Soon after the arrival of our dearest mother, we came here one night to visit the newest branch of Italliani's at Ayala Center Cebu. Of course, I had class during that time so by the time I got there my mom and sis were already there.

As customary in every Italliani's branch, we were given a fresh basket of bread to be paired with a mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil as well as a few minutes to review the menu before we were attended to by someone from the staff. We ordered a pan of Quatro Staggiani (four seasons pizza: cheese, tomato, ham and vegetable) and a Country Combo platter comprised of a heap of smoked salmon spaghetti, roasted chicken, and roast pork (the package was supposed to be roast beef, but they ran out of beef, so we were asked if we'd like to opt for pork instead.) Before she left to relay our order, we were given another basket of fresh bread to pair with the dressing from earlier.
From what I read online and heard from people, Italliani's is known for its fresh food, their pasta and pizza, and last but not least, their steaks.

The four seasons pizza was delicious. Everything was freshly baked and the dough was no exception. The toppings didn't feel awkward unlike some haphazard pizza recipe out there. The smoked salmon could have been done better, though. The salmon was overcooked and became flaky as soon as we started dividing it among ourselves. The roasted fowl could have been done better too, something about makes me wish it could have done better. A little dry, maybe? Finally, the roast pork had its sauce interchanged with the chicken, who had its gravy placed beside the pork.

Ayala Center Cebu

A: 3.5/5.

Quite pricey. Service could still be improved. Food can be done better.

Pepper Lunch-Ayala Cebu

"Finally!" I exclaimed as we were walking by the top floor area of Ayala's new wing. Before us was a brightly lit store named Pepper Lunch, with all its shining glory and bright lights. I remember it like it was yesterday, the memories of our first dining experience back in Makati. Aaaaah, after so long a time that we set our taste buds on a quest to rediscover the delicious taste of thinly sliced beef (of course, Yoshinoya still takes the top spot in my heart :) ).

We ordered teriyaki beef pepper steak and a plate of sizzling pepper steak and then we were seated by the corner of the restaurant. The place was fairly new, and it was pleasant to the eyes. The air conditioning was just right and the ambiance felt cozy.

A few minutes later, our order arrived and we were reminded that we should stir the meat immediately on the still sizzling hot plate before us. We were also given the option to use two of their sauces on the table, soy garlic and honey brown (which, i think were both salty-ish.) It was kind of strange to see the amount of meat on our plates though, since we upgraded our meals to the next size, we somehow feel that it feels... lacking.

But otherwise, I felt content with the food we had here. It'd be nice to come back to this restaurant to check how much exactly the upgraded meals look like compared to the regular ones.

Pepper Lunch
Ayala Center Cebu

A: 3.5/5 A restaurant worth revisiting once its soft opening is finished.


We met up with my sister's college friend here in Ayala past 11 in the morning and decided to try eating at Ullis. We were lucky enough to get seated and order before a large group of office employees came to claim their reservation. Anyhow, our group ordered a Tori Tori platter, a dish composed of three sticks of chicken, squid, pork bacon, and shrimp; Chops, composed of four slices of pork on top of a heap of steamed rice with fermented cabbage; and Combi Pork Platter, made up of Char Siu Pork (Chinese BBQ pork that looks like pork ham with sweet glaze) and Siu Yuk Pork (Crispy Roasted Pork Belly)

I was kind of disappointed at the food here. Sure the service was fast and we didn't have to wait for 30 minutes to get served, but the food that arrived on our table was cold. The Combi Pork platter didn't look heated at all, and to make it worse, the meat was really hard and chewy.

The Tori Tori platter is another disappointment for me, because the meat served on the plate looked miniscule and sickly, and wouldn't even appease the hungry patron. Plus they didn't serve this hot.
The only plus side of this restaurant for me would be the Chops, which thankfully arrived hot, the service tea, and the strong wifi signal from the Ayala Mall itself.

Ulli's Streets of Asia
Ayala Center Cebu

A: 2/5

I'm not sure if I'll be coming back to this restaurant. It's expensive, feels gimmicky, and doesn't serve anything exceptional.

The Suite Room By Casa Verde

 One of the more daring additions to the Casa Verde business is The Suite Room in Ayala's newest wing. Just across several other newly established restaurants there, The Suite Room boasts its calm, relaxed ambiance for the business-casual appointments and meetings complete with rhythm and blues music as well as other favorites from the golden ages. Fortunately enough, we were able to secure a seat at one of the very comfortable couches available for our after-lunch hang out with my sister's friend who's just come home for a break as well as the upcoming local festival, Sinulog.


It was a relaxed place with courteous and attentive waiters, easy going music, and delicious food just within the budget. Our group had a steak sandwich, a serving of tenderloin steak with half a slab of rock lobster, and a serving of green tea ice cream cake, while I had an appetizing apple cinnamon ice cream cake for myself.

The desserts taste appetizing at least, and I have yet to sample their steak dishes.

The Suite Room
Ayala Center Cebu

A: 3.5/5

I like the ambiance and the price seems to be affordable enough. Some dishes were slightly more pricey, but it was definitely cheaper than David's Steakhouse.

Blue Elephant Apple One Sky Lounge

Situated on the 19th floor of Apple One building within walking distance from Ayala, Blue Elephant Sky Lounge is one of the more recent happenings especially for the opening for the  year 2014. This restaurant-bar is said to be a nightly extension of the parent company located in IT Park; it opens at 5 pm and closes at 2 am. Moreover, due to its recent rise to popularity, it is recommended to secure a reservation beforehand to make sure you don't run out of tables.

Access to the restaurant is granted at exactly 5pm, and it even has its own dedicated lift for patrons and staff. The restaurant itself is pretty barren at opening hours, but life starts to flourish as soon as the sun hits the the sack and the moon rises in its place. This sky lounge's true worth lies in dusk where lights start to shine and a beautiful cityscape roars to life  with a variety of colors and sounds.

 Even if we came here at exactly 5pm, we were informed that the kitchen opens at 6pm, so the staff attending us told us to order ahead to avoid the rush of customers coming later. We ordered stuffed squid, seafood curry, bangkok express, sisig and crispy pata. For refreshments, my brother had a bottle of light beer, my sister got a glass of Thai iced tea, while I had a refreshing glass of frozen iced tea.

Our orders arrived one by one at around 630, when people have started claiming their seat reservations. The staff were slowly going around and placing light fixtures and these nifty changing lights on every table to provide a colorful display for the diners.                                       

I find it weird that the food served here tastes different from the main branch, like a clear deviation from the traditional taste that Blue Elephant was known for. The sizzling squid was saucy and we couldn't taste the stuffing so well. The seafood curry tasted sweet and had a very subtle taste of curry in it, as if the curry was added late. The sisig was tasted different, and wasn't sizzling as advertized. It did have unusual ingredients that regular  restaurants don't use: pork ears and liver. The crispy pata also paled in comparison to the one from IT park (which had softer meat and crispier skin, served with three types of sauces).           

One the bright side, we managed to see some bright and colorful fireworks from time to time in the background. Plus the night scenery was really great.                                                                    

Blue Elephant Sky Lounge
Apple One Building


A: 3/5

The crispy pata almost didn't arrive, and it tasted different from the usual taste I was so used to. The staff were courteous enough though, and very attentive. The drinks tasted too sweet, as if the barista wanted us to catch diabetes.


Seafood island

Among the number of restaurants in the newly renovated Ayala mall as of yet, Seafood island has got to be one of the better places to grab a meal with your friends looking to experience their first hand experience in native filipino dining.

This place specializes in group meals, or what they call boodle, or a group meal where a large heap of rice and a variety of viands is served for everyone to share. 

Since the place is fairly new and that we arrived here at lunch hour, the place is packed. We could barely hear ourselves in the wave of chatter and the tinker of tableware, let alone fine a decent space to eat.  Regardless, we were fortunate enough to get one by the windowside with ample space on our table.

For starters, we had 

chicharon bulaklak,


Kinilaw na tanigue

...and binagoongang baboy.

After which, we had a hearty serving of sisig and crispy pata.

The waiting time is terrible, even the time you have to wait for the change and receipt is awful. Everyone seems to pile up near the counter and whenever someone come to listen to our request, people seem disinterested and hurry back to finish what they were doing. The sisig and the crispy pata arrived late while the other three dishes arrived early. I was also disappointed by the taste of the iced teas. We couldnt hear our conversation by the sheer noise in the background. The concept seems like a good idea, but dining out with your family, this is not the place to go.

Seafood Island
Ayala center Cebu Rooftop

A: 3/5

There are better tasting chispy patas out there. Expect less for the amount you'd pay for. Plus the ambiance is slightly below average.

Dong Juan

One cloudy Sunday afternoon, my family and I decided to try out a fairly new restaurant located at IT park called Dong Juan. As cliche as it sounds, it has a local appeal with the usual favorites on the menu, as well as a few new iterations like Kimchi burger to cater to potential foreign diners who pass by the area. 
For starters while waiting for our main course, we tried a serving of  calamari fritters. It came to us with a unique tangy sauce  that had us wanting for more (the calamari, because there was only enough serving for 3 each for the 4 of us).

Soon enough, our sisig plate and a platter of baby back ribs arrived to our table. We found it cute that their wooden tray had a hand carved "Dong Juan" on its side for presentation services. Moments later, the main course, the esteemed Crispy Pata arrived on our table. There wasn't any notable mentions here from this restaurant, all of which could have been done in a better, more delicious way. 

Overall I think it was an OK meal, not great but not bad either, perhaps we just didn't order their best sellers or what they're known for like the burgers and pizza. Our orders were more suitable for restos like Alejandro's at Crossroads. We should probably have gone snack mode in this joint :)

Dong Juan
Calyx Hotel, IT Park

The sisig was super greasy like it was full of fat and it did not in any way look appetizing (trust me, after having eaten so many sisigs from restaurants, this sisig DOES NOT look appetizing AT ALL). The Crispy Pata did not even have enough meat to begin with. And the meat underneath the skin was crisp. Overcooked maybe? At least the baby back ribs were decent. The calamari fritters tasted like air. The sauce it came with does not even help.

Not worth your time to come here.

N: 3/5 I would say we should give this restaurant another try, after all we haven't tasted their famous burgers :)

Tonkatsu by Terazawa

 Part of a collection of international casual dining brands, Tonkatsu by Terazawa's new branch in Ayala Center Cebu has almost everyone rushing to get a taste of its newest offer. From the name itself, the shop's specialty is tonkatsu, or breaded pork slices. Plot twist, it isn't just your ordinary pork slices. It's from the rare Berkshire breed that originally came from England. Think of the finest quality pork available in the world that has marbled meat and a good amount of fat well suited for  deep frying as well as long cooking.
We arrived at the restaurant's doorstep a little past four and got ourselves seated in one of their booths. Immediately, we were given their menu cards and was told that someone will be taking our orders in a few. There was an assortment of tonkatsu meals written, some of which are curried, while others were mixed with shrimp (ebi), white fish, and Japanese oysters. Of course, as stated, all of them come with all you can eat cabbage, sticky rice, and miso.

My sister had a mixed katsu set that had oyster, shrimp and kurobota meat while I sported a homemade katsu curry (being the curry enthusiast that I am.) Soon thereafter, house tea was served while we embraced the soothing modern ambiance of the place with traditional folk songs of Nihon artists in the background. The walls were accentuated with stylized calligraphy scrolls of the names of their menu and everything was well lit, but not overly so.

The food arrived in a timely manner, and we were given some friendly advice how to enhance our katsu dining experience. We were both given a tray (for the sauces, to taste) and two separate containers of spicy and sweet sauce.

The food here is delicious, albeit pricy. At first I thought that the pork on my plate was tender but when I sampled my sister's kurobota slice, lo and behold! I was surprised to find that it was even softer and juicier than the one I had! The oyster was quite different from local ones too, as the ones they serve had a much more distinct and deeper flavor.

Seriously, I think this restaurant is overrated. I simply can't pay 500 pesos for a piece of deep fried pork. For the same price, I would probably run down to wakamatsu and enjoy more dishes aside from tonkatsu. Another gripe is that manager (?) guy who was fixing himself at the kitchen mirror and getting iced tea for himself from the drinks dispenser, very unsightly and unprofessional in my book. And what's with those flies or Mosquitos hovering around my table, minus in hygiene. Another minus is the long wait for my cabbage refill, just give me a head of cabbage and I'll shred it myself, how difficult is that?

Tonkatsu by Terazawa
Ayala Terraces Cebu

A: 5/5
Tasty and delicious food. Very pricey. Average budget per person is 500-700.

N: 3/5 Overpriced. Overhyped. Not a lot of variety and choices in the menu, but then again the name of the resto is tonkatsu not tonkatsu atbp :)