TEA O’CLOCK: BUBBLE TEA HOUSE REVIEW [PHOTOS]

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-     ★★

I can’t imagine how many tea houses are opening every quarter this year. The range has completely been overwhelming and I’ve seen this small industry grow. And creating a review for this post won’t be the last since there are lots of tea and coffee houses that are slowly making a name for themselves.

One of the new tea houses in the Queen City is Tea O’clock: Bubble Tea House housed in Vailoces Compound, Damascus Road, Talamban: it is the corner across BBQ Boss.

It is a tiny shop, (seemingly a former house) that is designed with childish, playground-ish or Alice in Wonderland-ish theme. When you see the place outside, it will really captivate you to come and visit.

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Inside is very small but cozy and playful. I love the hanging tea cup decorations on top of the ceiling, and also on the walls plus the warm lighting that really feels like home.

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The problem is that my partner and I were too big and we tend to bump the tables and chairs harshly (thank God no casualties). Anyhow, the walls are also refreshing to see with its huge mural of a grass field with two old people drinking tea on one side.

I love the playfulness of this place.

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And with their offers that range from P80.00 and above, you will get the chance to taste the same offers as with other tea houses, only it’s not that good compared to others.

Yep, I ordered Red Apple with Nata De Coco as sinkers and it taste like C2 Green Tea with Apple, and the Nata was in a small amount. Also with the Matcha green tea that tastes a bit off for us.

I also tried their Pasta Mac and Cheese and it taste ordinary, but anyhow, it’s tolerable.

What pissed my partner off while were in that place was that when he tried to order their Milktea of the Month which was the Cheesecake + Grahams, it was not available… I mean, c’mon, it’s the offer of the month and it’s got no stock? And my partner tried to order other offers and most of it is unavailable as of September.

Plus, the service wasn’t that good. I bet they haven’t had training with customer service because unlike in Café Tiala: it is evident, from entering the café to going out, they were warm and welcoming and really helpful too.

Those were the downside of this café and I would love to see them improve if ever they read my post because I believe this café has great potential.

But still I would describe this place as a place good for Instagram photos. Taking pictures inside is just a pure pleasure.

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Check out Tea O’Clock.

 

SCHEDULE:

Mon-Sat: 11:00-12:00MN

Sun: 11:00-9:00PM

 

CONTACT

Facebook

 

RATINGS: 2 stars

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JUMP IN FUNTASTIC ISLAND| EXPERIENCE [PHOTOS] [VIDEO]

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Cebu: with its rich culture and one of the most booming in the Philippines economically, you could never go wrong North, South, East or West. But this time, I’m going up North… farther North to visit a somehow new travel destination and it’s in a very small island in Medellin, Cebu and it’s called Funtastic Island.

Like the usual travel tips, once you go south, you go to South Bus Terminal, and once you go north, you go to North Bust Terminal (there ain’t west and east here in the Queen City). Anyhow, find a bus that’s bound to Medellin and tell the person in charge that you’ll be stopping by wherever you want to stop: in our case, we rented an entire V-Hire because we were 11 and we have reserved a room in a resort that’s located in Medellin proper since there are no resorts or room for rent in the island.

Although for a fact it’s really not named Funtastic Island; Gibitngil Island is a twenty minute ride away from Medellin port via a banka or small boat.

 

TIP #1: you have to go there with your friends, specifically 10 to 15 to fill in the entire boat and to spend less as well for about P1, 200.00 (usually P1, 400.00 but we managed).

 

TIP #2: DON’T GO THERE ON A RAINY SEASON. Although it’s bound to be fun while experiencing the tumultuous ride; but it’s extremely dangerous. The banka is just too small and looks fragile for the incoming waves that are vast and strong. We went there on a rainy day, and to tell you it was terrifying, although we managed due that my friends are super funny, you can’t even remember that what we’re dealing is buhis buhay (life threatening).

 

Upon drawing near to the island; we have to reach the other end of it but there was this magnificent view I didn’t imagine Cebu would have that greeted us: these were the stone cliffs of the island. It was so Palawan-like. The humungous stone walls that has been holding the waters for ages was designed beautifully with its natural formations. It was jaw-dropping because it was unlike any other in Cebu.

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Anyhow, when we reached to the island, the people and the scenic view greeted us. It was colorful and alive, and many people were there even when the weather wasn’t really nice. The waters were so indulging because of its blue inviting color which happens to be really clean unlike any other beaches in Lapu-Lapu.

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TIP #3: Go to the island with all of your necessary stuffs: from camera to snorkels to food and drinks to your own booze and ice buckets with ice of course because you can’t buy anything from the island, except for the cottage rent.

 

Upon docking in the nice sand of the island, we went straight to the entrance (of course selfies and group pix are not included). The entrance fee is P10.00 and the cottages range from P150.00 to P500.00 depending on the size of the cottage.

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But the fun won’t happen when you just take a dip in the cold waters, the fun starts when you decide to jump in their 30ft diving spot.

Trust me, it’s really, really scary.

Although you’ll end up in the clear and deep waters of the island, but the fact that it’s 30ft still remains to be 30ft HIGH.

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We’ve had couple of stops and starts in going to and fro to the platform. There were unnecessary dramas and crazy pauses deciding to jump or not. It was totally funny seeing friends there with you and cheering for them to just take a dip, plus the readied cameras that eventually gets low-bat because of the time consumed by all the drama.

Well, when you dive, you just have to.

The enthralling fall gives you the hype that could make you scream, “WHOOOOOOOAAAA!!!!” and that’s what happened…. to my partner, not to me. I know I’m a chicken, I have fear of falling. Well, I don’t regret not jumping either, (LOL) but I also wished I could have. The fact that the waves are so strong was a plus factor too since there’s no one who can assist you whenever you’re there, not even a rope that you could hold on to upon going back to the shore.

Anyhow, Funtastic Island will not be fun without friends, so I suggest going there with them.

 

OUR VIDEO

MORE PHOTOS! (Cheers to Louie for some photos taken!)

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GO BELGIAN AT BRUSSEL’S CAFÉ BISTRO [PHOTOS]

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Going green has never been easy, and a green home dedicated for the benefit of the environment is such a big thing to do and adding up a little twist, like creating it into a café with this house is one big joy for the entire coffee or tea enthusiast.

Brussel’s Café Bistro is the only Belgian themed Café and is new in town that can be found just along Gaisano Country Mall as well as just across U.C. Banilad.

The theme is unlike any other café’s we know of downtown because of its unique environmental style façade that literally is green plus the plants that are decorated on the walls outside the café itself.

It’s very thoughtful of the owner to build this kind of home slash café, although I once thought that this place was an office for a business catering to people who wanted to have a green home.

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Anyhow, inside is small but intimate. It’s well lit, perfect for those who want to study for an upcoming dreadful examinations, or just simply someone who wants to bring his or her laptop with a cup of coffee, tea or take a bite onto some sweets or just simply wanted to have some lunch… yes they do offer meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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I see this place as a cozy place to sit and just be silent reading or finishing off some deadlines.

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They offer a variety from Meals which ranges from P100.00-P200.00; Sweets which ranges from P100.00-P300.00; and of course their Coffee or Tea offers which ranges for as low as P80.00-P200.00. I love how their prices are affordable and worth it.

They also have a branch in Unit 7, Paseo Arsenas, Banawa which I haven’t had the chance to visit yet, but hopefully sooner.

Anyhow, they have the same theme, (as per Facebook page) and it’s really comfortable sitting there and give yourself me time while having some waffles.

 

SCHEDULE

Weekdays 10:00 AM-11:00 PM

Weekends 10:00 AM-12:00 MN

 

CONTACT

Facebook

 

RATING – 3 ½ /5 stars

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ANCESTRAL SOPHISTICATION | CIRCA 1900 RESTAURANT REVIEW [PHOTOS]

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- ★★★★★

I’ve always known that the alta of the Queen City can always be seen in restaurant like Canvas in Ayala, Sky Lounge by Blue Elephant or Café Georg which is also a part-time tambayan of the #KatKat’s. But on March 14, 2014: the bar for sophisticated restaurants for these kinds of people has been stepped one notch.

Circa 1900 is a new spot in town to look up to. The restaurant is located at Sanjercasvil Road, Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City, to be specific, it is the small passageway between Metrobank and Sinangag Station near J.Y. Square. It is a colonial or ancestral house owned by the Castillo family that was bought and restored to become one of the most or (I should say) probably the most elegant restaurant in Cebu, not even the illusion of height and affirmation of being a socialite in Sky lounge  Blue Elephant could top this spot.

The Chef of Canvas Restaurant in Ayala spearheaded the restoration of the colonial house and created a brilliant Modern Filipino Cuisine hot boite that offers piano room indulgence and high class service.

 

SERVICE

Speaking of service, the waiters and waitresses will give you a five star service in their warm presence from welcoming you on the spot, upon taking you to your table, when you order food and when it arrives and most especially when you go home. A waitress even gave us a tour around the house just to show us the function rooms downstairs and their cute little vegetable garden on the backyard which is one of the sources of their ingredients. Isn’t it just sophisticated?

The place is just warm and expensive; you’ll feel like one of the rich people inside having their dinner or whatnots. (Hashtag KatKat)

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FOOD

They have variety of meaty and veggie offers that ranges from P200.00 to P400.00 but mostly just within the range of P200.00-P300.00 and to be honest, it’s just worth it! (MENU BELOW)

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Try their Pork Belly with Apple Fennel Compote that’s really delicious and sumptuous, because it’s a bit salty but with a hint of sweetness coming from the apple ingredient.

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Also, try their Chicken Bringhe that’s made up of chicken, some spices, sauces and the bombshell which is the puto… yes; it was puto that was the superstar of it all. It has different taste but sums up as a complimentary dish.

Unfortunately, we haven’t tried their famous iba shake because it was not available at that time. Bummer.

For dessert, try their Pumpkin Pie which was unfortunately just a slice but was delicious nonetheless.

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OVERALL

The very elegant dinner experience we had is enough for me to be happy. With their great service, food and ambiance; other restaurants should make this one as an inspiration slash competition to give a full customer satisfaction.

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SCHEDULE

Open everyday from 11AM to 12MN

HAPPY HOUR: 3PM-6PM

CONTACT

FACEBOOK

Contact Number: (032) 239 6265 or 0923 279 5616

RATINGS – 5/5 STARS

 

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Restaurant Facade

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Complementary Dish (very, very delicious!)

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COSPLAY HAVEN | TOMO CAFÉ REVIEW [PHOTOS]

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- ★★

For a long while, cosplay fanatics have raided the scene from television to cinema and showcase their creative talents all over the globe. Japanese people have always been at the top of this kind of league due to the fact that they’ve always pride themselves having the best anime’s of all time; one of it is Dragon Ball Z which I’m also a fan.

Korean coffee houses have dominated the scene in the Queen City of the South, but I’ve recently discovered something new that would incorporate coffee house and cosplay.

Tomo Café: A Maid and Butler Cafe is located in Talamban, after  University of San Carlos campus and Family Park and right after the Park Terrace Arcade if you come from the city and it is uniquely good for everyone. The café itself, although it has been clear that it is a Maid and Butler café, is a haven for cosplay fanatics and common anime geeks alike. The café is rich with anime, cartoon and mostly Japanese stuffs that certain kinds of people will fancy.

Tomo Café offers a variety of food and drink services: from pastries, coffees, teas and breakfast foods if you might want to.

Try their bestseller Campfire Mocha which costs P150.00 and taste really good plus the weird smiley on the side of the cup you’re sipping with.

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If you love tea, I’d suggest their Four Red Fruits Tea for P100.00 which you can enjoy sipping hot while on a chilling misty day.

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Also, if you’d like to learn basic Japanese language this place is perfect for you because on the other room of the café: you will see a small classroom loaded with students learning the said language and the best thing about it is it’s for FREE! You’ll only have to go there and ask for the schedule and register.

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Although the place is really, really interesting with its Victorian inspired color and design plus the good service the cutely dressed waitresses provides: the students, cosplayers and geeky people (all of them young) are too noisy for the seemingly cozy place to sit down and have a chit-chat with your friends or just by reading a book. But then, it is obvious that the café’s intentions are for those kinds of people I mentioned. Although I would love if the place would be as silent as possible, but I’d respect their target market; besides, business is business.

Anyway, you should try there and be delighted with everything you see and taste.

 

CONTACT

Facebook

SCHEDULE

11:00AM – 2:00AM

RATINGS – 2 Stars

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PIZZA REPUBLIC | REVIEW

 

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-          ★★★★ ½ out of 5 Stars

The name speaks for itself; it is a pizza house that pwned any other pizza houses in the Queen City of the South. Pizza Republic is housed at Salinas Drive, corner La Guardia St., Lahug, Cebu City just along the road of Asiatown I. T. Park going to J. Y. Square or vice versa.

Pizza Republic just opened on the 1st of June 2014, its new and innovative style of serving pizza created a buzz throughout the town and even when it just recently opened; it has been swarmed by numerous people from all walks of life.

This #KatKat infested pizza house is a make-your-own style on a 9 inch thin crust for just only P245.00! I mean, you can put almost EVERYTHING on top of your stylish or sumptuous pizza for just P245.00, of course with the responsibility that you’d get stomach-ache after putting all ingredients… nah just kidding; it’s just so amazing.

For us, we ordered collective ingredients of Salami, Spanish Chorizo, Shublig, Pepperoni, Frankfurter, Hungarian, Italian Garlic, Red Bell Pepper, Pineapple, Mushrooms (all kinds of it), Black Olives and that’s on top of the Red Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese.

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Our pizza choice was perfected with normal and spicy ketchup… it was a delish! And we didn’t have to wait long for our pizza to be served, although I really have no idea what it is on a jam packed hours (mostly dinnertime).

The process of making ours was easy, all you have to do is look up and you’d notice some huge marquees with words to instruct you on how to do it. From the far right of the pizza house there’s the ‘PIZZA ASSEMBLY STARTS HERE’ where you greet the joyful faces of the pizza makers there; then you’d ‘PICK +  MIX’ which you’ll instruct your own pizza maker on what to put on your pizza; and last is the ‘FINAL ASSEMBLY’ which you’ll pay for whatever you ordered.

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They also have some extra offerings like what I ordered which was the Caesar’s Salad. It really brought me joy because on top of the greens are plenty of bacon strips: I loved the fact that it’s plenty because I admire a salad that has a hint of meat with it. It’s really impressive, and no other restaurants serve that much.

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Anyhow, the place is very cozy… it is like a renovated garage with Italian leads all around, great for friends and those pizza hungry people.

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Speaking of Italian: I spoke to two waitresses in their clean and big loo and asked some questions about the place and what I discovered is that Pizza Republic, although very Italian, is owned by a pure Chinese business man. The hot boite is titled Pizza Republic  Pick+Mix by Guiseppe Genco, and I was curious why there’s a ‘by Guiseppe Genco’ if he’s not the owner. They told me that Guiseppe was the owner’s culinary instructor. I have no other source to confirm this, but I’ll let you know.

Anyhow, this place is cozy and their pizza is delicious! Try Pizza Republic for a new must tries in your list!

SCHEDULE:

Opens 11:00AM – 10:00PM (Sunday-Thursday) and 11:00PM (Fridays and Saturdays)

 

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BEST COMMON RESTAURANTS IN CEBU

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Cebu is one of the fast growing provinces in the Philippines in economic sense due to rising job vacancies and availabilities, plus with international schools with variety of students from all over the globe. Also, tourism in Cebu is in a high rate not just because we have beautiful spots all around the vicinity, but Cebu also connects one place to another in the entire Philippines, especially on provinces that are only accessible via the Queen City.

And due to that demand of number of people rising is also the number of good restaurants to enjoy that are affordable, accessible yet satisfaction guaranteed.

Here is the list of my top common restaurants that you’d want to visit not just once but many other times:

 

1. MANILA FOODSHOPPE

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I might have learned it wrong, but my friend told me it was originally a small restaurant in the heart of the city which customers like, and now they’ve grown to an entire new level (but not really sure about their history). What I love about Manila Foodshoppe is their variety of good Filipino foods yet very, very affordable. My partner and I always order for their Chop-suy which is good for four because it’s really plenty. They have variety in their menu too, from pork, beef, fish and pastas. Where else would you like to taste Filipino cuisine than in Manila Foodshoppe?

 

LOCATION: SM City Cebu, Osmena Blvd, Parkmall, Manalili St., and Gaisano Mactan

 

2. MOON CAFÉ

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The sister company of Lantaw Native Restaurant (which I happen to have a review here) and also Thirsty (Which is my FAVORITE); the empire itself is somehow bringing something really, really good to the table. All three of their chains are so likeable in many different ways. Lantaw is a very special restaurant in three different terrains (beachside, mountain, roadside); Thirsty is a fruit-shake stand that has plenty of delish and classic offers; it never gets old, and also Moon Café.

What I love about Moon Café is it’s a Mexican themed restaurant. I love anything that culminates spices and flavorful. I always go there at 2:00-5:00PM from Mondays to Fridays because they have special offers for about 99 pesos only. Their steak also rocks! It’s really affordable and delicious.

 

LOCATION: G/F Robinsons Cybergate, 2/F The Terraces Ayala Cebu, G/F The Walk I.T. Park, G/F SM City Cebu, Parkmall, Shopwise Supercenter, Emilio Osmena St. Guadalupe.

 

3. GOLDEN COWRIE/HUKAD/HUKAD SA GOLDEN COWRIE

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Another Filipino Native Restaurant that offers really, really good foods. What I love about Golden Cowrie is the fact you’ll eat in a banana leaf (excites me every time) and it offers unlimited rice, only that the rice is so heavy, you’ll feel bloated after one and a half cup. Anyway, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their baked scallops. It’s so heavenly, I could die. People in Foursquare talks about their Dinugu-an too which I haven’t tried. Their crispy pata is one of a kind and their soups are delicious.

 

LOCATION: SM Cebu, Salinas Dr. Lahug, Robinsons Cybergate, A.S. Fortuna St., The Terraces Ayala Cebu, Parkmall, Marina Mall.

 

4. DIMSUM BREAK

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Want something Asian specifically Chinese? Well, there’s Dimsum Break. Offers variety of Chinese fast-food cuisine; from siomai to steamed rice. Although their offers are variety and delicious, I only have one claim that I quite feel steep; it’s their price. In one meal, if I order steam rice, siomai and drinks, I could reach P150.00 just for that. Although affordability-wise it’s not competitive; but let’s admit, it’s a Chinese restaurant.

 

LOCATION: SM Cebu, Banilad Town Center, Ayala Cebu, JESA ITC Avila Bldg., Elizabeth Mall, Parkmall, Gaisano Fiesta Mall, One Pavillon Mall, Colon, Mango Square,

 

5. GERRY’S GRILL

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Grill at its best? Gerry’s Grill got it all good. Although everyone agrees (except the #KatKats) that the price is quite steep for the serving, still, they have the best offers from all the restaurants in Cebu. Everyone knows about Gerry’s Grill which you can find easily navigating around the city.

 

LOCATION: SM Cebu, Ayala Cebu

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