One of the best ways to prepare fresh fish is Kinilaw. Kinilaw is raw fish bathed in vinegar with tomatoes, onions, ginger, chilis, and sometimes coconut milk. It is a popular dish among Filipinos and Filipino restaurants have kinilaw in their menu.  The commercial one usually use tanigue for their kinilaw.  I usually prefer the smaller fishes like bangsi as kinilaw.  Bangsi is also know as barungoy or flying fish. Bangsi is boney and it takes skills to debone the cheap fish. I have grown to love this fish when I lived in Bohol with my Dad for a couple of years.  For me, the best time to eat kinilaw is during summer time while at the beach.

What is your favorite fish for kinilaw? Do you love eating raw food?
McDonald's A.S. Fortuna corner Hernan Cortes Streets, Mandaue City, Cebu

 The fast-food war in Cebu is really heating up as more stand-alone fast-food joints are sprouting in the city.  A few months ago, Burger King opened a drive-through restaurant in F. Cabahug Street just beside a Jollibee branch. Last Saturday, McDonald's opened a branch at the corner of Hernan Cortes and A.S. Fortuna Streets in Mandaue. My family went there to witness the opening and I think this branch will really be busy in the years to come. 
One of the things that I considered a comfort food is Nilung-ag na Saging (Boiled Bananas).  There are just days that I want to eat boiled bananas and I can probably finish 5 in one sitting. I prefer my bananas to be semi-ripe.  I usually eat this on a lazy afternoon on a weekend.  It is also one of my favorite Holy Week and beach foods.  I know a lot of people love to dip this to some local anchovies (ginamos) especially the unripe ones.  Boiled Bananas is also a good alternative to rice when on a diet.

How about you, how many boiled bananas can you eat in one snack? What is your favorite comfort food?
Grand Majestic Cebu, Grand Convention Center, Archbishop Reyes St., Cebu City Buffet Restaurant in Cebu
I am a big fan of Chinese food and I am also fond of eat-all-you-can buffets.  One of my favorite Chinese-themed eat-all-you-can restaurants in Cebu is the Grand Majestic Buffet.  The name Grand Majestic to Cebuanos is synonymous to excellent Chinese food.  Grand Majestic has been serving high-quality food for decades.  The restaurant is in the Grand Convention Center.  Last year, there was a major renovation in the Grand Convention Center and when it reopened, a redesigned and updated version of the restaurant started offering an awesome buffet.
One of my favorite seashells is the Saang. Saang is Spider Shell or Lambis Scorpius. I like this shell grilled and I could probably finish at least 5 pieces for lunch.  I prefer the Saang over the smaller shells because it packs a lot of meat.  I sometimes get impatient when I tuse a safety pin to get the meat out of the smaller kinason (seashell).  It is way easier with saang, you get a fairly large amount of meat just using your hands.

One of the best places to east Saang is at the beach.  It is one of the beach outing foods for me. You can also buy grilled spider shells at seafood restaurants like AA Barbecue.

How about you? Do you eat seashells? What is your favorite?
Cebuanos love lechon and I think there are countless of pigs that get slaughtered for this.  There was a time I was wondering what do they do with the innards? At first I thought lechon makers just make dinuguan (blood stew) and put everything on it.  Recently, I bought lechon in Talisay and saw that aside from dinuguan, the store sells some fried innards.  Locally, we call it sha-e, ginabot, atay,  and tungol. Intestines, liver, pancreas, and other internal organs are cooked in their oil to become a popular fare for lunch or pulutan. It's cheap and gives a lot of calories, it is not really a stretch why many people love this.  I may not eat this every day, but I really enjoy to have this once in a while.

Majestic Restaurant's Buchi
After having a savory meal at a Chinese restaurant, I usually look for something sweet.  One of my favorite desserts to order is Buchi.  Buchi is a round rice cake covered with sesame seeds and filled with sweet bean paste. Most Chinese restaurants have it.  Even fast-food chain Chowking has it. I can probably finish at least 2 cakes after a meal.

How about you? Do you love Buchi too?
F Café and Bar, The Gallery, Mabolo Cebu City, Chef Jay Jonson, best restaurants in Cebu

I recently got invited to check out another restaurant at The Gallery in Mabolo.  I immediately said yes because The Gallery has been the home to several interesting restaurants.  The name of the latest establishment that I have tried is F Café and Bar. I expected it to be the typical run of the mill bar/café that offer fatty dishes to cater to a crowd interested in  booze, as well as, food. Well, I was totally wrong and really glad that I was.

If you are looking for a snack that can make you really full, I am going to suggest that you try Manila Foodshoppe's Maki Mi. Maki Mi is portmanteau between Maki and Mami.  Maki is a thick Pork Tenderloin Soup that was popularized by the Filipino-Chinese in Binondo, Manila while Mami means Noodle Soup.  Maki Mi, therefore, is a pork noodle soup with a thick brown sauce.  This noodles soup is really heavy and could be good for lunch or dinner as well.  In Cebu, one of the best places to eat some Maki Mi is Manila Foodshoppe which has branches in Parkmall and Osmena Boulevard. I usually eat as a snack, but it can also become my soup dish during main meals. I usually just add some white pepper on it.  The soup is salty with a hint of sweetness.  The pork is really tender and they put lots on it in this dish. The noodles just make it more of a complete meal with the added carbs.  The Maki Mi also goes well with siopao. 

For me, Maki Mi is one of the best comfort food during the rainy season which just came right on time this year.  How about you? What is your favorite rainy season dish?
One of the best things about the almost 400 years of Spanish colonization culinary-wise is the empanada. I just love this stuffed pastry that is perfect as a snack or even a meal. My favorite stuffing for empanada is minced pork with some potatoes, carrots, and bits of hard-boiled eggs. There are so many versions nowadays as people experiment on what to put inside. For me, the perfect empanada should be hot, must have a crispy pastry, and succulent filling.  One of the best empanadas that I ever tasted is the Ilocos version.  The Ilocos empanada is bigger than the usual empanada, it is freshly fried and has a very crunchy exterior.  The stuffing includes some flavorful Vigan longanisa, bean sprouts, and egg.  It is a dish that I am willing to travel hundreds of kilometers.  The Ilocos empanada becomes one of best the Ilocano food ever when you add some of their local vinegar. It is simply awesome.  Too bad, I am living in Cebu and nobody has tried inventing a similar snack here. 

How about you, do you have a favorite empanada place? Let me know where by posting a comment and sharing a link. ;) 
Carlo Andrew Olano and Stephanie Miel-Olano enjoying some Halo-Halo
Halo-Halo is probably one of the most loved cold desserts by Filipinos.  There are so many versions of this popular dessert.  The possibilities are actually endless as restaurants use some unique ingredients to make their halo-halo special. One way of making a halo-halo unique is to "put on steroids" and make it a giant.  The giant-sized halo-halo which became a craze here in Cebu was started by Ice Giants. Founded in Davao, Ice Giants conquered Cebu with their Giant Halo-Halo. The super-sized Ice Giants dessert has toppings that include Ice Cream in different flavors, wafer sticks, candies, cream, and a whole lot more.  It is fun to eat with friends and family.

Have you tried the Halo-Halo at Ice Giants? How do you find it?

Ice Giants has a branch in Capitol Site and City Times Square Mandaue.  Frozen Snack Bar in Juana Osmena also offers a similarly sized halo-halo.