Food Trip in Cebu and a Marine Sanctuary at a Resort in Mactan
To Cebu and Back
Dining in Cebu
AYALA CENTER RESTAURANTS
We were curious about how Cebu's Ayala Mall differed from the Ayala Malls in Metro Manila so one of the things we made sure to do in our return to Cebu was to visit the said place. It was not a surprise to see that it looked like Trinoma Mall in Quezon City - a garden was in the middle of the place with restaurants surrounding it. For those that prefer the familiar restaurants of the metro - this is the place. But for us who live near one of the Ayala Malls in Makati, we just went there for coffee then headed to our dinner restaurant for some local cuisine.
Trip Tip: We stayed at at Cebu Mayflower Pension House because of its good location and rating at Trip Advisor. A room for two with aircon, hot shower, and cable is 1150P. To go to Ayala Center Cebu from Mayflower Pension located at Capitol Site, ride a 14D multicab.
Cebu's Sutukil or cooking fresh seafood via 'sugba' (grilled), 'tinola' (stew or souped), or 'kinilaw' (raw with vinegar) can be bought in street corners to expensive restaurants. My first fix was at Fredz Sutukil last year at Mactan. Then I had the Tinolang Isda at a small eatery by the South Bus Terminal on our way to Moalboal. This time it was at a homey yet almost posh heritage house restaurant at STK Bay located at Climaco Street. From Ayala Center we took a cab going to the restaurant.
Dinner at STK Bay were wonderful tasting Scallops in buttered sauce and a huge serving of grilled Tuna Jaw. The setting was in separated rooms filled with antique wooden chairs and tables. There were also lots of antique displays in each room. Our dining area had musical instruments and a cabinet with fine clothes.
Trip Tip: The scallops in butter sauce cost just 95P. As for the tuna jaw, the price depends on the size of the order. Another known restaurant named Kuya J's is just across STK Bay, they also serve grilled sea food and was featured in an airline magazine.
DRIED FISH GALORE
We woke up early the next day to go buy one of the most requested pasalubong or take home which is the dried fish at Taboan Market. The market was a huge area filled with baskets and baskets of different types of dried fish and squid.
The most popular dried fish that is usually asked for from Cebu is the danggit. It is dried up rabbitfish that when cooked crispy and dipped in vinegar is perfect with fried rice and egg for breakfast.
Trip Tip: To go to Taboan Market one can ride 04D and 06A multicab. The locals reminded us to look for little colorful flags as an indicator to go down.
LECHON/ ROASTED PIG
After the tiring but fulfilling market day at Taboan we had lunch once again at Zubuchon. It was one place that we miss when in Manila. There is an option to have the lechon shipped from Cebu to Manila but I would rather fly to Cebu than let a cooked pig fly.
Zubuchon's Restaurant at Escario Building was just walking distance away from Mayflower Pension. This time we tried their Pritchon (140P good for one person), which was actually crispy fried roasted pig. Also, just so that we do not feel super guilty of the oily food we had, we got their Kamias-Honey and Pineapple-Mint fruit shakes (90P each order). As usual we got their lechon at 130P for a 1/4 size order.
Trip Tip: The Kamias in English is called the Cucumber Tree Fruit. It is said to contain vitamin C so it is not a bad pair with the yummy but definitely sinful lechon.
After our food trip in Cebu we headed to Mactan Shangri-La. This one was a long cab ride from Cebu City which cost us 300P. The entire stay itself was expensive since the day trip or as they call it, 'holiday pass' cost 3000P per person.
Nevertheless, cost aside, we enjoyed the place and the major reason why is the beautiful marine sanctuary which could be seen by snorkeling just a short distance away from the shore.
Also included in the holiday pass are the use of all facilities such as the gym, sauna, and the infinity pool, free one game of mini-golf and buffet lunch or dinner at Tides restaurant.
We almost did not use the other facilities since we were already sold snorkeling at the Marine sanctuary and stayed most of our time there. We only explored the other things to do after our snorkeling time was up and the beach area was almost closing.
The mini golf was also memorable since it showcased the different tourist places in the Philippines and around the world.
It is a good move that we put the Shangri-la trip the last in our second Cebu tour, since after all the roughing up in Moalboal and Oslob, we needed some down time and pampering. Come to think of it , I do not mind spending that much for a relaxing holiday - well, at least just once in a while :)