Feature Food

Tien Ma’s Cebu serves delectable Taiwanese cuisine

There’s no need to be in Taiwan to taste its delectable xiao long bao or even stinky tofu because both these and other iconic dishes are now available at the newly opened restaurant Tien Ma’s Taiwanese Cuisine along Ouano Avenue in Mandaue City.

The soup dumplings that are popular fare in Taipei’s dining establishments and night markets are made fresh and by hand at the Cebu branch of Tien Ma’s. They follow the recipe of Tien Liyuan, who was born in 1932 the Fang-shan township of Taiwan’s P’ing-tung county.

Feature Food

Peri-Peri Cebu offers new way to enjoy grilled chicken

Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar gives Cebu one more dining option and brings to the island the best of Portuguese and African flavors.

The restaurant’s unusual name is inspired by the African Bird’s Eye Chili discovered many centuries ago by Portuguese explorers on a quest for the famed spice route, said Bryan Tiu, president of iFoods Corporation.

Piri piri, as the spicy chili is known locally in South Africa where it had grown wild for centuries, now serves as base for the restaurant’s chicken marinade.

SIGNATURE SAUCES. Eight kinds of signature sauces accompany every dish at Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar.

Special marinade

The Portuguese combined the chili with exotic herbs and spices to come up with the piri piri sauce that Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar uses to add a fiery zing to its chicken.

The restaurant chain that Tiu started in 2006 serves chicken steeped for 24 hours in piri piri sauce and dishes that are spitfire-grilled to perfection.

Chicken is cooked and served in different ways, from salads, sandwiches, appetizers to the main plates, healthy meals with wraps to afternoon delights. Peri-Peri also has an after dinner selection that goes well with its cocktails.

Aside from the chicken dishes, other items on the menu include BBQ Back Ribs, Plaza Porco, Fajitas, truffle-based Pasta Tartufo, pizzas, milkshakes, and desserts.

Peri-peri fire-grilled chicken.
Peri-peri fire-grilled chicken.

Signature sauces

What’s even more exciting is the eight kinds of signature sauces that accompany every dish at Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar.

The special sauces cover a wide range of spiciness enhanced by playful flavors: Ka Tuka’s Honey Pinakurat (a Filipino spiced vinegar), Hen Dynasty’s Hoisin Sesame (sweet and tangy), Poulet Vous Cajun Remoulade (spiced mayonnaise dip), Apachee’kn Mesquito BBQ (smoky, sweet and tasty), Tokyo Tori’s Sweet Soy (teriyaki style), Sheik Chic’s Harissa Exotica (exotic blend of spices), Count Cluckula’s Garlic Brew, and the fiery Fowl-Mouthed Chili Peppa’.

Eric Ng Mendoza
Eric Ng Mendoza, the restaurant’s partner in Cebu.

Peri-Peri Cebu partner

Eric Ng Mendoza, the restaurant’s partner in Cebu, said the chicken preparation and eight signature spices as well as the affordable dishes served within 5-10 minutes in a full restaurant environment set Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar apart.

He said he saw not just the need but demand for more dining options. Mendoza is chairman and CEO of Vivo Sugbu, Inc., which franchised the restaurant in Cebu.

Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken Cebu is the 12th branch in the Philippines and the second outside of Manila, according to Mendoza. It is located at Mandaue City’s newest lifestyle hub, Meerea High Street along Ouano Avenue, North Reclamation Area. It is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


More photos of Peri-Peri Cebu opening


Torta gorilla
Torta gorilla.


Peri-peri Cebu
Peri-peri BBQ back ribs.


Peri-peri Cebu


Peri-peri Cebu
El Fuego.


Peri-peri Cebu


Vivo Sugbo in Cebu holds cultural shows for tourists

Seeing all those graceful Sinulog Grand Parade dancers, have you ever wished you knew how to execute those forward-backward steps? Have you ever been interested in learning a traditional Philippine dance, such as the tinikling? When you travel to a place, do you consider cultural shows just as important as the other tourist attractions?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Cebuanos have a treat for you in the Teatro Sugbo component of Vivo Sugbo – an initiative of business Eric Ng Mendoza in collaboration with celebrated choreographer Val Sandiego.

Mendoza is turning what was once the music and dance club Amnezia along Ouano Avenue in Mandaue City into Vivo Sugbo, a one-stop complex for tourists.

Teatro Sugbo performance
CULTURAL PERFORMANCE. Val Sandiego and his renowned Sandiego Dance Troupe are behind the Teatro Sugbo component of Vivo Sugbo. They will perform various dances and the shows will vary and can adopt international themes as well, such as Las Vegas or Polynesian. (Photo by Dr. Peter Mancao)

Vivo Sugbo

The grand plan, he explained during the Vivo Sugbo launch on Tuesday, January 6, is to have nightly cultural shows at the ballroom, build stalls where about 40 vendors can sell their Cebuano specialty food and products, and put up four two-storey building clusters for high-end dining.

Mendoza said they’re currently putting up 3-square meter stalls and talking to micro, small, and medium enterprises while construction of the glass buildings in front of the former Amnezia Superclub is ongoing and scheduled for completion by March 2015.

They launched Vivo Sugbo in anticipation of the high number of tourists coming in for the Sinulog 2015 celebration and because Val Sandiego’s Teatro Sugbo is ready with its cultural shows, he explained.

“We have so much to offer, we failed to realize we haven’t offered our very own self, our culture and heritage, to visitors or even locals,” Mendoza pointed out.

ENTRANCE TO BALLROOM. A replica of the Magellan's Cross kiosk serves as entrance to the ballroom.
ENTRANCE TO BALLROOM. A replica of the Magellan’s Cross kiosk serves as entrance to the ballroom.

Cultural shows

Since Val Sandiego and his Sandiego Dance Troupe have a prior commitment for the Philippine visit of Pope Francis, the nightly shows for now will be every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Tourists have the option of paying for both the buffet dinner and show at P1,500 or just the show at P1,000, which already comes with drinks.

Sandiego said the shows will vary and can adopt international themes as well, such as Las Vegas or Polynesian.

“The show is set for an hour starting 8 p.m. but it will probably exceed this as there will be interaction with the tourists. We will teach the tourists how to dance,” added Mendoza. The ballroom can seat around 300 people.

Sinulog shirts
SINULOG SHIRTS. You can buy souvenir shirts for Sinulog 2015 at the venue.

Cebuano delicacies

To provide tourists a venue to buy local products, Mendoza said they will invite producers of Cebuano delicacies like torta, masareal, dried mangoes, even Carcar lechon to come and sell at the Vivo Sugbo complex.

The Mandaue City businessman said he is also talking to vendors outside of Cebu, such as the Bohol Bee Farm and those in Bacolod and Iloilo.

He added that the rates for small vendors are very affordable at P2,250 per stall per week. Vendors can choose to continue selling, at the same stall rental, after the week is over or take a break. They can come back and sell again anytime for a minimum of seven days.

According to Mendoza, around five to 10 vendors will open shop in a couple of weeks and another 20 more in a month’s time.

BLESSING of the facility during its soft launch.
BLESSING of the facility during its soft launch.