The Wine Festival is participated by the following: Philippine Wine Merchants, Ralph’s Wine, Masterchef Republic, Emperador Distillers and Titania Wine Cellars.

Visit the Gourmet Walk, Lobby Level of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino and give in your craving. They are open daily.

 

About Waterfront Cebu City Hotel:
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino is one of the well-known landmarks in the City of Cebu and is the premier venue for events and conventions in the country. Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino is located at Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines.
For inquiries or reservations, please call (63-32) 232-6888 local 8611. Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino is located at Salinas Drive, Lahug

 

Gibb’s Hot Wings: Innovation And Creativity In A Jam Packed Creation

Cebu CityGibb’s Hot Wings by Frank Oliva was actually the first one who started Cebu’s Hot Wings craze. Dubbed as the “hottest” literally, Gibb’s Hot Wings continue to attract curious foodies with its innovative menu and more than chill lounge ambiance and feels.

Gibb’s had their own humble beginnings when Frank Oliva had the passion for excellent food that is easy to prepare and had the desire to provide the best tasting Chicken Wings in town. He had that one urgent and persistent urge to show Cebuanos how he does Chicken Wings.

Getting It ON!

Upon arriving at Gibb’s, I was warmly greeted by my fellow bloggers who had been so awesome to invite me. Shout out to Philip of Cebu Finest! 🙂 I was a bit late though since I had to attend to other matters but still, I made my way to Gibb’s at the Streetscape in Banilad. It was quite far from where I am working but for the love of food and friendship, I still went there. And it was the best decision on that night.

The Menu

This is the first time I will be tasting Gibb’s so I searched for the menu and I was surprised since it has an extensive and impressive menu. Since I just came from dinner, I was served with the Mozzarella Sticks. For PHP 155, it was a delight to my cheese-loving self.

I definitely finished this by myself since I came in a bit late. Anyway, the sensation brought about by this yummy and gooey Mozza sticks beat any other Mozza sticks out there. No doubt, it raised the bar for the appetizer. I just love how they took time to meticulously prepare it without overly melting the cheese. I honestly told Coy, the owner, that as a foodie who cooks, this is by far, the best I had.

Next one I tried was the King Curry Wings. I loved how it was plated in a medley of sweet corn, curry sauce that is not overly spicy but just right, and the tender wings highlighted it all. I love anything that has curry, and I can even taste some coconut milk in it but hey, it wasn’t really leaning to being Indian-ish at all. Gibb’s was able to give it a delicious twist and I can’t help to lick my fingers. 🙂

Since I am not really into spicy fanfare due to GI tract issues, I contented myself to the non-spicy offerings of the restaurant and mind you, they did not scrimp on the ingredients and heightened the flavors that bring out the best of the dish.

Gibb’s had been a great cozy venue for me to discover more flavors and explore the possibilities on that part of the chicken that is revered, the wings. When everyone thought that it cannot be done, Coy Oliva proved that with perseverance and with persistence, the so-called “pulutan food” became a sustainable venture. It was an indirect business move that provided avenues for employment to others while sharing the passion for food.

I have been fully satiated during my visit and I am looking forward to the next one. It truly is the Best Wings in Cebu!

To visit them here is their address:

2nd Floor, Streetscape Lifestyle Mall, Paseo Saturnino, Ma. Luisa Road, Banilad, Cebu City
Opening Hours: Sunday – Tuesday & Thursday 11AM – 2PM (Lunch) / 5:30PM – 10PM (Dinner)
Wednesday, Friday – Saturday 11AM – 2PM (Lunch) / 5:30PM – 12MN (Dinner)
Contact Nos.: +63 917 708 3883 / (032) 406 3095

Facebook: Gibbs’s Hot Wings
Instagram: @gibbshotwings

The Abalone: JPark Island Resort’s Must Try Dining Spot

JPark Island Resort and Waterpark had been around for quite some time and has consistently been on the top spot for places to go to when in Cebu. From its primordial existence of being Imperial Palace Resort back around almost a decade ago, it springs back as a laid-back resort experience akin to having your own waterpark in Mactan Island. Yesterday, I was fortunate to be invited by the resort to partake a Blogger Contest. My area of jurisdiction was The Abalone.

Dayon kamo! 🙂 #ViajeraCebuanaAdventures #ilovejparkforsummer2017 #ViajeraCebuanaTravels #SummerLove #CebuanoBloggersDayOut

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The Contest had been divided into two categories namely:

Photo Exhibit Contest: 3 best entries per blogger and the winning Top 6 will be placed in the Lobby for the in-house guests to vote.

Blog Post Like and Share: Each blogger needs to blog about a certain area before Monday, March 27 and share on social media to gain reach and likes.

Prizes are to be given by the management and are as follows:

1st: Overnight stay for two with Buffet Breakfast at The Abalone

2nd: Waterpark Adventure for Two

3rd: Buffet Dinner for Two at The Abalone

The Abalone

The Abalone, is by far, the biggest outlet in the resort. It also has the widest breakfast buffet at this side of the Queen City of the South. Upon entering the big heavy doors of the restaurant, you will be ushered by an attendant to your table. You will notice a very big central station that covers four areas, namely, desserts and fruits of the season, hydration [juices, water, and beer], salad station and halo-halo station, and cheese, bread, and jams as well as chocolate fondue.

There are other live stations at The Abalone that include the Japanese station that has a wide array of Maki, Sushi, Sashimi and sides. It has an eye-catching preserved fish display, pufferfish preserved and serving as a decoration. The station had a wide array of sauces and dips.

The Western Station at  The Abalone served Main Dishes that vary at lunch and dinner time. It has beef, pork, and some seafood. Prawns and Chicken are being grilled live. Sausages are also present. They serve very good Mashed Potatoes and Buttered Vegetables. In the Western Station, Pizza and Pasta are also present. I love how they have a mix and match freedom on the sauces and pasta.

The Oriental Station has Jasmine Rice and steamed Dimsum like Siomai, Dumplings, and noodles. Korean food are also present. There are varied soups also available for those who wanted some liquid comfort.

The restaurant itself can house at least 390 guests and can also extend in the open VIP Lounge outside. It has a great view of the waterpark and you may be able to enjoy the cool sea breeze.

Care for some chitchat? #ilovejparkforsummer2017 #ViajeraCebuanaAdventures #ViajeraCebuana #SummerLove #ViajeraCebuanaTravels

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Visit The Abalone at:

Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark, Cebu
M.L. Quezon Highway, Brgy.Maribago
Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Call +6332.494.5000
Manila Office +632 755 8484

 

French High Tea: An Afternoon Of Friendship, Camaraderie and Creativity

Cebu, Philippines — I had always been fascinated with how the French Patisseries had been influencing our own native taste buds. The first time I was able to eat Meringues was back when I was 5. Those sweet little treats catapulted my love for desserts. I was a thin, discerning kid who was a picky eater.

Fast forward, I am a kid trapped in an adult’s body. I still have this affinity for sweets and anything that has something to do with patisseries. I love the sweet aftertaste of eclairs, and the tang of the blueberry pie and the lighter than air feel of the flans and creme in danishes.

Zero In On Flavor: The Classics and Traditional Pastries of Chef Benoit’s French High Tea

Last Feb 02, I was invited to the launch of the French High Tea of Chef Benoit at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino’s Lobby Lounge.

It had been a happy day. At first glance of the set-up, I notice how the patisseries has been arranged in a way that it tickles the palate. I was pretty much amazed at how childhood favorites come into play. Vacherins caught my eye first. Those big meringues with a delectable light filling surprisingly caught my eye. The right crispness of the meringue complemented with the prepared heavy, fluffy Cream and freshly made Caramel. It kinda reminded me of my childhood summers spent at the barrio.

Vacherins for the win! 🙂 #FrenchHighTea #CBSForever #sweet #SmarterChange #latepost

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I am a fan of Blueberry Cheesecakes. I had been consuming this treat ever since I got acquainted with this. The sweet and tart flavor of the blueberries and the luscious cream cheese is enough for me to forget the calories that come with it. Chef Benoit’s Blueberry Cheesecake is one of a kind. I find the crust a bit rustic and flavorful even. It was love at first bite.

Bluebery Cheesecake! #FrenchHighTea #latepost #ViajeraCebuanaEats #CBSForever #SmarterChange

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The Choux and the Eclairs are also a great addition to the menu. It is not an everyday occurrence to have Choux for dessert after a very satisfying meal. The Eclairs gave another layer of flavor and texture and has a lingering sensation after.

The Pies and the Tarts are just as lovely. They are made from the freshest ingredients. I really didn’t mind the calories it contributed. The happy vibe was really addicting. It shouted everything French. 🙂

Pear Tart Bourdalouse #FrenchHighTea #CBSForever #SmarterChange #latepost

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Tart Flan Peach #latepost #FrenchHighTea #ViajeraCebuanaEats #CBSForever #SmarterChange

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The Macarons that I tried was nothing sort of what I normally eat in other cafes and establishments. The fresh lemon and strawberry creme was unexpected. The soft and velvety texture of the macaron itself totally unique. It was so light and crunchy as well. It did not disappoint me.

Tea or Soda?

After that fulfilling meal, I opted for Tea not just because this event highlights #FrenchHighTea, but I had an affinity for it. I like my tea not sweet, aromatic, full bodied. But during that time, I opted for the fragrant Jasmine Green Tea. Most of my friends from Cebu Bloggers Society had selected Soda and some few had it brewed.

French High Tea was offered for the whole month of February 2017 at 499.00/head at the Lobby Lounge of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

 

 

Papart’s Diner: More Than Just Tuslob Buwa and Good Ambiance

Cebu City, Philippines — I had been a foodie ever since. Tell you honestly, I grew up tinkering in the kitchen. I had experienced sampling the dishes made by my father and my relatives and I gave them my honest to goodness critique. There is a diner that caught my eye recently. Papart’s Diner is just the answer to my cravings for freshly made good comfort food.

Papart’s Diner might be a new kid on the block but surely, it captured my palate due to its fresh and no-nonsense menu. What started as an affinity for Tuslob-Buwa at its heyday, the restaurant expanded into something more extensive. It just satisfied my craving for home cooked fresh seafood. Stepping inside the restaurant and a homey ambiance just made my day when I was invited to a dinner with my fellow CBS blogger friends.

How Papart’s Came To Be

When Chef Tere and Debbie, a couple who had a passion and love for food, started their business with the Tuslob Buwa craze, they made it a point to stand out from the usual. Since Papart’s became a household name for Tuslob Buwa, they thought of expanding their craft. Once back to the game, they explored other food items and made it a point to get the freshest seafood from the local market since it is their advocacy to support local.

The Food List: What I Tasted

Since I arrived an hour late due to some misunderstanding on the time as well as traffic, I was able to savor the following:

Brazilian Porkchops:
The tender meat of the chops that were grilled just right complemented on the generous use of selected herbs and spices. I reckon that there was no hint of MSG [vetsin] on it and I was glad. The aromatics added to the sensation it gave to the entire dish.

Credits to Leylan Romarate of thecebuano.com

Shrimps and Chicken Wings:
The Shrimps, as well as the Chicken Wings, came in different types of sauces: Hot Arcadia, Mexican BBQ, Coco-Curry, Calamansi Garlic Butter, Honey Soy Garlic, and Sour Cream. I find the Calamansi Garlic Butter and the Coco-Curry suiting the shrimps very well and the Mexican BBQ and Honey Soy Garlic for the wings. I mean it’s just my type of mix. I find it comforting to the palate.

Grilled Tangigue:
My favorite among the dishes presented, the Tanguige fish was so fresh and didn’t have the itchy bite There are fish fillets that leave an itchy after feel but honestly, the Grilled Tangigue was too good to be true. The generous herbs did the trick for taking that awful briny taste. It was a fragrant mix and I was not able to forget it even after I went ahead and finished my meal with milkshakes.

Milkshakes:
The milkshakes surprised me since it was like going back to my childhood. Meringue, chocolate and knick knacks with wafer really made me gleeful. It was not too sweet, but it definitely made me feel like a 7-year-old again. It was a sure hit. Comes in three variants. 🙂

You may visit Papart’s Diner at the 2/F of Maroo Arcade, at the back of Parkmall in the North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City. Visit them with friends or with family for that comforting and delicious food experience that won’t hurt your budget.

Ampersand Cocktails: It’s Creativity and Passion in a Glass

Cebu, Philippines — The Cebu Bloggers Society had been invited by Ampersand and attend a year-end party in honor of us. It was a great experience to come back to that one bar that captured and defined how good cocktails and good food seamlessly blend and give the right experience.

I was never an alcoholic but I learned to drink by the age of 16. This passion for food and liquors took on a higher level when I worked at a remote island resort back in 2010. I was in my early 20’s and I was full of life. I was eager to try and mix my own cocktails but with the situation I was in, I didn’t have the chance. Wifi signal was a challenge but it was fine. I was able to enjoy the sanctity and the privacy of the island. True enough, I was able to learn a lot about wines, spirits, and beers.

How Ampersand Came About

Ampersand was the brainchild of the Mercado Siblings who wanted to elevate the food experience by serving quality food from the freshest ingredients and the best array of drinks that we all deserve. That idea started back in 2014. Ampersand aims to deliver the world’s favorite dishes, drinks and liquor concoctions. The idea of individually preparing and cooking each dish stems out from the owner’s love and passion for great food. Chandra and Adev Mercado with their partner Tom Hines made a good job of stepping up the homey ambiance and having a complete bar set up made the difference among others in town.

Back here. More the blog soon. www.viajeracebuana.com/eats #ampersandcebu #cebucomfortfood #bestcocktailsincebu

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Cebu Bloggers Society Year End Party

When I got invited, I did not hesitate to go for it. It was a great way to bond with friends. It was also a great way to spend the last days of the year with people who matter. It has been a tough year, 2016. But then again, I always am grateful for the challenges and roadblocks on my way. I am extremely humbled that I was able to attempt the scaling one of the highest mountains in the Western Cordillera Mountain Ranges [a.k.a Panay Island mountain ranges]. I celebrated my “triumph” over selflessness, fatigue and newly forged friendships. Though 2016 made me realize who my friends really are, it was also a year of constant collaboration. Ampersand’s passion and flair for good food and meaningful connections play an integral part in keeping the positivity overflowing in the restaurant. It is more than comfort food and best cocktails but the feeling of being a part of the family is overwhelming.

 

The Cocktails We Enjoyed and Downed The Entire Night

Cinco de Cuban, Circa 1934, Drunken Rabbit, The Herbalist and Filipino Credits to Gaylord Tingzon of The Lifeaholics

Here is what consisted each drink:

Cinco de Cuban:
Lemongrass Infused Rum
Cucumber Juice
Pineapple Juice
Pepper Corn Syrup
Lime Juice

 

Circa 1934:
Fresh Apple Juice
Lime Juice
Gold Rum
Black Rum
Cinnamon Syrup
Aromatic Bitters
Ginger Beer

 

 

Drunken Rabbit:
Vodka Citron
Bombay Gin
Lemon
Grapefruit Syrup
Carrot Juice
Aperol
Egg White

 

The Herbalist
Tequila Blanco
Lime
Green Chartreuse
Housemade Ginger Syrup
Egg White
Rosemary for Garnish

 

Filipino:
Peanut butter
Washed Rum
Coffee Liqueur
Gingerbread Syrup
Whole Egg

 

Here’s our other snaps during the event. It was such a great night with them.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you ever had a strong desire to taste and enjoy the good life? How was it? Let’s talk further! 🙂 You may leave a comment below or email me at hello@viajeracebuana.com or just DM or PM me in IG! 🙂

For the love of anything dandy and savory,

Orange Brutus: Its the Brute You’ll Love!

Cebu City, Philippines — Each brand has its own story. When I was a kid, every afternoon after school, I would always come home to savory and delicious Orange Brutus offerings. It characterized my childhood. Recently, Last October, Orange Brutus paved the way for some innovation and “face lift” of some of its favorites.

The Orange Brutus Story

Orange Brutus, while being a household brand, started from the musings of two businessmen who wanted to make a difference in the existing food industry of Cebu during those days. It was early 80’s and the concept of hamburgers and shakes in a fast food was unheard of.  After some musings, a new venture emerged making it the first hamburger food chain in Cebu, now known as ORANGE BRUTUS. The very first store was opened in none other than the historic Colon Street, the oldest street in Cebu. It was inside the newly opened FAIRMART department store. A clean, bright and charming restaurant, selling charbroiled burgers and fresh fruit shakes as the main menu.

Here is a photo from Orange Brutus on their JY SQUARE MALL Branch [This is closed now though]

How many of you still remember the @orangebrutusph branch at JYSquare Supermart in Lahug?😃 #ThrowbackThursday Keep on sending us your stories at orangebrutusph@gmail.com for a chance to win brutus goodies!👍🏼 #MyBrutusStory ❤️ #Celebrating35Years #Since1980 #ProudlyCebuano

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A Well-Loved Brand by Cebuano Families

Cebuanos, being known to be picky eaters and having hard to please palates, seem to provide a positive response to the menu, prompting the restaurant to introduce hotdogs and spaghetti. Soon, the company decided to focus on the Cebuano family as its target market. Hence, the innovation and development of more food selections catered the taste for all of the members of the family. Eventually, the Sizzling Burger Steak and the fried Chicken Brutus was the star selections paired with Mango Shake. And to top that, every one can’t get enough of the signature gravy that is just awesome and didn’t come with the flour aftertaste.

Moving forward with product innovation, they ventured into bakeshop field selling breads and cakes. This paved the way for the market to savor their bestseller moist chocolate cake, aptly named “Chocolate Monster”. This is a favorite among Cebuanos up until today. Your visit to Cebu would not be complete if you will not be able to nibble on its moist cake consistency and smooth icing. [Picture from Orange Brutus IG Page. Please follow them too! 🙂 ]

Give in to your cravings…🍴😉 #MidnightCravings #ChocolateMonster #Chocoholic #SignatureCake #midweektreat #ComfortFood #Happy💡Friendly Reminder that our @orangebrutusph #FuenteOsmeña Branch is open #24hrs! 😉🌃🌆🌇☀️🌝 Delivery Hotline: (032) 422-8000 📞📱🏃🏻🏃🏻🚶🏻 You're welcome! 😆👍🏼 #OrangeBrutusFUENTE

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Nutritious Food As Its Primary Commitment

Orange Brutus sees to it that every dish served is nutritious; hence they always make sure that its made from the freshest ingredients. The burger patties are charbroiled, making extra fat drip before being placed in a bun, and making sure that it is never pre-cooked. One thing I loved about the restaurant is that they use healthier oils and the raw ingredients undergo a chemical-free process called ozonation, which eliminates all unwanted bacteria, harmful hormones, pesticides and enzymes. And not only that, the freshest fruits go into their home made shakes! 🙂 It is a guarantee to freshness.

Here are my own favorites:

A Source of Pride Since 1980

36 years for a food establishment is such a long time. I had seen the rise and fall of many food establishments here in Cebu. And since Cebuanos are really picky eaters and would always find something that hits right at home, Orange Brutus had set the bar for being a household favorite. With 23 outlets and still growing, it has been a challenging journey, a happy and fulfilling adventure to note. Having successfully introducing exciting and satisfying dining experiences, it continues to enjoy a large share of the market even with the proliferation of multinational food chains in the city, thus gaining the title of Cebu’s First Favorite. 

And this is just a peek on why Orange Brutus still is Cebu’s First Favorite! 🙂 Want to know more about Orange Brutus? Visit any of their 23 branches and surely, you will have a great day 🙂

 

Da Best Gyud! Rico’s Lechon Opens At Escario Axis Entertainment

Cebu City, Philippines — Having Da Best Gyud Lechon experience in the Queen City of the South is an understatement this Yuletide season. Rico’s Lechon, the most sought after lechon in Cebu, opens up its biggest branch to date at Axis Entertainment in Vibo Place, N. Escario Street.

Last December 12, Rico’s Lechon opened the newest restaurant in the heart of the busy urban business district. It is strategically located in Axis Entertainment Avenue, just a few minutes away from the Cebu Provincial Capitol, the seat of power and government for the Queen City of South’s Province.

The brand new hub for all occasion is a two-storey facility that features 100-seating capacity dining and another 100-seating capacity function room. The expansion does not only cover the venue but the menu as well. Apart from its main attraction, which is the signature lechon, the restaurant also offers a wide array of Filipino dishes.

And I suddenly wanted to have this plate of @ricoslechonofficial all for myself! Guys, spare yourself the hassle of ordering this mouthwatering #original #lechon by using @uber_ph app today between 2-5 pm just for today. Uber, the world’s leading ride sharing application, is bringing the holiday spirit a few weeks early to the Queen City of the South with #UberLECHON. Through this limited offering, Uber will deliver ½ kilo boxes of lechon to a few lucky riders in selected locations in Cebu. This will be happening from 2PM until 5PM on 14 December or until supplies last. The best thing about it is that everything is free! To request for your #UberLECHON, choose ‘LECHON’ on the slider on the bottom half of your Uber app. Set your location and then confirm your request, once it’s confirmed, your lechon and Uber goodies will be delivered to you within minutes. Expect that demand will be high, so it’s advisable that you keep trying if you don’t get a match immediately. Only one order will be entertained for every Uber account. For more details about #UberLECHON, visit t.uber.com/uberlechon Don’t have the Uber application yet? Download the Uber app now in the Google Playstore or Apple iOS store to get free lechon delivered to you! #ViajeraCebuanaEats #WhyWeUber #CBSForever #CBShareTheLove #RicosLechonAxis #AXISible #DaBestGyud

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Who wants some Garlic Squid Balls? Drop by at @ricoslechonofficial Escario Branch today! 🙂 #CBSForever #CBShareTheLove #DaBestGyud #AXISible #RicosLechonAxis

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Puto, Mangga ug Tsokolate! #DaBestGyud 🙂 #CBSForever #CBShareTheLove #RicosLechonAxis #AXISible #ViajeraCebuanaEats

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The main man, Enrico “Rico” Dionson, founder and chief executive officer of the restaurant chain, recognized the increasing demand of their delicious lechon and events booking in Mactan and Mabolo branches. Bringing Rico’s Lechon closer to the heart of Cebu City would not only accommodate more customers but also reach out those who may find it hard to access the first two branches.

Opening this new bigger branch of Rico’s Lechon is one way to say thank you to those who continuously patronize the product. The management wants to give all Cebuanos and tourists more accessible place to try and enjoy the #DaBestGyud lechon and also, to savor new special dishes. Now, not only friends can come and party but also family and colleagues.

Opening of @ricoslechonofficial Escario Branch! 🙂 #DaBestGyud #AXISible #RicosLechonAxis #CBShareTheLove #CBSForever #ViajeraCebuanaEats

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If we can recall, the management opened up its second restaurant at the Mactan Promenade in Lapu-Lapu City, just a few meters away from the Mactan Cebu International Airport. It is a impressive 90 seater restaurant that can hold intimate gatherings of families specially those who just came from abroad.

You can visit Rico’s Lechon in Axis Vibo Place daily from 8AM to 10 for take out; 10AM to 10 PM for dine-in. In addition to dining in and takeout, it is also available for private events. For more information, you can check on their website www.ricoslechon.com. You can also transact online at the website for single or multiple orders. 🙂

#DaBestGyud opens its biggest branch, which is now more #Axisible than ever! Rico's Lechon is now open at Axis Entertainment Avenue at Vibo Place, Escario St., Cebu City #CBSForever #SmarterChange

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The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s 2017 Giving Journal: Changing LIVES This Yuletide Season

Cebu, Philippines –—  Recently, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf had launched their Giving Journal 2017 at The Robinsons Galleria Cebu Branch. I was fortunate to be part of the launch since I had always been a journal addict. I plan out my life in a diary or a journal that I can breeze through if times get rough. Early on in my life, I had been keeping track of my adventures and my sojourns on my journal. The journal can be a book, a paper or a notebook. It is reminiscent of any form of writing material where I give life to my musings and thoughts.

Beginning the Journey

Ending this year and waiting for a new one, CBTL PH reminds us that life is not about what we amass for ourselves, but how we can give back and share our gifts, talents and time. Tis’ the time of the year where the young and old alike welcomes each Christmas carols and happy reunions with eagerness and genuinely being happy. It is a hopeful time of the year for more blessings to come.

This 2017 Giving Journal empowers scholars of CBTL by giving them gift of education through the Real LIFE Foundation, its beneficiary since 2011 and counting. Supporting the journal enables us to support their dreams to take flight, one step closer as they achieve their goals and dreams.

Enable dreams to take flight this #SeasonOfGiving with our Giving Journal. • Real LIFE Foundation, an NGO dedicated to serving the poor through educational assistance, character development, and community service, is the annual beneficiary of the Giving Journal. Since 2007, Real LIFE has produced 341 graduates from the different parts of the Philippines. • This holiday season, every cup that you enjoy and every Giving Journal you redeem helps enable the dreams of Real LIFE scholars to take flight. • Click the link on our bio to learn more about our advocacy and how you can redeem a Giving Journal. #GivingJournal2017 #CBTLPh @reallifeph

A photo posted by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® PH (@cbtlph) on

Coffee lovers and tea afficionados can start collecting their journal stickers starting October 22 onwards, at all participating Coffee Bean Leaf and Tea Leaf stores. All you need to do is to collect 12 stickers to avail of the journal. A box of CBTL capsules earns you two stamps, while any of the CBTL Single Serve Beverage System allows you to get the 2017 Giving Journal right away. And these journals comes in 4 colors – rose, purple, grey and turquoise and each has its own story.

The Icons

Each icon you find on the four covers of the 2017 edition of the Giving Journal is a representation of how the company commits to giving back to the community, through social responsibility and promoting goodwill.

The Caring Cup Global in Grey signifies that the company gives back to farmers and the community who work hard to supply The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf with Simply The Best products. The Caring Cup initiatives all over the world aim to provide them with their needs — whether it be a sustainable source or livelihood, or education for children.

The Radiating Heart in Rose signifies that the power to spread goodwill lies within us. This image signifies how we can live up to the essence of giving by performing little acts of kindness towards others.

The Coffee Tree Cup in Turquoise signifies The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s hopeful mission – that through our efforts and those of our partner organizations, we help to nurture growth and prove a better life for others, one cup at a time.

The Overflows in Purple lets us acknowledge that life is ready to overflow, rather than viewing it as a glass half-full or half empty. We can brew our best year by developing one’s self, striving to reach our full potential, and sharing our unique gifts and blessings to others.

Brewing Stories and Changing Lives

Passion brews in unexpected places. For the founders of CBTL Herbert and Mona Hyman, their honeymoon paved the way of a lifelong commitment to bring premium flavor to different parts of the world. In 1963, CBT was born in Brentwood, California, the very first of its kind to sell fresh roasted gourmet coffees and teas.

With diversity and product innovation, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf was able to benchmark its quality Original Ice Blended (R) Line that started a frozen coffee revolution through one of its creative baristas. When it opened in the Philippines back in 2003, it gave not only superior quality coffee and tea but also employment opportunities to most of us.

The Launch

During the launching event, we were able to design our own cups and sugar cookies. These cookies will be given to the less fortunate kids in the community as a way of making them feel the Christmas Cheer. The launch also gathered my fellow Cebu Bloggers Society Family whom I valued and cared for. They serve as my motivation and driving force to do good and give kindness everyday.

During the launch, we were able to savor the richness of brewed black coffee and some cookies and moist chocolate muffins. I personally loved how the cookies complemented the brewed black coffee. It was a unity of the sweet cookies and the bitterness of the coffee. Perfect partner indeed. 🙂

For more information, VISIT www.coffeebeanandtealeaf.com.ph, LIKE The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines on Facebook and FOLLOW @CBTLPH and @BREWPH on Instagram and Twitter, and SUBSCRIBE to brewyourbestyear.com

 

Ampersand: The Best Things In Between

Cebu, Philippines — Last July 27, together with fellow bloggers and friends from the traditional media, we were able to venture and savor one of the best comfort foods [in my honest foodie opinion] that Cebu has to offer. It actually came as a surprise for someone like me who had been passing by Banilad Town Center.

Ampersand is situated comfortably in the corner of Banilad Town Center, in a nook that is sometimes mistaken as a tavern. It was owned and operated by Chef Chandra Mercado, a young and vibrant business owner who translates her passion for cooking into a successful business venture. Ampersand is part of a restaurant group who aimed to make a difference from the norm. Looking from the facade of the restaurant, one can deduce that it has something interesting in store for anyone, from all walks of life who wanted to experience fine dining on a normal day.

Location

Founded: 2014
Location: G/F Banilad Town Center (BTC), Cebu City, Philippines
Facebook Page: Ampersand Cebu
Instagram: @ampersand.cebu

The Owner

She is an impossible figure to miss at the restaurant. Chef Chandra teamed up with Tom Hines for this restaurant. The other sister restaurants that she owned are Catch, Hooch, Poulet Manille, Ebeneezerz & Smith Butcher and Grill, all located in Metro Manila.

Its Services

Ampersand not only offers dine in treats but also the following:

> Full Range Bar – Deli and Lounge
> With available ample parking at BTC Grounds
> Payment methods: Visa, Master Card , Cash
> Good for groups, kids-friendly, with outdoor seating
> Take-outs are allowed

What WE Had During The Bloggers and Media Meet Up

The Ampersand Ceviche was actually a refreshing mix of fish, aromatics, cucumber and guess what, fresh, ripe and sweet Mango! Though I don’t really fancy eating ceviche or Kinilaw in Cebuano Dialect, I was able to take a small bite for this one.

Ampersand’s Ceviche

This Ampersand Truffle Scented Mushroom Cappuccino was very savory and heavy on the tummy. I felt like I ate one course for this. It was so yummy that I can’t help sipping it slowly. It gave me the comfort of heirloom pieces and it somehow reminded me of my beloved aunt who has a knack for soups.

Ampersand’s Truffle Scented Mushroom Cappuccino

This Ampersand Sizzling Balut was a unique and one of a kind dish. I cannot really fathom how to explain this but its a mix of flavors. Im not really into eating Balut but whenever I do, I only nibble the yellow part. 🙂 This is a must try for those who wanted to taste something exotic.

Ampersand’s Sizzling Balut

A creamy and worth-the-calories treat, Ampersand’s Green Tea Yogurt Cheesecake is a good dish to end for any heavy meal. It creates a balance for the palate and then gives you a satisfying ending of your entire experience.

Ampersand’s Green Tea Yogurt Cheesecake

The Gravlax Flatbread of Ampersand gave the me the impression that Salmon can work with fresh Dill. Like my blogger friend Nym would put it, I too have an acquired taste for Salmon. Im not really into it since its not a local find but the variety of fresh flavors made this flat bread just awesome.

Ampersand’s Gravlax Flatbread

 

Our Special Menu

These are just some of what we had during the Bloggers and Media Lunch. Honestly,  I was impressed at how they were able to get our senses excited and how they served us. The staff where more than helpful and attentive to our needs. Service was so great. In fact, I brought my mother after about two months to have lunch here too. She enjoyed the food as well as the service though she found it a bit pricey for her.

 

The Exteriors, Interiors and the Gang