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Breakfast at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel

27 May

This would be my last meal in The Philippines and whereas breakfast isn’t my favorite meal of the day, the Cebu City Mariott Hotel had so much to offer that it would become (almost) my favorite meal of that day.

Whether you wanted cereals, a freshly fried egg, rice or sushi, it was all there.

Above are all kinds of sushi displayed on the plates.

Want something more exotic like fried fish heads? No problem! Oh and those red, round looking things on the most left green plate were very sweetly tasting, delicious sausages.

Compose your own breakfast-salad? Sure thing!

And above is just a whole lot of more food.

This was what I settled for (for my first plate). And those yellow drinks? Those were freshly made smoothies that you could get by a smoothies bar. You could order your smoothie at the bar where they would freshly made them and then best of all: you could sit down and they would serve it to you at your table. What’s better than some service at your breakfast right?

A piece of crustless bread, ultra crispy bacon, white rice, egg and bacon quiches and fish heads. If that isn’t a strange breakfast combination than I don’t know what is.

Here’s a messy picture of some of the breakfast-goodness. Rice and meat, delicious!

Whatever you like for your breakfast, there’s a good chance that they have what you crave at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel. I left fully satisfied after this breakfast.


The Last Supper at The Panorama Restaurant, Panglao

8 May

This was our last supper at the Panorama Restaurant in Panglao. As consistent as always, the chef prepared a delicious dinner. Since we had eaten there a lot, some of us chose a dish that we already had before. As a side dish we chose the now familiar salad. This time a salad consisting out of lettuce, fried shrimps, pineapple and if I’m correct, with some ginger. A fresh and also somewhat innovative salad.

Above is once again the suckling pig called lechon. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Served with rice and a, I guess, sweet and sour sauce. This really was a good dish because they made that pig crispy and tender. No wonder it is a local specialty.

Somebody already craved for some Western food as you can see! A simple, but good, burger with fries. Since the fries were a little blackened, the restaurant later came with a new (and larger) portion of fries.

This was a dish that we hadn’t tried before. It was a (pork?) stew made with coconut milk, and it was a tad spicy. Very, very good. A dish I should have tried earlier and much more often.

And lastly one of us had the stuffed squid again.

Sadly, I had to leave The Panorama Restaurant behind, but I knew a lot of good food was still on my path so I left with a stomach full of good food, a lot of new experiences from Panglao and Bohol and very high hopes for the rest of my culinary travels.

Lemon Grass, Cebu City

25 Apr

Lemon Grass is a Thai-Vietnamese restaurant in Ayala Center Cebu in Cebu City. The restaurants looks modern and new from the inside and having a glance at the menu shows that they offer a wide variety of both Thai and Vietnamese food. A combination which sounded great for me since I don’t really eat a lot of Thai or Vietnamese food (except for the occasional Vietnamese egg roll).

When scanning the menu for drinks I wanted to order something that I had never had before and my eye fell on the Thai iced tea. This surprising tea consists out of a strong tasting black tea that has been sweetened with sugar and (condensed?) milk. Plus, various spices are added to give it a very distinct taste.  Although refreshing (it is chilled with ice), the combination of spices, milk and tea was something to get used to. Since I thought of an iced tea (without milk) when I ordered it, I guess my taste buds weren’t really expecting this.

After already having some starters, the waiters came with these cones.

The cones made out of banana leaves and they were filled with rice.

It was just a nice touch to serve the rice.

This is the only dish that I can remember the name of: Chicken Pandan. The chicken was very juicy since it had been wrapped in Pandan leaves. And they were marinated deliciously. It was served with a chili sauce to give it a little extra bite.

I have absolutely no idea what this was. But doesn’t it look good?

I know these were the skewers that I ordered, but what kind of meat it was and with what kind of marinade is something I cannot recall exactly, but they were sweet and delicious though. I had in mind to find the menu online when I would be back in The Netherlands, but unfortunately Lemon Grass doesn’t have a website.

What I can say is that the food in all was really delicious and that I enjoyed our dinner there. And walking out of Lemon Grass I walked onto The Terraces which looked at that time like this:

You can’t complain when you walk into the night and see this after having a fine dinner.

Visiting Jollibee; Cebu Ayala L3, Cebu City

23 Apr

I couldn’t leave The Philippines without having had a short visit to one of the many Jollibees in The Philippines. The picture above is from a Jollibee in the center of Cebu City, but it wasn’t the one that I had visited earlier that day. I went to the Jollibee that is located at The Terraces in the Ayala Center Cebu which was conveniently next to my hotel. I still wanted to add this picture so that you can have an idea of what Jollibee is, and how it looks like.

I ordered a 1 piece Chickenjoy value meal which is a menu consisting out of one piece of chicken served with a drink of your choice, a cup of Jollibee sauce and a side meal which could have been spaghetti bolognese, rice or, what I ordered, palabok fiesta.

The chicken was fried until it was perfectly crisp and it was still tender and juicy on the inside. Having eaten fried chicken from different fast-food chains before, I must say that this one stood out not because of the way it was spiced, but because of how the chicken tasted: it tasted real. Not some fabricated semi-chicken, but it tasted like real, juicy chicken.

My chosen side dish: palabok fiesta was the thing I anticipated the most at forehand, because I ordered it without knowing what it was. It turned out to be (quote from their website): “Premium bihon noodles served with mouth-watering palabok sauce and toppings of pork chicaron bits, tinapa flakes, sauteed pork, shrimps, and slices of egg.”

A very strange, but good tasting combination it was. Especially the topping of pork chicaron bits. That stuff is heavenly! It is fried skin and fat of a pig and I can assure that that is the good stuff. Crunchy and full of taste.

At first my brother didn’t want to eat something since we just had lunch, but after seeing my Chickenjoy meal he couldn’t resist ordering some Chicken Nugget Crunchers. If we have to believe Jollibee, they are not your regular chicken nuggets (quote): Chicken Nugget Crunchers are made with seasoned tender chicken and carrot bits in crunchy, golden yellow coating. Also fortified with Vitamin A! Comes with sweet barbecue sauce for kids to have fun dipping.” Those nutritious carrot bits freaked me out when I read the side of the box (see above), but you couldn’t really taste them when eating the Crunchers. Which is, I suppose, a good thing. And hey, if you even get some extra Vitamin A whilst eating at a fast-food chain, who can complain right?

Oh yeah, they also came in nice shapes:

I’m sure my brother had some really nice fun dipping the Crunchers in the sweet barbecue sauce.

All in all I was glad to have visited the Jollibee. Admittedly, the chicken was really good and the palabok fiesta was a culinary experience of its own. I can understand why Filipino can be so enthusiastic about Jollibee.

Lunch at Teriyaki Boy, Cebu City

11 Apr

Oh boy. Its Teriyaki Boy! This is an alternative to all those fast food restaurants around. A great alternative! The restaurant looks good, the food tastes great and it is also quite cheap. What more do you want? Oh, something less greasy than a burger or some fries? Check! With a large menu and thus a large choice of dishes you can make it as greasy as you want.

Since their takeover by the Pancake House Group they underwent a large rebranding (as their site states). The brand mascot can be found everywhere in the restaurant. Due to the new look the restaurant does look modern and hygienic, which is nice, but I was more thinking about the fact that Teriyaki Boy should better deliver some good food!

First of all I ordered a refreshing watermelon shake:

It was cool, refreshing and sweet. Its so much better to drink this than an ordinary coke with your lunch.

What you see above is something that is quite commonly seen in Japanese cuisine. It is called a bento. It is a box shaped container filled with all kinds of food, but typically filled with rice, some meat or fish and vegetables. It is often taken to school as lunch, but it is also sold at shops and in convenience stores. In this case, it was sold in The Philippines at Teriyaki Boy and it was called the Teriyaki Boy Bento. What is in it? I will quote their website:

“Our best seller and specialty. Grilled boneless chicken marinated with our special teriyaki sauce. Served with steamed Japanese rice, miso soup, kani salad, sesame moyashi, coffee jelly and your choice of iced tea or soda.”

What caught my eye was what you see at the very bottom. That dark substance with whipped cream on top. Something that looks a bit out of place when you see the rest of the lunch in the bento. It was, as you could read, coffee flavored jelly. I tasted it, but it wasn’t really my kind of thing. If I remember correctly the (kani) salad was very richly topped with a kind of mayonnaise which was also something unusual. I believe you can see that in the right top corner. Maybe the mayonnaise was a bit over the top. Unusual food isn’t negative though, everything was eaten until the very last bite since it was really good.

This was my lunch. It looks a lot less than the bento right? It was. I can’t really recall why I chose to eat only some ramen, but that doesn’t really matter. Flavor wise it was a very good choice. The soup was very tasty, it really tasted like some strong broth. The ramen were excellent since they were perfectly chewy and the chicken was really full of flavor since it was marinated with their teriyaki sauce. As their website states:

“Our signature Teriyaki Boy Chicken, served on top of your choice noodle (Ramen or Udon) and soup base (Shoyu or Miso).”

I chose the Shoyu soup base, which was a good pick.

All in all I would say that this is a franchise that I would visit quite often if it would be around in The Netherlands, unfortunately they are only located in The Philippines. In my everlasting quest for good food, it seems that I will have to find it elsewhere in The Netherlands.

Lunch at the Henann Resort, Alona Beach, Panglao

22 Mar

If this isn’t one of the best places to have lunch then what is? Sitting at a table, surrounded by palm trees and looking out over the sea. Yes indeed, the setting was great. But…how was the food? Good. Really good.

It was quite a surprise if the food would be good because when we went to the beach we sat down at some beach beds quite randomly. For approximately 10 euros per person we got ourselves per person a beach bed, a beach parasol, a table and two drinks. As I couldn’t see how the hotel looked liked, and how the kitchen looked like, the ordering of our lunch was quite a gamble. It could have been good, it could have been bad. How glad I was that it turned out to be good!

Of course, being at the sea, what could be better then some (fresh) seafood for lunch. I ordered fish (I can’t recall what kind of fish) and it was served with sauteed vegetables and rice that had something special in it. The stupid thing is that I can remember that there was something special with the rice, but I can’t recall what it was. I vaguely remember that it was garlic rice (after writing it down I am quite sure it was garlic rice). What I do remember was that it really was delicious. What a good choice! The rice had lots of flavor and the fish was really soft. It almost melted on my tongue.

I now had the food for my stomach, but I also had to look around because the views around me were pure eye candy. When I looked up I saw the palm trees hanging over us.

And when I looked around I saw more palm trees and a beautiful beach:

As for the lunch, this is what my brother ordered:

A triple club sandwich. Three slices of bread with bacon, eggs and other things, whiskey sauce?, some garnishments and chips. Looks really good don’t you think? Although I still am quite happy with my choice.

All in all: a lunch that gave me food for my stomach and food for my eyes. A great lunch.

Another night, another dinner – Le Panorama Restaurant, Panglao

14 Mar

Another night, another dinner. My goal to eat everything on the menu (or at least as much as possible) was getting closer and closer. Whilst looking back at the pictures I’m trying really hard to remember what everything was, but since it is getting more and more in the past I’m having trouble to recall what everything was. One thing is for certain and that is that one of us decided to have a non-Philippino dinner with the pizza:

Let’s have a better look at the dishes:

I don’t have a clue what this dish was. As you can see it was served with the standard rice, but this time also with some sauteed vegetables. The meat could be either chicken or pork, I truly can’t remember. But it was undoubtedly good since I didn’t eat anything there that didn’t taste good.

Next up is this dish:

What it is? Once again I haven’t got a clue, but if i could, I would try it again immediately to find out. Some kind of stewed meat I guess with some sliced and diced tomatoes and carrots.

The last dish was a pizza:

It seems as a strange choice to order a pizza in the Philippines, but with a chef like this, I think it was a safe choice. Even the pizza’s were good!

And finally, of course a salad:

Lettuce, teriyaki chicken and some mango to top it off.

And so we had another great dinner from Le Panorama restaurant.

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