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Zee’s Pick for the Week

The Tsim Sha Tsui Magic

By Allain Dumon Fonte


Tsim Sha Tsui is Cebu City’s world-renowned Chinese cuisine restaurant. In this segment of Zee’s Pick for the Week, be amazed with Tsim Sha Tsui’s self-heating Dimsum Hotbox!

With Mr. Universe Tourism, Erik Lennart Visser, come and try this one-of-a-kind dining experience!

At Tsim Sha Tsui, your food is always beyond expectations!

Video Credits: Gianne Paolo Anciano


FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Table for One–How to Dine by Your Lonesome

Table for One

You will be ready for the holidays by treating yourself to a table for one and it doesn’t have to be a lonely affair–not when you can get this five easy meals as take out. Combine it with the right drink, a little candlelight and it can be a festive moment!

photography JACKLYN UY sittings editor EMCEE GO entertaining director STEPHEN AZNAR


FORGET ALL SORROWS. Salt and pepper squid on a bed of sautéed bokchoy (from Café Elysa); bamboo plate from Takashimaya; vintage 1999 Cuvee Louise champagne on iittalia flutes, Oneida champagne bucket, Whitney Avenue cutlery by Kate Spade.


I LOVE MY OWN COMPANY. A hearty meal of callos (from Casino Español de Cebu, www.casinoespanol.ph) is paired with a robust Conde del Valdemar Rioja Gran Reserva 2000 made from tempranillo grapes on a stemless Riedel glass; Oneida plate; Pierre Frey napkin.


WHO NEEDS COMPANY? Liver pate and French bread (from Gustavian) paired with a 2005 Chambolle Musigny burgundy in a Riedel wine glass; white plates for pate and fresh strawberry from Calvin Klein Home; Mon Pointe cutlery from Monique Lhuillier.


LEAVE ME ALONE. Light and easy – soft and flaky boquerones on extra virgin olive oil (from Ipar’s, www.ipars.com.ph) with French bread and freshly squeezed lemon are paired with a crisp white Albarino wine from Galicia; Lalique white wine glass and With Love cutlery from Vera Wang.


IF ALL ELSE FAILS. Order some cheese (from Tinderbox) like this aged Gruyere and green veined cheese; a champagne cocktail (mix champagne or sparkling wine with pear brandy, a squeeze of lemon and sugar to taste) on a stemless champagne flute from Crate and Barrel; black and green olives; salmon roe and some French baguette.


(This article has already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s November 2010 Entertaining Issue, “Table for One” on pages 51-55.)


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ZEE’s Pick for the Week

Experience London in Cebu with Brick Lane Doughnuts

By  Allain Dumon Fonte

Photos by: Ephraim Basbas

The doughnut is a universal treat that everyone enjoys; they come in different shapes and are called by different names all over the world. In Mexico, they are called churros, beavertail in Canada, pets de nonnes in France, and the Germans call them berliner pfannkuchen; but they are all the same…fried dough. The oldest known fried dough is the Dutch olykoeks or in English “oily cakes”; but my favourite fried dough is found in Xiamen, China and they are called Youtiao. Although the youtiao is very similar to Peru’s picaronnes, the youtiao has a distinct softness and an unforgettable taste.

Of all the many shapes, names, and sizes of doughnuts, the modern-day doughnut is probably the most popular of all – the circular fried dough with a hole in the middle. Even though the mode of preparation is the same with all types of doughnuts, the coating and dips make the modern-day doughnut look colorfully charming and enticing. I have tried a lot of modern-day doughnuts from the sweetest chocolate-filled doughnuts to the most adventurous wasabi-flavoured doughnut; however, nothings beats the Brits when it comes to making them.

From London to Manchester, the modern-day doughnuts in England never failed to amaze me. My top choices are Crosstown Doughnuts in London, the Doughnut Kitchen in York, and the Manchester Doughnut Company. But because of travel restrictions, I have been missing my favourite doughnuts. The closest English-style doughnut I can get in Cebu is the Krispy Kreme. Not until I discovered BRICK LANE Doughnuts!

Brick Lane doughnuts are heaven in my mouth. The dough is perfectly soft, and the variety of flavours are more than enough for a doughnut-lover to choose. My personal favourite is the ube¬¬-filled doughnut; and I fear that 2 ube-filled doughnuts are not enough to satisfy my cravings. Brick Lane doughnuts have two cozy shops in Cebu; one is at the AXIS on Escario Street, and the other shop is at OAKRIDGE Pavillion on A.S. Fortuna Street. I guess I do not need to fly back to England sooner and visit my favourite doughnut shops. Brick Lane doughnuts have brought London to Cebu!

CEO of Brick Lane Doughnuts, Allen Andre Suarez, spent some time in London learning how to perfect these delightful London-style doughnuts.

Doughnut lovers gather and enjoy the specially-crafted Brick Lane doughnuts.

Choose one or choose all! From Choco Pops to John Lemon, every flavour is a must try.

Brick Lane Doughnuts at the Oakridge Pavillon on A.S.Fortuna Street.

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ZEE’s Pick for the Week

A Chocolate Love Story

By  Allain Dumon Fonte


If I am to choose between “sex or chocolate”, the obvious choice is chocolate.  Who would choose sex over chocolate?  Everybody loves chocolate!  Thanks to Dr. James Baker who discovered how to grind cocoa beans in 1764.  This started the chocolate revolution.  Now, chocolates have evolved from drinks to cakes.

The Baker Chocolate Company history book by author Anthony M. Sammarco

Speaking of chocolate cakes, my friends know how I love them and how picky I am with chocolate cakes.  I want them smooth and silky to just slip from my lips to tongue and down to the throat. They must be sweet enough to tickle my taste buds but not too sweet to hurt my tonsils.  I also like my chocolate cake to be soft and tender that they melt in my mouth.  Most of all, I want my chocolate cake to be very moist.

It is quite challenging to find the perfect chocolate moist cake.  In my pre-pandemic travels, The Le Don Bock in Rue Dancourt in Paris has a chocolate moist cake that brings happy thoughts in every bite.  During the lockdown, I craved for Le Don Bock’s chocolate cake; until I found a chocolate moist cake in Cebu that satisfied my cravings.  It has ticked every criterion in what I am looking for in a perfect chocolate cake, and it is Beanleaf Coffee and Tea’s chocolate moist cake.

Beanleaf Coffee and Tea’s staff slicing the café’s renowned chocolate moist cake.

Beanleaf Coffee and Tea’s chocolate moist cake is a must try if you are in Cebu City.  From the taste to the softness, and to the silkiness, Beanleaf Coffee and Tea’s chocolate moist cake will surely raise the bar higher on chocolate cakes.

Photos by:  Ephraim Basbas

A slice of Beanleaf Coffee and Tea’s chocolate moist cake

Beanleaf Coffee and Tea’s chocolate moist cake with heart designs

Beanleaf Coffee and Tea’s  a-must-try cakes in different flavors: (clockwise from left:  blueberry cheesecake, chocolate moist cake, mango cheesecake, chocolate moist cake, and red velvet cake)

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