Sunday, August 3, 2014

Be Resorts (Mactan)

Be Resorts Mactan

I badly wanted to stay in Shangri - la Mactan even for a night but my pocket refuses to coordinate. Abaca is way too expensive as well. Movenpick is a little out of the budget too, knowing how much of a penny pincher I am. Crimson declined my reservation for the supposed dates I'll be staying in Mactan. Those circumstances left me with my last choice, which is to stay in Be Resorts.

I have coordinated with Be Resorts, months before my date of stay. I reserved a Be Cool Standard room which costs me around Php 7000 for three persons with buffet breakfast. Judging from the photos online, both from their website and their Facebook page, the rooms and the amenities are quite fine. However, the reviews from Agoda and Tripadvisor worried me a bit. A lot of previous clients complained of poor service from the staff. But with fingers crossed, I still pushed through with it since I have left with no choice.

My stay in Wellcome Hotel in Cebu city was superb and I was a little pessimistic about the things that will happen as soon as we transfer to Be Resorts. I even called them a few hours before check in just to make sure that my room is ready and available for us the moment we get there.

It took us about an hour from Cebu City to Be Resorts. We arrived at exactly 2:00 PM which is their check in time and it was a surprise for me to experience a speedy check in upon arrival. Though at first, we were given a room on the 1st floor and told me that we have to wait for 30 more minutes if we want rooms in the higher floors. I agreed since I wanted a room with a good view. As expected, mom made good use of the waiting time to pose together with the fabulous Kenneth Cobonpue creations.



Bagay yung kulay ng damit mo, Ma! 

There were a lot of Asian guests (Japanese, Chinese and Koreans, UGH!) during our stay. It was a Saturday when we checked in and I asked the front desk staff if they were all staying in the hotel and answered me that they do not. Most of them are just availing their Day Use and will be staying in the hotel until 6 PM. I said, THANK GOD! (Yeah, I obviously hate them)

We were finally assisted to our room after less than 30 minutes.


Be Cool Standard Room with 2 Queen sized Bed




Toilet and Bath


Towels and Toiletries

The room is pretty basic with two queen size bed, flat screen tv, personal fridge, cabinet, and safety deposit box. The beds and pillows are comfortable. Toiletries and towels (which is huuuuuuuge and I totally love it!) are available inside the toilet and bath. The room key card though did not really work for power supply in the room. We left the room to have dinner in Manna SuTuKil and removed the card from the power outlet only coming back seeing the lights and A/C is still turned on even if I haven't inserted the card in the dock.

It was raining really hard when we were there and that spoiled my supposed moment at the beach. Mom and I hanged out though at their bar, braving the rains. We tried our very best to enjoy the place. I ordered a beer and mom a fruit shake. Local beers costs around Php 90 per can and their fruit shakes from Php 150 - 200.


Dali, Ma smile! Habang hindi pa umuulan ulit! 

Fruit Shakes pa din kahit malamig!

The wait staff are all attentive. Kudos to them! Another surprise for me. The reviewers in Tripadvisor must have been just unlucky or the service already did improve. As of that moment, I was satisfied. My pessimism  about having a bad experience somehow slowly dissipates the longer the time I spend in the hotel.

We slept quite early that night since there was nothing left for us to do. I went down for a beer and still saw a lot of guests having drinks and dinner in their dining area. I decided to retire with high hopes that the following day's weather will be more beach friendly.

Alas! Though not sunny, the rain stopped the following day. We started  our day early by indulging in their Breakfast Buffet near the pool area. I was not able to take some photos of the buffet spread since I was not really in the mood to take photos that morning but the buffet spread includes a salad and soup bar, hot dishes section that serves beef tapa, corned beef, fried chicken, asian noodles, and veggies. There's also an omelette section where you can ask someone to prepare omelettes to your own liking. A bread and cereal section is also available serving different kinds of breads, spreads and cereals. Their breakfast buffet starts at 6 in the morning and closes at 10 AM.


Mama enjoying her sumptuous breakky! 

We finished our breakfast just in time the swimming pool opens. They close the pool from 10:00 PM and opens it the following day at 7:00 AM. We had the pool by ourselves and most of the amenities of the resort since I guess 7 AM was too early for the other hotel guests. Good for us early birds!


Cobonpue Chairs

Another Cobonpue Creation

Last na yan Ma ha? :)

Yey! No rain!

Yeah, my camera loves my mom very much, or it's the other way around? :P

Mom and I enjoying the beach.

Loungers at the beach front

The Beach Bar and Kiddie Pool

Ma and I were able to spend a few hours at the beach, just chillin' and swimming in their infinity pool. Day use guests and other hotel guests came in at around 9 AM and the place started to get crowded. I was at least satisfied that it didn't rain that morning. 

We checked out at around 10:30 AM and it was again surprising that the check out was also a walk in the park. Then I knew that I should have not worried about the service in the first place. Their customer service is really good in my opinion, plus the rates are quite affordable considering this resort is at the same strip as Shang, Movenpick and Abaca (which by the way sitting right beside Be Resorts). 

Shall I come back again here? Certainly! I would be making sure though that in my next visit, the weather will give me tan lines. 

Be Resorts
Punta Engano Road
Mactan,Cebu
Website : http://www.beresorts.com/
Facebook : Be Resots Mactan
Contact number : (032) 236 8888


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Zubuchon / Zubudagat - Mactan Marina Mall (Cebu)

One last "hirit" on our Cebu trip happened in the Zubuchon / Zubudagat branch in Mactan Marina Mall. We took time to stop there and have our last lunch in Cebu and buy pasalubong before heading to the airport for our flight back in Manila. I certainly have to check if Zubuchon really is the "Best Pig Ever". 

We were welcomed with warm smiles. The courteous staff of this branch even gave us a hand with our luggage and immediately gave us good seats, handed the menu and patiently waited for our orders. The branch in Mactan Marina Mall is called Zubuchon / Zubudagat, mainly because they also serve seafood dishes and not just the Lechon. I was starving like mad and so as Ma and Pa and proceeded ordering right away. We got their famous Zubuchon, Monggo with Zubuchon, and Sinugbang Tanigue. I have also ordered their Kamias Shake. 

While waiting for the food to arrive on our table, the three of us selected some more pasalubong to bring back home. We opted to bring home some packs of Zubuchon Chicharon and a kilo of frozen Zubuchon. 

More Pasalubong Options at Zubuchon

Now the food. 

Kamias Shake (PHP 95)


Tangy, sour, acrid. Did I like it? I'm not really sure. But I did see why they recommend this to be the drink of choice when eating Lechon. It somehow does cleans the palate making the "umay" factor go away. But do I need it? Heck no! I'll never get tired of eating Lechon. :P 


Monggo with Zubuchon (PHP 190)

I'm a huge Ginisang Monggo fan. In fact, I think I have absolutely perfected the art of cooking one, and their version kinda disappointed me. I thought this mongo dish would have chunks of lechon in it but to my dismay, only a few pieces of tiny chicharon bits were included. While tasting it, mom mentioned that there is something different with the taste and I figured out that they put coconut milk in their version. No, I didn't like it. I still think my Ginisang Monggo is the best. 


Sinugbang Tangigue - 2 pcs (PHP 290) 

I failed to take a shot of this when there were still two pieces since we dug into it right away as soon as it hit our table. Anyway, there's nothing out of the ordinary. But I have to say the fish is perfectly cooked. 


Zubuchon Medium Platter (PHP 300)

Now the moment of truth. Best pig ever? Certainly not. Hey, not that I am saying it isn't good. It is. The meat is tender and the skin is crackling but it does lack the Lechon taste I was looking for. You see, I grew up eating Samar Lechon, particularly the one from Borongan and I would say that this wont even measure half of how tasty the Lechon I used to eat is. 

Despite of the disappointment, I realized this is still good Lechon, and so I decided to take a kilo back home. 

My Baby Nephew with a box of Zubuchon
 
Re-heating instruction inside the box

Frozen Zubuchon - Apprx 1 Kilo (PHP 570)

And came another disappointment. The quality of their frozen lechon is totally different from the ones we tasted in their branch. I do expect that there is at least a little decrease on the quality since the meat has already been frozen but I was not expecting a huge difference such as this. The frozen Zubuchon is unappealing, dry, and tasteless. Could it be that these are scraps of leftovers from their restaurants? I certainly hope not. 

In retrospect, the only thing that's commendable about Zubuchon is the service. I must say that the quality of food, in my opinion is second-rate. In short, it is overrated. Perhaps people who said this is a fantastic Lechon haven't really tasted a good quality Lechon. Well, I'd still stick with Samar Lechon that I grew up eating. 

Zubuchon / Zubudagat
Mactan Marina Mall 
Lapu Lapu City
Facebook : Zubuchon 
Contact Number : 032-2661310

Manna SuTuKil (STK) Food House (Mactan, Cebu)

Our last day in Cebu was spent at Mactan Island. I was hoping that we can all soak up the sun on our last day but the weather failed us. It didn't stop us from finding the best place to eat in Mactan though. That's why we headed to Manna SuTuKil to get some fresh sea foods for dinner. 

We stayed in Be Resorts at Punta Engano Road which is a few minutes away from Manna. We were glad to know that this one is pretty near that resort strip, so if you're staying in Mactan Shangrila, Movenpick, or Be Resorts, Manna is your best bet in getting the freshest sea food feast.



Upon alighting the cab, we were swarmed by men who are offering their own restaurants for us to eat. Apparently, there are at least 3 or 4 SuTuKil places in that area and Manna is just one of them. Just kindly inform these men that you intend to go to Manna, and they'll let you be. 

You will be welcomed by their fresh seafood display in front where you can choose which seafood you wanted to devour on for your meal, and how it should be cooked. If you don't fancy selecting from their small display, you can go straight to their dining area and chose from their menu instead. 

We decided to dine in the second floor which gave us a view, overlooking the mangroves and Mactan Shrine. The place at night is provided with warm yellow lights that is cozy and relaxing. 

Second Floor Dining Area 

Ma and Pa, anticipating a great meal :) 

We ordered 1/4 kilo of shrimps which we asked to be cooked with garlic and butter, and a fish (which I forgot the name) to be grilled, before we head to the second floor dining area. We selected the rest of our orders off their menu as soon as we got seated. 


Cheesy Pearls ( PHP 125 / 500 g.)

We ordered Baked Oysters for our appetizer and it was delish! Fresh, creamy, and yummy goodness of lush fresh oysters. 


Clam Crazy (PHP 92 / 250 g.)

We also ordered a soup viand and asked for the clams to be cooked Halaan style. The clams are huge, though this serving only has 3 big pieces of clams. The soup is warm and refreshing, perfect for that stormy night. 


Butter and Garlic Shrimp (around PHP 225 / 250 g)
The shrimps were cooked to perfection. I can't say anything else about this one. It is just totally delicious. 


Sugba Chorizo (PHP 20 / stick)
Liempo (PHP 75 / 250 g.)

A meat lover like me cannot have a meal without ordering any meat dish. I have decided to try their Sugba Chorizo and Grilled Liempo. I looooooove Cebu Chorizo. I'm a huge fan of sweet sausages and this one fits my preference. Their Grilled Liempo is, well, grilled liempo. Nothing extraordinary about it. 


Grilled Fish (Forgot the price)

Completing the list of our sea food feast is this grilled fish. From what I know, it's called Samaral here in Luzon. I thought I heard mom saying its Manlalara in Bisaya (still I am unsure). But whatever the name of this fish is, it still delighted our palates. The meat is sweet and juicy. Guaranteed it was fresh when it was serve on our table. 

Oh, we also ordered a platter of rice which the server told us is good for three. Still, we had to add an additional platter of rice because the first platter is "bitin" together with all that fresh sea foods we got. 

Service is relaxed. Understandable since we know that the food is being cooked upon order. Everyone is heedful  to the customers needs. One thing that I have to mention though is that they have to do something about rats. Yup, sorry to burst your bubble but there is a rat roaming around the second floor. The staff seems to be aware of this concern but chose to ignore it. I hope that they can do something about it. I was somehow bothered by that and asked a wait staff to watch out for the rat and shoo it away if it comes near our table. Two of them gladly obliged. 

Despite that one, I will certainly be back in Manna SuTuKil Food House next time I am in Mactan, Cebu. Fantastic sea food feast and great customer service. 

Manna SuTuKil (STK) Food House
6015 Lapu Lapu City
Cebu
Website : http://www.freewebs.com/mannastk
Facebook : Manna SuTuKil (STK) Food House 
Contact Number : 4958009 and 3406448



Port Restaurant (Cebu City)

The rain had been so much of a hindrance for us to go around Cebu when we visited about a week ago. On our second night in the city, we decided to go to Port Restaurant in Waterfront Cebu. I thought it was a good place to consider since it is near our hotel and it has unlimited serving of Cebu lechon which all of us are craving for since the moment we set foot there. 

Their buffet dinner costs Php 359+, not including beverages. I was glad to see that they serve wines by glass which only costs Php 69 . Other drinks would costs Php 50-150.

Here's the buffet spread. 

Salad Bar

Main Dishes


Main Dishes


Cebu Lechon


BBQ and Soups

Dessert Section

Mom getting Popcorn and Soft Serve Ice Cream

We all enjoyed the Lechon which is tender and full of flavor. However, we were disappointed with most of the dishes served especially Sizzling Squid and Fried Squid. I'm guessing they used frozen squid since it lacks flavor. I liked one particular dish though which is Humba. The rest of the dishes served are mediocre. I know, I should have not expected much considering the price of the buffet. 

As for the service, I can say that it is quite good. Wait staff are all attentive to everybody's needs which is a plus. 

Will I go back to dine at Port Restaurant? Probably no. Knowing that there are a lot of good and affordable restaurants in metro Cebu which serves fresh sea foods, I'd probably  chose to dine somewhere else than here. 

Port Restaurant
Waterfront Hotel
Lahug, Salinas Drive
Cebu City
Website : http://port.ph/
Facebook : Port Restaurant
Contact Number : 2317441 / 5166018 / 09177077678 / 09228033159

STK Ta Bay! Sa Paulito's Seafood House (Cebu City)


What a long name for a resto! 

I saw STK ta Bay! making it to the list of  "Ang Pinaka" Yummies in Cebu episode. This made it to my own personal list since I know mom craves for fresh sea foods and I crave for affordable food. STK by the way means Sugba (grill), Tula (a mild soup), Kilaw (prepare like a ceviche) in Cebuano. 

We took a cab from SM Cebu after buying some pasalubong. I asked the cabbie to bring us to STK ta Bay! and showed him the street address that Google gave me, which apparently was a wrong move. Google gave the address #6 A. Climaco St. Cebu City but was surprised to find out that that street was a short alley with residential houses. Apparently, I gave the wrong address which was supposed to be #6 Orchid St, Capitol Site, Cebu City. The restaurant is tucked in a quiet residential area near Capitol Site. I suggest you use Waze on your way there for easy navigation. We arrived at around 11:30 in the morning, and was seated right away. The place became packed a few minutes after we got seated, so better be early if you plan to eat lunch or dinner there.

I love the homey feel of the restaurant and how prompt the service is. The wait staff are all very attentive to everybody's needs. 






We never wasted a single moment and scan the menu right away. It was difficult to chose from their wide array of fresh seafood dishes. After some minutes, we decided to pick some dishes that we all agreed to. Here's what we ordered. 


Baked Scallops (PHP 110)

We ordered the Baked Scallops for starters. It is succulent and cheesy! I would totally recommend this to start to your meal. 


Fish Sinigang - 2 pcs (PHP 130)

The fish is fresh as well as the vegetables in the soup. The sour taste of sinigang is unbeatable which makes this dish a classic Filipino specialty. 


Kinilaw with Gata (PHP 135)

Pa wanted kinilaw and we all loved their version. Mom is from Borongan, Samar and I grew up eating different types of Kinilaw dish. Their version is not that foreign to me because mom used to prepare the same kinilaw recipe. But, sorry mom, I think their version is 1 notch higher than yours. :) 


 Sizzling Pork Sisig with Egg ( PHP 170) 

This perhaps is the only dish that we ordered which I didn't like much. I guess its because I am a fan of crispy sisig and their version is on the opposite. 


Shrimps in Palanganita (PHP 150)

Their serving for this one is a lot! I love the sweet-spicy dipping sauce that came with it. The shrimps are deep fried to perfection. Best of all it is very affordable. For 150 pesos? This is definitely a steal. 


Seafood Fried Rice (PHP 180)

Yum yum yum yum! I love their Seafood Fried Rice and this one is a complete meal itself. The fried rice is tasty with bits of sea foods, veggies and scrambled egg. This platter of rice is meant for sharing, probably enough for 3-4 people. Well, just 3. Their food is delectable, I'm sure you'll be needing more rice. :) 

They also serve sodas in big bottles. We asked for a 1.5 liter Coke and it was served to us with a bucket of ice. I, however forgot how much it is but it is good to order especially if the whole family is dining. 

Everything we ate was delicious. STK Ta Bay! should always be in your list of places to eat when in Cebu. I would definitely be back there soon! 

STK Ta Bay! Sa Paulito's Seafood House
#6 Orchid St., Capitol Site
Cebu City
Website : http://stktabay.com/
Facebook : STK Ta Bay!
Contact Number : (032) 256 2700