Pork Chop!  In the past couple of months, I have seen many restaurants in Cebu that offer their own version of pork chops.  One great example is "Fat Bastard" over at The Weekend.  I recently visited the newly-opened Soho Park by Chef Robert Leonhardt and got to try his Pork Chop with Israeli Couscous, and Mediterranean Vegetables and black olives.  It was pretty good and I am very excited to try the other dishes at this restaurant.

Soho Park, Pork Chop, Robert Leonhardt, Pork Chop with Israeli Couscous, and Mediterranean Vegetables and black olives, IT Park Restaurants, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Food Blog

Soho Park's Pork Chop with Israeli Couscous, and Mediterranean Vegetables and black olives

The dish has basically 2 elements, the Pork Chop, and the siding.  The chop is from local pork and it weighs 300 grams a serving. The siding comes with lots of delicious veggies and sauces. An order costs 550 pesos and it will surely satisfy any hungry man.

Soho Park, Pork Chop, Robert Leonhardt, Pork Chop with Israel Couscous, and Mediterranean Vegetables and black olives, IT Park Restaurants, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Food Blog

The pork chop is first vacuum-packed with some spices and aromatics then goes to a hot water bath for a couple of minutes.  It then goes on the flat grill for finishing.  It is crispy and perfectly cooked.  It is served with some gravy.

Soho Park, Pork Chop, Robert Leonhardt, Pork Chop with Israeli Couscous, and Mediterranean Vegetables and black olives, IT Park Restaurants, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Food Blog

The siding has Mediterranean vegetables like eggplant and tomato. There is also grilled onions that have different sauces on it.  It looks so pretty that it did not want to eat it at first.

Soho Park, Pork Chop, Robert Leonhardt, Pork Chop with Israel Couscous, and Mediterranean Vegetables and black olives, IT Park Restaurants, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Food Blog

Soho Park actually serves wines and this one is perfect with the Fat Bastard Pinot Noir.  I really enjoyed eating it and maybe the next time I will order this, I would definitely get some rice.  The pork chop and the gravy are so yummy that it will just make you eat a lot of rice and probably make you even wish that they have an unli-rice promo.  The Meditteranean veggies were bursting with flavors and the Isreali couscous gave the dish another texture.  It is a well-thought-of dish and I am pretty confident that a lot of pork lovers out there would enjoy this as much as I did.  Well done, Chef!

Soho Park, Pork Chop, Robert Leonhardt, Pork Chop with Israel Couscous, and Mediterranean Vegetables and black olives, IT Park Restaurants, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Food Blog

I was seated near where the food comes out and I saw a lot of mouthwatering things that the Soho Park team made.  My list of the thing I want to taste on my next visit just got longer the longer I stayed there.  One good example is that picture above of steak, egg, and potatoes.  I am planning to have breakfast there sometime. Would you like to come with me?

Soho Park, Pork Chop, Robert Leonhardt, Pork Chop with Israel Couscous, and Mediterranean Vegetables and black olives, IT Park Restaurants, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Food Blog

Soho Park is located on the ground floor of Asia Premier Residences, Cebu IT Park.   You may check their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SohoParkPH/ for more details. 

Explore, Eat, and Enjoy!!!

A few weeks ago, I asked the candidates of Binibining Cebu 2017 about what is delicious in their place.  Some were really confident with their answers that it made me want to go to their towns and check it out myself.  Last week, I got the chance to visit Dumanjug and try out Bisnok and a new local favorite called Cho'la.  So, here's a humble post about the best things to eat in Dumanjug, Cebu.

The Bb. Sugbu Charity Foundation, Inc. in cooperation with Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 1985 formally launched the highly anticipated pageant, Binibining Cebu.  This pageant pits 54 lovely Cebuanas representing the 53 towns and cities of Cebu with Cebu City getting 2 representatives.  Binibining Cebu seeks to find an ambassadress who exemplifies today's modern Cebuana, and in the process promote the beauty, heritage, culture, and commerce of the towns and cities of Cebu. 

When I have friends and relatives from out of town who come to Cebu, they usually ask me where to eat the best lechon.  I have my personal favorites but there are just so many good lechoneros in Cebu.  Dondi and Corinne Joseph of D+B Wines had a couple of visitors from Manila and instead of just taking them to their favorite lechon place, they decided to give them some choices.  Actually, a lot of choices.  They invited some other friends to a lechon and wine dinner and this is what happened.

Chef Jeffrey Broutin recently unleashed the full menu of L'Artisan French and Mediterranean Cuisine, the 2016 Sunstar Best of Cebu Restaurant of the Year.  I was fortunate that I was one of the bloggers invited to the event.  After the meal, I realized that this restaurant at Oakridge Business Park deserves all the accolades and wonderful reviews that they have received over the past year.
Kalami Cebu, Cebu food Blog, Philippine Food Blog, Dim Sum, Ding How, Cebu Dimsum, Ding How Dimsum House, Bigseed Promotions and Events

Cebuanos love dimsum.  I grew up loving steamed rice, siomai, siopao and lumpia Shanghai. I am not alone. Apparently, this love affair between Cebuanos and dim sum started in 1969.  In 1969, man landed on the moon.  Filipina Gloria Diaz bagged Miss Universe that year. On that same year, Cebu was introduced to Hong Kong-style dim sum with the opening of Ding How.
Ilocos Empanada, Vigan Empanada, CJ's Empanada, Vigan's Best Empanada, Kalami Cebu in Vigan, Kalami Cebu Travels,
Many cities or countries in the world have that signature fried food that locals and tourists rave about. Cebu has its ngohiong, England has its Fish and Chips while Ilocos has its empanada.  When I went to Vigan, number 1 on my "to taste" list is definitely the Ilocos empanada.  When I arrived in the Ilocos Sur capital, I asked where can I eat the best Vigan empanada and they pointed me to CJ's Empanada.

Best of Cebu 2016, Best Wine Selection, Cebu Wine Shop, Corrine Joseph, D+B Wine Shop, Dondi Joseph, Where to buy wines in Cebu, Wine,

Slowly but surely a lot of Filipinos are buying and drinking wines.  Whether it is for personal consumption or as a gift, most wine buyers just go to the grocery to pick up a bottle or two.  There are many supermarkets now that have a good wine selection.   It is really convenient but I think there are still plenty of reasons why one should visit a wine shop.  Here are 3 wonderful reasons to check out your local wine shop the next time you will buy wine.

Faro, Faro Liloan, Restaurants in Liloan, Sisig, Chow Canete, Liloan Lighthouse, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Food Blog, Cebuano Vlogger,

It has been a while since I last went to other towns to check out new restaurants.  Most of the time, I am confined to Cebu City.  When Herbert Kikoy of driftstories.com told me about a new restaurant in Liloan that was looking for bloggers to sample their food, I immediately said Yes.  I did not regret my decision because Faro is a restaurant that you should check out in Liloan, Cebu.
Dessert Ramen, unique desserts, Dew Droplet Cake, Raindrop Cake, Skillet Japanese Cafe and Bistro, Kalami Cebu Videos, dessert places in Cebu,

If you are the type of person who likes to eat the most unique desserts available then I would surely point you to Skillet Japanese Cafe and Bistro.  This restaurant in Norkis Cyberpark serves the best of modern Japanese cuisine and they are also know for their amazing desserts.  I recently made my friends try the Dew Droplet Cake and Dessert Ramen, and they really had fun eating and taking photos of the unique and irresistible desserts of Skillet Japanese Cafe and Bistro.
There has been a lot of new restaurants that has opened at Parkmall in the past couple of weeks.  One of the newest that really piqued my interest is Slate District in Parkmall.  After my first taste, this new restaurant has become one of my top places for baby back ribs and chicken wings.

In Day 2 of my Surigao escapade, I visited some of the islands under Surigao City. The first one was Hikdop Island which had two popular tourist destinations.  The first one is the Buenavista Cave and the second one is the Pagkawasan Beach.  After our adventures at Hikdop Island, our Suroy sa Surigao tour took us to Basul Island before going back to the mainland.
Jomie Hospital, Youtuber, Bisaya Youtuber, Youtube sensation, Sumo Sam, Adober Studios, Cebu Food Blog, Kalami Cebu, #MeetEatRepeat, Japanese Food, Ramen, Chahan, TenDon,

A year ago I have been introduced to a different kind of social media animals called Youtubers or Vloggers. I have been blogging for quite a while but I rarely encountered Youtubers in Cebu in events that I have attended.  Thanks to ABS-CBN's Chicken Pork Adobo (now Adobers Studios), I have met some of the best Youtubers in the region.  One of the best is definitely Jomie Hospital of Gingoog. He relocated to Cebu recently and I am one first people who shared a meal with the newest Cebu-based YouTube sensation.
L'Artisan, L'Artisan French Mediterranean Cuisine, French Restaurants in Cebu, Wine Places in Cebu, Jeffrey Boutin, Slow Roasted Pork Belly, Cebu Food Blogger, Kalami Cebu

I always received inquiries from friends and strangers about where to take their wife or girlfriend for their anniversaries and special occasions.  I have my usual recommendations.  Recently, I added L'Artisan French Mediterranean Cuisine on this list.  This new restaurant at the Oakridge Business Park in Mandaue has the food, ambiance, and service that will be perfect for romantic dates or intimate business meetings.
Le Chard Place Bed and Breakfast, Mount Bagarabon Resort, Surigao City, Suroy Surigao, Kalamni Cebu, Day-asan Floating Village, Surigao Tour

It has been almost a month and my memories of my trip to Surigao City is still as vivid as ever thanks of course to the power of YouTube.  Looking back, I could say that it was an amazing start of Summer 2017 for me. I was only there for 3 days but it was filled with fun activities that it was worth the over 64GBs of videos that I took.  This is a recap of the Day 1 of the Suroy sa Surigao Tour.

Uke Hub Cafe, Ukulele, Susing's Guitara, Cubano Cebuano, Cafes in Cebu, Cafes in Lapu-Lapu, Kiddie Rodaje, Caloy Juapo, ukulele lessons, ukulele painting, Cebu Food Blog

One of my biggest frustrations as a child was not learning how to play a musical instrument.  I never had a chance to have lessons until recently when I got an invite to Uke Hub Kafe.  I spent a whole afternoon there painting and learning how to play the ukulele while eating and drinking the cafe's specialties.  Uke Hub Kafe is definitely one of my favorite cafes in Cebu.
CNT Lechon, Lechon, Jullian Sibi, Fat Bastard Wines, Cebu Blogging Community, #hibsters, Kalaminions, Cebu food blog,

It has been a while since the #Hibsters leads had a get-together .  We finally found a good reason to meet up when Jullian Sibi's family moved in to their new house in Guadalupe. I also wanted to celebrate  landing a new job.  Here is what we did in our latest Kalaminions #MeetEatRepeat session.
batchoy, batchoy cebu, cebu's best batchoy, noodles, #batchoyhouse328, Nezte Virtudazo, Halo Halo, pan de sal, Cebu Food Blogger, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Best Blogs

One of my favorite food trip buddies is Nezte Virtudazo.  We have been to countless of food trips in the past couple of years and recently we checked out BatchoyHouse328 and tried out their batchoy with bone marrow and also their halo-halo.
Suroy Surigao, Surigao City, Kalami Surigao, Surigao City Tourism Office, Sea Grapes, Roselyn Merlin, Sayongsong, Spider Shells, Bibingka, Le Chard Place, Philippine Food Blog

A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be one of the travel bloggers and writers to be invited to visit Surigao City.  To be honest,  I do not know much about this city in Mindanao.  In fact, it was my first time to visit Mindanao.  Well, after three days, I found out that I have been missing a lot all these years.  I "tasted" Surigao and I would love to go back there very soon.  Here are some of the best dishes that I have tried during the Suroy Surigao Tour:
Zomato, Zomato Cebu, Zomato Review, Top Reviewer in Zomato Cebu, Cebu Top Food Blog, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Food Blogger

I have been doing reviews at Zomato.Com in the past year.  I was surprised that last week I became the top reviewer for Cebu on this restaurant review app.  Kalami Cebu has been active at Zomato and for me, this app is very helpful in helping you find out the best places to eat here in Cebu, in Manila and other key cities in the world.  I hope you download the app and check it out.

isaw, isaw babol, tol!, offal, pork intestines, Mang Larry's Isawan, UP Diliman, Kalayaan Residence Hall

I was looking at my old videos and I stumbled upon this song by Baihana titled "Isawan".  Listening to the song took me back to my freshman year in college when I first discovered isaw.  One of the most popular isawan in UP Diliman then was just a few steps away from the Freshman Dorm (Kalayaan Residence Hall).  I fell in love with isaw ever since my early days of college.  When I moved to Cebu, I cannot seem to find a barbecue stall selling this sinfully good offal dish.  Recently, I discovered that there is a restaurant near our house that is selling isaw.
The Abalone Restaurant, JPark Island Resort and Waterpark, The Abalone at Jpark Island, Eat all you can restaurants in Cebu, Hotel Buffets in Cebu, Cebu Resorts, Cebu Food Blogger, Cebu Food Blog, Cebu Food Guide

Last weekend, our friends from JPark Island Resort and Waterpark invited several bloggers to check out their world-class amenities and food and beverage outlets.  JPark Island Resort and Waterpark is a pretty impressive resort hotel and for me, the highlight of the activity was definitely the lunch at The Abalone Restaurant.  The lunch buffet reminded me that the resort hotel has one of the best eat-all-you-can buffets in Cebu.

Tim Ho Wan, Tim Ho Wan Cebu, Chinese Restaurant in Cebu, Dim Sum, Baked Bun with BBQ Pork, Beancurd Skin with Pork and Shrimp, Hong Kong cuisine, Restaurants in SM Seaside City, Cebu Food Blog, Cebu Food Blogger

Today is March 25, 2017, and if you are a Cebuano foodie then the most important event today would be the opening of Tim Ho Wan at the Upper Ground Level, Mountain Wing of SM Seaside City Cebu.  It is the restaurant's 7th branch in the Philippines and the first ever outside Metro Manila.  Cebuanos can now enjoy the famous Baked Bun with BBQ Pork that helped Tim Ho Wan (Mongkok, Hong Kong) earn the coveted star in the 2010 HK and Macau Michelin Guide.

Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen, New restaurants in Cebu, Filipino Restaurants in Cebu, Cebu Golden Restaurant group, Pinaupong Manok, Kristine Kokseng, #RefreshinglyFilipino, #alwaysafeast, Cebu Best Blog

Cebu Favorite Filipino restaurant brand Golden  Cowrie opens an Ayala Center Cebu branch of its newest brand, the Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen. At the Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen, diners can enjoy many of their classic dishes as well as the new favorites like Pocherong Bungkag and Pinaupong Manok.

Kalaminions, #MeetEatRepeat, Manggahan, Johanna Frejoles, Sean Soliven, Glenn Abucay, Emelie Anggoy, Romeo Bonsocan, Cebu Blogging Community, #hibsters,

I finally got to meet Bisaya Youtuber Glenn Abucay.  Apparently, blogger friend +Hannah Frej is a big fan of his and they collaborated to make a video a week before with the trekkers of NCR.  This time the young Cebuano Youtube sensation shared a meal with the Kalaminions at Manggahan.
Puso Bistro and Bar, Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu, Quest Hotel, Hotel Buffets in Cebu, Eat All you can cebu, Mia Singson-Leon, Spanish Night, Cochnillo, Lengua, Fabada, Callos, Cebu Food Blog

Puso Bistro and Bar at Quest Hotel is taking their dinner buffet up a notch by bringing in some of the most beloved Spanish dishes to the buffet table. The Spanish dinner buffet dubbed as "Conquistadores Explore the Taste of Spain" is served every Tuesday and Friday of March 2017.  You can enjoy Spanish favorites like Paella, Cochinillo, Callos, and Lengua along with other Puso Bistro and Bar buffet favorites like sashimi, flavored puso, yema, halo-halo, and barbecue for 850 net per person.

New restaurants in Cebu, Rustic Chef's Favorites, Comfort Food, Pork Lauya, Restaurants in Lapu Lapu City, Grilled Pork Ribs, Pork Liver, Roasted Pork Belly, Cebu Food Blog

There has been a lot of new restaurant openings in Cebu lately that is making the local food scene more vibrant and competitive.  A lot of restaurants in Cebu have been offering new items to entice Cebuanos while old favorites also innovate to try to keep up with the changing preferences of the market. When I eat at a new restaurant, I always look for something different and unique that each place has to offer. At Rustic Chef's Favorites, I found a couple things that I would love to eat again if ever end up in the Lapu-Lapu City area.

Allegro Restaurant, Bluewater Maribago, Bluewater Resorts, Dinner Buffet, Hotel Restaurants in Cebu, seafood, Cebu street food , Eat all you can restaurants in Cebu, Cebu's Best Food Blog

Bluewater Maribago's Allegro Restaurant recently launched its themed dinners.  They offer a different menu every dinner time and each one is guaranteed to make you experience the joy of food. I recently had a preview of what's in store for each night and I ended having a massive dose of #happytummy.

dessert places in Cebu, SnowVinz, Sno-Ball, Snoball, dessert, ice cream sundae,
 I am not really into sweets but I recently tried SnowVinz Snoball and I was pretty much happy with my experience there.  Going to a good dessert place like Snow Vinz is indeed one of best ways to bond with friends on a lazy weekend.

Dagan Para sa Gatas ni Nanay, Pigafetta Restaurant, Aboitiz Land, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Outlets at Pueblo Verde, Women's Month, L.A.T.C.H., Human Milk Bank,

The first food all foodies loved is most likely breast milk.  For babies, there is no substitute for human breast milk.  Unfortunately, there are some mothers who are not capable of giving milk to their children or their milk production is not enough resulting to problems like malnutrition.  A couple of days ago, I had a chit chat with some ladies from Aboitiz Land over delicious Italian food at Pigafetta.  They told me about "Dagan Para sa Gatas ni Nanay" and the foodie in me was really compelled to support the event.

Peri-Peri Chicken Cebu, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar, Peri-Peri Chicken, Sauces, Meerea High Street, Big Seed PR and Events, Brian Tiu, Eric Ng Mendoza, New restaurants in Cebu,

If I am asked to declare a favorite restaurant in the past 8 weeks then I would say it is the Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar.   I have been to this new grilled chicken place four times already in that period. This new dining place is making Meerea High Street one of the up and coming dining hot spots in Cebu City and Mandaue City.
Cebu City Marriott Hotel, Garden Cafe, International Lunch Buffet, Hotel Buffet, Eat all you can Restaurant in Cebu, Prime Rib, Deep Fried Mixed Fruits, Nico Velasquez, Brennan Mercado, Basta Bisaya, Promo Price

I always associate eating at hotels with special occasions.  It could be a birthday, anniversary, or to celebrate milestones and achievements. Looking back, I would probably say that Cebu City Marriott Hotel is one of the hotels that has witnessed some of the best of moments of my life.  My wedding reception was actually held at this hotel several years ago. When I got an invite to try out their Sunday International Buffet, my heart definitely skipped a bit.  The international buffet at the hotel has always been a favorite for decades and it is a big privilege to be asked to eat it for free. The privilege is not limited to me as you will find something to cheer about if you read up until the end of this post.
Philippine Street Foods, Cebu Food Blog, Cebu Best Food Blog, Street Food, Cebu Street Foods, Chicken Proven, Proben, Proventriculus,

I love street food.  I have been eating it since I was in elementary school.  From fishballs to peanuts to pungko-pungko.  One of the newest street food favorites is the Proben or Chicken Proven.  This fried chicken part is one of my favorite snacks when I was still working at Robinsons Cybergate and I would love to eat it when I get the chance. Have you tried this one?
Lechon, Rico's Lechon, Zubuchon, Lechon War, Kalami Cebu Food Wars, Best Lechon in Cebu, Best lechon restaurants, Lechon Cebu, Rico's Lechon vs. Zubuchon
Kalami Cebu Food Wars #LechonWars debuted last week and the first match-up ended in a rout as Rico's Lechon handily beat Zubuchon, 10-3.  Many Cebuano foodies in social media said it was going to be a mismatch and they were right.   Most tasters preferred the saltier flavor of Rico's Lechon while Zubuchon got some points from their skin and the meat quality.  Check out our video for what transpired in this episode.

Marites Allen, Feng Shui, Montebello Villa Hotel, Tips for the New Year, Chinese New Year, Feng Shui Master,
Chinese New Year festivities were at a full swing last week with Cebu hotels.  After sampling the Yee Sang sets at Tin Gow, I was able to listen to Feng Shui Expert Marites Allen courtesy of Montebello Villa Hotel.  Everyone wants to be lucky and the famed Cebuano feng shui expert has some great tips for everyone.

12 Tips for the New Year by Feng Shui Master Marites Allen

  1. Wear red on New Year's Day.  Do not wear black! 
  2. Only eat sweet food like Tikoy. 
  3. Get up early and be beautiful.
  4. Start your new year with a meal with your loved ones.
  5. Do not clean the house on New Year's Day.
  6. Do not fight with anyone.
  7. Serve a tray of fruits and it would be great to have a mirror near the dining table.
  8. Cleanse the house (by Dragon dance for example).
  9. Eat fish for prosperity.
  10. Eat noodles for longevity.
  11. Avoid eating chicken.
  12. Throw away chipped plates and cups.

Check out the video for more tips from our very own Feng Shui expert.

Marites Allen, Feng Shui, Montebello Villa Hotel, Tips for the New Year, Chinese New Year, Feng Shui Master,

Kalami Cebu's 2017 Outlook

I really think that the food industry will thrive in 2017.  Cebu will probably see many excellent restaurants open in the next 12 months. It will definitely be a good year in the restaurant industry but it will also be very challenging.  Cebu is one of the hardest to please in the country and having too many choices could dilute income from many businesses.  The Year of the Rooster is not going to be a good year for imitation.  This is a great year for the innovative ones.  Each restaurant is advised to improve the quality of their dishes and make sure they have a specialty. 

It is going to be a year full of food trips but most probably healthier ones at the later part of the year. I am betting on companies helping people make healthier choices.  It is time for companies and blogs to spread a message on healthier and better food.

Enjoy the New Year! Gon Xi Fa Cai!!!

Marites Allen, Feng Shui, Montebello Villa Hotel, Tips for the New Year, Chinese New Year, Feng Shui Master,

Lechon, inasal, Lechon Cebu, Best Lechon in Cebu, Cebu Lechon Directory, Best lechon restaurants, Cebu Food Blog, Kalami Cebu, Cebu food blogger

There was a social media firestorm yesterday when an article came out at the ABS-CBN website telling the public that Cebu Favorite Lechon Zubuchon is coming to Manila.  I know Cebuanos love lechon and as a Cebuano, I consider it as a heritage dish.  I did not expect, though, the extreme reactions that the article generated from my fellow Cebuanos. Are we going to destroy friendships over lechon?  Well, here is my take.

Yee Sang, yusheng, lo hei, prosperity toss, Jimmy Low, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, Tin Gow, Tin Gow Palace, Chinese Restaurant in Cebu,
Even if I am not Chinese, I can always feel the Chinese influence in our country especially here in Cebu.  This influence is so strong in me that I love watching dragon and lion dances, and the fireworks.  I even eat tikoy and wear red during Chinese New Year.  I also read my Chinese horoscope.  I am definitely not Chinese but I love celebrating the Lunar New Year with them.  This year, I will be celebrating the start of the Year of the Rooster at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.  I recently previewed the Chinese New Year Menu at the hotel's Tin Gow Palace that featured Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss and I learned something that might just make me luckier in 2017.

Egg Waffle, Eggcloud by SG, Sugbo Mercado SRP, Sugbo Mercado, Pinacoolada, Sugbo Mercado stalls, best stalls at Sugbo Mercado, Kalami Cebu, Cebu Food blog

Before the year ended, I was able to check out Sugbo Mercado at the SRP with some of my blogger friends. We enjoyed some egg waffles from Eggcloud by SG and I also got to taste the Pinacoolada.  Sugbo Mercado SRP is definitely a food destination that my friends from the southern part of Metro Cebu should check out.