We were greeted by the attendants, one rainy night, who courteously offered us the menu as we entered the establishment. We expected good service, only to be dismayed as we were seated three feet away from the kitchen. Imagine having dining tables near the hot kitchen! It didn't end with just that, actually, all throughout the course of the meal, service was slow. The water tasted awful and that our food had to be served cold (we specifically asked the main course to be served even if the entrees weren't done yet.)

To make up for it, I guess, the interiors looked good and light despite the busy atmosphere. Just being there can make you feel at ease and calm, as you stare at the photographs on the walls or admire various pen inked artwork hung almost every angle of the restaurant.

As for food, if you're looking for eating on a budget or pigging out, you're at the wrong place. Price range of a dish here costs about 200-300 on average. Thankfully, they have entree packages of two or four in a plate at a reduced cost if you order them individually.

We had cubed egg and spicy cheese for starters. Not exactly the best, but manageable. Next to come was the the hot garlic bread for individual guests. Traditional to start with these. They also have wifi here, for those who are bored of waiting.

After that, we had pork tips , medium well beef steak and marlin fish fillet.

I don't know why people say that the food is bland. I guess most of them are just too used to adding one too many dashes of salt and spices, only to destroy their tasting senses. All of the dishes served here had an exquisite hidden tinge of flavor.

If you enjoy subtle tasting food with great presentation, this is the place for you.

Canvas: Bistro and Bar
Level 2, The Terraces
Ayala Center, Philippines


A: 3.6/5


What's not to love about a restaurant whose staff comes to your table as they serve the appetizer, shouting in unison the word "OPA!"?

I certainly loved dining at this place (since I'm crazy for lamb, among other things.) Homey Greek atmosphere greeted us as we were seated on a table by the manager with just the right amount of music in the background. What's more, we didn't have to wait too long for our food.

To accompany our refillable specially iced tea, for starters, we had Greek caviar with salted fish roe (Taramosalata), Crispy Breaded Baby Squid, deep fried to satisfaction served with Tzatziki sauce and sprits of lemon (Kalamarakia) and last but not the least, Flaming Cheese served on a sizzling plate (OPA!)

The main course consisted of Lamb Gyro, generous marinated lamb slices with tomatoes, red onions and Tzatziki wrapped in pita, Firm, white and meaty Marlin Fillet whose distinct flavor can only be attained by Charcoal grilling, and their specialty, Cyma Lamb Chops, charbroiled shoulder loin Lamb chop served with a choice of rice stuffed pepper or Greek roasted potatoes.

Every single bite of food tickled our palates, truth be told. It's my first time tasting Greek caviar and I found it weird since it looked like mayonnaise with ketchup to make it look pale pink (I'm no fan of mayonnaise). despite the looks, it was indeed different. Next, I'm proud to present, kalamarakia as an excellent order. baby squid is really crispy even when cooled down. It goes well with the sauce too.

Wifi users, beware. This establishment doesn't have a working WiFi.

For who's having their birthdays soon, be pleased to know that they have freebies for birthday celebrants. ^^

Cyma Greek Taverna
Ayala Center Cebu
Cebu, Cebu, Philippines

A: 4.8/5

The Gustavian

"The Gustavian Celebrates the decadence and glamour brought to Sweden in 1750’s by Crown Prince Gustav III from France where he studied. When Gustav was crowned King of Sweden he rapidly changed the whole country in to a Cultural movement that included fine cuisine. Sweden has since then been one of the most delightful parts of the French cuisine family tree. Scandinavian cuisine is a melting pot of the Haute Cuisine of the Baltic, Russian, Polish, Finnish and of course Swedish/ French find dining heritage from the past 300 years."

-The Gustavian

Dining inside this uniquely elegantly designed restaurant in Ayala Terraces is truly a breath taking experience on a hot lazy afternoon or a romantic evening with a date. The establishment lets patrons have the option to sit on one of the many carefully prepped tables a few steps away from the front entrance, with a relaxing view of the ayala gardens. To the left side of the door, buffet tables, carefully prepared against the glass wall, are filled with rows of salads, pita, bread and a few signature dishes like salpicao, sole and steak. Ahead, guests intent of watching an exciting game series unfold can relax with their friends while ordering bottles of liquor or a shot of imported wine. Ambiance-wise, this has got to be one of the best restaurants in Terraces.

To begin the meal, I had the privilege of sampling most of their appetizers of pita and Greek dressing, paired with a steaming broth of chicken. Their scrumptious salpicao, a dish composed of cubed beef sirloin or tenderloin, lots of minced garlic, olive oil and various seasonings was next to be tasted. Soft, heavenly, and heart pounding! It tasted just like meat simmered in coconut milk and tomato sauce, only better.

What made the trip to this restaurant worth it is the fact that they also serve tender sirloin steak to match the plethora of salad and sidings (Mussel salad was among the best, followed by the farmer's salad). Thinly sliced meat that oozed with flavor in your mouth is just too hard not to pass by.

The Gustavian
Stall F103, Level 1,
Terraces Area Ayala Center
Cebu Cebu Business Park, Cebu City

A: 4.9/5
Pricey restaurant is pricey! I recommend bringing your credit card to pay for the bill. Food and ambiance makes up for it, though.

The Best Fried Chicken Ever



N: 5/5 seriously, I can eat a bucket of these and I'll be the happiest person on earth =)

The Cheesecake Factory

We often go to the cheesecake factory meaning to order cheesecake but we end up sampling their entrees until there's no more room for dessert.

This time we resolved to change that so we had an early dinner and after a fair amount of strenuous activity to burn the meal (read: shopping) we decided to refill our calories with cheesecake.

I ordered the Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake because I wasn't really in the mood for something sweet and I expected this one to be bitter. My friend ordered their Tiramusi which she claims is their best dessert yet.

Our orders came surrounded with whipped cream, which I'm not really a big fan of, so it was a total turn off =p. I took one bite each and then called it a night. We had the leftovers to go and I grabbed a slice of their famous chocolate bread appy that I like.

I don't know why but now this restaurant reminds me of Sheldon ^^


N: 4/5

Five Guys

How many guys does it take to make one good burger? Five!

If In and Out is to California, Five Guys is to Illinois. When in America, you have to eat like Americans, that means all the meaty, beefy, greasy goodness of burgers and fries and soda all rolled into one meal.

I ordered the small bacon cheese burger, and believe me it wasn't small at all. Their regular burgers have two patties and probably 4000 calories, so I opted for half of that =) Their serving of fries made from Idaho potatoes was a meal by itself, it's good with vinegar and the huge portion is perfect for sharing.

My friend said she preferred In and Out but I think Five Guys is ok, I can't really remember the taste of the former, I should go back to LA soon and compare ^^

N: 4/5 - great burger experience

Sea Ranch Sushi

For my friend's birthday. her housemates took her out for a sushi dinner, it's an hour drive from Buffalo Grove but it was all worth it. After feasting on sushi in Vancouver, which costs really cheap over there, somehow a $20 sushi place looks so expensive to me.

Sea Ranch is a Japanese grocery store with four or five small tables where customers can sit down and park their bags as they order freshly made sushi and ramen - they serve both ala carte and AYCE. For the latter, they give you a checklist and you can just mark everything you want to order then give it to the counter and wait.

I love that they have salmon roe here, I could eat this all night =) we also ordered a few other rolls for the non raw eaters but half a dozen ikura was good enough for me, I wish we had something like this in Cebu.


N: 4/5

The Italian Kitchen

After watching the movie version of Elizabeth Gilber's book, I had a sudden craving for Italian food - blame in on all the pasta and pizza Julia Roberts ate on that movie!

The Italian Kitchen was the perfect restaurant to satisfy that craving. I browsed the menu the night before so I knew what I was gonna order - now that's anticipation! I got the Penne Arrabbiata ~ that's penne with crispy pancetta, peperoncino, basil, tomatoes and burrata cheese. My friends ordered sangria and wine which invited my allergies back - but that's ok, nothing Claritin can't handle =)

N: 4/5 must try their appies and other entree next time

The Italian Kitchen
1037 Alberni St
Vancouver, BC V6E 1A1

Da Rae Oak

So what did I miss about Vancouver? Why, Korean food, of course =p and the people who eat it with me ^^

N: 3/5 I've had better galbi...

Da Rae Oak Korean Restaurant
3510 Kingsway,
Vancouver, BC V5R5L7

Korean Cactus

It was Labor Day weekend so it was a lazy Sunday and we decided to use up all my movie tickets, which are expiring next year, and head downtown to watch Eat, Pray, Love. But first we had to eat.

Cactus Club is right across Burrard skytrain station so it was an easy choice on a balmy, cloudy, rainy, gloomy Monday. It was sometime in the middle of breakfast and lunch so I wasn't really in the mood for a full meal - I would have ordered steak otherwise, instead I chose their lettuce wraps - the presentation was great, that made it hard to eat it, maybe that's why I couldn't finish it haha - nah, it was just a lot. I forgot, I'm back in North America, the land of the plenty.

N: 3.5/5

Cactus Club
588 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC

Breakfast of Champions

What's the first thing you would do right before crossing the border at 4 in the morning? Eat a hearty breakfast! Especially when you know it's gonna be a long day with eat and sleep at the bottom of the agenda. So, IHOP it is, and I ordered their specials - the super rooty tooty fresh 'n fruity -  I just love saying that =) It's composed of two fluffy pancakes topped with either strawberry, warm blueberry or cinnamon-apple compote plus whipped cream topping - talk about carb and sugar overload! The combo also comes with hash browns and eggs and is worth $4.99; for a little extra you can add bacon, sausage or ham.

After a 13-hour flight, a two-hour layover, another three-hour flight and four hours of driving, I decided to get all the add-ons - yeah bring it on! Unfortunately, my poor jetlagged tummy couldn't really handle all those so I ended up just eating all the meat and having the rest to go. Imagine this conversation:

Border Patrol: So what are you bringing from the US?
Me: Two fluffy pancakes with strawberry and whipped cream toppings plus hash browns to go please, I mean sir. ^^

All I can say is IHOP in the States is definitely waaaayyy better than the lame greasy IHOP that I went to in Burmaby. I'm glad I stopped over.

N: 4/5 great service, friendly staff and good food


3619 Byron Street
Bellingham, WA 98225-6018