Thursday, July 18, 2013

OT: Taitong Steamers Foods

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My editor brought me to lunch at Tai Tong when we had a photo shoot in AS Fortuna. I've passed that street a gazillion of times already but I've never heard or noticed that dimsum restaurant. I loved their food at first try so I wanted to bring the boyfriend there.

At first glance, you wouldn't consider this a restaurant. It's just located right beside AA's Barbecue. The place is small with a few tables here and there. They have quite a number of dishes for a small restaurant which is great. They have different dimsum dishes as well as some chicken, noodle, ribs, and other food.

What I like about the place is that they offer complimentary tea. I live tea and I love free stuff. So, there's no need to order drinks.

We got ourselves pork steamed rice (P52), fried siopao (four pieces for P65), plain siomai (four pieces for P55), and kung pao chicken (P180).

free green tea

pork steamed rice

plain siomai

Although their pork steamed rice doesn't have a big serving, I really liked the consistency of the sauce. It had mushrooms and the pork was cut into really small pieces, which I love. Their plain siomai is pretty much the same as others but it was really good.

I found their fried siopao quite interesting. Don't get me wrong, I like siopao, but when I first saw the fried ones I was a bit hesitant. However, fried siopao proved to be really yummy. It's now one of my favorite dimsum dishes.

fried siopao

kung pao chicken
We found their kung pao chicken a bit pricey. But I think it's enough for three to four persons. You'd know by now that I'm not really a chicken person, but I love their kung pao. It's spicy and flavorful. The chicken bits were fried perfectly.

Who would think that a small dimsum restaurant can have really yummy food? I was really amazed. I guess you should never judge a restaurant by its size or how it looks like from the outside. This truly is a must-try place for all the dimsum fans out there.;)

it really is a small place. there's the boyfriend waiting for the food.

Monday, June 17, 2013

OT: Serenitea Cebu

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You might not know but this tea shop is among the forerunners of the milk tea craze in the Philippines. They are said to be the first to bring milk tea from Taiwan here to the Philippines.

Their place is just along the hallway in Calyx. They have a green and white theme which is really relaxing.

We ordered large Hokkaido (P105) and wintermelon milk tea  (P105). I suggested the Hokkaido to the boyfriend since I've seen it featured a couple of times on TV. I ordered mine to try a usual milk tea flavor. Their Hokkaido tasted like a coffee and milk tea in one. I'm not really a fan of coffee so I didn't like it. Even the boyfriend disliked his own milk tea. Maybe those coffee lovers would enjoy Hokkaido. But, not us. Their wintermelon milk tea tasted like any shop's wintermelon. It was very much like Heart Tea's wintermelon. I just thought that Serrinitea was a bit pricey, being over 100 bucks.

I was really expecting so much from Serrinitea. I've watched a couple of TV shows featuring their milk tea so I have always been intrigued on how their milk tea tastes like. I was disappointed that they were a bit expensive. Those who are coffee lovers and like the variety of milk teas that they offer, may enjoy their freshly brewed teas.

UPDATE: Because of my day job, I was able to attend Serenitea's grand opening and meet the people behind Serenitea and the latest Cebu branch. They gave away free milk tea and a jumbo size at that. I got their Okinawa milk tea, which I expected to be a coffee-ish flavored tea, like Hokkaido. I was surprised that it was really good. It was creamy and sweet, just as I like it. I definitely loved their Okinawa milk tea. It was just difficult for me to finish everything up because of the size.

In three months time, they will also be offering some side dishes and snacks to clients , which is something I'd like to try soon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Starbucks Cotton Candy Frappuccino

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Well, I'm not really a fan of Starbucks. Whenever I feel like having a frap or chilling in a coffee shop, the Starbucks in Ayala Center Cebu is always swelling with customers. I dislike crowded places. If you spot me in Strabucks, I would usually order the generic java chip frap or grab a bottle of Tazo. 

When I heard about this cotton candy frappuccino, which is a big hit online (more in Canada and the US), I vowed myself that I had to try it. I thought that it won't be available here in the Philippines.

So, I took the boyfriend to Starbucks after dinner yesterday and I got myself the cotton candy frap. The boyfriend, on the other hand, got his usual caramel frap. I can tell you that I was super excited when the barista said they can whip this  for me.

Don't say you want a cotton candy frap because I'm sure they won't know. Do tell them you want a vanilla creme frap with a pump of raspberry. You would have to pay extra for the raspberry, though. 

cotton candy frap
I read in reviews that it really does taste like cotton candy. Mine wasn't as sweet as cotton candy, though. Maybe if I added one more pump of raspberry, it would be really sweet. My cotton candy frap tasted candy-ish, which was enough to satisfy my sugar craving. I'm just trying to whistle away the calories, like it never happened.

Cotton candy frappuccino is officially my favorite cold drink! I feel in love with the first sip. It's so heavenly! I'd definitely grab one again next time after eating healthy for a few days.

P.S. Comment down below if you want more of these new Starbucks menu and if you're bored with the ones on the counter. I think I'm getting a hang of this. ;)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

OT: Pizzeria Michaelangelo

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The first time I went to Pizzeria Michaelangelo was work related. I had to interview the general manager, Chef Massimo la Magna, for their ad. He offered us some dishes and they were really heavenly. We tried their pasta and pizza and they were both so flavorful. I then vowed to go back again and try their yummy pasta.

So, I through of bringing the boyfriend with me to the restaurant next time. He's also a fan of pasta and I figured it would be a nice date.

When we got there, the place was empty. I guess we were too early for dinner. The staff attended to our needs right away. They were really nice and courteous. The ambiance was comfortable and cozy, as usual. I was glad that the boyfriend found the place charming. He's not really the type of person who's comfortable with posh places. So, I was really happy he liked the place.

Alla Contadina


pistachio gelato

vanilla pistachio
We ordered Alla Contadina (P250), Boscaiola (P290), pistachio gelato (P85), vanilla gelato (P85), and some Sola. I tried the Alla Contadina when I interviewed Chef Massimo. I really loved it. So, I wanted to try it again. The sauce is made to perfection. The tomato sauce and the herbs complement each other. There's a strong "herb" kind of flavor with every bite. But, it's just sooo good. The boyfriend's Boscaiola is really sumptuous. The white sauce was just creamy and yummy. The boyfriend definitely loved and enjoyed his food.

I looove their gelato. It was delicious. Although the serving is a bit smaller than Gelatissimo's, it was definitely enjoyable.Vanilla tasted just how it should be. It was creamy and had some bits of chocolate that made it even more good on the taste buds.  My pistachio was just heavenly. I love pistachio and it was the best way to finish our sumptuous dinner.

I would definitely go back to Michaelangelo, if I have the time. The food and service is really worth that short walk from the jeepney stop. It really is the best Italian restaurant in Cebu. Thanks to Chef Massimo for taking care of us and for the complimentary drinks, as well. :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

OT: La Bella Napoli

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I'm sure those who ride 04Ls have frequently passed by that small restaurant along the road in The Gallery. La Bella Napoli is inconspicuous and is a cozy place. I've wanted to try the restaurant for a long time, especially their Marigondon branch, but I've never had the time.

The boyfriend and I recently had a dinner date at La Bella Napoli in The Gallery in search for a new pizza. We both love pizza and Handuraw has always been our go-to place. This time, we wanted something new.

their Mabolo branch (taken from their La Bella Napoli facebook page)
La Bella Napoli is known for their brick oven-baked pizza and their Italian cuisine.  So, we didn't miss the opportunity to try their pizza. We ordered Pizza Capriciosa solo (P260), Penne Amatriciana (P220) and their lemon and vanilla gelato (P80 each).

Capriciosa (solo)

a portion of Amatriciana
Capriciosa was really good. It was baked well that you would want to eat the crust. Pizzas from brick ovens taste differently from the usual pizzas that are made from steel ovens. The tomato sauce and the toppings complemented well. The boyfriend exclaimed how good the pizza was and I could tell he really enjoyed it.

Penne Amatriciana is invigorating. I love that it wasn't too spicy and the sauce was also flavorful. Too bad, my doctor advised me to avoid spicy food. So, I was only able to eat a small portion of the Amatriciana. I actually wanted to eat more but I already had problems with my stomach. :(

lemon gelato

vanilla gelato
La Bella's vanilla gelato was really refreshing. I think it was good. It was the boyfriend's order, but I think I was the one who finished it up. The lemon gelato is interesting. It looked like ice but has a tangy taste once you start digging in. I just think their gelato is a bit icy compared to Gelatissimo. It was just like eating iced shavings or something. I enjoyed it, but the boyfriend said Gelatissimo is way better.

I really love the cozy and casual ambiance at La Bella Napoli. Their service is good and the staff are friendly. I think we also spotted the Italian owner there whiffing some pica-pica for the night since it was a Wine Appertive Thursday night. The boyfriend also loved the place and the food. We would definitely be back. ;)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sugar High at CMYK

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This dainty place is located near Waterfront Cebu. I got intrigued because of the pastel colors of the shop and the interesting uniforms of their attendants. So, the boyfriend, a close friend and I decided to have a little food trip here while talking about how our lives are going. And no, this doesn't mean Cyan Magenta Yellow Black, but Chocolates Make You Kiss. Definitely interesting.

CMYK serves different desserts that will suit your taste buds. They also have different foods to serve you which make them a good resto/café to stay in. We felt like having desserts that night, so we ordered fube cake (P106), blueberry deconstructed cheesecake (P90), letour (120) choco chip cookie (P45), green tea frapp (P130), strawberry milkshake, (P130), and caramel fudge latte (P130).

deconstructed cheesecake

fube cake

Their fube cake is good but not something that I would rave about. The sweetness is just fine and it’s really an ube-flavored cake. Their deconstructed cheesecake, on the other hand, was just so-so. The shape and presentation was definitely interesting and one-of-a-kind. I think it wasn’t that good because the cheesecake wasn’t that chilled as expected. I found the chocolate chip cookie too hard to eat. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be that hard that my fork couldn't even break it. I didn't really enjoy it because of that. Letour is definitely my fave for that night. The chocolate-y taste is really yummy. 


matcha frapp

chocolate chip cookie

I was a little disappointed with my strawberry milkshake. It didn’t really taste that milkshake-y to me and it wasn’t that creamy. I did like green tea frapp. It was just how matcha tastes like. It was also sweet and good. Caramel fudge latte is okay. It had a light taste. To me, it was a bit lacking on the caramel flavor. Their drinks are really ample and I think it’s really worth the price. Two people can even share a single drink. It’s that big. I wasn’t able to finish my own milkshake that night.

I think CMYK is a bit on the pricey side. Their servings are a bit small for the price, except their drinks which were definitely huge. However, the place and the fast internet connection work on their side. CMYK is a really good place to bring your friends and chat. They have roomy chairs and comfortable ambiance that makes you want to stay longer.

the boyfriend, like a boss.

Friday, April 26, 2013

OT: Jelly Citea

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I know you guys are well-aware of my love for milk tea. So, here’s another milk tea place that you should try. The boyfriend and I are in love with Jelly Citea. This tea shop is located in Raintree Mall. Don’t feel intimidated by the number of students in the place, because I think this proves that they got really good milk tea.

sort of pay-as-you-use computers inside.
When we first went there, Jelly Citea was so packed that we had to sit outside. We didn’t mind really since we were just passing by. Those who want to hang out with friends inside might want to drop by around night time or weekends where there are fewer people.

We got Paris (P90), as this was suggested by the attendant, and passion fruit milk tea (P70), my favorite tea flavor. I was a bit hesitant to try Paris despite the persuasive words of the Jelly Citea attendant, so I just picked a refreshing drink for that day. I had a bad experience with another shop so I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea. However, I was disappointed I didn’t listen to her. Paris was definitely good and is currently one of our new milk tea faves. Wintermelon blended perfectly with the cream cheese on top of the tea. The taste was just amazing. Their passion fruit milk tea was also good and very refreshing.  It was just like how passion fruit is supposed to be. But, it wasn’t as yummy as Paris.

On our next trip, we tried Tokyo (P90) which is another bestseller. This was matcha milk tea with cream cheese on top. It’s very green tea-ish and the flavor is really there. However, green tea with cream cheese isn’t really a good mix. Both were too strong for each other and wasn’t really a good combination. Other people might beg to differ, but it’s really not my cup (or plastic) of tea.

their loyalty card.

I’m definitely looking forward to drop by Jelly Citea next time, and I also got their loyalty card. I’m glad that it’s conveniently located on the way to my office and too bad for the boyfriend who lives an island away. I fancy sipping on Paris. Maybe I will indulge myself on Monday. ;)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to Make Vanilla Milkshake

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I am in love with milkshakes. I just don’t know why. Maybe it’s the sweet and creamy taste in every sip. When I see milkshake on the menu, I just go gaga. So out of the blue, we decided to create our own milkshake by watching vague and crazy how-to videos in YouTube. It was more of a trial and error kind of thing. We didn’t really know what we were doing.

First off, you need the right ingredients and a blender to mix them. You’ll need:

 -          Milk (preferably fresh)
-          Vanilla flavor

-          Vanilla ice cream

Once you have all the ingredients in tow, just mix all the ingredients in the blender. It was really difficult for us to know the exact ratio for the ingredients. We estimated the ratio for milk to the vanilla ice cream as 1:5. We realized that 1:1 is not really possible as this makes the milkshake too watery. More ice cream would mean a thicker and creamier consistency. We limited vanilla flavor to a teaspoon per serving.

scoop and blend

finished product. ;)
Although it was our first time, our little experiment actually tasted good enough. It was enough to satisfy our sugar cravings. We only thought that this experiment was a bit expensive, especially with the ice cream cost. It would be cheaper to order from a restaurant just like Sam's Diner's yummy milkshake.

If you have successfully made your own vanilla milkshake, please do comment on how you did it. You can also tell us how we can make a better one next time. ;)

Monday, March 4, 2013

OT: Surfin' Ribs

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I feel like I’m already so late with the new trends and new places in Cebu. This is the price I’ve got to pay for being too busy at work. Anyway, it’s been a couple of months since Surfin’ Ribs opened in the metro and they’ve already become one of the favorite spots of many Cebuanos for their ribs craving. The place is always packed with customers, which gives you more reasons not to miss it.

My friends and I went to Surfin’ Ribs a few weeks back for dinner. It was my first time, unfortunately, even if the place is so close to my school. As expected, the restaurant was filled with hungry customers. We were lucky that we got a table for all of us right away.It was also no-brainer for us to order their famed Pete’s Ribs (P159), plus chili wings (130), and baked penne (P89). You can choose either the spicy ribs or the original one. You can also add side dishes which is great for those who want variety. 

baked penne

my meal for the night: Pete's ribs

spicy Pete's ribs

chili wings

You won’t be disappointed with their ribs because I know I’m not. It was very tender and every bite was flavorful. It’s no wonder why their ribs are sought after. Their baked penne was also good. The texture of pasta and corned beef was just right and it was tasted so well. I’m honestly not a fan of chicken, so I don’t really enjoy eating chicken dishes. Their chili wings are not really that spicy to suit my already-too-spicy palette. The chicken, however, is juicy and soft. I’m sure chicken fanatics would like it, as my dinner companions did. All of us enjoyed our meal and it was very filling. We went home filled with good conversation and good food.

I would definitely go back to Surfin’ Ribs again. Their food is reasonably priced and so tasty. It’s a good place to bring guy friends or female friends with manly appetites (like me). I think it’s a great place for barkadas (group of friends) and co-workers to eat out for dinner. I really love the place and I can’t wait to devour one of their Pete’s ribs again.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

OT: Frontgate

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Trying out new things is what I want to do this year, which includes trying out new restaurants is on the list (which I'm trying hard despite the busy schedule). So, it was great that the boyfriend found this interesting place that we could dine away from the crowd. Frontgate is a teeny carenderia-ish restaurant found at MP Yap Street, near SHS-Hijas.

We had to walk for less than five minutes from McDonald's Escario before we reached Frontgate. It doesn't look special or anything. The place reminded me of drinking tambayans (hangout place). It also had a Mexican-ish feel with the hats and the posters. The overall ambiance was a bit lacking though. However, the place was acceptable to me. 

The boyfriend was really keen on their make-your-own burger a day before we went to Frontgate. However, he ended up ordering bacon mushroom melt, which is among their bestselling burgers. I ordered their curly fries, spaghetti meatball and nachos supreme since I didn't feel like having any burger.  Their known for their make-your-own burger menu, which I'm sure the men would love. Unfortunately, I'm not so much of a burger fan. I've always been a carbo-loading type of gal.

I found their spaghetti just okay. It's not really that special. I was a bit disappointed that it didn't taste as expected. However, it was very filling. Their burger was just okay for me, too. The boyfriend, on the other hand, found it good. He was even able to finish the entire thing. Their fries was alright. It actually tastes like the ones you get from McDonald's.

curly fries

nachos supreme


spaghetti meatball

I did enjoy my vanilla milkshake and their nachos supreme. The milkshake didn't have any cherries unlike the ones I had at Sam's Diner nor was it as good as Sam's. But, I found it yummy and enough to fill in my sweet cravings for the day. Their nachos was definitely good. It was so filling and the ingredients tasted well. It lacked a bit of kick that I wanted, but it's really good. It's our new favorite from Frontgate.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed with Frontgate. Maybe, I was just unlucky with my food choice. However, I think their meals are reasonably priced and are filling, especially if you are hungry. The boyfriend liked the dinner and so we went home so full.