Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jo's Inato: Where Good Food Fits The Budget Well

One of the many options when the question is all about where to eat in Cebu is Jo's Chicken Inato. Since one of its branches is located near our workplace, it was just logical that we go and check out what it has to offer. 

They had the following:

                                                             

While waiting for the orders, I had a good look at the place. Their Ramos branch, which can be reached by turning left after Velez Hospital on F. Ramos St. The whole restaurant has a completely breezy feel to it because of native materials that make up the whole structure. 

Their Lahug branch looks larger. It is housed in a similar native Filipino structure. The only difference is how this one has a second floor. Unfortunately, I did not have time to check out that part of the restaurant. 

The furniture and fixtures are all wooden in both branches.



We had the following dishes:
Tanguige Steak

Sinigang Na Baboy

Adobong Talong

Adobong Kangkong

Fresh Buko Juice

The tanguige steak was so-so. The sinigang na baboy has the typical sinigang taste as well (as expected). It was the vegetable dishes that I really loved. The talong is tasty, and the kangkong does not have the hint of bitter taste that usually comes with this leafy treat. The buko juice is nicely presented, but I like my buko juice cold. This is probably more fresh though. Another good thing I like about Jo's is their unlimited rice dishes. Unlike some other places where that is offered, Jo's have the same good quality rice all throughout our meals. I like that.

In terms of the price, Jo's is worth it since their dishes are quite affordable. As for the service, I find their Lahug branch more accommodating. They were readily available for our orders and even offered to take a photo of us. I would have to give the Ramos branch the benefit of the doubt though since there were more diners when we had lunch there than the one in Lahug.  For the ambiance, they offer the same set-up and overall feel. The Lahug branch just ended up more comfortable because there were not a lot of people there at that time.

Considering all that, I would definitely love to say Jo's Chicken Inato whenever someone would ask where to eat in Cebu and would like a nice place with good meals plus affordable unlimited rice options. 

V. Ranudo St., Ramos, Cebu City (Turn left after Velez Hospital)
Tel no. (032) 2531862
AND
Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City (Right across USP-F Lahug)
Tel no. (032) 2340030
Email Address:


Monday, March 19, 2012

Aranos: Auténtico La Comida Española

Yes, it is THAT door. It took some time before my girl friends took the courage to open that door while I was assisting with the parking matters. That night was my second time there. First time was lunch with the colleagues, which I really prepared for. If you want Spanish dishes, this is where you should eat in Cebu.

Situated in a very residential location in Guadalupe, Aranos is one of the many hole-in-the-wall places in the metro. I was not lucky enough to talk a lot with the Senyor since he seemed busy with company during my second visit and with a movie on the first one. He  did open the door when we went there for the first time, so we did not have any hesitation at all.
 The doorway at night

The signage (which is kind of small) 

The way the doorway is designed as well as the wood bearing the restaurant's name seem to be designed to keep the place a secret. Somehow, it dares the person to enter and discover Aranos. For those who did, the rewards truly justify it.

Paella (Good for 5 people, Consumed by 6)
  
Baked Stuffed Chicken

 Lengua

Croqueta de Carne

 Gambas Con Pasta

Tortilla de Patata

 Callos

Steamed Chicken


Crema de Mangga

The paella is my favorite. The one we had was good for 5 people, but it was more than enough for the six of us. I had the baked stuffed chicken ordered the day before because I have read of really good reviews about it online. It did not fail. The entire chicken, which was served whole, was thoroughly cooked. The mushrooms, potatoes and other stuffing inside really added flavor to the entire dish. My friend specifically noted how the unpeeled potatoes actually tasted better than the usual peeled ones. The lengua was tasty, and the croqueta de carne brought a fresh taste. I cannot explain it, but the softness of the potato meat blended well with the ground pork. There is no regrets at all about getting that one. The gambas con pasta was one of my friend's carbo load for that night since she does not eat a lot of the paella. I did not get to have a taste of that though. The callos was greasy in a good way. It heightened my appetite. The steamed chicken, which was served with french fries because they did not have mashed potato that day, was a favorite of a colleague. The garlic was there not only for decorative purposes but to add some more flavor to the dish. For dessert, we had the Crema de Mangga, which was mango float with the cream really frozen. I love mango float, and despite how hard it is to eat this one, it was a delightful treat to share with friends. 

Here is their menu.
As for the ambiance, it is great for groups, families and romantic dates especially at night. Upon entering the door (entrance), one gets inside a room where around 10 guests can be accommodated. A door leads to the backyard, where more tables and chairs are set up. At night, the lighting is bright enough to make eating easy yet dimmed a bit for a more romantic feel.Getting a reservation is highly recommended to ensure that you get accommodated. With the good food that they serve at such great prices, I absolutely doubt that are days Aranos is not filled with diners.

I like how the whole place is so unassuming. The servers are dressed casually but neatly. They are also very polite, accommodating and friendly. We even joked with the guy who was serving us that night about how their paella pan looks nice enough to bring home (thanks to my dear girl friend who dons really large bags). 


To rate Aranos:
Billed: P200-P250 per person. Definitely not bad considering how we found it hard to stand up after all the good food. The food is really affordable. We were just ordering a lot. I was able to take home a part of the baked stuffed chicken, which my brother devoured with gusto for late dinner that night at  home.
Service: Great! This is one of those places where you feel really comfortable all throughout because of how nice the staff are. They are modest, polite and smiling. 
Ambiance: Another perfect place for soon-to-be boyfriends of my dear gal pals. 



Aranos 

Fairlane Village, Guadalupe, Cebu City
Contact #: (032) 256-1934
Open until 10pm
Mode of Payment: Cash


Directions: Right across Guadalupe Elementary School is a San Jose Bakeshop. Beside it is an eskinita (which can accommodate the regular-sized 4-wheel vehicle). Go straight into that eskinita then turn right. Go straight until you see the door in the first image in this entry.


Tingnan ang Mas Malaking Mapa

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

KUL Kitchen: 'Tis One Really COOL Kitchen

Me and my foodie partner, Mr Kyme, have been eyeing Kul Kitchen whenever we think about where to eat in Cebu. We were just waiting for the right chance. That chance came on a rainy Sunday evening after church time. My youngest brother was with us, and we all wanted to try some place new. So, to IT park we went off.

We've passed the area a lot of times, and it was almost always buzzing with people. Sunday evening was quiet and less populated though. The ambiance was relaxing. There was some upbeat music going on but in a very low volume. The lighting is nice. It was bright enough for us to see our food yet not too bright to make me feel like I'm in the spotlight every time I take a bite (LOL). The colors were warm and relaxing. 
 
Table Eighteen

 
The Counter

 Their Menu 
They  really had a wide variety of food options. Whether you are up for some pasta, meat, seafood or greens, there is bound to be something for you on their menu. 

I was not very hungry that time, so I had their Fettuccini Carbonara for P130. It was served with a toasted garlic bread. The carbonara is worth its price when it comes to the taste and generous serving. I am not a fan of the bread though. I like the softer one (read: not toasted).
  

Mr Kyme could not decide what to get for himself. Since he is fond of calamari, I ordered one for him, thinking that all calamari are done the way I have encountered them done. Sad to say, I was wrong. This is Kul Kitchen's calamari. It is very different from the crispy fried squid rings that Mr Kyme gets when he orders calamari, and needless to say, he was not pleased with this one. At P130, it was not really worth it. Even the taste did not make any impact. The only thing I enjoyed with this dish is the tomatoes. Mr Kyme did not enjoyed it at all.
 

My youngest brother made the best choice for dinner that night. He chose the Cheeze Ribs for P150. It came with two generous portions of thoroughly-cooked, meat-laden ribs sitting in a bowl of creamy tomato paste and oozing with cheese  right in their midst. My brother consumed two cups of rice to go with this one even after Mr Kyme and I had our share of this delight. 
 

A cup of rice costs P15. Although it was hot, there were some "dukot" parts in it. I am not really complaining since I love hot "dukot", but it was not very pleasing to the eye. The pitcher of iced tea cost P90 and can quench the hunger of 4 hungry people tops.

          
My brother's "BUSOG LOOK"

Mr  Kyme and I could not get over the cheeze ribs. Because we were not able to enjoy it as much as we like due to limited portions only for us, we visited Kul at their The Strip branch the following night. 


We had Sola lemon, which we lovingly shared with each other. We were not up for a lot of drinks and were really just hungry (LOL)

The pasta-lover in me was up again that night. I wanted something not so heavy and opted for their Spinach Pasta for P120. The serving was quite generous. My companion even helped himself to spoonfuls of it. Again, the bread was toasted. Maybe I can request for it not to be done that way  next time. The pasta is really creamy, but it lacked a bit of more of the cheesy flavor that is necessary to drown out the vegetable part of the sauce. We ended up with an empty plate on this one though.

Mr Kyme's order was the Cheeze Ribs. I had my share of it, too :)

To rate Kul Kitchen:
Food: Exciting! This is because you never know what you get. If you are simply hungry, you might not appreciate this, but if you are as adventurous as I am when it comes to food, then Kul Kitchen is one of the best places for you. 
Service: Nice and laid-back. My brother pointed out how "chill" the place is. The service crews were not the type who can and will intimated. I find the crew at their Strip branch more friendly though.
Ambiance: The overall effect of their location makes me feel comfortable when dining there. Whether it is the IT Park branch or the one at The Strip, I am able to enjoy my food without getting all conscious with their staff. The interiors of the restaurants are also relaxing. 


Address 1: Skyrise Bldg., IT Park, Lahug
Phone #: 238-7988
Open 24 hours Monday-Friday

Address 2: The Strip, Jones Avenue
Phone #: 2535082
Open until 10pm daily

Payment Methods: Cash & Card (minimum of P300)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Silogan Ni Gian: The 24-Hour Answer To Hunger

We discovered the place during my friends' wedding. Mr Kyme got out of work really late and was not able to make it to dinner. Since we had to accompany another friend home in the Talamban area, we chanced upon this half-full, still-open-at-10pm silog place in Talamban. I was too full from the wedding banquet, it was only Mr Kyme who got to eat there. He loved it, and it made its way up on our list. As a matter of fact, it is our best answer to questions on where to eat in Cebu City at 10pm and beyond without spending a fortune.

Since then, we've been looking for a chance to get back there again. The Talamban area is a bit far off from my southern abode and metro-based work. Fortunately, I have a friend there, and we were able to meet up with her one drizzling weekday night for dinner.

Since it is situated right outside of USC-TC, most of the people there are students. There are actually three branches of Silogan Ni Gian, but all of them are right within the Talamban area (as far as I know and based on what my Talamban-based friend says). 

I was (again!ugh!) unable to take a photo of the menu. However, you can be assured that they offer the silog meals at lesser prices than the other silog places in town. After all, they cater to students on a daily (if not hourly) basis. 

Anyway, we had the following for dinner that night.
Mr Kyme's Burger (Patty) Silog

Sinigang (Rice) & Itlog

Sardinas (for my friend)

Bicol Express

Mr Kyme had the burger (patty) silog. It is the same thing he had the first time we were there. I think that speaks for how much he liked it. I got a taste of it, and the patty was really good. I had the bicol express silog. It was good enough for the price I paid for, and the same thing can be said for my friend's sardines silog. 

Although there is not a lot of extraordinary things about Silogan ni Gian, there are more than a couple of good things about it. For one, every silog meal falls easily within one's budget. Whether you are a student or a yuppie on ting-bitay mode, this is the perfect way to get something appetizing down your hungry tummy. Next is the store hours. Silogan ni Gian opens its doors 24/7. No need to worry about late dinners and the likes. Another good thing is how accessible the silogan is. Two of its branches are right across the gates of USC-TC while the third one is located near Bright Academy in Banilad.

Because EatCebu aims to provide answers to a Cebuano's hunger (and related questions), it aims to provide reviews not only of the restaurants in the metro but also the other interesting dining places the city has to offer. Silogan ni Gian is just one of them. Watch out for more!