A recent report of how lechon vendors in Carcar City’s public market intimidated a customer into buying lechon spurred sharing online of horrible experiences with the vendors, with many calling for a boycott.
Many of those who shared their experiences, via comments and status updates on Facebook, centered on three main complaints:
Cebu Brewing Company (CBC), Cebu’s first craft brewery founded in 2013 is proud to announce the release of the country’s original pinoy pop, Loompie.
Based on a recently unearthed family recipe from the early 1900s, Loompie comes in many delicious tropical flavors highlighting the Philippines’ treasure trove of tropical fruits. Loompie comes in a large 420ml all-glass bottles, continuing the CBC tradition of environmentally focused, sustainable packaging corporate policy.
Raquel Choa’s favorite childhood tales of Maria Cacao shape not only the artisan chocolates that she creates but the spaces where one gets to appreciate them.
At a gathering to launch the second phase of the partnership between Choa’s The Chocolate Chamber and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, she explained that she imagines Maria Cacao with dainty ceramic pieces for her banquets while the chandelier represents the fireflies that provide the dazzling glow to her palace.
Through the collaboration with the resort, Choa gets to show guests the local way of tablea production as a precursor to TCC’s artisan cocoa drinks (locally known as sikwate) and chocolate products.
Talks on cacao and its history and experiential activities will be regular features at The Chocolate Chamber.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa General Manager Rene Egle said he was looking for a local product that can be brought from farm to table in 2015.
In celebration of Marco Polo’s 765th birthday, Marco Polo Plaza is throwing an Italian party at the El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar.
Guest Chef Luca Genco
From September 11 to 15, eat and drink Italian at the hotel’s poolside restaurant. The special event is done in collaboration with Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast. Together with the Marco Polo culinary team, Marco Polo will feature the delectable Italian culinary masterpieces of Chef Giuseppe Genco and Chef Luca Genco.
Enjoy traditional Sicilian comfort food and indulge in delicately prepared Italian pastas such as Spinach Ravioli, Rigatoni Pasta, Farfalle Seafood pasta, Penne Pesto Genovese and Italian Sausage Cannelloni. Hand-made and wood-fired cooked pizzas are a must-try together with different kinds of Sicilian Roasts. Of course, this fete would not be complete without a glass of Italian wine to complete the Italian experience.
PIZZA SLICING CEREMONY.Opening La Dolce Vita with a pizza-slicing ceremony are (from left) Marco Polo Plaza General Manager Brian Connelly and guest chefs Giuseppe Genco and Luca Genco.
Order your favorite caffeine fix from Bo’s Coffee even when you’re still on your way so that it’s ready for you when you arrive.
All you need to do is look up Bo’s Coffee Advance Ordering BOTTY on Facebook Messenger and follow the instructions for getting your preferred hot or cold drinks. After picking your drink and choosing your payment option, you will be informed how many minutes it would take to get your order ready and again when it is.
The system has been rolled out in 47 mostly company-owned Bo’s Coffee outlets across the Philippines, including 19 in Cebu.
SKIP THE COFFEE ORDER LINE. Bo’s Coffee allows you to order in advance via Facebook Messenger and pick it up at the store.
Bo’s Coffee founder Steve Benitez said during the launch of the Advance Ordering BOTTY in Cebu that the move is intended to enhance the customer experience and a means by which he intended to bring his homegrown coffee chain to the future.
Bo’s Coffee tech innovations
“As we reach our 25-year mark, we want to cater to the fast-paced lifestyle of our customers. We want to make your daily coffee runs simpler, faster, and more accessible so you have more time for more important things in life – your passions, your advocacies, and your relationships,” added Benitez, who is President and CEO of WS & Landin, Inc., the corporation behind Bo’s Coffee.
The Bo’s Coffee Advance Ordering BOTTY is just the first of several technology innovations that are on the pipeline for Benetiz’s coffee shop chain.
BETTER EXPERIENCE. Bo’s Coffee founder Steve Benitez says they deployed Facebook Messenger chatbot to enhance the experience of their customers.
According to Benitez, the goal is to integrate Bo’s Coffee rewards and even delivery services to Messenger-based system through Grab Express.
Digital payment options
While the Advance Ordering BOTTY allows customers to pay cash, its secure and cashless digital payment options through PayMaya as well as credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) allow customers to really skip the line, according to Bo’s Coffee COO Rachel Fallarme.
“In a developing world like ours, we have to do all we can to optimize our efforts and save time,” she added.
CHATBOT LAUNCH. Speaking during the press conference to launch the Bo’s Coffee Facebook Messenger chatbot are (from left) Bo’s Coffee COO Rachel Fallarme, founder Steve Benitez, and developer Cary Gee.
By paying via the system, customers can park curbside in strategic stand alone branches, get their coffee, and continue on with their day. Payment options like Grabpay and GCash will also be available soon.
Some of the Bo’s Coffee branches with the Advance Ordering BOTTY include Capitol, Banilad Town Center, Filinvest Cyberzone, Ayala Center branches, SM City Cebu branches, SM Seaside, and Mactan Domestic and International Airports.
CHAT TO ORDER. Look up Bo’s Coffee Advance Ordering BOTTY on Facebook Messenger and follow the instructions for getting your preferred hot or cold drinks.
Consumer market patterns
System developer Cary Gee, who was also present during the launch in Bo’s Coffee Capitol Branch last July 25, 2019, said the Advance Ordering BOTTY was initially developed for the Singaporean market.
He decided to bring the system to the Philippines when he saw similar patterns in the two consumer markets, both of which are fast-paced, in need of personalization while skipping the queue, and has a good percentage using Messenger instead of downloaded apps.
TRYING IT OUT. Ka Bino Guerrero tries out the Bo’s Coffee chatbot to order drinks.
The system keeps a record of orders and helps the coffee shop push the right promotions to customers. It can also be used to engage customers for rewards purposes.
While it was created with customers in mind, the system will also free up some tasks for coffee shop employees.
Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu will offer discounts of up to 60% on accommodation, dining, and banquet events at the upcoming Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019. In celebration of Quest Hotel’s upcoming 7th anniversary, the hotel will offer vouchers to guests and patrons at special rates exclusively at the hotel’s pop-up in Ayala Center Cebu from August 16 to 18, 2019.
Quest Hotel accommodation vouchers start at P2,750 net for an overnight stay in a Deluxe Room. Vouchers for Premier Deluxe, Junior Suite, and Executive Suite are available as well. Premier Deluxe vouchers start at P2,950 net; Junior Suite vouchers at P4,450 net, and Executive Suite vouchers at P5,450 net.
Huge discounts for the spacious Quest Serviced Residences are also up for grabs. Vouchers for the 1-Bedroom Serviced Residence start at P3,700 net while those for 2-Bedroom Serviced Residence is at P5,000 net. The Quest Serviced Residences boasts of higher floors and are equipped with living area, dining, and kitchen facilities.
Be it for business or leisure, guests seeking the ultimate hotel experience will revel in the room’s delightful amenities and scenic sky-high views of the metropolis. Guests enjoy complimentary access to the Fitness Center and the swimming pool, where they may also have bar chow and beverages at the Pool Bar.
Guests craving for delicious bites will have a blast at the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, Pusô Bistro & Bar. Recently awarded by TripAdvisor with the Certificate of Excellence 2019, the award-wining restaurant presents an array of flavors both international and local from morning till evening. Discounted vouchers for the buffet and a la carte are available at the sale.
Pusô Bistro & Bar was recently awarded by TripAdvisor with the Certificate of Excellence 2019.
Pusô Bistro & Bar’s highly acclaimed Breakfast Buffet is offered at only P450 net per person from the regular rate of P600 net per person. Lunch Buffet vouchers are available at P560 net per person and Dinner Buffet vouchers are available at P680 net per person. A La Carte Value vouchers are available at P2,650 net for a consumable value of P3,500; and at P1,600 net for a consumable value of P2,000.
Parties, whether for birthdays, reunions, or wedding receptions take center stage at Quest Hotel. The three-star hotel is renowned for its 10 state-of-the-art function spaces that can accommodate either intimate gatherings or grand soirees of up to 200 persons. Banquet Value vouchers are available at the Quest Hotel Super Sale at discounted rates of P15,000 net for a consumable value of P20,000; and at P10,000 net for a consumable value of P15,000. Banquet Value vouchers are applicable for social events only.
It surely is a grand, super sale at the Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019. Guests and patrons are in for an array of exciting options to choose from. To know more about the discounted offers, interested guests may visit bit.ly/QuestSuperSale2019 or call Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu at (+6332) 402 5999.
The Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019 vouchers are valid for use from September 1 to November 30, 2019. Hotel terms and conditions apply. (Press Release)
If you love cheese, sausages, chocolates, and everything Swiss, head to Cafe Marco in Marco Polo Plaza as the award-winning food outlet celebrates Swissness from A to Z.
The event is part of the hotel’s Culinary Journeys: a series of events held throughout the year to celebrate food and culture.
Until August 5, Cafe Marco will serve Swiss chocolates, raclette, cheese fondues and meats such as Alpine dried beef to Zurich-style sliced meat on top of its international buffet spread for lunch and dinner.
Cervelat and Emmentalier, Gherkins Salad with onion chives
Lunch buffet rate at Cafe Marco is P1,300 while dinner is P1,600.
The culinary event is held in celebration of Switzerland’s National Day on August 1.
“Cafe Marco will feature all things Swiss from appetizers to desserts alongside its international buffet spread,” Marco Polo said in a press release.
OPENING. Marco Polo Plaza General Manager Brian Connelly rings the bell to mark the opening of the media preview of Swissness from A to Z. With Connelly to lead the opening is Resident Manager Michaela Priesner.
As an added treat, guests who dine during the event will have a chance to win a special merchandise from Swiss brand Victorinox.
Rico’s Lechon will open its biggest restaurant this Friday, June 28, in Cebu, bringing back the particular taste of its roasted pigs that has become popular with diners.
Meat Concepts Corporation President George N. Pua said in yesterday’s media preview for the Mandaue branch that Rico’s Lechon has changed ownership but the quality and taste of its roasted pigs remain the same. Pua heads the company that now owns the lechon chain.
NOT JUST LECHON. Rico’s Lechon will serve Filipino favorites on top of its renowned lechon.
The 500-square meter branch, which is the brand’s flagship outlet and newest restaurant, is located at Unit F1 Jamestown, Mantawi International Drive, Mandaue City.
Pua added they will soon work double time to have the branch in Axis Entertainment Avenue along Escario St. in Cebu City reopened by July.
Rico’s Lechon menu
Rico’s will continue to serve its famous lechon in two flavors, original and spicy. It will also offer such Filipino favorites like special boneless bangus, sizzling lechon sisig, monggos, Bicol express, kinilaw na tangigue, calamares, camaron rebosado, garlicky squid balls, sinigang, pinakbet, chopsuey, and pancit canton.
NEW OWNER, SAME LECHON QUALITY, TASTE. Meat Concepts Corporation President George N. Pua said in yesterday’s media preview that Rico’s Lechon has changed ownership but the quality and taste of its roasted pigs remain the same.
When it opens, the Mandaue branch will introduce as well new dishes like the grilled pork belly, grilled daing na bangus, ginataang laing, chicken binakol, beef ampalaya, sizzling adobong pusit, buttered mixed seafoods, seaweed salad, sisig fried rice, chorizo fried rice, sinigang na boneless bangus, sinigang na baka at baboy, and seafood sotanghon.
Pua said all their pigs are sourced from local suppliers, adding that they’ve hired the services of an abattoir and outsourced the roasting to another group.
Rico’s flagship outlet in Mandaue is the second in Cebu, the other being in Mactan Promenade, and the seventh overall.
There are currently five Rico’s Lechon branches in Manila but two more — along Balintawak and in SM North Edsa — will be added soon, according to Pua.
Rico’s Lechon Mandaue has a seating capacity of 300, with four VIP rooms for meetings, gatherings, and special functions with family and friends. The largest room can seat up to 80 guests while the other three can fit up to 20 persons each.
Pua said they wanted to achieve a fiesta ambience, hence the colorful restaurant interior. The chandeliers are made from lechon plates and are manufactured in Cebu together with the furniture.
Traditional Cebu lechon
Founded in 1997 by Enrico Dionson, Rico’s Lechon will turn 22 in August 2019. It serves traditional Cebu lechon roasted to perfection and mixed with garlic and leeks.
Some years back, Pua said he came to Cebu, which is known for having the best lechon, and tried the products of different outlets. He came to the conclusion that Rico’s Lechon has the best roasted pig and proposed a partnership deal.
He added that Dionson wasn’t interested then but later changed his mind and sold the restaurant chain six years after that initial proposal.
To cater to visitors arriving in or leaving Cebu via the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, TGI Fridays opened its third branch here and 26th nationwide at Island Central Mall in Lapu-Lapu City.
The newest TGI Fridays is just two minutes from the airport and was intended to cater to the tourist market as well as locals, said Director for Operations Kristine dela Cruz.
Its proximity to the airport and souvenir shops makes it a practical stop for guests that have just arrived in Cebu and those wanting a last-minute meal fix before their flights.
TGI Fridays menu
For people who are new to TGI Fridays, dela Cruz recommends their bestselling dishes that are glazed with Jack Daniels whiskey and these are the ribs, salmon, porkchop, and chicken. The steak can also be ordered with a side of Jack Daniels sauce, she added.
Other items to try include the classic chicken fingers—hand battered chicken tenders paired with a hefty helping of crispy seasoned fries and honey mustard dressing, cajun shrimp, and chicken pasta.
Dela Cruz said the resto’s salads come with special dressing made in-house. Also in the selection are such best-selling desserts as Oreo Madness, Brownie Obsession, and Salted Caramel Cheesecake.
Baby back ribs
Special lunch menu items
TGI Fridays also recently launched lunch menu sets that are below P400 and this is to change the mindset that their dishes are expensive, according to dela Cruz. These are available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekdays.
Some people see the menu items as pricey but the servings are quite big, she added, citing that a salad order priced at P595 is already good for three to four people.
As a special treat, TGI Fridays is celebrating the Mactan branch with a 50% discount on any of its burgers on top of a minimum purchase of P1,000 on food and drinks. The offer is valid until June 30, 2019.
TGI Fridays newest branch is in Island Central Mall in Lapu-Lapu City.
NEAR THE AIRPORT. US Consul Agent Glenn Ivan Loop, Lapulapu City Tourism Chief Hembler Mendoza, & TGIFridays Director for Operations Krissy Dela Cruz are flanked by the managers and staff of the recently opened TGIFridays Mactan. The restaurant is located in Island Central Mactan; a convenient stop for inbound and outbound flyers.
From durian rice cakes to fish stewed
in turmeric to slow-cooked beef in burnt coconut broth, an interesting and delicious
range of dishes with Moro and lumad heritage are on the menu in Café Marco at
the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.
The dishes are made available as
part of Flavors of Mindanao, this year’s Independencia Culinary Journey from
June 7 to 12.
PIYALAM is a Tausug dish of stewed fish with turmeric.
Independencia is a celebration of the food of the Philippines, said Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Brian Connelly.
“We’ve featured cuisine in the past seven
years from heroes of the country, actually also from the president himself who
signed the proclamation. Last year, we did food of northern Philippines. This
year we wanted to go south. And we wanted to do this in conjunction with our sister
hotel in Davao, the Marco Polo Davao,” Connelly said during the opening last
“It’s part of our experience here in
Marco Polo to share cuisine of different parts of the world, of different parts
of the region, as well as different parts of our country. We’ve got this wide range
of food and this year, it’s southern Philippines – Mindanao,” he said.
Chef Alex Destriza
The executive chef of Marco Polo Davao has been studying the dishes for 2-3 years.
Marco Polo Davao Executive Chef Alex
Destriza and Chef King James Tinio worked with the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu team
of Executive Chef Juanito Abangan to create the menu.
Destriza said native Mindanao
cuisine is divided into that of the Moros and lumads. The region is rich in
rice and coconuts and they figure prominently in their cuisine. An example of this
is the Tausug dish Tiyulah Itum, where beef is slow cooked in a broth made of
burnt coconut meat. The use of burnt
coconut meat in the preparation of the food is widespread and includes dishes with
chicken, beef, and fish, he said.
TIYULAH ITUM is a Tausug dish of slow-cooked beef in burnt coconut broth.
Many of the dishes, including Tiyulah
Itum, are cooked in bamboo, a process that intensifies the flavors, Destriza
said. The Marco Polo chefs just improvised to adapt the preparation in a modern
kitchen and experimented with the cooking methods.
Coconut and rice also figure
prominently in the desserts of the different communities with such treats as
durian rice cake and a ball made of camote with bukayo or sweetened coconut
meat strips filling.
OPENING. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Brian Connelly welcomes guests to the opening of Independencia.
Destriza said he has been
researching these dishes for two to three years. These are served mostly during
special occasions like weddings and are rarely available outside their
communities or region. He said, however, that slowly, the food is being
introduced in other places of the country. Marco Polo Davao, for example, has a
halal station with these dishes.
The dishes are available on top of the regular international lunch and dinner buffet spread at Café Marco until June 12. Lunch buffet rate is P1,300, while dinner is P1,600. For reservations, you can contact (+6332) 253 1111, email [email protected].com or link them up on Facebook or Twitter.
More photos of Flavors of Mindanao
KULMA BAKA is Tausug dish of beef stewed in coconut milk.
PIASSAK is cow liver cooked with burnt coconut.
PIYANGGANG MANOK is a Tausug dish of grilled chicken in burnt coconut.
RIYANDANG KAMBING is a Lanao dish of mutton with coconut and spices.
PIYAREN UDANG is a Lanao dish of prawn with sauteed coconut.
PALAPA is made of ginger and other spices that is then roasted.
Kagikit na manok
Kagikit na isda
Kamias ug dayap
Kiyuning golden rice
PAN-PAN KAMOTE has bokayo or sweetened coconut meat strips as filling.
WADJET MAKADURIAN is durian rice cake.
DARAL or sweet coconut grating pancake.
KINILAW na tuna or tuna ceviche.
Talong sa gata
Pomelo green papaya with prawns salad
MARCO POLO CHEFS. Marco Polo Davao Executive Chef Alex Destriza (center) talks about the dishes they prepared as part of Flavors of Mindanao. With him are Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Executive Chef Juanito Abangan (left) and Marco Polo Davao Chef King James Tinio.
From its succulent roast goose and soyed chicken to the xiomai and xiao long bao dishes, Hai Shin Lou at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu can always satisfy any craving for authentic Cantonese cuisine.
As it unveils exciting culinary promotions, dining at Hai Shin Lou Seafood King Cebu becomes even more exceptional.
Cebu’s world-class Cantonese restaurant offers lunch break specials, all you can eat dimsum, and Chinese banquets for big celebrations.
Turn your midday break into a feast of Hai Shin Lou’s best-selling dishes, with the curated set menu for groups of two to six that includes such favorites as spring rolls, white chicken, peppercorn squid, Yang Chow fried rice, and more. Lunch break specials are available from Mondays to Fridays, except for holidays.