Archive | August, 2011

Ryan’s Pizzarelli House

11 Aug

Ryan’s Pizzarelli House’s New Logo

**edited and updated some information 2/20/14

This business has been around for quite some time and now it has boomed into a full-blown restaurant that’s worth visiting if you’re in Cebu. I have been witness to their claim to fame, from the time they started to what they are now. I owe this blog to the maker of Ryan’s Pizzarelli – Ryan Yu.

Signage outside Ryan’s

They started small – with a simple antique gas oven and personally delivered goodies – just like many successful businesses. They started out simple with their signature flavors, but now the menu has surprisingly expanded to about 10 flavors of each dish. With much hard work and hands-on handling of both the kitchen and restaurant, it has become one of Cebu’s best kept secrets. And apparently it’s no secret anymore!

They Made To Sunstar!

From what seemed like a limited menu, their specialties have expanded into a full-blown menu worthy of any foodlover’s craving. My personal favorite is their wide range of Calzone flavors. I love their Calzone! I’d like to call them Cebu’s Best Calzone Place, not that the pizza is anything less than awesome. My favorite pizza flavor is and always will be Harsimran’s Special. While my favorite Calzone flavors are Romantico and the Throwdown Calzone. To add to their menu are also other specials like the Panzerotti, Panizza roll and their vegetarian and dessert pizzas.

Both weekends and weekdays, you’d see a lot of people going there in groups. If you want to know how many customers they have served, look at their walls. The walls are covered with photos of their customers and that’s proof of their being the best pizza place in Cebu. What’s good is the place is very homey, there is absolutely no need to dress up to impress people, everybody’s welcomed here.

My Birthday Meaty Calzone

I guess the most basic thing about keeping a place like this is not about how big you start up, it’s about building your ties with your customers. That’s how it is at Ryan’s. Everybody will feel very welcomed because they’re treated as Ryan’s friends. Plus, you get to see your picture on their wall and on their Facebook Page! It’s one of my favorite places and I have converted my friends to it. I hope my readers will also love it as much as I do. A cebuano food trip will never be complete without Ryan’s Pizzarelli. NOTE: They have already transferred to a new and bigger location at F. Ramos Street near Beehive and the Bigffot Bldg.

Peachy’s Extravaganza

REVIEW:

FOOD: 10/10 –  this is not because i’m partial to Ryan and their store, if you compare it with other affordable pizza places in Cebu, this one’s the best. I won’t even attempt to compare it with gourmet pizza, if I were you. The toppings are very generous and the flavor is rich. AND YES, it’s the closest thing to gourmet pizza, with a wide selection to choose from.

VALUE FOR MONEY: 10/10 – VERY AFFORDABLE! the size is big, good for a group and the toppings again are very generous. With your calzone, you’ll be stuffed and it won’t eat up much of your weekly budget.

Ryan’s Menu

SERVICE: 9/10 - hmm the people behind the cashier are a little unapproachable at times. I’d like to say, people better visit at night when Ryan is around, especially if they want their pictures taken, haha!

CLEANLINESS AND AMBIANCE: 10/10 – to my delight Ryan’s is already very accessible. It’s new place is bigger and is on one of the main streets of Cebu City – F. Ramos St. I am not sure if the kept the walls that were covered with pictures of customers, but I would like to get some feedback about more of their improvements.  It’s basically somewhere anyone could hangout at.

LIKE THEIR PAGE ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE DETAILS AND DELIVERIES.

Recent Visit at Ryan’s July 20, 2012

Tandoori (Persian Palate)

11 Aug

Fancy Some Indian Food?

so i’m the type of foodie who’s not afraid of trying some new stuff. i’ve always wanted to try indian food because i love curry. as much as it smells foul to some people, i like curry on my food. but contrary to what most people think, indian food is not only about curry. it’s how the spices play well with each other creating one gastronomic explosion in your mouth (i guess, i do watch too much TLC).

Not long ago, I discovered Tandoori at the Parkmall.  I tried this along with my Japanese students and i fell in love with the place. It’s part of the Persian Palate enterprise.

Step Inside Tandoori - IT Park

They have numerous other restaurants around Cebu, but most of their dishes are the same. There’s one too at Skyrise 1 at IT Park, but I was disappointed to see the lack of dishes that wanted to eat when I visited.

True enough, every experience at an Indian/Mediterranean restaurant is worth spreading the word for. It’s quite frightening at first and is not for the faint of heart. Spices are so rich and their most basic ingredients are lamb, beef, chicken, vegetables and spices (lots of them).

Musaka - Fave!

Everything seems perfect from appetizers to desserts. So far, I’ve always been a fan of their Musaka that resembles a pizza. Surprisingly, the best thing about is in not the meat at the center, but the eggplant that spread as base. Then there’s the hummus, which is actually bland when they put it in front of you, and all you have to do is season it. Their lamb dishes are also good, but again lamb has a certain smell to it that doesn’t suit everyone well. Their lamb curry is to die for.

On my latest trip to Tandoori, my friends and I tried their Musaka, Kebab Platter, Chicken and Spinach Curry,and Paella.

It was something new for my friends. Too bad the selections at Tandoori IT Park were different from Parkmall, but it was the same flavorful taste. The Musaka was a hit, and they never expected that the Nan was just as satisfying as rice. Needless to say everyone was filled up to the brim at the end of the meal. Everyone had a sip of my favorite mango lassi as well (although the small glass and the lack of ice almost upset me here).

Paella - was ok, but never was a fan

One thing I regretted about choosing the IT Park branch was the space was not that big and the menu was not even half of what Parkmall had to offer. Both branches also offer shisha pipes (?) for those who want to give it a try. Most of their dishes are good for groups because of their servings.

REVIEW:

Food: 8/10 I’m not an Indian food connoisseur, but somehow I feel that there is still something lacking with their menu and the taste. My friend Ali said this place wasn’t the best, but it would suffice. I was satisfied with every meal I had, in fact always very full. And I will always love their lassi and Musaka.

Value for Money: 8/10 it’s not very expensive, but it ain’t that cheap either. That’s why when someone wants to eat there, it would be best to bring along some friends to divide the cost. The servings are also mostly good for groups of 2-3, so it would be impossible to finish everything when you’re alone.

Kebab

Service: 9/10 there’s not much to expect in this kind of restaurant, after all it’s not fast food. You’d always have to wait for a few minutes for it to be served. Tandoori at Parkmall and Persian Palate at Mango Square scores a 10 for me when it comes to service. and IT Park an 8. People from Mango Square are very accommodating.

Cleanliness and Ambiance: 9/10 Like my rating above, I’d always be partial to Parkmall because they have better ambiance.

No, that's not goo. It's the must-try chicken spinach curry

The place occupies two-stories, very Indian-inspired decor and a veranda, but one time their airconditioning unit was no good and it was summer so you’d have to ask for the electric fan to be facing you to cool off. All other branches look like small diners, except for IT park, which looks more like a bar on the outside with many kids drinking.

Like Persian Palate on Facebook!

Everything goes well with some nan

La Marea – IT Park

10 Aug

La Marea - IT Park

I won’t lie, I’m addicted to sweets. I probably know my way around them through experience, and boy do I have experience. Well, I know I just posted my review on Phoebe’s Cupcakery, so I’m planning to make my first two posts for August about sweets.

When it comes to sweets, there is only one place that will ALWAYS pop out of my head almost at lightning speed, and that’s LA MAREA. it’s always been my go-to place when I feel down or when I need a sugar fix. I don’t care, everything is just good there. From their warm brownie cup down to their lavaza coffee, it just creates a deep need in me to fulfill each craving there. NO SUBSTITUTES.

La Marea's famous warm brownie cup

La Marea means the tide in Spanish and ain’t it just the perfect word for this pastry shop that’s created quite a stir. I frequent the branch at IT Park because it’s the most accessible one for me. One funny thing about this place is, once in a while I always find myself complaining about their customer service, but I still find myself always coming back. That’s probably because I’d sacrifice the ire with a good warm brownie cup.

This place is known for their warm brownie cup and as proof, when you get to visit, you’d see it on almost every customer’s table. But to tell you honestly, people should start appreciating the other pastries of the place because it’s worth the try. The warm brownie cup is available in different flavors like triple chocolate and white chocolate. One of my favorites is also the concorde cake, which is very affordable if you compare it with other pastry shops. They also have coffee jelly, cheesecakes, muffins, sansrival, and even budbod (Sticky rice).

Care for some?

Now they’re into this new craze that I can’t stop raving about >> MOCHI ICE CREAM.

Mochi Ice Cream at PhP 60!

And it’s all that I can think about ever since I got a taste of it, I want it so bad almost everyday. I find myself making more frequent trips just to eat mochi. It’s available in chocolate, mango, strawberry, green tea (personal favorite), yema (has a bit of an egg taste in the middle), and ube (haven’t tried). they just started displaying it at their stores, but it’s been around for a while. Mochi is like a ball, semi like butchi, but cold and instead sweet bean paste inside, it has ice cream in it. It’s made of the same ground sticky rice. What’s good about their version is, they make their own ice cream and you can tell! (i think they even make their own vanilla ice cream that goes with their brownie cups)

This one’s a must try and so are the other desserts on their display window. although i think it was their dutch chocolate cake that was too sweet. one more thing, their coffee is awesome! They don’t mix in your coffee with your milk, they serve it in small cups. that means, you’d have to mix it in with the milk just like how they do it europe! you don’t get to do that at a lot of coffee places in cebu :)

don't you want everything on display?

REVIEWS:

Food: 10/10 – well that’s nothing new since it’s almost obvious how people flock to their shop. and it’s full almost all the time. They have so many good desserts that they outnumbered the bad ones. giving them a 10 doesn’t mean they don’t have any bad dishes, it’s just they have too many good ones to be talking about the ones they should be improving. Although lately the brownie cups have had too much syrup in them.

The Concorde - more like what's left of it

Value For Money: 10/10 – this is if you compare their prices to many coffee shops and pastry shops, it’s quite cheaper than others. It’s also very rich in taste. They don’t attempt to lower the quality of their food to go with the price. Anybody could afford a mochi or a brownie cup if they’re craving for one.

Service: 6/10 – well it’s sad to note that the place still lacks the customer service I’ve asked for, but compared to situations before, I’d say they had improved. To make a long story short, just this May I emailed the management to take action on their waiters and staff because they haven’t been treating their people well. True enough, they have quite better service even on lean hours, so I’m a bit happy, but not totally because they still need to improve.

Cleanliness and Ambiance: 8/10 well, it’s not really a top spot in IT park, but I couldn’t imagine it elsewhere in the compound. But they lack space inside and outside, considering most of the people who go there come in groups. It gets sometimes cramped outside because other restaurants also have al fresco diners. The place is very clean though and the decorations match well with their theme. but im not too sure with the stuff on their cupboard. something tells me that they haven’t been given attention much these days.

US enjoying our sweet loot

OVER ALL: i’d still say, i love this place no matter what. it’s like my comfort zone. this is where i have built my relationships with my friends. it will always have a soft spot in my heart :)

For more information, like their page on Facebook: La Marea Pastry Shop

credits to Mae Gabuya and Kristine Anusuriya for the pictures

Phoebe’s Cupcakery

10 Aug

Phoebe's Cupcakery

i know i owe my readers a lot since i haven’t been updating this blog and i’ve had tons of stories to tell. just been a bit preoccupied with some family stuff.

I also know that i owe someone a really good blog and I wanted to be able to write a really good review that’s worth her while. As a standard I don’t write reviews of a restaurant that I haven’t eaten in twice. In that way, I could give the place a chance, but this one ain’t no cafe or pastry shop, YET!

Everyone seems to be raving about her cupcakes for a some time now, and I just find it a bit hard to believe that she’s finally making her claim to fame. I met Phoebe Roxanne Ouano in my elementary days. She was about two or three years my junior. I’ve known her to be such a sweet kid who was one of my sister’s constant companions.

The Freeman (Local Newspaper) features Phoebe

Before I knew it, she was creating a new following in the world of pastries, just a few months after she got back from the US. When I asked her why she thought about her new business venture, her answer was simply, “I was in search for the best red velvet cupcakes in town, but never found any. So I made one myself”. Since then it has gained her a lot of customers and reviews on local and national newspaper.

I decided to give it a go on my 25th birthday (just this year) because I wanted to find out if it was really as good as they say. And I was not surprised nor disappointed. I thought she did deserve all those reviews on paper because her cupcakes are awesome. There aren’t many places that offer red velvet cupcakes in Cebu, and hers are the BEST i have tried (that’s not because I know her, ha!).

Phoebe’s cupcakes are available in four flavors: Scarlette (Red Velvet), Nuts For Nana (Banana Cupcakes), Mocha Loca (mocha), and Cookie Monster (cookies n’ cream).

Yum!!

For my birthday I ordered Scarlette and Mocha Loca since the minimum order that time was a dozen (coming soon, box of six!). Each flavor also had to be a minimum of six per order and that’s no wonder because these cupcakes are not commercially made. You would have to order them 2-3 days before the pickup date. Although it cost me more than a regular cake, I was not disappointed with my decision because by the end of the night, I had only one left set aside for a friend of mine (purposefully). Had I not set that aside, it would have been gone as well. IT WAS THAT GOOD!

Scarlette and Mocha Loca

My Purple Box For My Birthday!

My friend, Trixie, ordered two dozens with all flavors in it. She said the best ones were Scarlette and Nuts for Nana. I gathered they were also Phoebe’s bestsellers. At PhP 45/piece, who could ever go wrong? It’s not much pricey considering the quality and consistency of the cake. It just has enough fluff and flavor to it. Although the frosting was quite sweet, but it’s balanced by the right flavor of the cake. AND YES! THEY USE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING FOR SCARLETTE.

A dozen is worth PhP 480 and that comes in a wonderful purple and gold box with every cupcake neatly placed. The box has dividers so you’re sure your cupcakes are still pretty when you get to your party. I SAY IT’S A TOTAL RAVE FOR THIS PRODUCT!!  and since they do not have a store yet, visit their facebook page Phoebe’s Cupcakery to know more details about them and how to order. They only accept meet-ups for the meantime. I tell you, WHEN YOU’VE TASTED THEIR CUPCAKES, YOU’D BE CRAVING FOR MORE.

credits to Phoebe, The Freeman and Mae Gabuya for the pictures.

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