Kuya J

While we were waiting for the rain to stop,  we remembered that there was a newly opened branch of Kuya J's restaurant inside SM. Mom told us that we should scout the place in advance, because she was going to eat there with a friend in the nearest foreseeable future.

The restaurant, it seems, was located at the spot where Goldilocks was supposed to be a long time ago. It was renovated to fit several tables as well as a generous area for conferences and group meetings.

There weren't too too many patrons at 230 so in a sense we got the place to ourselves. The ambiance was above par, with neatly arranged shelves on the wall and several lighting fixtures located in several locations to brighten the place.

The staff were vey attentive; we kept getting refills on our water and rice whenever we were dangerously close to running out. Plus they were generous enough to give us additional shrimp paste (bagoong)
 after we've finished.

For starters, four of us shared a plate of local green mango and bittermelon salad. the ampalaya was somewhat bitter and the serving size was a little bit smaller than what I expected.

A small plate of chicharong bulaklak and a bowl of kinilaw na tanigue followed closely, both of which were prepared with their own unique interpretations of the dish. The chicharon was slightly sweet but very tasty. The kinilaw also had its own unique taste completely opposite of the usual sour tasting marinade it comes served with.

That kinilaw was somewhat sweet too, and not to mention it had black beans in it.

Again, the meal progressed further as soon as the arrival of the remainder of our requests arrived.

The baked scallops were deadly. It was literally oozing with butter, so much that it was dangerous for dieters like myself. x_x

I'd take the salad anytime, please, thank you.

Soon after that, the large serving bowl of steaming hot pochero arrived on our table. I was a bit disappointed that the meat inside seemed small.

It had this curious sweet taste, though.

Probably from the papaya used in the soup.

Next came the crispy pata, which was impressive, in my opinion. The restaurant was able to make the outside crispy while making sure that the meat inside was soft and tender.

It was easily the best order!

 Last but not the least, our order of sisig finally arrived, not too late, thankfully.

Curiously, their recipe of sisig also had a somewhat sweet taste. Don't get me wrong, I like it as well, but it seems different from the taste I've gotten used to.

Kuya J's
SM Center Cebu


A:  3.75/5

 The place was decent. They know how to attend to people. They are very polite, and the food was mostly enough. They need to work on serving size and portion control though.

very affordable though.

Banri Noodle House

 Deciding that I should be able to sample this restaurant's food, my sister drove me and my brother to Crossroads to experience one of the elegant Japanese restaurants here in Cebu.

Banri at a glance is a small store with a modern Japanese feel to it, with several bookcases at the entrance filled with Manga and Doujins stacked carefully on display. There was enough room for people to worm their way to get to their seats, just as we did.

Interestingly, the background music was traditionally Japanese and the displays and the whole ambiance complements the whole place.
Despite the small space, we were courteously seated by one of the staff and were each given a menu booklet so that we may choose from their many dishes. 

Naturally, we ordered a platter of mixed sashimi and a plate of mixed sushi to share, while my brother got himself a huge bowl of Yudofu, which looked like a Japanese version of soup stock. I, on the other hand, took the liberty of sampling their cold noodles, hiyashi somen and lastly, my sister had a generous bowl of Chirashi sushi (which wasn't on the menu).

We were given a small plate of vegetables with japanese mayo on top with refillable house tea.

My somen was refreshing yet filling, and not too cold even if it was served in a bowl with ice cubes inside. My brother's Yudofu, a tofu based soup was shared between the three of us and was very satisfying.

The sushi and sashimi that were served were fresh and prepared right. We even had a small sushi roll made of Uni, or sea urchin. It was rich, although it had a strange texture unlike raw Uni. I was thinking that maybe it was cooked or prepared somehow so that it didn't taste too raw for their guests?

And true to their word, their wasabi tastes great. ;)

Banri Noodle House
Crossroads, Banilad

A: 4.5/5

A little pricey, but what can you expect from a Japanese restaurant? The ambiance is relaxing and the food tastes great. The washroom needs a little maintenance of sorts. Otherwise, I really enjoyed my visit here. I would come back here if I had money to spare to try their other dishes.

Big Flat Bread

I'm going to say this now: This place has got to be one of the most underrated pizza parlors in Cebu right now.

Our visit to this place was by accident. Originally, we were supposed to go to Rico's Lechon to grab ourselves a boneless head for our almost-a-century-old grandma and our beloved dog, Wookie.

But since there wasn't any roast pig available yet, we had to roam around and that's when we saw Big Flat Bread. BFB is situated within a few steps from SYKES Mabolo's entrance, and even a few steps from Rico's.

The food here is cheap. Less than 300 for a 10inch thin crust pizza? Yes please, sign me up! To save even more, we got ourselves the smallest party pack, inclusive of a 2 liter bottle of soda, a large plate of carbonara pasta, three pieces of chicken with slices of home made mojos, and of course, a pan of their signature pizza flavors.

The gravy for the chicken was way better than any gravy available for a fast food joint. The pizza was less greasy too and very flavorful. The Godfather pizza that came with the package also tasted good, complete with a certain twist to your usual pizza flavors.

 The mojos also stood out from the meal. Although not as addictive as Shakey's Mojos, these baked potato sides were actualy delicious.

I was a little disappointed with their carbonara pasta though, because I found it too creamy and milky, as if the chef smothered it with a whole pack of all purpose cream.

Big Flat Bread
Ridges Mabolo

A: 4.25/5

Definitely a must visit. Cheap but delicious food. What's not to like?

Circa 1900

We've read an article about this restaurant on the web a few days ago and we then decided to check it out because the place was near our apartment. It was intensely hot that time and we were thankful that there was a little shade for use to park in when we arrived a thirty minutes past our reservation time. 
The place wasn't even that packed at 12nn, true to their word when we called in to reserve ourselves a place. And as soon as we entered the restaurant cool air from the air conditioning willingly accepted us in its wake. The ambiance was like a blast in the past; with chandeliers hanging and the place looked like a renovated old house complete with a garden with fresh vegetables and spices at the back. On the second floor where out seat was, there was a piano and a small stage for dinner performances. There were several wine glasses on the see through cabinets and several wine bottles on the rack. Ancient pictures also hung from the walls filled with several other memorabilia and decorations.

The servers were attentive and prompt to action when needed. Never did our glasses went empty of water. For appetizers, we had Asian Pancake Rolls and imported New Zealand Green lip Mussels. Both of them shared between myself, my sister, my brother and my mother. The Asian Pancake Rolls had slow cooked orange tamarind duck strips with bean curd strips and Chinese pancake while the Mussels were served in a bowl of smooth coconut milk and a slice of bread.
 But before that, we were served a small spoonful of lettuce and wild mushroom as a complementary appetizer. 

 How cute!

Now for the main course, I had myself a serving of boneless pork loin chops, my sister a serving of their best selling crunchy slow roast pork belly. My brother who sat diagonally across me got himself a plate of chicken bringhe turmeric and chicken and vegetable paella cake infused with coconut and raisins topped with sauted chicken and sprouts. My mom went with a serving of braised Moroccan lamb because she was allergic to a lot of food lately. :(


My boneless pork loin chops were delicious because it had several juicy bits. and just the right amount of fat in it. There was too much mashed potato in it though, too much for me that I got myself some sauteed vegetables instead.


I also liked my sister's pork belly, but I wish they let you choose to dictate the amount of sauce there was inside the dish instead of just half drowning the plate with the meaty liquid.  

My brother's dish was a little bit complicated because there was just one too many flavors at once in my mouth when I tasted it. But if he's happy with it, then I suppose it's good enough for me!

 The dish on my mom's plate has got to be the prettiest of them all, in my opinion. Although not as tasty or juicy as my steak and my sister's, it was just seasoned right so that it wasn't too overpowered not too spiced. The cous cous added a special flare to the dish in my opinion.

Dessert was a little disappointing, in my opinion. because it wasn't THAT exceptional. I did like the maja blanca cheesecake because it had a mix of cream and the maja blanca itself poured into a butter cookie cup and then chilled in the fridge before being served. The granny smith apple stuffed with dried fruit and nut compote wasn't that great and the chocolate cream cheese and walnut cake did not taste like chocolate with cream cheese.

Circa 1900
San Jercasville, Lahug

 A: 3.75/5

I'll give this a 3.75/5 because I think the food is too expensive and the serving sizes are a little bit on the small side for the price (for the lamb and the bringhe dish) Excellent place and ambiance, though.

Tokyo Table

 After a short trip to IT park and a 100 peso taxi fare to get to the place, we finally arrived at Tokyo Table situated at City Time Square.

 Tokyo table is among the many establishments in the newly opened strip as well as one of the many talked about restaurants on the net. There were several good reviews about this place according to a friend,  so we decided to give it a visit.

I was not disappointed with the ambiance of the place from the get-go; I was captivated by this huge bamboo artwork by the entrance. My sister and I was the third group of the early birds to try the place.

At exactly 11:30, we were ushered inside and had a first glimpse of the spacious area for its customers.




It's like the size of two basketball courts combined. I almost gawked in disbelief at the size of the place, and there were several couch seats!

Plus the assortment of food was a fusion of several different cuisines! They had Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, and European.

There was just too many to sample and choose from.


What I like about this place is the fact that they have a separate dispenser for drinks available to every diner who eats there.


 Let's see...

I also did enjoy some dishes on the Japanese section, particularly their sashimi. I'm a sucker for fresh sashimi. The marlin (or that white sashimi fish they had was very delish.) Salmon is a given. I also enjoyed their freshly cooked shrimp tempura. It had this sweetness in it that leaves you wanting for more.

For the Chinese section, I enjoyed the crispness of their Lechon Macao, as well as their orange pork (the inner meat was difficult to chew, however.) Their chill sauce and pickled bamboo shoots were interesting choices too. Oh. Did I mention that I like that pork roast with crispy pork rinds and chili garlic sauce?

For the Korean dishes, I definitely will repeatedly come back to eat their marinated beef slices. They seem to have gotten the sauce right.


 Tokyo Table
City Time Square, Mantawi Ave., Tipolo MandaueCebu City

A: 4/5

I think it's expensive to go here, costing around 750 for an adult lunch diner? Many of their food were hit and miss. The tuna sashimi was a disappointment. The maki tempura is too. The rolls were very unappetising to me, if you ask me.

Most of the Chinese food here are terrible. The dim sums had huge individual servings, probably three times the size of your normal siomai. The sliced salted meats from the koreans are very disappointing too because they were huge.

But hey.

At least the dessert section if well stocked. 


I like the creme brûlée. It could be a diet version of the one sold at A Cafe.