Archive | January, 2014

Fudge Restaurant – A Special Feature

4 Jan
Fudge Restaurant

Taken almost a year back with friends whom I have known since Kindergarten

It was a great way to start the new year with a new post, right? And it’s also a good thing that I got my writing mojo back (for the time being). So, while I’m not busy and still in the mood to write, let’s try one more, shall we?

Fudge Restaurant

Their menu – You need to check their new prices since this one’s an old one

My usual ratings would not be enough to show you how much I love this restaurant that I’m about to feature. That is why I decided to write this blog post as a special feature. For me, it’s a must-try and I was just so excited when they opened up a new branch at the expansion wing of the Ayala Center Cebu. Fudge Restaurant is one of the places that remains underrated and often off people’s radar.

Fudge Restaurant

Love them fries! only at PhP 50

One of the reasons why I love the place is because it’s quite close to home. Their main branch is located at A.S. Fortuna, just a matter of 15-30 minutes from my house. You can’t miss it at all, but in case you need landmarks, it’s beside BPI – Banilad and across the Wilkins Warehouse. It’s been an institution for desserts in Cebu, in my opinion. The place has been around for quite some and you can say that a lot of people come back for more and more each time. The ambiance is great for small or big groups who would like to hang out and chat over cakes and pastries or even a full meal. I like the idea that they have two kitchens where they prepare your food and desserts. The way they present the food is soooooooo inviting you’d salivate just by looking at the display. This place seems to be packed all the time!

Fudge Restaurant

Counter and the yummy display!

Another reason why I love Fudge is the food – both desserts and savory dishes that they have. Their menu is very diverse and I should say whoever created it was a food genius (in my opinion that is). Their pastas and sandwiches are to die for and don’t even get me started with their main dishes. Our usual favorite is the thick slab of Grilled Pork Steak. The portions are enormous too! If you’re on a tight budget, you can get a pasta dish and share. The regular pasta dish is somewhere between Php 180-250. Not bad for that much serving. If you’re still on a really tight budget, you can order some fries at PhP 50!! The pork steak is good to share as well it’s I think around PhP 290 these days. Can’t blame them for the price increase though, everything seems to be increasing these days – including my weight! 🙂 Kidding, I think the price increase is very reasonable considering the ingredients that they use and the portions that they serve.

Fudge Restaurant

from their seasonal dessert buffet

Last and best reason of all is the desserts! Most of the people who visit Fudge are there for the desserts I think. With a slice of Cheesecake Delight only at PhP 125, who can resist, right? But the star of their dessert menu is their Lava Cake that’s oozing with rich chocolate goo in the middle when you try to cut into it (check out the picture!). That is why a lot of people would agree that it is best Lava Cake in Cebu!! It’s very much affordable as well. You’d have to wait though for around 15 minutes for your lava cake – yup! it’s baked fresh 😀 They only make them when they’re ordered. How cool is that? My other favorites are their wide array of Sansrival, the Tre Colore, their Signature Chocolate Cake, Choco Butterscotch (in the picture) and the Mango Surprise is great for those who don’t like much of the sweet stuff. In my opinion, Fudge gives you the best desserts and food that’ very much worth your money. Everyday, there’s something new to taste at Fudge – a burst of flavor and sweetness in your mouth.

Fudge Restaurant

Our favorites 🙂

Fudge Restaurant

Best Lava Cake in Cebu

I could sit there and spend my whole afternoon either chatting with friends or just being pensive and I know I share the same sentiments with so many people here in Cebu. A lot of them were glad too when a new branch opened its doors in at the Ayala Center Cebu. That saves people coming from the City a whole trip to Banilad/AS Fortuna and from the clogging of cars on the way there.

Fudge Restaurant IS A MUST-TRY when you come visit Cebu. It’s a whole lot of experience so go and visit them NOW!!!

Fudge Restaurant

Fancy some choco butterscotch?

NOTE: this is my personal feature – not paid nor sponsored by the management or anyone whatsoever ❤ Btw, thanks to Megee Dolore for some of the pictures 🙂

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Hikay Lutong Pinoy

2 Jan
Hikay Lutong Pinoy

First post of the year! – Hikay Lutong Pinoy

It’s the new year and I was hoping I’d do a lot of posting as a new year’s resolution. Since last year wasn’t a really decent year for my posts, I would like to make up for the lack of food reviews 🙂 Now, here’s the buena mano for the year 2014!!!

Hikay Lutong Pinoy

With the Family for Post-Christmas Dinner

My uncle and a nephew came to visit after Christmas so my cousins decided that it was time for a big gathering. Since they were getting tired of Lantaw and we had a very very kulit kid in tow, they decided to have dinner somewhere with literally four corners. Filipino food was the safest and easiest way to the tummies of our dear parents so we went ahead and checked out Hikay Lutong Pinoy at the Calyx Centre in IT Park.

It’s quite easy to spot, just across McDonald’s Drive-Thru at The Walk and beside Serenitea. The place is quite small compared to the likes of Chikaan, Lantaw in Cordova and Golden Cowrie.

Hikay Lutong Pinoy

Their Lighting Fixture – amazing!

They only have a few seats, but the lighting fixtures were awesome. There’s really nothing fancy inside the restaurant, perhaps they want to make it a zen-ish twist to the usual Filipino Restaurant ambiance. I think the place was already great in general except for the centerpieces – a regular looking vase with a fortune plant on it. Not something you would expect from a chic-looking resto though. 🙂

Now let’s get to the food. I admit – I love the food there! I know Filipino food is very basic for us and it’s really hard to tell if the food is any good because your mom or someone you know might cook a better version of it. But for me, Hikay’s Bicol Express was more than outstanding! It wasn’t too spicy but the flavors were just bursting in my mouth – the taste of “uyap” or small shrimps and coconut milk, plus the pieces of meat were quite big. My second favorite was the Ampalaya salad. YES, that’s right – Ampalaya. It was made of fresh ampalaya with dilis and tomatoes. You could not taste the bitterness of the Ampalaya at all. It was honestly a great way of serving Ampalaya to those who do not like its bitter taste. They also serve an array of Filipino food staples. We had Tinolang Manok Bisaya, Sisig, Crispy Pata, Ngohiong, Kinilaw na isda, and Baked Scallops. The scallops were unlike I have ever tasted as well – they were just baked right so the Scallops didn’t taste like they were dehydrated (if you look at the pictures you’d see how fat the scallops still are).

Hikay Lutong Pinoy

Baked Scallops – YUM!

Overall, our dining experience was pleasant, but my family they’re quite strict with customer service. The service at Hikay did not pass their standards. I will explain myself on the ratings below. I think McDonald’s had better food service haha. Or my family’s just so used to service at Lantaw or Golden Cowrie where they proactively wait on you for everything you need. And now for the verdict!

Hikay Lutong Pinoy

Our Food Spread

Ratings:

Hikay Lutong Pinoy

My Fave Bicol Express and Kinilaw na isda on the left

Food: 8/10 – The food is already delicious for a Filipino restaurant, but there is room for improvement. For me, the other dishes were alright and the others were quite outstanding. I could really say this is a good score for a Filipino restaurant for me because we’re so used to the food that it gets hard to judge it. Again, the must-try dishes for me are Bicol Express, Baked Scallops and the Ampalaya Salad. They need to improve though on their portions. I was quite disappointed with how small the beef steak serving was.

Value for Money: 7/10 – The price isn’t really any different from other Filipino restaurants around. It would really depend on how much you’re willing to spend on the food that you’d like to try. Let’s say the Large Crispy Pata is at PhP 365, which is more or else the same price with the same sized Crispy Pata at Chikaan. I would like to think that it’s worth splurging on food at a Filipino Restaurant if you’re with a big group or with family.

Hikay Lutong Pinoy

Beef Steak on the left and the Ampalaya Salad on the right

Service: 5/10 – If there’s one thing that should be outstanding from a Filipino Restaurant that is the service. Sadly, for Hikay they really need a lot of improvement with their staff. Good thing we ordered and made a reservation the day before because the food could take a while to serve even on a slow day. The odd thing is the waitresses panicked when a lot of customers started coming in and you, as a customer, can feel that. It goes down from there. Unlike other restos, they don’t proactively offer you a refill of your rice or your iced tea. It’s quite a hassle having to call them over to your table for a refill. Worst part was when we asked for our take home leftovers tenenentenen!!! They did not put it all in the bag. It’s not a big deal really – but it’s a like a proof of their state of mind – present but absent. minded.

Cleanliness and Ambiance: 8/10 – I like how they fixed the place. Nothing too fancy nor too flashy. I loved their plates and the clean feel to the whole resto and I especially liked the lighting fixtures. the place was well lit and cozy. There’s a bar on the far right side and a restroom – which is much much much important in any establishment. Over-all the place was clean, but the tables are quite near from the next so there’s not much walking space if the resto is filled.

Hikay Lutong Pinoy

A bowl of Tinolang Manok Bisaya

Tip: If you’re in a hurry or you’d want to get your food fast – make a reservation and order ahead. You can search for their menu online or pay a visit before your actual dining experience. Their dancing waiters/waitresses are also on during the weekends so if you want a good show, maybe you should dine there on those days.

It’s such a great experience for me to start my first post of 2014 with a place I shared with my family. After all, I got my love for food and cooking from them. I really hope this would be a good year for all of us and a better journey towards culinary finds in Cebu and wherever my feet would take me. Happy new year!

Happy 2014 Everyone!

Happy 2014 Everyone!