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Monday, May 28, 2012

Food Trip: Lechon Belly at Parkmall

A few weeks ago during one of our exhibits at Parkmall, I saw a lot of shoppers lining up at this new stall.  Upon further investigation,  I saw that they were crowding around a new lechon store.  I thought it was just the usual Lechon Cebu stall that you see practically in every corner, especially on Sundays. But lo and behold, the stall offered a unique kind of lechon.  For one, it is boneless and they call it lechon belly. I thought it was just a simple fusion of the typical lechon, and another favorite, the liempo. I was wrong again.  Well, the lechon belly is shaped like a pork roast, but it has the red color of lechon cebu with its crispy skin.  The lechon belly has no heads, tail, yummy ribs, and legs.  Interesting.  When someone orders let's say, a quarter of a kilo, the attendant slices the lechon belly like a pork roast.  He then weighs it and chops it and it now looks like a "normal" 1/4 kilo of chopped lechon goodness.

Another nice innovation that they did is that their lechon comes in 2 flavors.  For a minimum charge, you can have a spicy version.  The stall also sells puso which goes so well with the lechon.  The best part is that they provide plastic gloves so that you can eat it "kinamot". Here are some of the pictures I took the first time my friends ate at Cebu's Original Lechon Belly:

It was still early yet people were lining up!

Pork Roast with a Crispy Skin!!

Prices as of May 2012...subject to change without prior notice

Spicy is the best seller





Look Ma, no spoon and fork!


Links:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Swimming with the fishes at Shangri-La's Mactan Resort

Summer is almost over and school days are coming soon. Steph told me that she wanted to go swimming before it's June. Luckily, Mama Flor and Papa Noli were in Shangri-La yesterday.  We drove to Mactan early morning to have a quick swim at one of Cebu's most famous resorts.  

We arrived at the resort at around 9 a.m. and we needed to swim quickly since the check out time is at 12 noon. We first headed to the infinity pool near the ocean view building.  After a few minutes, my wife wanted to head down to the beach. So, off we went. After finding a nice place for our things, we then took a dip in the clear, salty water. We just stayed at the chest-deep area and we saw a school of fish pass by. The fishes were not scared of the beach goers. It is so nice of Shangri-La to build a mini marine sanctuary in their resort.  I saw many people getting snorkeling gears to enjoy their swim with the fishes.

Since it was already 10:30 am and the sun was getting hotter, we then decided to head back to the pools.  We ended up in Shangri-La's main pool and capped our swimming in the 7-foot deep area. I really enjoyed our swim. 

Going to rooms at the Ocean View Building

Infinity Pool

Shangri-La Mactan's beach

Next time, I will play beach volleyball or football 
nice weather..sand...beach..wife ;)


Steph surrounded by fish 

our swimming companion


you gotta have a jump shot ;)

Wanna play chess?

Links:

Imperial Palace Weekend
It's more fun at Vista Mar
Beach Wedding at Crimson Resort
Live by the beach at Blue Coast Residences
It's more fun in Cebu: Island Hopping 2014

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bladeless Fan: Is it worth it?


Yesterday, my wife and I went to the Cebu Food Expo (Cefbex) at the CICC.  While going around sampling different food items, she ended staring at this new product.  She wanted to buy a bladeless fan.  It looks good and it comes in nice colors.  I was just wondering if indeed it will be worth it.  According to the exhibitor it is priced at 2,500. Will it be as effective as a normal "bladed" fan? What do you think?


Links:
Triple Expo at the CICC
2011 One Cebu Expo
1Cebu Auto Meet
Cebu car Show Ladies

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quick February Trip to Manila

Last February, Steph and I had a quick trip to Manila to watch the play "Mamma Mia" at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The tickets were a gift from Mama Flor. We were supposed to get Cebu Pacific plane tickets months before, but we were able to purchase our tickets a week before our departure and it came out way cheaper than if we bought it in advance.

We brought our car to Waterfront Hotel Mactan and tried the Park and Fly service.  When we arrived in Manila, we headed to our hotel.  We stayed at Trader's Hotel because it was right across the CCP.  We were able to book a suite that included an afternoon tea, cocktail dinner, and buffet breakfast. We really made sure that we availed of the 3 "free" meals.

Since we arrived around 2, we had time to go to SM Mall of Asia after our afternoon tea at the top floor of the hotel.  After going around SM, we bought some food from Wendy's (one of the fastfood chains that we miss and that we don't have in Cebu).  We headed back to our hotel, freshened up, then had a mini-dinner.  We then walked to CCP and had a great time watching the play.

We had a late breakfast the next day before packing up.  We rode a cab to NAIA 3 for our flight. When we arrived in Cebu, we just paid for our parking then headed home.  It was truly an enjoyable trip to Manila. Hopefully, we could have more of this in the future. :)

Park and Fly



The Cultural Center of the Philippines


Eating with a view of Manila Bay

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hamburger Throw Down Competition at Ayala Center Cebu

I was not supposed to be in Ayala yesterday but due to some snags at work, I ended up in the middle of a unique competition.  I witnessed a Hamburger Throw Down Competition organized by the local hotel and restaurant association. I had really had fun watching the ten teams from Cebu's finest resorts, hotels, and restaurants compete in making the best burger creation that somehow goes with the theme of Taste of Cebu.  It was a well-conceived idea by the Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Association of Cebu, Inc. (HRRACI). 

The teams were given 700 grams of meat and 15 minutes to make a burger that tastes and looks good. They were tasked to make 2 burgers, one for presentation and another for tasting. The 3 judges who were picked came from Cebu's top newspapers. The event was also covered by several media outlets like Y101 FM station. 

I really feel that it is very tough to judge a competition like this one. One judge even quipped that it is easier to judge a Miss Gay pageant.  Another intimated that you just cannot enjoy the food. Indeed, it would be very hard. My tongue could probably go numb after 4 choices. Luckily, I was just a spectator.

In the end, the burger creation of Shangri-la's Mactan Resort bagged the top prize. Finishing 2nd and 3rd, were the burgers from Marco Polo Plaza, and Cebu City Marriott Hotel respectively. What's so unique with Mactan Shangri-la's burger was that they used a guitar-shaped bun and they had some banana chips and bread sticks for sidings. Marco Polo's pizza burger added an Italian twist to their burger, along with special sesame buns and classic potato chips. The 3rd place burger by Marriott had crispy lechon skin inside their burger. 

Writing this artile made me wonder where can I truly find the best burger in Cebu. Any suggestions???

Ayala Terraces was smoking yesterday...


Grillin' Burgers

Marco Polo's Pizza Burger

The "lucky" judges

The Big Winner

Marriott's Burger with Lechon

Trophies

The winning chefs

Team Shangri-La
Links:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mother's Day 2012 at Gustavian's Ayala Center Cebu

Mother's Day is a time when we show our mothers how special and appreciated they are.   This year, my wife and I decided to bring Mama Flor (my wife's mom), along with Papa, to The Gustavian in Ayala Terraces. 

We are very grateful for my parents-in-law's generosity. They have done a great many things for us as a couple.    We wanted to treat them out, Mama Flor, most especially.    Another guest in our Mother's Day treat was Lenmar, my wife's cousin, who was celebrating his 24th birthday. 


 The Gustavian is located near the new parking area of Ayala Center Cebu.  There is also a branch in Mactan, while the original restaurant is located in Paseo Saturnino, Ma. Luisa Road, Banilad.
 We made our reservations for a 12 noon lunch, but we arrived around 12:30.   Surprisingly, we were not famished yet.    Mama, Stephie, Lenmar, and I went ahead of papa because at that time, he was watching the Game 7 of the Lakers vs. Nuggets series.  
 Lenmar is now 24, yet he still looks like an 18 year old boy, fresh out of high school. ;)

We pored through the menu and made our choices.
 We ordered some pizza, which is practically a clone of the pizzas from Pizzarea Michelangelo.  I really loved the crust.  I am pretty sure it would go well with, beer while watching NBA or football.


 Steph picked Carbonara as our pasta dish. We basically shared everything.
 For fish, Mama picked Cream Dory.
 We also had a special barbecue selection that had beef, chorizo, and bacon.
After our meal was done, we felt so full.   But, we still had enough room for dessert.   We had Creme Brulee.   Yum!!!

It was truly a special day.   To all the mothers, Happy Mother's Day.

Links:

POGS Cebu Fun Run 2011
Dinner at Olio
Mama's favorite restaurant (Lemon Grass)
Iba (Kamias) Shake at Zubuchon