Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Just Do Eat at BBQ Chicken and Beer

Mondays aren't always blue. And to celebrate this thought, Mr, Kulot and I decided to try another restaurant located at 2nd floor JCentre Mall - BBQ Chicken and Beer.

Cheeseling Chicken - BBQ Chicken and Beer

I remember we passed by the said establishment a few months ago, but that was just to take some pictures of little Akisa.

A photo posted by J Cyrel | Aya Byuu (@ayisharu) on

We were warmly greeted by one of the staff who was standing outside showcasing their menu. We took our seats and scanned through the menu.

BBQ Chicken and Beer

BBQ Chicken and Beer

BBQ Chicken and Beer
What immediately caught my attention was the Spicy Dduk-bokki. It looks so much like the topokki from Topokki Man. I ordered one while Mr. Kulot is still busy going over the menu.
BBQ Chicken and Beer
Just do EAT!
It took us quite a while to decide on what else to order. Thankfully, the waiter came to the rescue! He asked what our taste preferences are and recommended some dish based on it.

While waiting for the food, I looked around the restaurant. It feels cozy. I love the "brick-designed" walls with a few frames hanging on it. The frames, by the way, contains inspirational and humorous quotes. Didn't took a photo, sorry. It somehow gives a vintage yet an acoustic Friday vibe.
I'd love to have this on the kitchen or dining room :)
If only they're working.... and if only I have my own kitchen. Lol.
However, the music didn''t really complement with that "acoustic-Friday" vibe. They seem to play anything random from pop to Jadine songs. Well, as long as the music doesn't really disturb the whole dining experience, it's fine. :)

Just like any other restaurants, they first served us our drinks - Green Apple Ade.
Green Apple Ade - BBQ Chicken and Beer
Green Apple Ade
It is served in a cute mini pitcher which is good for two people.
BBQ Chicken and Beer
We're not really allowed to drink directly from a pitcher but tonight's an exception.
And oh! Look behind me. Those are the frames I was talking about.
The piquant taste reminds me of the ice candy pop I used to love back when I was a kid. Its flavor seems to make suksuk in my taste buds in a good way.

The next to be served is the Spicy Dduk-bokki which I was so excited to try!
Spicy Dduk-bokki - BBQ Chicken and Beer
Spicy Dduk-bokki
The spicy dduk-bokki consists of rice cakes with sweet and spicy sauce topped with egg and a few strips of nori. It tastes slightly (with emphasis on slight) similar with topokki, only that this gives more of a seafood flavor. The waiter said it's a bit spicy.. but it's very spicy for me! XD

Next came the Paris Chicken.
Paris Chicken - BBQ Chicken and Beer
Paris Chicken
I have to apologize I couldn't give much of an informative review over this dish. Though I feel the meat is flavorful (as what Mr. Kulot said), my tongue is still suffering from the spiciness of the dduk-bokki.

The last to be served is the Cheeseling Chicken.
Cheeseling Chicken - BBQ Chicken and Beer
Cheeseling Chicken
My taste buds were quite relieved now so I was able to taste this one very well. Its taste isn't something too far from ordinary fried chicken but what makes this different is the cheese flavor added to it... through cheese powder!

Well, I love cheese but I'm not a fan of cheese powders. So I removed the skin and just enjoyed this dish. :)

Oh! And I had to commend the salad as side dish! It's nam nam!

BBQ Chicken and Beer
Big eater!
Mr. Kulot and I had a very fulfilling dinner. We weren't able to finish everything so we brought them home to share with the rest of the family.
BBQ Chicken and Beer
I look so happy *and full* here. Parang nanalo lang? Haha!
So what to do to celebrate?
Do EAT at BBQ Chicken and Beer👍

Friday, September 23, 2016

How to Make Black Sambo

After so many attempts, I have finally succeeded in NOT mixing the choco and cream layer.
It isn't perfect yet since I could still see a few white spots on the choco layer but this is already a huge improvement since last time.

Black Sambo


This made me more than proud (char) and I'd be really happy to make more!!
If only I didn't run out of ingredients. Haha.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packs unflavored gelatin - I used Ferna. The smallest box contains five packs.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder - I used Goya.
  • 1 can evaporated milk (big)
  • 1 can condensed milk (big)
  • 1 can cream (big) - or this.
  • 1 cup sugar

Steps

You may start with whichever layer. Just make sure that before adding the next layer, the first one solidifies enough so the two layers won't mix, but not too hard that the two layers become two separate desserts. (Are you getting what I'm saying? Haha. Oh well, you'll get it when you'd start making na. XD)

Cream Layer
  1. Heat 1 cup of water in a saucepan.
  2. Add 1 pack of gelatin and let it dissolve.
  3. Add condensed milk and stir until well blended.
  4. Add cream. Stir until well blended.
  5. Put off fire and continue stirring until completely cool.
Choco Layer
  1. In a bowl, dissolve two packs of gelatin in 1/2 cold water.
  2. In a separate bowl, dilute the cocoa powder in 1/2 cup of hot water.
  3. On low fire, heat the evaporated milk in a saucepan.
  4. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  5. Add the diluted cocoa and stir until well blended.
  6. Add the dissolved gelatin and continue stirring.
  7. Put off fire and stir until cool.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours. And voila!

Black Sambo

Ready to serve :D

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Busog sa Red House Taiwan Shabu-Shabu

Ako busog, ikaw busog, siya busog sa Shabu-shabu!
Shabu-shabu is a popular Asian hot pot dish consisting of vegetables, seafood and slices of meat.
The food is cooked over boiling water with the pot placed in the middle of the table. The diners do the cooking.
Red House Taiwan Shabu-shabu
RH Set A
Red House Taiwan Shabu-shabu
RH Set B
Red House Taiwan Shabu-shabu
Aren't they cute? Who would want to eat these?
We usually order set A or B which already includes a variety of vegetables, seafood and other kinds of meat and balls. The "meat balls" aren't familiar to me so I'll just be leaving some photos of the menu here for reference.




I had to be honest that the first time I tried it, I was like "What is this? Oh my gosh, how do I eat this? Is this even edible?"

It wasn't love at first taste, but the weird thing is, it's something that I'm craving to eat again!

To add to the experience, I could make my own sauce, too. The following can be mixed according to your taste preference:

  • sate sauce - I don't really add this. Its strong flavor leaves an after-taste and neutralizes the spiciness. But I do add this to my rice separately.
  • soy sauce 
  • chili oil
  • yansoy
  • spring onions
  • white onions - This consists most of my sauce! Nam nam!
  • garlic
  • vinegar

Here's a sample of my sauce. 

Red House Taiwan Shabu-shabu
Garlic, spring onions, white onions, chili (only a little), more white onions, vinegar, soy sauce and more white onions!
I eventually came to love it! Even the smell of the place already feels welcoming (note: my nose is really sensitive, so I'm quite choosy with places that has strong smell XD).

Annnnd! They give out free dessert for bills at least Php2000!

Red House Taiwan Shabu-shabu
This is my Coffee Jelly Dessert inspiration!
I would gladly come back to this restaurant.. if only my wallet is more supportive. (lol)

Yay or Nay? My bulging tummy says "YAY!"


Red House Taiwan Shabu-shabu is located at AS Fortuna St. Bakilid Mandaue City near Allure Hotel & Suites.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Leaving Fears Behind and Going Distances

More than five years ago, I did not want to drive a four-wheel vehicle. I don't want to learn.
"A scooter may do" is what I thought. No car.


Until I met Ready.

Ready is a red-colored Honda Fit. I named him "Ready" because he is colored red and I want him to be always ready on the go.

He can bring six people at most. He's always been there on my daily commute going to work. He accompanied on my first skim despite he's almost-empty battery. We overcame the SRP traffic just to watch Tanduay First Five. He witnessed most of my Friday night-outs and he rocked out during concerts. He was there most of my maoy days. He was one of the first to witness our love story with Mr. Kulot.

Ready isn't perfect but he was the best I ever had at that time.

But the thing is, I never really drove Ready far enough from the city. I was too scared that something might go wrong. I was not confident in my driving skills and I was sure I could not handle long drives. The farthest I took him is in Carmen, Cebu.

Then came a time I had to let him go. Thank you for the ride, buddy. :)

Last weekend, I finally got the chance to drive a vehicle with manual transmission. This is the first in five years! :D

I then recalled my "driving" experiences. It was actually just this year when I agreed to drive all the way to Badian!

A few weeks after, we went to Samboan where I drove via Oslob route. Drove back to Canduman via Barili. It was such a fulfilling feeling. I overcame my anxieties of the dangers on the road and actually drove all the way around south of Cebu.

During the long weekend, I also got the chance to drive at Camotes - the first time I drove outside mainland Cebu.

Then it hit me.
Why did I not do this when I still have Ready? Why was I so scared back then?

That's when I realized I can do it.
I'd just have to trust myself that I could.
Trust that I have my SO to support me along the way.
And trust that God will never let anything bad happen to us.

One of my goals now is to drive around the whole of Cebu!! :)

I mustn't allow my fears to get the most of me.
Because it is when I leave my fears and anxieties behind, that I could actually go the distance.

Except when it's about caterpillars. T_T Please don't make me hold them! 
They're not cute. Not even in Never Land.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Camotes - Rediscovering the Island's Beauty

It was another long weekend so the family planned for another trip. Originally, we planned to go to Anda Bohol but because our Boholano relatives said it kept raining there, we thought this might not be the best time to go visit.

The next option was Bantayan Island but one of my friends told me her sister (who lives in Bantayan) was unable to come to mainland Cebu for the weekend because of the bad weather and huge waves. And whilst we were having this conversation, a news came up on TV about a twister in Bogo City which destroyed homes and pump boats. This made us rethink that we should not cross seas. We then decided to go to Tan-awan Oslob.

Early Saturday morning, we packed our things and got ready to go. When my brother knew we were going to Tan-awan, he said he won't be going with us since the place isn't child-friendly and not something he wished to be going back again. We were stuck in a dilemma *again* as to where to go.

I texted my friend to ask her sister about the weather in Bantayan. She said that Bantayan is sunny now. We decided to go to Bantayan *again*.

We passed by Danao port and seeing the seas were calm, our mother immediately suggested we go to Camotes instead. (Yeah, so this is how the family does the planning. Haha)

I, Mr. Kulot (SO) and little Akee (daughter) have already been to Camotes while it would be the first for the rest of the family.

So then, it's finally decided. Destination: Camotes Islands!

Santiago Bay Camotes\

It was still 8 in the morning and the next trip would be by 2 PM. Oh my. To pass time, we shopped at Gaisano Capital Danao, played some games and had lunch. By 12 noon, we we went back to the port to get tickets. We brought with us the family car, too. Bill of lading and other fees will be posted at the end of this post. I am quite amazed at how good the crew is in instructing how to park the car inside the barge. By 2:30 PM, the barge is ready to set sail to Camotes Islands.

I was so in love with Camotes before that I actually went there two times in a year. But the last time I was there, it wasn't the same love, anymore. It got heavily crowded and man do I dislike large crowds. This time, I wished there wouldn't be too much people since it's already the BER-months. Lol.

The day before this trip, I was driving all the way to and from Pinamungajan to attend a friend's wedding, that's why I didn't get enough sleep. This made me 70% crankier on the two-hour ferry ride. Dolphins accompanied us but I wasn't even in the slightest mood to take pictures.

I just looked at the ocean and contemplated about life. Then I thought about the great flood during Noah's time. Then I remembered about how he sent out a dove to check if the waters had decreased from the ground. Then I thought about why they call it dove and how did the first humans discover words. Hooo. Yea, just random thoughts. Lol.

When we docked at Consuelo port, we were all set to go to Santiago Bay. :D

And oh! The vehicle did get some scratches which are very visible. No dents, just pretty (I mean ugly) big scratches.

Upon arriving, I was a bit disappointed at what I saw. There were trenches on the shore.

Santiago Bay Camotes
A trench at Santiago Bay Camotes
At first, I thought they were intentionally created which made me a bit angry. But then I later knew they had heavy rains and floods a few days ago which caused some parts of the shore to be washed out. I owe the people in Camotes an apology for thinking they did this.

We inquired at Pito's Sutukil if they have available rooms. Unfortunately, only one room is available and should be vacated at 11 the next morning since it is already reserved. We continued to look for other rooms and got to Payag Beach House Resort. The place was really cozy and we would have loved to stay there, but then again, only one room is available and it's only good for two persons. We went out and met an elder woman who asked us if we were looking for rooms. She happily led us to her own cottages at La Pascuala.

La Pascuala, Santiago Bay, Camotes Islands
La Pascuala contact numbers
We got two air-conditioned rooms at a good deal. Room rates will be posted at the end of this post. It was like fate really led us there. La Pascuala is located at the left part of Santiago Bay and so the shore doesn't have those trenches caused by the flood. And unlike at most parts of Santiago, this side isn't at all crowded. In fact, it's just us! Weeeeh! And remembered I mentioned about fate bringing us here? Haha. Well, it seems the world is small after all. The owner of La Pascuala has a few mutual friends with my mother. Most are teachers and former neighbors. We were then informed that during Saturdays, they have one-hour brownout. They do have solar energy but just enough to power lights.

We prepared dinner and got ready for some night swimming. The kids enjoyed playing in the water except for my daughter who is afraid of the dark. We brought two flashlights with us and she happily joined in the fun with her cousins. We didn't spend too much time in the water so we went back to the cottage, have a few chit-chats and drinks.

Little Akee slept early while the rest of the kids were busy playing with the tablet. It was hilarious when my niece told me she thinks there's a monster in the next room because she can hear weird noises. It was actually just my father snoring. Lol. And we did had a one-hour brownout.

We were having our inuman session outside of the cottage (well, I didn't really drink, I was too tired to drink haha) when suddenly a very strong wind blew non-stop. It was really strong that sand were being blown, too. I was a bit worried that this might be some kind of twister formation as what happened in Bogo a few days ago. I just bid the rest of the guys good night and went to bed.

Early the next morning, I was the first in our room to wake up. I went out to have a quick walk at the shore only to see that the weather isn't too cooperative - just like the last time when we went to Tabuelan. There were huge waves causing the fine sand to mix with seawater, making it look brownish.

Santiago Bay, Camotes Islands
Huge waves causing the sand to mix with seawater, making it look brown.
I got sad thinking we went there in a wrong time. But then again, enjoyment and happiness must not depend on the place. Happiness is not a destination but a way of life. (char) So we had to make the most out of this trip.

Santiago Bay, Camotes Islands
Sunrise at Santiago Bay
Santiago Bay, Camotes Islands
Feeling all summery.
Santiago Bay, Camotes Islands
See that smile?
The tide was getting low so the children (and the kids at heart) played in the sand.



For breakfast, our parents bought hotdog and sunny side up eggs from Pito's Sutukil. We were then informed that the last RORO trip would be by 1 PM so we need to be at the port by 12 noon. By 10 AM, we bid La Pascuala goodbye and proceeded to Mangodlong Rock Resort where we took many more photos.

Mangodlong Rock Resort
Parents, siblings and the kids. Akee and one niece missing because they were busy running around.
Mangodlong Rock Resort, Camotes Islands
No, I did not left my heart in Mangodlong. I brought them here. :)
Mangodlong Rock Resort, Camotes Islands
Mangodlong Rock Resort
We even saw a couple of very big blue jellyfish. Just the thought of swimming with these big fellows under there gives me shivers. Though I am not particularly afraid of deep waters, I am scared of what's under it.
Jellyfish at Mangodlong Rock Resort
Here's one of them. It may not look very big on the photo but in real life, it's ginormous!! And I'm not even exaggerating.
Mangodlong Rock Resort, Camotes
And there's another jellyfish. See that blue dot at the left of the photo? 
We proceeded to Lake Danao Park because my brother was looking for "something to do".

Lake Danao Park Entrance Fees
Entrance fees
Lake Danao Park, Camotes Islands
Mr. Kulot and little Akee.
Lake Danao Park, Camotes Islands
The famous Lake Danao in Camotes
And though we were chasing time, we still tried out some of their "rides".

Ralph went kayaking by himself.

Lake Danao Park, Camotes Islands
Ralph going solo.
 I, my SO, brother, sister and the rest of the kids rode this mini "boatcycle". (Sorry, I didn't get the name.)

Lake Danao Park, Camotes Islands
Brother, sister, niece and nephew.
Lake Danao Park, Camotes Islands
Together with Mr. Kulot, Akee and niece. And oh! The rest of the guys are behind us.
When it was nearing 12 noon, we proceeded on our way back to Consuelo port. 
My father took a wrong turn when we got out of Lake Danao Park. Instead of going left, he turned right. I just followed because I was thinking there might be a shortcut stated in their vehicle's GPS. (Oh right, we brought two cars with us) While we were also relying on Google Maps, we were confused as it shows that we are going farther from the port. I called them and turned out we really did went to the wrong direction. Lol.

So we hurried back and arrived at the port by 12. When we got there,we discovered that we were misinformed. (lol) The last RORO trip is still on 5 PM and they would only issue tickets for the 5 PM ride after the 3 PM Express departs. It would be an awful long wait at the port so we decided to go back to Santiago and have lunch.

We had sinuglaw, sizzling gambas, sizzling squid, bam-e and crab at Pito's Sutukil. Their food is, as always, very delectable! The only con is their serving got smaller. It is now good for one to two persons only.

Pito's Sutukil at Santiago Bay, Camotes Islands
Lunch at Pito's Sutukil
Pito's Sutukil at Santiago Bay, Camotes Islands
Everyone's hungry.
We also overheard a conversation from the next table. They said their visit isn't worth it. It's depressing to hear such comments especially since I really loved this place a few years back. But I certainly cannot blame them. They visited in the wrong time. If only they have seen Camotes before it got so crowded. If only they have seen it in its "summery" condition. If only they have seen what I saw and experienced in Camotes four years ago, they may see the island differently.

2 PM and we went back to Consuelo port to get tickets for Danao. We had some pizza, sandwich, cupcakes, coffee, and shakes at Cafe Aroma to pass time.

Cafe Aroma - Consuelo Port
Waiting for orders
Cafe Aroma - Consuelo Port
Classic
Cafe Aroma - Consuelo Port
Adds to the ambience.
Cafe Aroma - Consuelo Port
Cupcakes
Cafe Aroma - Consuelo Port
Akee looks like a tourist.
We departed at 5:30 PM and reached mainland Cebu by 7:30 PM.

Though it wasn't the best weather to visit Camotes, my family didn't have any complaints. They were contented with the island's beauty despite traces of Mother Nature's wrath. Though they didn't get the chance to visit some of the caves because we don't have enough time, they still enjoyed the short time we stayed there.

Camotes would always boast of its caves, white sand beaches and scenic views. Nature could be harsh sometimes but that doesn't mean we humans should be, too. Give Camotes some time to recover. :) It will surely be a place worth revisiting.

Expenses

Danao to Camotes
- Adult 180/head
- Student 150/head
- Child 90/head
- Bill of Lading 1200 * requires OR/CR
- Wharfage Fee 168
- Arrastre Fee 50
- Terminal Fee 5/head
Consuelo Port
- Municipal Fee 20 per vehicle * guess this is the unloading fee
La Pascuala
- Room good for 4 pax 2000
- Room good for 6 pax 3000
Mangodlong Rock Resort 20/head
Lake Danao Park
- Adult 15/head
- Child 5/head
- Kayak 50 for 30 minutes
- Boatcycle 50 for 30 minutes
Camotes to Danao
- Adult 180/head
- Student 150/head
- Bill of Lading and Arrastre Fee 1500 * requires OR/CR
- Terminal Fee 5/head
- Wharfage Fee 84
Danao Port
- Wharfage Fee 84 * can already be secured at Danao port before going to Camotes

Contact Numbers

La Pascuala Beach and Cottages
Brgy. Santiago, San Francisco, Camotes, Cebu, Philippines
0906 313 7255 | 0917 304 1635 | 0917 331 9967

Extra Tip

Secure a round-trip ticket at Jomalia's main office two days before your trip.