Sunday, December 13, 2015

Deo. Optimo. Maximo.

If you're looking for nothing but fine artisanal cuisine in Iloilo City, then this might be your next stop.


From among the many restaurants in the city, Deo. Optimo. Maximo. attracted me most since when talking about 'Change', they embrace it. What I mean by that 'change' is the way they organize every meal into a gastronomical gourmet. They don't particularly stick to the basics and one certain menu--they change the whole game. Aside from being seasonal, which means their menu varies highly from the abundant harvest of certain crops and seasonal produce, they are valuing the concept of putting art in every dish. The only constant in their menu, to be honest, is change. --And that's why it was love-at-first-visit.


Come to think of it, most restaurants just offer you the same menu for years. Yes, you may have your go-to meal and all, but sometimes, you tend to get bored, looking for what's new in their menu (sometimes, looking forward to what's new) but end up with the same dish, on a different day.

Of course, there's no problem with that, some people can even eat the same dish every day in a year. But what I'm pointing out here is that, if you want to turn your every meal into an experience, then you might want to try this restau out.


Respect for food- that's what they live for. And that's exactly what matters. You're not only paying for the food, the service, the place, you're also paying respect to the bounty of nature. Sure, that's not monetary, but that's priceless even.

FOOD TALK.

Complementary bread with Eggplant dip
Talking about the highlight of the restau-food. We had our complementary bread with eggplant dip. It was good. At first, it'll taste like a little exotic (probably just my tongue not being used to this dip), but after a few more bites, they'll just go well together. And you won't even taste the eggplant overpowering the whole thing.

Sisig Balls: 
(Pork Cheek, Market Greens, Sriracha, Cocoa Aoli, Nori, Sesame, Katsuobushi)
And for a fresher take, their sisig specialty was not served in a usual sizzling plate, instead it was on just a different plate, rolled into balls and served with market vegetables. It was topped with Katsuobushi, a (Japanese) dried skipjack tuna. It was a refreshing look for the usual sisig plate and it tastes fine too. It was too big for two people though. :)






Holiday Chicken: Roast Chicken, Bacon & Sourdough Stuffing, Mangosteen Jelly and Gravy



Visiting this place, especially this month, you shouldn't miss out on ordering this dish because it's one of their specialties for the holidays. And with that point aside, it tastes really good you won't mind you're just devouring chicken all along. As they'd say, it melts in your mouth making this one my favorite from among the dishes I tried.

Flat Iron Skewer

Since we can't have enough of their dishes, we ordered extra skewers off the grill. We tried out the Flat Iron Skewer. We were then asked to choose from various sauces which were also their specialty blend. 

That's our table.
Had thoughts of having too many wonderful dishes to try; yet so little time and tummies. (lol!)

We also tried their Dalandan Tsokolate juice, the Cucumber-ade juice, and a scoop of their homemade frozen yogurt for dessert. Their juices didn't disappoint. While it tasted like chocolate energy drink with a citrus aftertaste, I was amazed how they came up with the Dalandan Tsokolate idea after all. The cucumber drink was really refreshing. And for their fro-yo, it was a little bit powdery, I don't know how it became such with its texture but the taste was also winning. 


Homemade Frozen Yogurt scoop with caramel syrup
Below are the snaps that I managed to save from my snapchat. :)





True to their concept, I can attest to their idea of thinking globally about their food but staying rooted in the local. I am 100% sure that I'm visiting this place again. In fact, I'm already looking forward to the next set of dishes. (though I'm also hoping they'd retain the Holiday chicken or have banh mi's again). ;)

For the love of food, I highly suggest you visit them out. Find helpful deets below and feel free to leave a comment if you have anything you want to share. 



XOXOX,
Faye




  • Deo.Optimo.Maximo., also known as "D.O.M." is located at Westland Gateway Complex, Donato Pison Ave., Brgy San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
  • Contact Number: 09173196699 
  • Opening Hours: Monday 12NN-3PM //5:30PM-10PM
  •                           Wednesday-Sunday 12NN-3PM //5:30 PM-10PM
  • Cash Only (Payment Method)
  • Accepts Walk-Ins, Reservations, Take out, Catering and Waiter Service

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Steak Fix at Terrasse Bistro



Been wanting to blog about this bistro for so long already but I thought of blogging this when I have enough visits and tried a couple of dishes so I could give a better review.


And after a series of celebratory visits, I've finally decided what my favorite dish in Terrasse Bistro is. It's their Steak Frites. It's relatively heavenly in taste. I guess the cream sauce makes it more interesting and very tasty. You really have to try it yourself when you pay them a visit.


To be honest, every time I visit Terrasse, I always order Steak Frites or if I want to try another dish, I'd let my companion order it so I could still have a bite or two. It's just your go-to dish and more like a comfort food in a classy setup.


Beef Parmentier: minced US Hanger steak, creamy mash, cheese
If you're a big fan of creamy mash and cheese, then this is my suggestion for you. There's a balance of everything in it and the beef is cooked just right. Also, the salad on the side matches the flavor of the main dish. Just keep in mind when ordering this, you might want to skip ordering another side dish as one is already heavy enough. (But in my case, I loved their creamy mash so much that I ended up ordering another one. lol!)

BBQ Pork Rib - Jack and Coke BBQ Sauce, Coleslaw
With their Pork Rib, it was just good. I tried to eat it on its own and decide whether it deserves to be taken that way, with rice, or with its pre-selected side dish (coleslaw). I guess, it's best eaten alone or with a bottle of beer/wine. But if you're feeling like you want to have a heavy dinner, go ahead and pair it with rice, mash or anything you like. (Disclaimer: I'm not a big fan of coleslaw, thus, the decision)

Steak Frites- US Beef Shoulder Steak, salad, cognac cream sauce
And above is my fave. I guess, everyone's instant fave when dining there. This dish deserves a second and a third helping. (lol!) But however tasty this is, it's best eaten as soon as it's served especially when dining inside since when you relatively eat super slow, like me some times, the sauce tends to dry up and get thick--ending up ruining its main taste.



Braised US Beef Belly

Beef Parmentier, Braised US Beef Belly and BBQ Pork Rib were three of their main courses that I've also tasted aside from their Steak Frites. They were all good as well. Worth of its price if you ask me. I also tried their Garden Salad, merlot, and muscovado creme brulee. 

Other people would say they are a bit pricey but I guess for the taste, the ambiance, and the service, you'll be paying just right and accordingly. And again, spending on good food is never money wasted. :)



I will definitely come back here whenever I feel the craving for their Steak Frites kick in again. And who knows? They might add more dishes we'll all love in the long run. So if you're craving for some French cuisine and a good run for your steak longings, then this bistro might be your best bet.




XOXOX,
Faye


Paying them a visit any time soon?
Saving you the time of looking for more info. See below for more deets. And you're welcome by the way! ;)

Terrasse Bistro,
F114, The District Ayala North Point
Talisay City

Landline Number: (034) 707 7002
Store Hours: 11AM-2PM and 6PM-11PM
Cuisine: French

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Different Planet Within Planet Earth; Discovering Planet Grapes, Cebu

Okay before you judge my corny blog post title, hear me out on my thoughts about Planet Grapes (Cebu) and its idea of 'Wine Without the Drama'. 

 I've been meaning to try this place for as long as I can remember but it wasn't in my city so I had to make sure that when I get back to Cebu, I'll not miss my chance. 



I love wine so much but just a disclaimer, I'm not a wine connoisseur or something. I just happen to like it as much as I love cheese. (haha I know the connection is also a little odd right there). 
But anyway, it has been an ideal date for me ever since- to have a glass or bottle of wine to celebrate good times and special occasions. And on my latest Cebu shindig, and to celebrate my birthday as well, we thought of having a glass or two at Planet Grapes.

Location talk: It's strategically situated in a relatively convenient area. And an added bonus: the view. (I mentioned on my previous posts that I'm a huge fan of sky lounge settings and anything with a good view). And upon entering, you'll really feel the wine-friendly kind of atmosphere they have.

True to their concept, "Wine Without the Drama", it was the fusion of wine and food from traditional pairings such as cheese or cured meat to comfort food such as grilled chicken barbeque and sisig. 'Street food meets wine', that is.




Planet Grapes features their state-of-the-art Italian wine machines that allow customers to try different wines by sip, half-glass, and full glass sizes. Surely, regardless of one's knowledge of the drinks, you'll get to discover wine- one grape at a time. 

Now for the food, don't get me wrong but it was really (add another 'really') delicious! I may be exaggerating this but it was really tasty. A little price-y but it's all good and worth-it.

BBQ Pork Spare Ribs @ 395php

Sun Rice Chicken Barbeque with Adobo Rice & Fresh Mixed Salad @375php

 For the service: It's excellent. The crew were more than happy to assist us in all our needs especially with the wine pairings; setups; photos and some things I'm currently forgetting. (bad blogger! LOL)

Poor lighting and camera quality. Not complaining though.
 All in all, it was a very good experience. Definitely coming back to continue with my journey to discover the world of wine. So if you want to give it a try as well and still looking for a sign, then this is it. And as they say, life is too short for cheap wines. - and even shorter not experiencing the world through wine. Have a great journey, too. Cheers!

xoxox,
Faye



Planet Grapes in Cebu is located in Ayala Mall, in the L4, New Wing.
We had our dinner reservation in the morning.

Friday, August 28, 2015

SML for Circa 1900




SO MUCH LOVE INDEED.
CIRCA 1900, Sanjercasvil Road, Gorordo Avenue, Lahug Cebu



 On my latest trip to Cebu, I managed to inject another quality time-lunch time that is, to my shopping-infused itinerary. It was my birthday weekend so I thought of having a well-deserved shopping-spree. (reasons! haha)

 But anyway, We had lunch at Circa 1900 and it was one of the best lunch(es) I've had to date. The place was really home-y, 'inviting' would be an understatement. Such a welcoming place with very warm and accommodating crew. No wonder it has a lot of good reviews online.


 


 For the food, it was really heavenly. In fact, despite my sickly condition when I got there, I still finished my meal since it was too good to pass. Though I may have tried a few dishes only, I'm definitely going back to try some more. I really loved their Malunggay Potato and Camote Gnocchi Balls Dish. Since I'm a big fan of gnocchis, theirs did not disappoint-plus their herb cream was the bomb. It was so much worth-it at P350. Their Tenderloin was also promising. You can really taste the flavor of the pepper sauce without overpowering the whole dish-which is the main reason I really liked it as well. And as for the dessert, their Maja Blanca was uniquely good. It was not the typical-made ones and it was having just the right kind of creaminess. Its unique cheesecake cup made it extra special to the taste-buds too.

Here are some snaps I managed to take before we devoured them all. :)
                                                                                                                               
Meatloaf bites. (Complimentary food)

Malunggay Potato and Camote Gnocchi Balls with Wild Arugula, Roast Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Sauce

Char-Grilled Local Beef Tenderloin with Laing, and Creamy Pepper Sauce

From top: Maja Blanca & Rosquillos Cheesecake; and Red Velvet Tower (Complimentary dessert)
There you go. I may not be perfectly food-trip ready that time, but I guarantee you that it's really worth every penny. Sure it may be a little price-y, but spending on good food is never money-wasted, right? RIGHT! ;) 


After we had our meals, I had my lookbook ootd taken. and to be honest, the entire place is so IG-ready! There was no shortage of fancy floors (perfect for your shoe selfie); backgrounds that are so vintage-ly good (if there's such a term. haha); and the lighting..(hands down to the lighting). Giving this place a 10. Yup, it's the first 10 I've ever had a review of. BUT--it was midday when we visited so it might entirely change at night or if a lot more people are also dining because in my case, we were the only ones dining inside. So just manage your expectations if you've got plans on visiting too.
The good lighting I was talking about. One take, no filter. ;)  (and messy hair.lol)
 Alright, there you go. Such a happy dining place. SML. Let me know what you think about my newfound happy place by commenting below or emailing me. Let's have a little chitchat. ;)


And hey, to be sure that your next visit is hassle-free, it always works to give them a call, (032) 239 6265 or 0923 279 5616. 



XOXOX,
Fayemos

MISC.

Menu




Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Beach Weekend: Four Hours in Guimaras

    
ALOBIJOD COVE, Guimaras Island

  A day at the beach is never a wasted one.


 From Ilo-Ilo City, we decided to have a quick day-trip to the island and head back by night. Guess we just needed a dose of the beach.

Going back to Guimaras Island was one of the most random trips I've been to lately. I never thought I could re-visit the place this year as I thought there was nothing much to explore. But I took the trip with another note on my mind and a positive take on giving it another shot.

As soon as we arrived at the port of Guimaras, we were escorted to their local tourism office to be assisted with our whatabouts for our day trip. We paid 500php to rent a tricycle + a driver who would tour us around the city and the beach spot of our choice. It was Alobijod Beach Cove that we chose as it was one of the most visited resorts according to the driver.

2PM
It took us around 30 minutes to reach the resort from the main port. In between the long tricycle ride, we had stopovers at the Trappist Abby Monastery, a couple of vast mango tree plantations, their market and their plaza- the smallest in the country.


 2:30PM
We arrived at the resort very famished since we headed straight to the Guimaras terminal from our Bacolod-Iloilo trip. Food was really our priority. :) 

Alobijod Cove Resort had a mini-restaurant beside their lodging area. The place was cozy, almost home-y. It literally looked like a house turned into a giant dining area with a food counter.
 Their food was really delicious! In fact, it was really delicious that I didn't even bother waiting 15 minutes for it --and I'm not even saying it was delicious just because I was hungry. (Okay, I think you get it already--I'm giving it a 9/10) 



3PM
After our very satisfying meal, we headed to the shore to soak it all in. We took little walks along the coast since it was still too hot to plunge in and we were still so full. Good thing I brought a book that got me busy.

 

  

 3:30PM
 After series of picture-taking, we were already swimming (not even minding the time and the heat of the sun). The water was too tempting to wait a few more minutes.
We also had a little fun exploring the caves near the resort. Although, we didn't have much time to go island-hopping and we came late for the day's trip. But that might be a good reason to go back anyway, right? ;)
 

 5PM
It took us only a few more minutes to get dressed and decided we stop-over real quick at the Trappist Abby Monastery and take few more snaps at the mango plantation before heading back to the city. 
It wasn't mango season during our visit so we didn't see a lot of mango trees having a bounty.


5:45PM
We took the last trip of the ferry boats going back to Ilo-Ilo City. That was just almost four hours but trust me, it was already long enough. Sure for a day-trip, that could not suffice, but to be honest, it was already enough. Unless you're the type who'd soak for hours and explore more of the caves, islands and the like. But that was a much better alternative than going to the mall in the city for your usual weekend afternoon. 
 

The ferry boat ride will take you to the port of Ilo-Ilo in 15 minutes depending on the sea condition. A fare of 16php per ride is apparently wallet-friendly-you could go to the island every other day. haha!

There you have it- my travel diary in Guimaras. So, if you've got a day to spare from your Ilo-Ilo trip (or even Bacolod trip), you can always go to the island and have your instant beach-fix. 


xoxox,
Faye



Friday, July 10, 2015

Sky Lounge Dinner: Blue Elephant at Apple One

BLUE ELEPHANT at Apple One



I’ve always been a fan of sky lounge setting especially dinners. I’d love to dine while enjoying a good view of the city. I don’t really mind if it’s the highest floor or the tallest building-I’m all for the unique dining setup it brings.

On my latest trip to Cebu, I wanted my visit to include a dinner or a lunch date with a sky lounge setup so I browsed through various places offering what I wanted. Among my ‘places-to-try’ are: Lantaw, Blue Elephant at Apple One, and a restau from Crown Regency Hotel.



Given the unruly weather when I got there, I didn’t consider going to Lantaw anymore since I heard it was a little hard going up there. And being left with two choices, I chose Blue Elephant because it was strategically nearer than my hotel and Ayala Cebu. (In fact, it was right beside the mall!)

I had a table reservation for dinner and as soon as we got there, I instantly had a lot on my mind. Pros and Cons. I suggest in dining up there, one should reserve your expectations as it can go from what you expected to a total opposite setup.


The place was totally blue. The lights and the whole setting. It was a cozy lounge-perfect for coffee/wine in the afternoon. However, it was relatively small for a restau serving dinner (although, there was a VIP lounge, an indoor and an outdoor area that you can choose from).

As for the food:
It was really good. Dishes were unique and had a different take on the mix of Asian cuisine. It’s also budget-friendly and the serving is really huge.  Despite the bipolar weather trying to ruin the outdoor setting, the food made up for it.

Korean Premium Back Ribs
Frozen Iced Tea
Bagoong Fried Rice
Buttered Fish Fillet with Garlic


All in all, the experience was good. I got my sky lounge fix; a great view of the city; and good food. It was a great date after all.

Although a little pointers if you’re planning on dining there too:
  • It gets really crowded at night so make necessary reservations ahead.
  •  If you’re very vain with your hair, choose the indoor setting as the wind gets really tough up there. It might ruin your date if you’ll fuss all night about your hair.
  • IT MIGHT RAIN. So again, indoor setting is your best bet.
  •  EDM songs are usually played outdoors, so that’s up to you to decide. But there are live bands to entertain you in some days so just ask away upon reservation. 
  • If you’re at Ayala Cebu, you can just walk going there.
  • There's a cover charge of 350php per person for those who wants to eat at the VIP Lounge, and 300php per person for the roof deck. Both cover charges are consumable though.



So there you have it. My Blue Elephant experience at Apple One.
 A little crazy but it was still worth it.



XOXOX,

Faye






Blue Elephant at Apple One is located at AppleOne Equicom Tower, Mindanao Ave, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu.
Open from 5PM till midnight daily (except on Fridays and Saturdays when it closes at 1AM
Call them at  511-7600 for more inquiries or reservations.