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Restaurants in Cebu to watch out for in 2017

From new concepts to existing places reinventing themselves, here are eight places we’re looking forward to checking out this year.

The growth of Cebu’s dining scene shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, with new concepts constantly being introduced, and existing restaurants evolving themselves, all to adapt to a more adventurous—if not sophisticated— palate.

We take a look at some of the most promising establishments worth checking out this year.

BLU Bar & Grill

The new BLU Bar & Grill (Photo: Manna Alcaraz/Facebook)

The new BLU Bar & Grill (Photo: Manna Alcaraz/Facebook)

With its sophisticated ambiance and majestic views of the city, it’s no surprise how Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s BLU Bar & Grill has remained a favorite spot among locals and foreigners for the longest time. Last year, they went through renovations, with the new BLU Bar unveiled just right in time for Christmas season.

While it’s still the same BLU people know and love, the changes vastly improve the overall experience—the most notable being a bigger and chicer indoor area which can now be closed off in case of bad weather. And while you’re at it, indulge in a plate of the spicy gambas before washing it off with the Chocolate Martini made from Cebu-grown cacao by Ralfe Gourmet.

  • Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
  • Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills
  • 6332. 253 1111
  • Facebook

The Clove on the Quay

The Clove on the Quay (Photo: Facebook)

The Clove on the Quay (Photo: Facebook)

The Cebu Yacht Club is becoming one of the best places to hang out when in Mactan, especially with the opening of several new restaurants in the past few years. More recently, the Yacht Club welcomed the newest member of the family, The Clove on the Quay.

The most gorgeous view of the sunset serves as the backdrop for thirst-quenching cocktails (happy hour starts at 4:00 p.m.), and then nightfall transforms it into an uber chic bistro serving Mediterranean and North African fare. Big groups will love the Spice Trade Platter which includes beef kebabs, tikka masala, grilled prawns and vegetables, and Sultan rice pilaf. My personal recommendation would be the immensely tender and flavorful Boeuf Bourguignon.

  • Cebu Yacht Club, Mactan Island
  • Facebook

The Weekend

The Weekend's Faux Gras (Photography by Oliver Echevarria/Zee Lifestyle)

The Weekend’s Faux Gras (Photography by Oliver Echevarria/Zee Lifestyle)

Considering it’s is from the same man behind Ilaputi, we’re looking forward to Jan Rodriguez’s newest venture. Set to open sometime after Sinulog (crossing fingers), The Weekend is brimming with the promise of new flavors and dishes sure to be instant favorites.

Already, Zee Lifestyle had a preview at last November’s holiday potluck feature, with Jan serving us Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower with fresh carrot and jicama sticks, and a blue cheese dip; as well as the Faux Gras made of bacon fat and pureed bacon. It also has a selection of cocktails with… interesting names, but that’s for us to know and you to find out when they finally open.

League Sports Bar

League Sports Bar (Photo: Facebook)

League Sports Bar (Photo: Facebook)

Judging from the photos alone, League might be the most legitimate sports bar in Cebu just yet. Having opened recently, it boasts of a warm and comfortable ambiance that everyone— whether sporty or otherwise—would immediately feel at home at. We also spot billiards and foozball tables in the middle of the industrial-chic decor, so while we’re not watching the latest sports on the television, we can always just hang out and have fun playing games.

Coffee & Comfort Cafe

Coffee and Comfort Cafe (Photo: Facebook)

Coffee and Comfort Cafe (Photo: Facebook)

Coffee & Comfort Cafe goes beyond being just a coffee shop. It’s also a study center, which is perfect considering its location. The environment is also conducive for meeting clients and doing freelance work. Of course, the main highlight of the place would be the delectable creations of Miles Semblante, who’s been seen more in chef whites than elaborate costumes in recent years. People have been singing praises about her French toast with caramelized bananas, while the Choco Bacardi Frappe proved to be a hit over Sinulog weekend.

  • 12 Borromeo Arcade, F. Ramos St.
  • Facebook

Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan (Photo: skyscrapercity)

Tim Ho Wan (Photo: skyscrapercity)

When is Tim Ho Wan in SM Seaside City Cebu opening? Your guess is as good as ours, considering when we poked around, we couldn’t find a definitive answer either. But we’re putting the Michelin-star restaurant on this list anyway, simply because we’re so excited to have our fix of their famous steamed pork buns that we can only cross our fingers it’ll finally open this year.

La Vie Parisienne

La Vie Parisienne (Photo: Marco Paulo Diala/lamikaayo)

La Vie Parisienne (Photo: Marco Paulo Diala/lamikaayo)

Who doesn’t know La Vie Parisienne? Famous for its croissants as much as it is for those iconic pink cherry blossom lighting fixtures, it’s become a popular hangout among locals and visitors over the years. Sometime last year, they added a chic extension that just may be their most stylish area just yet. With dome-like ceilings and pretty chandeliers, it’s a new dimension to La Vie Parisienne that bolsters its Instagram-worth reputation, while offering a new experience to its patrons.

Shaka Hawaiian Restaurant

Shaka Hawaiian Restaurant (Photo: Facebook)

Shaka Hawaiian Restaurant (Photo: Facebook)

Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian… heck, even Lebanese. Name it, and chances are Cebu has it. What was remarkably absent was Hawaiian cuisine—a gap that the Pages Group of Restaurants was all too happy to fill up with their latest venture, Shaka. The place is hard to miss; after all, it basically dominates one block of Cebu I.T. Park, incorporating the existing terrain for one charming ambiance. It all but reminds me of my childhood dreams of having a treehouse. Pineapple fans rejoice! Shaka utilizes the fruit into majority of its dishes in so many unexpected ways, you’d find yourself coming back for more.

Culture

The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.

Dia de los Muertos

By Allain Dumon Fonte

The 2nd of November is All Soul’s Day, a holiday that is very important to many Filipinos to remember our loved ones who passed on. This is also widely celebrated in Mexico as “Dia De los Muertos” or in English, “The Day of the Dead”. And Mexicans celebrate the 2nd of November grander than they celebrate Christmas. Well, you can witness it from the Disney movie, “Coco”.

As All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos is about to end, here are some interesting traditions and superstitions that Filipinos and Mexicans share:

1. IT IS NOT ON THE 31st OF OCTOBER

Dia de los Muertos or All Soul’s Day is not practiced on October 31st or on the Hallow’s Eve as many other western cultures practice; but we celebrate it on the 2nd of November. We celebrate November 1st as All Saint’s Day or the Day of the Holy, while in Mexico they call it Dia de los Innocentes or Dia de los Angelitos to commemorate the children who died too early in life.

2. THE RITUAL

Both in Mexico and in the Philippines, we visit the grave of our loved ones and we clean it well. This is a ritual to honour their resting places and to let them know that they are never forgotten.

3. FLOWERS INVITE SPIRITS

In Mexico, they believe that the scent of flowers attract spirits. So the flower offerings are invitation to their dead loved ones to visit the living families. While in the Philippines, we believe that flowers offered to the dead exalt the souls and somehow fill in the sadness that we feel when missing our dead loved ones.

Most of the time, Filipinos choose all-white flowers to offer because white is the absence of colour, which means the absence of Joy and happiness. White also symbolises purity of soul which we hope our dead loved ones will attain as they journey to heaven. While in Mexico, they have the yellow Mexican marigolds as the official flowers of the dead that will guide them in their journey to the afterlife.

4. THE LEGEND OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

Both cultures believe that monarch butterflies are dead loved ones who visit us and show their appreciation that we have not forgotten them. A presence of monarch butterflies also means that our dead loved ones are always there guiding us and looking after us.

5. A PICNIC IN THE GRAVEYARD

Spending a night at the graveyard and picnicking with the rest of the family may sound very creepy to many; but to both Filipino and Mexican cultures, picnicking and spending a night at the cemetery is a must to show our love to our dearly departed. It is the only time in the year that families gather and tell stories of the dead loved ones and how colourful or how great their lives were.

6. FOOD FOR THE DEAD

In Mexico, they have what they call “ofrendas” or an altar where the pictures of their dead loved ones are displayed and offered with flowers, candles, and their favourite food. Very similar to the Filipino culture of cooking the favourite food of our dead loved ones and everyone in the family enjoys the food for dinner.

My family tradition involves me driving all the way to Colon street and buy that famous Snow Sheen’s “pancit canton”. This is my granddad’s favourite snack. Sadly, the old Visayan Restaurant is no longer there. My late uncle and my late grandpa love their sweet ad and sour fish. We also set up an “ofrenda” on their graveyard and eat their favourite food while picnicking in the cemetery. We do not spend a night in the cemetery; but while we are picnicking there, we usually play the songs of Pilita Corrales and Susan Fuentes that my late grandpa used to listen every afternoon while enjoying his coffee, pan de sal, and pancit canton.

What about your family traditions? Share your thoughts by commenting to this article.

MODEL: Michael Joseph Mortola Enriquez & Alexis Wingfield
PHOTOGRAPHER: Gianne Paolo Anciano
HMUA/DESIGNER: Hazel Ocaba
STYLING: GPA Lifestyle + Clothing

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Culture

Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+

Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+

 

Rating: *****/ *****

The multi award–winning comedy series airing on Apple TV+ is one of my favorite shows.  Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis is about a fun good-natured American football coached hired by a British soccer club (AFC Richmond in London) to become their new coach.  In spite of the fact that Ted has no experience or knowledge about British football/soccer, his positive demeanor and charm helps him overcome the animosity of the team’s players, staff and fans.  Eventually Ted wins over the team and the locals as they fight for position in the English Premier League.

The show won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and 7 Emmy Awards in its 2 seasons and Season 3 is just around the corner.  You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+

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Culture

PANDEMIC DIARIES: Twelve Months Later

Photos taken by Pablo Quiza around Cebu City during the months of March, April and May 202

AS WE APPROACH ONE YEAR under pandemic times, we look back at March 2020 with fascination. And awe. We had 12 months of lockdown and survived the so called new normal. We lived with masks and alcohol even today. Carless roads and dark malls. Those were the early days of March, April and May.
It stretched to October and past Christmas. No Sinulog. Virtual parties on Zoom and virtual mass on You Tube and FB Live. We debated on the best meds to take if we get sick and whether to wear masks (please do!). We scampered for face shields and anti-viral sprays. Vitamins C and D and zinc. Later, we survived being swabbed and we learned the difference between a PCR and an anti-gene test. The latter cost less.

We dreaded the declarations of IATF mandated from Manila. And we got mad at the police chief who had a birthday party while his people were busy locking up everyone violating the lockdown. Most horrifying of all, we needed to produce IDs! Are you a resident of Barangay Lahug or Banilad? Are you employed and why are you still working? Everyone suffered thru endless checkpoints. Most sad of all are those using motorbikes, they seem to get the raw end of the deal since those with cars are not as scrutinized. We managed to trick the system by putting a big handwritten note in front of the car: COMPANY CAR, and zipped tru the police desks in the middle of the road. Don’t even think of travelling, by plane, boat or bus. The collection of the required documents is enough for one to get exposed to Covid.

We learned to shop online, order groceries and necessities thru delivery. We slowly moved towards cashless payments. Gcash and banks like Union Bank and China Bank with friendly apps are heroes for making life easy for most of us to spend what little cash we have to spend on Lazada or pay the VECO bill. Oh and we binged on K dramas on Netflix and You Tube, kamsaminada.
As 2021 enters, there are some good news. For those obsessed with news, you already know that 7,000 vaccines arrived last March 2 in Cebu, with more expected in the next few weeks. The death rate is not as high among those who caught this pesky virus, which tells us that doctors in the hospitals have some proven expertise in dealing with Covid. More cures should be in the horizon.

Meanwhile, lets continue dreaming of the day when we can cross borders again, even if its just Bohol or Boracay, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ready those luggages and bags bought during the 3/3 sale in Shopee in preparation for the day when we can take the ferry or the plane for new adventures.

 

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