KFC Krushers & Chewy Cheese

Yesterday, we celebrated my sister's coming out of the diet day by eating an early dinner at CNT lechon. We had what we usually ordered, de-boned roast pig head with cups of rice. After the meal which ended just a few minutes before six, we decided to go home through Ayala. My sister mentioned that her college friend wanted to meet with her. We did at KFC Ayala, over a serving of KFC Krushers Strawberry Yoghurt and Chewy Cheese.

The wait was a typical fast food experience, long lines for greasy food and a seat with noisy customers. Everyone was ordering KFC Chicken Bucket, we had their slightly new product; Strawberry Yoghurt and a small box of Chewy Cheese.

The Krushers, as they claim, is a mix of yoghurt, real strawberries and ice in one cup. It did have real strawberry bits. Chewy Cheese is a crunchy concoction bread crumbs, dough and parmesan cheese. These balls can be squeezed and stretched up to a certain length, and best eaten while hot. After the snack ended, our group had our share of laughs over minute conversations about life. 

Have you seen the KFC chewy cheese commercial? I'm a sucker for TV ads and the minute I saw it, I knew i wanna get one of those so I could stretch the mozzarella to infinity =) and that's exactly what I did, amidst people staring at our table wondering which asylum I escaped from.

True to its word, the cheese did stretch a long way. You have to acknowledge that some food are best for playing than for eating, and this is one of those =p I can't really vouch for the taste, but it's cheese and it's chewy so I guess it lived up to its hype. All I know is that I'll join the chewy cheese stretching competition if they ever hold one =)

As for the krushers, well it's not gonna be my fave sugared artificial flavored drink anytime soon. I'd gladly pick my Thirsty watermelon slush over this any time of day.


A = 1/5 Strawberry Yoghurt Krushers is a huge failure. Although the drink did guarantee real strawberry bits, it wasn't consistent at all with its advertisement. Yoghurt wasn't even present, but instead tasted milk powder. The whole drink was sweet, whereas a real yoghurt drink would have had sourness in it. Chewy Cheese is ok, if you think balls of flour with cheese inside is a cool idea. But I'm not quite convinced about how it's supposed to be consumed plain. When it cools down, it all comes down to a piece of deep fried carb-cholesterol infested snack. Best eaten hot, with a side of dressing.

N = 1/5. They should rename it to stretchy cheese =)

Zubuchon at BTC

Zubuchon boasts its roast pig, developed with its secret recipe of herbs and spices. The small stall located at BTC, the only branch in Cebu, is just above the robinson's supermarket branch. It caters to small individual orders of one kilo and up and bulk orders of one whole pig. The moment you take home one pack of this sumptuous roast will be the moment you'll either: a) complain of how little the serving is, or b) drive back to BTC to buy another one.

The pig is roasted after having been infused with rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and other foreign spices. Of course, one can expect that the pig has its staple serving of garlic, scallions and whole peppercorns. What makes this fare unique is the way it was cooked. The skin, it would seem, looks as if it had contracted a skin disease while it was cooked with fire. To do this, the one in charge must prick the whole pig with needles one inch apart from each other. Doing so will eventually make it look like you fried it in hot oil (See: crispy pata).

I never really heard of Zubuchon until my cousin from Manila came and told me that it was the "best lechon in Cebu". Imagine, a person from Manila telling a person in Cebu what the best lechon is in that city. Well, I've been out of town for three years so I claimed ignorance.

I checked out Market Manila's blog and saw the posts about Anthony Bourdain's visit and the famous Zubuchon chronicles as well as Jessica Soho's article. This is something worth checking out, I thought to myself. So off we went to BTC, which is very commuter unfriendly. No jeeps stops there, you can only really get there through cab or private car. Actually, you can take the jeep but they only drop you off until Country Mall then you'll have to cross a short bridge to get to BTC, which I thought stood for for Better Than Country Mall =p but really it means Banilad Town Center. 

Ok, so there was Zubuchon, a small stall just above the supermarket and they have prepacked frozen lechon and lechon sisig aside from the roasted pig that I never really got to see whole. Apparently it gets sold out quickly so if you want to get the best part, you'll have to be there at 10 in the morning, just before the sun is high in the sky and the temperature is 35 degrees Celsius.
So what's so special about this aside from the big name endorsers? The rind was ok, it doesn't have the lacquered texture that others have but the taste of the meat might be too bland for the regular Cebuano who is used to the salty CNT with the soy sauce and vinegar dip. This one's more suitable for the Manileño taste who prefers lightly flavoured meat dipped in sarsa in Mang Tomas. =) As for my own preference, I like but it's price is prohibitive. Although I did buy from Zubuchon twice just to convince myself that it's worth it, I will have to choose the countless other lechons available here that are more budget friendly =)

A = 4/5 The meat is cooked to perfection because of the recipe and process it was cooked. It is tender and well done, like other lechon shops. The skin is heavenly but salty. Sadly, the taste doesn't compare much to CNT, the original cebu lechon. If you've grown tired of CNT, I'll recommed this.

N = 3/5 The price doesn't justify the taste, and I don't think it deserves the "best lechon in Cebu" title, but it's a nice try. Knowing that they pick backyard-raised pigs and help the small farmers do help in boosting its image and raising its rating.  

Mooon Cafe

While mom, sister and I were browsing the shops at Ayala, mother subtly hinted that she was starting to get hungry. Luckily, we did have a 300 pesos gift certificate you get from Thirsty, once you fill up their rewards card.

Anyway, we claimed the certificate and ordered tostaditos, a nacho-like appetizer of meat, salsa, cabbage and cheese, karnes pizza, a ham and bacon with melted cheese, chimichanga, a deep fried burrito with oozing cheese and mooon pasta, noodles with sweet hoisin sauce, peanuts and olives.

I love Mexican food, I especially like the guacamole but sadly I'm allergic to it. Mooon Cafe used to be this cozy two-story house turned restaurant in Guadalupe, now it's a chain of stores all over Cebu. I like the interior decoration of their branches, it gives a festive ambiance with its orange, yellow and green backdrops. 

Nachos is my favorite here but we didn't order it this time around, instead we opted for my next fave dish - the tostaditas. Well, come to think of it, aside from the plate dinners, the snack plates are all just various cuts of tortillas with ground meat and salsa so you can't really be too surprised by the taste. As a matter of fact, I think I just might go buy some tortilla chips at the grocery and make my own salsa if I want to have this kind of fare everyday. 

I can't say good things about the pasta and the pizza. I didn't like the noodles and the pizza crust was mediocre - not worth skipping your South Beach diet for. Will probably go back here when we fill up our next Thirsty rewards card. Maybe I'll go for the quesadilla next time.

A = 3/5 The food wasn't really that exceptional and their guarantee of spiciness wasn't true at all. But it was an ok buy, for what it's worth. I've got to hand it to them though, they managed to get an authentic Mexican ambiance with Spanish music.
N = 3/5

Yumeya Kihei

Situated in the backdrop of several offices and travel agencies and located within a few steps from Castle Peak Hotel, this Japanese restaurant has a contemporary and traditional atmosphere that restaurant go-ers will surely love. Upon entry, guests will be directed by Filipino employees in kimono, whose main line to patrons will be "Irashaimase!" to their chosen seat arrangements, whether upstairs for yakiniku or downstairs for ala carte.

Speaking of ambiance, I somewhat enjoyed the overall feel of the restaurant. There are printed Japanese paintings on the wall, with small bamboo plants on every corner of the place. The stereo plays traditional Japanese music, a definite plus if you're going to an expensive restaurant like this. Nonetheless, once we were settled on our seats, my cousin, Ate Niña ordered for the gang. We were served aperitif of grilled tuna and salted shelled beans before we had a main course of california Maki, sushi, tuna sashimi and noodles.

Since Saisaki closed its business at SM, I've been on the lookout for good Japanese restaurants here in Cebu but found none. Good thing I ate enough sushi in Vancouver to last me for the whole year =) 

Yumeya-Kihei is one of those high-end Japanese restaurants with prohibitive prices, I mean 12$ for 4 slices of sashimi! That shouldn't be legal in a third world country. Anyway, not that the price really affects the taste, but I liked their beef sukiyaki and grilled gindara, the other orders didn't justify the price tag. The amuse-bouche was a disappointment, it was like mashed tuna flakes that killed my taste buds instead of waking them up. 

Will probably not be going back to this place unless its for free. I  need to check out more Nihon ryori places here to satisfy my palate without burning a hole in my pocket.


A = 4/5 Expensive. Some orders range around 800 up, while the basic main menu are priced no less than 200. Cramped for room. I feel trapped in this restaurant. There isn't much room for large groups.
N = 2.5/5

White Sox

i had my first time watching a live baseball White Sox game last Saturday. the crowd was fun. some men who looked almost drunk were cheering loudly and dancing under the heat of the sun. the team lost that day but I enjoyed the whole experience. i would not forget to mention eating bobak's bratwurst and nachos while watching the game.

Verdict: 5/5

US Cellular Field
333 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60616


this is one of my favorite malaysian restaurant nearby. i've been here a couple of times with a number of friends. it does not only offer malaysian food but thai, chinese and indian dishes as well.

my top choice among the appetizers is the roti canai. i can't get enough of the flat bread dipped into the chicken and potato curry sauce. the pandan chicken is just average for me. the satay chicken is good but too filling as an appetizer. the fried calamari is good but forgettable compared to the calamari in other restaurants like maggiano's, cheesecake factory or philly g's.

the pad thai tastes good too compared to the one in i am siam. we order thai style tofu everytime we go here. it is served on sizzling plate with an egg topping. it is very good. i also like mango chicken. it does not only taste good but is served with good presentation. for fried rice, we usually order nasi goreng. it is fried rice with shrimp paste.

Verdict: 5/5
Penang Malaysian Cuisine
1720 W Algonquin Rd
Arlington Hts, IL 60005

Gene and Georgetti

i've already eaten at a number of steakhouses in chicago; chophouse, fugo's and morton's to name a few of them. together with my friends, we tried one of chicago's landmark steakhouse: "gene and georgetti."

the free bread and breadsticks were unremarkable. they were hard and bland.

we ordered assorted italian antipasto for appetizer. it consists of mozarella cheese, olives, anchovies, pepper and ham. i did not like any particular item in the collection.

i got the broiled small strip loin steak for main dish and potato chips as side. the steak is disappointingly dry and bland. no salt or pepper was added to it. i had to put some A1 sauce to make it taste good. it was way too bland from the steak i ate at chophouse. almost all of us in the group were disappointed. two friends ordered filet mignon which is expected to be tender and juicy but was nothing like that. the only friend, who was happy with her order, got the broiled pork chop. she said it's very delicious.

Verdict: 2.5/5 [-0.5 for the hard bread, -2 for the bland and dry steak]

Gene and Georgetti
500 Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60610

Joy Yee's Noodles

we celebrated valentine's day by feasting at "joy yee's noodles." it's a pan-asian cuisine. it serves korean, thai and chinese food. we did not order noodles there though. we ordered the soft-shell crab, korean barbeque spareribs and shrimp with walnuts. the soft-shell crab is very good and the korean spareribs is consistenly good everytime we order it. Their shrimp with walnuts is comparably the same with the other restos in chinatown but still good. joy yee is also known for its wide range of unforgettable fruit shakes and tapiocas.

Verdict: 5/5

Joy Yee's Noodles
521 Davis Street
Evanston, Illinois

Popeye's on Lake Geneva

when we went to watch the ice sculpture at lake geneva, we had lunch at "popeye's". it's a casual dining family restaurant. i've eaten there a number of times because everytime i eat there, i always have a good time.

i ordered fresh tossed salad with bleu cheese dressing for starter. french bread with butter was also served.

for my main entree, i ordered roasted chicken with mashed potato. the chicken was very tasty. i wanted a second serving after i finished it!

Verdict: 5/5

Popeye's on Lake Geneva
811 Wrigley Drive
Lake Geneva, WI 53147


we celebrated a friend's birthday at "phoenix" located in chinatown. the waiting line was long. we waited for probably 30 minutes to get a table. after getting a table, we waited for servers to come by with the food carts. we ordered pork siapao, taro puffs, fried sticky rice, shrimp siomai, pork siomai, goto, chicken feet and shrimp wrap for entrees. we had taho for dessert.

i like most of the food except for the taro puffs and fried sticky rice. my appetite was not fully satisfied by the long intervals of waiting for the right servers to come by. we didn't get all the food we wanted at the same time. there was a time when we were almost done with the food on the table while we were still waiting for the other carts to pass by. By the time they did, my appetite was already gone.
Verdict: 4/5 [-1 for the long wait for food carts]
Phoenix Restaurant
2131 South Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616

Medieval Times

i had an interesting experience of dining in a castle while watching knights jousting. no knives and forks were served with the food. we had to eat with our bare hands.

the dinner started with tomato soup and a piece of garlic bread as starter. the soup was literally tomato sauce with a lot of water. it's a shame they include it in the menu. i wanted another serving of garlic bread but it's limited to one per person only.

after the starter, the maids served one whole leg of roasted barbeque chicken, grilled barbeque ribs and two slices of baked potatoes. i was only able to eat a little of the chicken and potatoes because i was so engrossed watching the joust. the chicken and potatoes tasted good enough to satisfy me. our (red) knight won! before entering the stadium, everyone is given a colored(red, yellow, green, etc) crown to cheer for the knight with the same color.

the dessert was pastry with pineapple filling. it was just fine.

Verdict: 3.5/5 [-1 for the tomato soup and -0.5 for the limited rounds of drinks]

Medieval Times
2001 North Roselle Road
Schaumburg, IL 60195


After a not so delicious meal at The Port, my mom suggested that we eat at Savory for dinner for her to let us sample one of the old restaurant feel from th 50's. The restaurant, known for its special fried chicken, Lomi and Pancit, is a bit on the expensive side but nonetheless serves delicious and special dishes.

We had whole chicken, a plate of noodles, a serving of cream dory in black bean sauce and tofu and special turon, deep fried banana slices with slivers of jack fruit in spring roll wrapper with caramelized sugar glazed over it. Talking about ambiance, the overall feel and atmosphere of the shop is great, not to mention the cleanliness of the restaurant. It's a fairly new branch, with spacious walking room. On the wall, pictures of old Escolta where the first branch was built sat there for all to see. The servers were courteous enough, and the experience was fantastic.

This has got to be the best chicken I've tried in my entire life, and the gravy has a distinct taste that makes you forget about your healthy diet. If not for the prohibitive price - the chicken dish is four times the market price - I would be here at least once a week. Yum! where's my claritin? =)

I also liked the cream dory fish fillet in tausi, I'm gonna try this at home =) The noodles was so-so, not really one of my favorite dishes, but the turon (deep fried banana covered in sugar with flour and egg wrapper) was definitely a good choice, goodbye weight watchers.

A = 4/5 Price is extremely high. Suggested for really special occasions and/or people with extra money to spend.
N = 4/5