Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt!

Yogurt Yogurt! Another Frozen Yogurt station had opened in Cebu!With more and more of us Cebuanos wanting healthier options, the froyo craze continues!

Opening just last weekend, international froyo brand Tutti Fruti had opened their yogurt station at the lower ground floor of SM City Cebu (across Harbour Dimsum restaurant and Bibo). So what sets Tutti Frutti froyo from other froyo stations? First, they are the only froyo station that is self service! Yes, you make your own froyo cup! From the dispensing of your flavored froyo, to the fruit toppings and sprinkles and syrups, you have every liberty of putting what you want in your cup. But be careful   because an ounce/oz of whatever you put in your cup  is priced at 20php.

Creating your own froyo cup is easy. First ,go grab a cup. 3 cup sizes are available, Small, medium and Large. Choose your froyo flavor. Available flavors are Original Tart, TARO-bly Delicious, Mango Delight, Coffee, Blue berrylicious, Vanilla, Strawberry Banana and cookies and Cream.

Then choose your fruit toppings, candy and cereal sprinkles and syrup!

 Then have your froyo cup weighed and then pay!

Enjoy! Peehgs enjoying Tutti Frutti froyo. Tutti Frutti ,like White Hat, claims that their yogurt is 98% fat free! So it's good right? Guilt free dessert! Just be sure to put more fruit toppings than sweet toppings and syrups! :)

Another thing that's different at Tutti Frutti is that they have lots of flavors to choose from.Though I find some TF Froyo flavors  too sweet, like Cookies & Cream which was my nephew Lenard's pick which he enjoyed very much and coffee which was Shakey's pick ; these flavors are surely  a hit for people with a sweet tooth!

I love Taro-bly delicios, strawberry banana and Blue berry delicious since they are the flavors that tartness are distinguishable. ;)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Munchers!

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf always has been one of the "Peehgs" choices to satisfy our tea latte cravings, actually and honestly the first! We just love Coffee Bean Tea Lattes specially Morrocan mint and Passion! What we love more is we get free drink upgrades since we are Enjoy Cardholders! ;) Peehgs Nike, Edd and I were invited by Cybill and Kaye of Alist to join them together with fellow Cebu Bloggers Ethe and Jason with photographer Roui Faelnar (who by the way is responsible for the food shots you'll be seeing on this blog entry) for breakfast at Coffeebean The Terraces Ayala. Been a fan of Coffeebean but never really had a chance to order munchers; haven't even noticed that they served salads and pastas. During the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf breakfast we were treated to fresh and healthy servings of pastas, salads and sandwiches. And did I mention desserts? Yum!

We just love a cold and sweet drink, specially on the hot and humid climate we have here in tropical Cebu! A great way to cool down is to have a sip on a cold Ice blended coffee. And if you are counting calories, no need to worry because you have a choice to lighten up your CBTL drink! Shown on the picture above is a Double Chocolate Ice blended drink.As for me,  I ordered the Lightened up Ultimate Mocha which is made of coffee extract blended with chocolate covered Espresso beans and special Dutch Chocolate! What I like about CBTL Ice blended drink is that the ice is blended into a consistency that is close to a melted ice cream. So there's a less chance of you chewing on bits of ice. 

Chipotle Roast Chicken Sandwich. The mixed of fresh greens and jalapenos are just great! Sweet and a little warm/hot  jalopenos' taste with the slightly roast taste of the chicken are very complimentary.

Smoked Turkey with melted Cheddar Cheese! Turkey meat like the chicken is high in protein, so to health conscious peeps, I think this is a great way to have your daily dose of protein munch.CBTL Sandwiches range from 199php to 289php.

Salads are light and heavenly at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf! Above is a picture of CBTL's Caesar salad. Lightly tossed with Caesar dressing that infused well with the greens, with slices of boiled eggs, croutons and shavings of Asiago Cheese. Caesar salad is not sinful here at CBTL as the dressing is thin! 

Roasted Chicken and Mushroom Fusilli. Twisted pasta / Fusili pasta topped with light yet creamy roasted chicken sauce with chips of sweet red bell pepper with shavings of Asiago cheese. The fusilli was still hard though, a bit firmer would make it better! Considering the meal was prepared by CBTL baristas, Roasted chicken and  Mushroom Fusilli would be good enough to make me smile and be happy on any gloomy day. :) CBTL Pastas range from 169php-229php.

This one's my fave dessert at Coffee Bean! CBTL's Low Sugar Chocolate Mousse! Soft, smooth and layers of semi sweet/bitter chocolate on a bed of choco crust and topped with shavings of chocolates. Ahhhhhh! 
Other CBTL Dessert! 

 Carrot Cake

 Blueberry Cheesecake


Coffeebean and Tea Leaf  has 4 branches in Cebu - SM Northwing, The Terraces Ayala, Asiatown I.T. Park Lahug and Robinson's Cybergate Mall.

Thanks to Cybill Gayatin and Kaye Luym of Alist for the invite and to CBTL's Managing director  Mr. Allen Arvin Tan.

Photo Credits to Roui Faelnar --- More Photos Here!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Alpa Suite's Amo Cafe

Just before entering Cebu City is a young hotel that boasts European hospitality at affordable rates.  Alpa City Suites strategic location and low price rates had earned themselves patrons . But how about their food? 
My first Alpa City Suite food experience was great, superb actually but it was because the company's European Chef was there to facilitate the cooking. I came back to taste Amo's European Cuisine after being sent a gift certificate from the president/owner of Alpa City Suite which was given through foodie and Sunstar editor Sir Jigs Arquiza. I booked and reserved lunch since I have another set of food tasting event scheduled in the evening. The Amo restaurant's waiter was very accommodating and seated me to my table setting the utensils with  a big smile on his face. After setting the table he then asked for my order. Since the gift certificate says a set menu can only be ordered, so I settled for the European Cuisine Menu B which is a 5-course meal consisting of soup of the day, Chicken Cordon Blu,  Fish Fillet Foristiere, Brocolli & Cauliflower Casserole and Dessert of the day. (as far as my memory tells me, Set meal B cost is 700php++ for 2 persons).

 Started the meal with the soup of the day which was Pumpkin Soup. It was creamy and rich, loved it!

 Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole. Steamed broccoli and cauliflower then topped with cheese then baked 'til the cheese melted and browned. I enjoyed munching on crunchy brocs and caulis!

 Fish Fillet Foristiere. This was kinda weird for me. Foristiere which means "of the forest" has deep and strong flavors which includes mushrooms. Don't get me wrong, I love mushrooms but what's weird about it is that the filleted fish tasted like it was deep fried in a bread coat giving it an oily taste in a brown musky sauce.

 Chicken Cordon Blu/Bleu. Amo's version was quite hard and dry. Even with the sauce sidings, you can still taste the chicken's dryness.

The finale was great! Canonigo is soft and heavenly in custard sauce . This resembles much like Brazo de Mercedes without the middle yolk part.

I wish I could say that I enjoyed the 2nd lunch I had at Alpa City Suites just like my first dining experience at the hotel, but I didn't, the soup and dessert made me happy though, so it wasn't all bad. The food was fairly priced though for a hotel resto. :)

Cafe Elysa

Used to be a carenderia, Cafe Elysa transformed the place to a cozy and warm dining space which is both intimate and mellow. The bistro is located at Parian which is very near the heritage monument of Cebu - just right after you turn right to the Pari-an Fire Station and Police Station. Cafe Elysa was named after the owner's mother, Elysa Aznar. Stephen Aznar talks about the food being classified as Filipino with infused tastes from his travels overseas and abroad.

Classical and simple yet chic - that was my first impression as I entered the wooden door of Cafe Elysa. With chill out music on the background which sets the contrast between the wooden and classic facade, you'd know it's not gonna be a boring dining experience. 

We started with a special Tapa (not on Cafe Elysa Menu) prepared by Chef Skippy Borromeo - Caviar on white cheese and salty crackers. Different Cafe Elysa Tapas or appetizers was then served.

Chicken Liver Paste with Sauteed Apple and Triple Sec priced at 85php. If you like the sandy and strong taste of liver then you'd enjoy this appetizer. It's not like the liver spread we buy in the supermarket which is spicy and sweet which blends and masks the strong taste of the liver. This one tastes like liver. :)

Pinoy Lumpia Prito - priced at 65php. This one is clearly Thai/Vietnamese inspired as you can taste the glass noodles which is being used in both Thai and Vietnamese spring rolls. Perfectly fried and seasoned! Me likey!

 Salt and Pepper Squid in a bed of Bokchoy - I highly recommend this Tapa to everyone. Spicy and semi sweet sauce which complemented well with the Bok Choy. For those who doesnt know what Bok Choy is, it's Chinese cabbage, which is a good source of Vitamin C and A.

 Another Tapa reccomendation is the "Popcorn Shrimp." So why did they call it Popcorn Shrimp when there's no corn ingedient on this tapa? Well, it simply is because when they first cooked the dish, the popping sound like a popcorn popping was heard on the kitchen so they called it "Popcorn Shrimp!"

Tangigue Ceviche - or locally known as kinilaw is plainly Tangigue in vinegar chilis, onion and spring onions. I eat raw fish but am not a fan. But what's good about Cafe Elysa's Ceviche is that the vinegar is not too strong but just enough to kill the fish's sea taste.

 Spicy Beef & Eggplant Cake with Red Curry topped with Holy Basil - priced at 85php. Strong spiced beef taste which then cleansed with the taste of cucumber. Interesting Tapa! FYI - Holy basil or tulasi or Tulsi is a natural remedy for stress.

Pasta Bolognese with basil and Grana Padano Cheese -  spaghetti pasta with with classical Italian meat sauce with Italian Grana Padano Cheese. You can taste grits of semi salty yet milky bits of Italian cheese, I find it a bit salty though. But the pasta was cooked just right!

Elysa Fried Rice - Amazingly not as oily as the fried rice we are accustomed to. A very homey and nostalgic taste just like when we were served fried rice in the morning when we were kids as the salt rocks melts in your mouth and sweet taste of bits of fresh spring onions.

For dessert, we had Apple Banana Fritters with Sugar Syrup. Classic!

Definitely will be back for the caldereta as Vahnjohn had recommended! authors Doyzkie, Noe, Chai, Nayki with Cafe Elysa owner Stephen Aznar and Chef Skippy Borromeo. 

Thanks to Jude Bacalso and Stephen Aznar for the invite! 

Cafe Elysa is open on Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am-3pm and 6pm to 10pm.  Closed on Mondays.

Address: 30-A ZAmora St. Pari-an, Cebu City
Phone: (032) 414 9265 | (032) 416 6793
Mobile: +63921453877

Canvas - We Love!

When in a mall, it's hard to find a meal that's cut above the usual fastfood or casual  meals. You'd be  surprised when you dine at Canvas- located at the 2nd level of The Terraces Ayala. If you love good food, then you'd definitely fall for Canvas!

It was a triple birthday celebration dinner for Sheng, Mark & Nico and I recommended we dine at Canvas! Some are first time diners at the bistro so they were so excited since I have been telling them that food at Canvas is great! We ordered all 6 Canvas creation full meals/main  ( 1 Canvas Creation wasn't available that night) plus 1 special order!

 Five Spice and Lemon Grass Roast Chicken with Garlic Mash at 295php.

I am a big fan of beef dishes and I must say I love this dish! Beef Fillet with blue cheese, red wine jus served in wok-fried Asian greens and sided with mashed potatoes. 345php for the full meal/main. Entree  priced at 220.

Imported Baby Back Ribs in honey and rum sauce served with potato wedges, corn and green salad. 
Price: Entree 265php   Main: 395php

Substituting our Grilled Lamb Cutlets, is a special order. Lamb shank served in a bed of  sauteed veggies. Tender and juicy lamb meat with a semi sweet sauce. Ronald and I are a fan! \m/

Mixed Grill - Thai BBQ Chicken, local beef, pork medallion and cream of dory served with potatoes and roasted veggies. Priced at 495php

Also one of my Canvas Fave is the Garlic, Paprika and Thyme rubbed porkchop with Spanish onion, Caramelized apple with Cumin curry battered potato wedges. 275php.

 My personal pick for the best Canvas creation -Pork medallions with grain mustard sauce, tiger prawn and pesto fettuccine. Main/ Full order is priced at 365php or without tiger prawn at 285php.

It was such a nice experience for we haven't seen each other for months and sharing a table with great food, amazing friends and loads of catching up was just perfect! As we all agreed- WE LOVE CANVAS! 

(NOTE: All photos above are taken by doyzkie buenaviaje)

We also have to commend the service at Canvas specially to Ms. Christ Cille Gegremosa! Service is very close to a fine dining resto at a casual and laid back ambiance. Keep it up guys!

The barkada with Chef Steve Shrimski of Canvas.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yogurt Yogurt! New Froyo Places in Cebu!

Cebuanos now had been so health conscious! Cebu brands like Thirsty came up with their new Lite Drinks with no sugar (substituting sugar with Splenda) and  using low fat milk. Not to mention ,desserts with low sugar content have been the talk of the town, with more and more Cebuanos counting calories. ;) And one of the best things that happened to Cebu since late last year was the  opening of Frozen Yogurt or FRO YOS stations in Cebu. They have been sprouting like crazy beans, which for me is really good! I just love Fro Yo! But as everyone is expecting, probably next year, the best froyos will be left standing and open! ;)


With their soft opening last week of September, Yummy Yo had been visited by many including Cebuano models and photographers! Owner Dan Douglas Ong, one of Cebu's best fashion photographer, created the yogurt flavor that is unique from any other yogurt place in Cebu, Frozen yogurt with bits of fruits! Dan had me tried the Strawberry Flavored  Frozen Yogurt with Mandarin and grape toppings! It was definitely a treat that's equally good and healthy! 

Yummy Yo is available in Small, Medium and Family Sizes with original, green tea and fruit flavor(changing every week). Prices at 75php, 95php and 130php for the original flavor. 80php, 100php and 135php for the green tea flavor and 90php, 110php and 145 for the fruit flavored yogurt with real fruit bits.

Yummy Yo is located at Ground Floor the Forum Building Cebu City. Forum Building is the building at the left of Grand Convention if your facing Grand Convention.


Teriyaki Boy now also serves their own version of the Frozen Yogurt treat! Yogato as they call it, it's probably my 2nd LEAST favorite frozen yogurt in Cebu. Though their toppings are yummy and very Japanesey, the taste of their yogurt is not that yogurty and yogurt tartness is not that distinct and distinguishable.

I ordered  Ichigo Yogato with strawberry sticks, strawberry Jam and Japanese Strawberry Chocolates.Priced at 155php plus tax. hmmmm. Quite pricey for the size and the taste. But as they claim their yogurt is 98% fat free. Teriyako Boy is located at the Terraces Ayala Center Cebu.


Wootwoot! The original frozen yogurt in the Philippines has now opened their doors in Cebu! Red Mango is located at the 3rd level of Ayala Center Cebu just beside Cinema 1. The amazing thing when you get inside Red Mango is the smell of the fresh warm waffle. Been there 3 times already and the same great scent is noticeable. As with their yogurt, it's very similar to YOGO of Coffeecat with the same tartness but a bit creamier.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Shangri-La's Beetroot Menu!

Beetroot contains no fat, very few calories and is a great source of fibre. Beetroot has for many years been used as a treatment for cancer in Europe. Specific anti-carcinogens are bound to the red colouring matter which supposedly helps fight against cancer and beetroot also increases the uptake of oxygen by as much as 400 percent. 

Shangri-La Mactan's team of chefs represented the Visayas region for Chef Wars Classical European Category. Chefs Coleen Gay Mikin, Karima Ilupa and Gypsy Amores competed  at  the National Food Showdown held last Sepember 10-11 at the A. Venue Events Hall, Makati City. The team was given 2 kilos of beetroot and with only an hour to prepare and cook. Shangri-La prepared 3 dishes and was presented with the highest medal awarded during the competition which was a Silver! 

Shangri-La invited me to join their team of Chefs together with print media people Jude Bacalso and Jigs Arquiza to a dinner at their Italian Restaurant "Acqua" and sampled the award winning Beetroot Dishes! 

The original winning entry had only 3 dishes but to complete a 4-course meal, the chefs  decided to add  a dessert. 

We started the meal with Beetroot Symphony. Beetroot and Sea Bass Carpaccio marinated in citrus juice, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and thyme, served with beetroot ice cream. I usually dont' eat raw anything but I just had to try this, and it wasn't bad at all! It was actually good!

We then had "Moon Harvest". Beetroot Arborio (Italian Short Grain Rice) Rice with porcini mushrooms and cheese fondue. Risotto goodness!

Beetroot Beef Pursuit . Herb crusted beef tenderloin with beetroot and balsamic vinegar reduction served with rosemary-flavored apple-mashed potatoes in a bed of sautéed beetroot. My Fave  among the dishes!

For dessert we had Purple Pears. Beetroot juice-poached pears served with mascarpone ricotta and walnuts. Just love how the ricotta melts in my mouth! Yum!

It was a sumptuous dinner indeed and it was such a great experience! Congratulations to Chefs Coleen Gay Mikin, Karima Ilupa and Gypsy Amores. And Thank you to Shangri-Las Rica Rellon for the invite! 

For Shangri-La Acqua reservations and inquiries you may call (63 32) 231 8224

Breakfast: 6am – 10am
Lunch:     noon – 2:30pm
Dinner:     6pm – 10pm
Poolside Ocean Wing
Dress Code
Smart casual
Smoking Policy
Acqua has separate smoking and non-smoking areas.