Matthias BBQ

After a grueling sale day at Mandaue Foam with my mom, her friend, and my sister, we were invited to eat at this far flung restaurant in Mandaue City.

In a sense, it was a simplified version of Larsian.

There were several tables, with only one where you could get their BBQ. The ambiance was just as you'd expect from an outdoorsy restaurant, Noisy, blaring with music and teeming with people.

Their reputation is well deserved, I guess, because they know how to grill their meat. It was well seasoned and was still juicy inside.

The only negative points for this restaurant might actually be the location itself. It is situated in a busy highway that it is almost hard to pass through the traffic on the main road. The parking lot is very narrow, and because of their popularity, they are always full.

It is advisable to come here early, at around 530-6pm to get your group the perfect spot that you wish to sit comfortably, preferably not near the parking lot where several tables are directly joined to it.

In short, our visit to this place is very eventful. I enjoyed the food they served and the company I shared it with.

I'd definitely invite people to eat here again.

Matthias BBQ
Gov. M. Cuenco Ave.
Mandaue City


A: 3.75/5

Aside from the points I raised, the place isn't actually bad. You just have to come here early. We were told that the place is so popular that they run out of food to sell by the time the clock reaches 8pm. Cleanliness might be an issue for some.

Dimsum Break

My sister and I visited this place yesterday when we were looking for a decent cabinet for her room. We did find one at Metro and had it delivered to our flat. I skipped my breakfast that time, so by the time we finished at around 1230, we made a beeline towards Ayala's food court on the fourth floor. The place was packed, and it was with great effort from us so we could find an empty spot for us to eat. We were situated between Dimsum break and CNT Lechon, at a spot between several families dining.

With haste, we got ourselves a 3/4ths of a kilo of boneless Lechon Head and several dim sum containers of Cabbage rolls and Bacon rolls. Everything was good, we were seated, and we dug in.

The Empress Roll was soggy and over cooked. The bacon roll too. The staff seems pressed for time and started to mess the orders of the others. It looked like a disaster.

Dimsum Break
Ayala Food Court 4th floor

A: 2/5

Service could be better. Food could be better. Overall experience is disappointing. I guess this is what you get from on the go restaurants, huh?

World Pizza

La Maison Rose

   It was a year late when we learned of this restaurant situated near the Church of Latter Day Saints. It's even funnier that we oft ride our way to Ayala and IT Park, while just shooting glimpses of this quaint pink colored house atop a narrow hill-like entrance.

We've decided to finally visit the place a few days after finally visiting the pastry and wine shop just at the outskirts of the place. I liked the ambiance outside, and I'm pretty sure La Maison Rose could compare.

La Maison Rose... in a nutshell is designed like an old french house with several paintings of Japanese ladies and products and advertisements. There were several nifty chandeliers and stuffed parrots and fanciful designs. It was like a world different from the outside, as one entered the barreled doors.

Arriving just in time for our reservation at 12 noon,  my family and I were seated and given two iPads to view their menu. Pretty fancy. And fancy too, since the prices were high.

For starters, we ordered Surprised Poached egg with caviar, Escargot, and Beef Lasagna.

But before that, we had free flowing bread to keep us occupied, which lasted until our entrés arrived. They also served us a sampler of pumpkin soup and some bites of flavored baked goods. There never was a time that our bread plate emptied and our supply of water down to the last drop. I'm happy to say that the staff were very attentive to the needs of their patrons.

First of all, the beef lasagna was oozing with cheese. Rarely do you see a lasagna like this where the chefs aren't scared of using cheese. It was too much for me that I think that the cheese overpowered the beef. The escargot, a fancy name for snails,  was a little disappointing. It had only three pieces and the sauce practically covered the whole thing. These were served in three individual saucers that looked like squished shot glasses. I think it could have been better. The poached egg was a good entré, if not excellent. The taste of smoked marlin overpowered the caviar though, which is kind of a waste especially they used black caviar.

After our entrés arrived, I had myself a plate of Duck vol au vent, which is duck in a hollow puff pastry. My sister had a special home made smoked sausage, my brother, a plate of roasted chicken with grainy mustard sauce. Last but not the least, my mom ordered for herself a serving of beef bourguignon.
My dish was how I imagined it to be: filling, but very light on the palate. It had just the right amount of flavor and a generous amount of greens that balances the whole thing. I'm quite impressed with the beef bourguignon; the meat was simmered in red wine. It's literally swimming in it. The sausage was adequately spiced, and the chicken was cooked just right.

It took us some time to finish our meals, including some small talk as we were enjoying the delightful array of food before us. As soon as the servers noticed this, the plates were taken and not less than five minutes dessert came.

Just so you know, we got one order of banana flambé, a cup of chocolate coulant, some vanilla creme brulee, and a sampler platter of cheese to close the stomachs.


La Maison Rose

A: 4/5
The food is good: very filling, nicely presented, and expensive. I thought that the portion sizes were fine. Not recommended for people on a budget. Very pricey.

A Cafe

It was lunch time and the sun was hot upon our heels, and my sister had a meeting afterwards so we took ourselves for a treat to a restaurant we haven't visited yet. So, our solution to our dilemma was to try out A Cafe, part of the Abaca group of companies within the area.
The place was quaint, a little bit bigger than Phat Pho and the ambiance reminded me of a secret meeting place for people who liked privacy. It was good enough that it had plants growing as shelter at the patio for other the other guests, plus the tables and seats were arranged in a cozy manner.

Reading the menu, I figured that the menu specializes in breakfast items, particularly biscuits and eggs and bread. Their daily menu entitled Deli sandwich looked like half a loaf of french bread stuffed with greens and salmon and their secret sauces. The Eggs benedict was a plate full of sliced potatoes topped with fresh hot from the stove gravy and open faced sandwiches of bread, sunny side up eggs and smoked salmon. We also ordered a plate of buttermilk fried chicken with biscuits, much to my disappointment upon the recent knowledge that the last of the pork chop was bought by the previous patrons across where we were seated.

To top our lunch, we had a creamy bowl of creme brulee to share, as well as house teas and shake for use to enjoy.

A Cafe
Crossroads, Banilad

A: 3/5

Probably a lot of improvements here and there. I wasn't impressed by the buttermilk chicken; it was as if there was something. The deli sandwich tastes like a regular half sub. The eggs benedict was probably the best order among the food we ordered. The Creme brulee tasted like a richer version of Leche Flan, with a layer of caramelized sugar at the top. My sister tells me that it's not one of the best creme brulees out there

Maitré Chocolatier

Among the restaurants that we have not eaten yet in Ayala, Maitré Chocolatier is probably one of the most curious of them all. Situated beside the old space of Healthy Options and below Hukad in Ayala Terraces, this restaurant boasts its use of chocolate in dishes listed in their menu.

Curious as to how they would add the "secret" ingredient to dishes like pork chops and pizza, we checked out the place while there was still very little people inside.

The ambiance was that of a cozy cafe decorated with quotes and facts about chocolates. Not to mention several boxes of imported cocoa products by the far wall of the establishment. The seats were cozy, and were clearly aimed for dating individuals or married mates.

We got the answer to our question when we did get our orders on the table. My sister had a serving of grilled pork chop with dark chocolate drizzles while I got myself a plateful of vegetarian pizza with white chocolate and a bowl of hot chocolate for the cool afternoon.

The service was quick and we enjoyed the ambiance altogether. We spent the remainder of the rainy afternoon to wait it out and chill.

The hot chocolate was good, in my opinion. A bit thick for my tastes, but it sufficed. I'll give them brownie points for the added chocolate chip cookie~!

 The pork chop wasn't that exceptional because it didn't even have a distinctive chocolate taste on it.

Oh, I forgot to add. This is where this restaurant shines: dessert. We both had a lava cake to share. It was sweet and somewhat bitter; understandable because of the dark chocolate used in it. It was a balance between hot and cold with a scoopful of vanilla ice cream on top of a biscuit. It also had this screen-like layer of hardened chocolate while there was a generous amount of chocolate all around it. It was really good!

Maitré Chocolatier
Ayala Terraces, Cebu

A: 3.5/5

The food is still hit and miss. There are some that tastes great, and some that tastes mediocre. I like the concept though!

Hong's Family Korean Restaurant

I remember the time when Korean restaurants were scarce here in Cebu and there were only a handful of places where you'd see Koreans out and about. But now, almost everywhere you go you'd see them parading themselves like ants on a line.

The good thing about it is that, if there are more Koreans in the area, then that would mean that there are Korean restaurants nearby. And if what I think is right, that would mean that there would be All-you-can-eat Samgyupsal!

I'm fond of it because for an average price of 300, you could eat all the meat you want, that already comes with several refillable side dishes. That totally rocks, a value for our money deal.

Anyway, my family decided to visit the place after our favorite Korean dining place closed permanently. We were greeted by the all too familiar smoke from the grilling meat. It was strange to walk inside a slightly slippery floor, maybe the owner forgot to mop the place or maybe I just have oiled  shoes?

We were seated by a rather cheerful waitress who was quite patient with us even though we had her going back and forth the kitchen. The side dish for the day was pickled bean sprouts, kimchi, pickled cabbage, lettuce leaves to wrap the meat with, the mandatory bowls of soup. and one serving of rice per person.
The meal ended with us having had at least six plates of sliced meat, happy faces, and bloated bellies. It was a pleasant enough place, and the Korean lady owner was polite enough.

Hong's Family Korean Restaurant
IT park Lahug

A: 3/5

I'm quite confused why they have air conditioning when the whole place has smoke from all the grilling. The place seems okay.

Korean Chosun Restaurant

Amidst the line of Korean restaurants in front of IT park, this restaurant is one of the few establishments that actually has parking spaces for its customers.

This food shack caters to local Koreans and foreigners alike with its specialized staff. Courteous and polite, the servers of this busy restaurant attends to each customer's needs as quick as possible.

The food is good, not to mention the fact that any grilled dish lets anyone have a free cold noodle in addition to the easily replenished appetizers. These range from egg omelets, crispy anchovies, Kimchi, peanuts and salad.

Depending on the space available on the table, guests may opt for a built in grill on the table or a gas operated stove.

Of course, they also have other ala carte meals that you can order if you're fed up from all the meat that you ordered. ;D

Then again, with all the different side dishes that they offer, you practically don't have the option to get tired of those deliciously grilled meat on your plate at all!

Cebu Chosun Galbi Korean Restaurant
Salinas Drive, Lahug


A: 4/5

A bit pricey as opposed to other korean restaurants sprouting within Cebu, but still worth the experience. Ingredients are fresh and served upon request. Good service too.

Too bad that the branch at IT Park closed down.

Jo's Chicken Inato

 Still situated within the vicinity of Velez College, Jo's Inato has been one of the frequented restaurants here in Cebu from even back when we transferred. We could remember it had several branches in different areas that rivaled Chikaan, a local favorite of the Cebuanos.

It still has the same mascot brand with several of the favorite delicacies like Pochero, baked scallops, kinilaw na tanigue, and of course, their chicken that made them famous.

We visited the place one sunny afternoon in an attempt to hide from the blazing heat. Having had very little to eat in the morning, we took the liberty of sampling several of their best orders.

The orders were short, and sooner than we expected, the food arrived on our table. We had a plate of fried chicken skin, a large bowl of Pochero,  eight pieces of baked scallops, a serving of kinilaw na tanigue, tinumok na isda, and two servings of chicken inasal. 

Upon the arrival of the steaming soup beef, we divided it amongst ourselves to get it dished out for our convenience (since there were more food coming at our table). I had to give up my share of the scallops because I've found them too creamy (and far too sinful and unforgiving to my diet regime). The fish kinilaw had several slices of local lemon and chilies to go with it, as well as a generous heap of onions and tomatoes-what constitutes as "lamas" in local dialect.

Of course, the tinumok na isda, a new addition to their menu, was served with the fish wrapped and steamed with leeks and lemongrass. It tasted a little dry, but a little seasoning to go with it would make it a perfect dish.

Of course, last but not the least, the chicken inasal was a spectacular blend of sauce and spice, both of which have penetrated the inner portion of the meat. This is rare, because most of the chicken dishes sold nowadays only have flavors on the skin.

And of course, to stave of the summer heat, we ordered two servings of Buko Halo Halo, complete with real young coconut shell as a bowl of sorts.

 It was great.

Jo's Chicken Inato
Ramos, Cebu City

A: 4.5/5

The place was a downgrade from its old branch. But at least it still had their signature taste.

Oyster Bay