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Food, Personal, Philippines, Travel

Jack Goes to Cebu, PHILIPPINES

I booked a promo flight last August going to Cebu. It was my first time there but I’ve heard great things about it saying that it’s a dead ringer of Manila and Makati. I have to admit that that was a relief since I am forever a city girl. I love nature but it’s something that I know I’ll eventually get tired of after some hour. I like tall buildings, noisy places, lights, and fast-walking people.

2 weeks before my trip, I booked an apartment via Airbnb and my host is a Costa Rican guy living in Cebu for his architectural business. He’s been featured in New York Times, Vogue, and Elle Italia to name a few. I thought that was really cool! He messaged me saying that he and his girlfriend won’t be in Cebu during my stay so instead of just owning a single room, I own the whole house. It was supposed to be my first time travelling alone but my family and friends scared me that I might see a ghost in the house (I’m a freaking scared baby, don’t judge!), I decided to bring my sister instead. That was a lot of budget since I’ll be paying for her trip, food, and accommodation but it was okay. We had fun!

Our original flight was 12:25PM but AirAsia texted me that our flight was moved to 3:40PM. And no, I can’t take bullshit like that so I immediately called them and asked to be booked to an earlier flight. The customer representative confirmed our 10:50AM flight but when we got there, the check-in personnel took forever to process our request. Thankfully, what could’ve been a 4/5-hour delayed was processed. I was wearing a black lipstick so they’d know that I’m not taking shit from anyone. LOL. Our 10:45AM flight was delayed and we departed arround 11:30AM but that’s still okay. We arrived safe and sound. I love Mactan-Cebu airport! NAIA is shit compared to their airport.

We arrived at the airport so tired and hungry that we went straight to a restaurant inside. It’s called Cafe Cesario and I shit you not, one of the worst restaurants I’ve tried. Bad service, long wait, subpar yet expensive food, and most of all why are there flies around? Disgusting.

We then proceed to our home and slept until 6pm. We were hungry again so we decided to go to Ayala Center Cebu to have our lechon. It was super traffic and I can’t believe it’s worse than Manila’s. We arrived at the mall after 45 minutes so imagine our dismay when all lechon places told us they’re already sold out. We were so disappointed but we gotta eat so we chose a Thai restaurant called Banana Leaf. I know, I know, it’s a popular restaurant in Manila but it’s my first time to try it. We loved all the food so much! OMG! I especially liked their Satay, Thai Tea, and Roti + Curry. I highly suggest you visit the Banana Leaf Cebu branch because they have the nicest and most hardworking manager that I know. Look for Dexter and he will give you a 5-star experience.

That’s my surgery scar in case you’re wondering what’s that on my breast lol

We went home and had a good night sleep.

We woke up around 8 in the morning to catch our 9am city tour. We visited lots of places and the tour guide’s really smart, funny, and overall nice. We booked our tour via Shore 2 Shore Travel, by the way. It’s 1600 per person for a whole day tour and buffet lunch.

Those were just some photos from the tour. We loved every place we visited but our favorite would be the Yap- Sandiego Ancestral House which was built circa 1600s. It has this eery vibe to it and I swear, when I went inside the bedroom, I just can’t stand the gloomy feeling. Creepy.

We asked to be dropped at the nearest Zubuchon but since we’re already full from the buffet, we just ordered lechon with no rice and a kamias shake. The shake was the bomb.com! Freaking try it. As for the lechon, we didn’t appreciate it that much and we thought it was too salty. We realized it’s because it should be eaten with rice. We took it home and planned to eat it before our early flight back to Manila but since we were already late, we ate it when we arrived in our house. We’re happy it’s still fresh! We ate it with puso rice we bought from the mall.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend vacation and I can say that this wouldn’t be my last time. I love Cebu! I just don’t like the extreme traffic, flies even inside the mall, and be aware that not everyone can speak in English or Tagalog. They converse using their own dialect so be respectful when asking.

As for the budget, I spent 10K per person. Not bad. It was worth it and I’m looking forward for my next trip! ūüôā

Food, Opinion, Review

Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza Review

It’s been 2 months since I last posted a blog post. I keep on forgetting that I have a blog and also life has been pretty busy lately. I am enjoying being an entrepreneur during the day and a Writer & Digital Marketer at night. I keep on complaining about how busy my life is to the fact that 1.5 hours of sleep is the normal sleep I have everyday but I can’t lie that I love to move and hustle.

Anyway, more about my life on a separate blog post.

This is a review of Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza. My closest friend, Bryan, took a picture of him and his sister dining here and I asked him where it was. He told me about this place in Serendra called Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza. It was a boring Saturday afternoon when I asked my younger brother (not that I have an older one, lol)¬†to accompany me to dine there. I admit that Nikko, my brother, is the only person in the world I don’t regret giving things and treating every once in a while. He’s not vocally appreciative but I can see it in his eyes¬†¬†how he’s so thankful for everything that I’m giving him. I used to be very, very generous to people but that stopped when I see that I’m always giving but I don’t get appreciated. That’s not the point of giving, I know, but it feels good to be appreciated. Ya feel me?

What we ordered: Salted Egg Pasta (210PHP) Bolognese Pasta (275PHP) SMEGG Pizza (450PHP) Burrata with Bread (245PHP)

We ordered quite a lot for two people considering we’re not that hungry. Oh, well. That was¬†just one of the few times I kind of splurge for food and treat my brother so let it rain. LOL.

Buratta Cheese with Bread

Burrata Cheese with Bread

You have no idea how excited I was to try their burrata cheese! I have never tried burrata before but I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about it. IDK, I never had one because it seems so ~*fAnCy*~ for me. I was surprised that Gino’s is offering their homemade burrata cheese for only 245PHP.

If you don’t know what burrata is, according to Wikipedia, it’s a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture.

Imagine my disappointment when it tasted like… well, nothing. My brother and I exclaimed¬†“That’s it?!”¬†I know it was supposed to be light and not rich-tasting but the cheese and milky taste was so faint it tasted like nothing.

Bolognese Pasta

Bolognese Pasta

My brother order their bolognese pasta and this one was the best ordered we made. I¬†haaaattteeee sweet spaghettis or pasta dishes and I don’t know how most Pinoys love it. This one was kind of in the sour side with all those tomatoes. We really enjoyed this one. I hoped it was also the one that I ordered since I can’t even finish¬†that much-raved salted egg pasta.

Salted Egg Pasta

Salted Egg Pasta

When I asked Bryan he told me to order the salted egg pasta. I was chatting with another friend and told him that I was leaving in a few minutes to go dine at Gino’s and he surprisingly told me to try the salted egg pasta. I’m not sure if it’s just me aging but after I took a bite of this, my nape ached! Maybe it’s because of the egg and this one’s kind of oily? I was dizzy for a few seconds so I decided to not finish it and let Nikko have it. He didn’t like it, too. I love the innovation of using salted egg as a pasta base but nope. Not working for me. It’s gritty and I don’t like that.

SMEGG Pizza

This one’s a bestseller, too and was suggested by¬†my friends, Bryan and Mico. SMEGG consists of homemade Sausage,¬†Mushroom,¬†EGGs, Gouda, and Cream.¬†It was good yeah but I was not impressed. I like my eggs runny but the egg white here was also runny and that’s fucking repulsive, man. I don’t wanna be eating mucus-ish consistency food. LOL. And yup, I guess it was the egg. After 2 slices, my nape ached again. I should stay away from eggs.

I’m so glad they have their own condiment called the “Spicy Honey Syrup.” It kind of made our food kind of okay and bearable.

When I went home, my sister asked me how was the food. I said “it’s not bad but it’s not good.” I mean, it’s not too salty, it’s not too sweet, nor it is heavily or lightly seasoned but it’s boring. I told her that I’d blog it but I don’t know what to comment on the food.¬†The food here just don’t have the depth that I was looking for.¬†Her boyfriend who’s a chef told me “Ahh, it doesn’t have the umami?” I was like YAAAAS gurl, yaaaas!

There ya go. Gino’s and the food it’s offering are interesting but it’s not something I’ll crave and look forward to eating again.

I spent 1298PHP here inclusive of their 10% service charge.

Side note: Not that I care, but a blogger friend (Girl 1) sent me a screenshot of another blogger’s (Girl 2) Facebook status. Girl 2 was ranting how one of her FB friends is so¬†ambitious, arrogant,¬†and¬†feeling rich¬†by posting pictures of whatever the fuck she’s eating along with its price. Girl 1 asked her who that person was and Girl 2 told me it’s me!!!! LOLOLOLOL. The fuck, I don’t even know who Girl 2 was. I mean, I have an idea who she was as we we’re in the same blogging community way back in 2009 but I don’t even know she exists. She was so mad at me because of my posts!!! HAHAHA.

Again, not that I care but I never meant to make you think that I’m rich or I’m bragging whatever I have. I want to share with you what I’m eating along with its price because I want you to have an idea where to eat or not to eat next and how can I justify if it’s worth it if I won’t post the price? There are thousands of blogs out there who do it like I do but never in my life have I thought that those people reviewing restaurants are ambitious, etc etc. Well, I certainly don’t work on the same insecure mind that she has so I don’t know what she’s thinking but yeah, all’s well. ūüôā

Anyway, I still have a lot of restaurant reviews on my draft. Bubba Gump invited me to try their food last month and I will post that next. Stay tuned! ūüôā

Food, Review

PAUL Boulangerie Patisserie Review

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I wasn’t feeling well yesterday that I decided to finally try Paul. After all, I’ve been hearing good reviews about it and I am in love with French food. Their food is something that is¬†them and although it has Italian influences, French cuisine is distinct. With that being said, I was excited to try one of France’s popular bakery cum caf√© restaurant which is PAUL.

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Paul was established in 1889 and has branches all over the globe. They pride their wonderful selection of desserts but I don’t like sweets and desserts that is why I was so excited for their champignons! Mushroom, proteins, and cream are the three components in a dish that will make me drool! (Hint: my favorite dish of all time is a creamy lasagna!)

I get really excited dining alone. I don’t know but it’s something I find relaxing.

Before we proceed with the entrée, can I just rave how good their complimentary breads are?

Yes, you’ll get all of these served to you with no charge when you dine here.

I love the distribution of the nuts and olives! It was lovely and filling but still enough for you to have room for the next dish. It also comes with butter and a jam.

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They have French Onion and Broccoli as their Soupe du Jour. Their soups comes with a bread which is a wonderful pair. I went ahead and ordered their Broccoli soup which I regret later on.

Broccoli Soup (PHP 110)

I’m a big soup person and I should’ve known that I like soups that are intense, creamy, and flavorful. This one was so light and it lacks the flavor that I wanted. I enjoyed the gritty texture, though. If you like soups that are just refreshing and light, order their broccoli soup but for people like me who like “soup” soup, wait for their cream of mushroom.

The minute I looked at their menu, I instantly thought that this the one!¬†Saut√© de poulet aux champignons which is basically sauteed chicken and mushroom! It comes with a bread (YES! This is a bread paradise!)¬†to dip in this creamy dish. Oh, I love the salad here! It’s just a simple dressing but it’s fresh and crunchy.

Sauté de poulet aux champignons (PHP 350)

IDK, man. I have love-hate relationship with this. One bite, I love it; one bite, I hate it! I guess I love it because of the generous serving of the chicken and champignons. I hate it because I expected it to be creamy from full cream milk or whatsoever but I can taste coconut milk in there. *barfs* I don’t know but I hate that aftertaste. I never expected coconut milk to be present in a French dish.

I love it when I dip my bread in there but it gets quite overwhelming when you take a spoonful of it and eat it as is. I freaking hate the coconut taste. Is it just me??????

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For my dessert, I initially wanted to try their famous croissants but their tartelette chocolat seems so good! And yes, damn, IT IS!

Tartelette chocolat (PHP 210)

¬†That is one delicious motherfucking chocolate tart. I almost cried. It’s good but it’s too sweet that I didn’t finish this small tart. It’s a must-try dessert, though! Look at this heaven:

I took home the leftover bread and ate it at work. It¬†was already stale lol but a girl’s got to eat.

It was a good lunch and I did enjoy it. Kinda disappointed with the champignons dish, though. Next time I’ll try their sandwiches or their steak.

I suggest you to try Paul. Hearty food, attentive staff, and good French ambiance.

I spent PHP 729.82 for a lunch alone and I think it was worth it.

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Food, Opinion, Review

Todd English Food Hall Manila Review

If y’all don’t know, I run my mouth with no filter and I’m too honest for my own good. That’s why I got invited once again to dine at Todd English Food Hall after I ranted how disappointed I was when I dined there with my sister. A brief background on my dining experience here is my sister is now living on her own 2 hrs away from our place. With that, it’s been a month since I last¬†seen her because while she goes home every weekend, I live with my boyfriend during weekend. So when I was recovering from my breast surgery last weekend, we decided to bond over a meal.

We’ve heard a lot of great things about Todd and to think that this restaurant has its flagship branch in New York makes it more appealing to me. Also, with the prices of their food I’m pretty sure that we’ll enjoy it.

 

U.S. hanger steak with bone marrow (590) with seared foie gras (350), Bronx Bomber flatbread (490), Rigatoni bolognese – not pictured (275) and OMG Dessert – not pictured (420) I want to pretend that I had a great time at this regal and trendy restaurant but I DID NOT. Was so excited to try Todd English Food Hall for the longest time and was convinced by my sister to finally try it. I haven’t seen her in a long time so I decided to treat her. Everything is a fail! The steak is very tough even if it’s cooked medium rare, the bone marrow was served cold that’s why it tasted like a wax or Sebo de Macho, the flatbread tasted worse than Lots’ A Pizza (considering this is their best seller), the pasta tasted okay, and the dessert is just liked crushed Milo. I don’t know why this is so overhyped. I sometimes think that people fake that they’re having a good time and raving the food just because they want to justify the price or they want people to think they’re cool lol. I should’ve trusted my instinct and just went for a Chickenjoy.

A photo posted by JL ?? (@jacklynne) on

As you can see, we didn’t.

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STEAK N’ MARROW – U.S. hanger steak with bone marrow Flavorful but tough. The marrow was served cold. PHP 590 but I added a seared foie gras which is PHP 350

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Forgot to take a photo of my sis’ pasta. (Photo (c) Inquirer.net) – She said it was just so-so. And yup, tried it and nothing extraordinary. PHP 275.00

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Bronx Bomber Flatbread (PHP 490) is bland and tastes just like a regular pepperoni pizza from Lots’ A Pizza LOL

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OMG chocolate dessert (PHP 420) is the only saving grace. It’s delicious the minute you dig your spoon in it but when the ice cream is melted, you are left with a warm ganache and crushed chocolate which is not that good anymore.

I paid for this dinner and it cost us PHP 2300+ for 2 pax which is expensive if you ask me. This is why I was so mad that I felt duped with the posts from celebrities and bloggers who are raving about this restaurant. I don’t care if you think that’s¬†just¬†2 freaking thousand but that’s my money and I’m not born rich LOL. Surprisingly and a bit awkward, I was contacted by their marketing head asking me to pay them a visit once again with dinner and lunch on the house. Of course, I said YES. McDonalds could invite me for a free lunch and I’d gladly say yes. Duh, it’s free! I invited my friend, Sheena as a treat because she’s going to Bangkok that day and it’s been the longest time since I last met her. We asked for their manager, Mr. Stephen Roberts and he gladly accommodated us. Their staff named Rio suggested us what to try that he think we’ll like.

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Todd English Fig Iced Team (PHP 90)

Honey and cider taste. Refreshing! You can ask for lemon wedges like I did.

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Risotto Tater Tots (PHP 380) – Deep fried risotto poppers with aioli truffle cream sauce

Yup, basically rice wrapped in potato and crumbs. It was freaking good! Sheena and I we’re both “mmmmm”-ing. It is filling so calm your tits when eating this. I suggest asking more of the sauce because it wasn’t that good without sauce. I took the leftover home for my boyfriend and before he could eat it, I was raving that I really liked it. When he tried it, he was like “Uh, is this it?”. I took a bite and it’s not the same without the sauce which the staff forgot to include in my take home. ūüôĀ

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Agnolotti Veal (PHP 590)

This one is delicious! I recommend that you try this if ever you’ll pay Todd a visit. Al dente pasta, yummy creamy sauce, and meaty filling. I also like the fact that the serving is perfect for one person because I’m the kind of girl that cringes when there’s leftover. LOL.

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Brooklyn Style Meatball Spaghetti (PHP 330)

Sheena, one of my most indecisive friends had a hard time choosing from their menu. If you’re a friend of mine, you’ll know that I’m the most decisive person on Earth and I can choose what to eat in 2 minutes. I felt bad that I literally looked her in her freaking eyes and tell her to speed up. She ordered a meatball spaghetti and I told her “For freaking reals? Spaghetti in a NY restaurant? We can buy that in Jollibee!” She told me that it’s fine because she wants to see how Todd is when it comes to a dish this basic. We’re glad that it was delicious! The meat is cooked and seasoned well, al dente pasta, and right amount of tomato sauce. I’m now starting to think that Todd has its edge on pasta dishes.

Truffle Fungi Flatbread (PHP 700)

Truffle Fungi Flatbread (PHP 700)

As Todd is proud with their flatbreads and many people seem to enjoy this, I don’t think I’ll be trying their flatbreads again. This one was better than the Bronx Bomber we tried on our first time here but this is not¬†that¬†fascinating, either. I can taste the smokey flavor of the truffle but it still lacks seasoning. We kept on adding salt & pepper and Tabasco sauce for it to improve on the flavor. I took the leftover home and surprisingly, my boyfriend liked it.

Boneless Angus Ribeye Steak with foie gras mousse (PHP 1500)

Boneless Angus Ribeye Steak with foie gras mousse (PHP 1500)

I’m a huge steak girl! No one can mess with my eyebrows and my steak because I get batshit crazy. This made me batshit crazy that I want to cry. So tough that I almost heard my jaw popping! There are parts that are super tender but more parts are tough and full of cartilage. I must say that steak is not their forte and you can skip this.

 

They have amazing desserts! Go check out their dessert selection because they have the coolest plating and presentation. I loved this one than the OMG because it has the right balance of temperature. We loved it!


 

VERDICT: 

First of all, I want to thank Todd’s marketing team, manager, and staff for valuing our opinion and for letting us try their food again. I find it really, really professional that none of them asked that I delete my previous harsh honest rant on my Instagram. They invited us not to clear out their name on social media but for us to just simply give it a chance¬†and I appreciate that.

The second time is better than the first visit and I still recommend that you guys try out Todd English Food Hall Manila because they have amazing dishes that I’d want to try again.

It’s just a matter of hit and miss. Skip their steaks and flatbreads and 10/10 I’m recommending you to try their pasta dishes and desserts!

Let me know how you enjoyed your dining at Todd English Food Hall Manila!


Todd English Food Hall Manila

02 6214002

+63 9178633364

Bonifacio Global City

Fifth Floor, SM Aura Premier, C5 Corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City