I think everyone in Cebu has their own regular haunts— the roster of about 10 restaurants where one is always comfortable, happy with the food and service, and generally ‘in your element’. I have a few of my favorites as well, and everyone who knows me knows what they are: Maya and A Café (at Crossroads), Café Georg and Tinderbox (along Banilad), Rica’s or Tymad Bistro (in the Maria Luisa area), Tin Gow or La Gondola (at the Waterfront Hotel), any of the La Tegola branches, and Bellini or Blu Bar (in the Nivel Hills area). Those are pretty much where I can be found on any given weekend or after work on weekdays, and I never tire of it.
Recently however, my friends and I have discovered some new spots in the city that we love. Featuring new interiors and an interesting menu, these are some more must-try places.
- Dolce– This one is definitely at the top of my list of new favorites. Located in Nivel Hills at the D’Address compound (next to Anzani/Bellini), this gorgeous structure of white, glass and chrome is sure to catch your eye. During the day, it looks so bright and sunny inside (the fresh flowers are a lovely touch), you’ll instantly feel perked up… and at night, the view is delightful. The food and sweet treats are great too, of course. Try the salmon burger, the quiche, the butter cake, the shakes, and the most to-die-for berry cheesecake I have ever had. Hats off to Sasa, Lala and Holly Dychangco for your fabulous new venture!
- Paseo One– Located at the ground floor of the new House of Cebu Design Hotel, this curious restaurant offers German and other Continental dishes, as well as a selection of wines and cocktails, all in a very pretty setting. You’ll love the dining table with oversize chairs, it reminds me of the Mad Hatter’s tea party from Alice in Wonderland. There’s also a cute couch nook and creative light installations, plus clever writings on the wall. For people who put a premium on ambiance when you dine, this place will surely tickle your fancy. There’s also a bar and lounge called the Scrapyard upstairs, where treasures from flea markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East serve as unique décor. I love it and most definitely will be back.
- Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant- When you’re in Mactan, normally the types of restaurants you’d expect are quite rustic or spartan, except of course for those located within the posh beach resorts. One weekend after a beach day with the girls, we were too hungry to wait to get back to Cebu City and we spotted this restaurant by the Mactan Circumferential Road, quite near Maribago. We were happily surprised to find such great ambiance, comfortable furnishings, good service and delicious food, all at very reasonable prices. Since I’m assuming a lot of you readers will be visiting the Mactan area in this scorching summer, do check this place out—you’re bound to enjoy your meal as much as we did.
- Sweet Little Things (SLT)– I’ve always been a hopeless sweet tooth, and any diet I ever get on always screeches to a halt because I can never give dessert up. So yes, I love cakes, cookies, gelato and pastries, but cupcakes hold a special place in my heart because they are just so pretty! It’s any fashionista’s ultimate indulgence to eat something that not only tastes good, but looks good too. My office friends and I happened to chance upon a small coffee and dessert station in the Escario area (very near Parklane Hotel) called Sweet Little Things, and I fell head over heels in love with their cupcakes- from the red velvet with cream cheese frosting, the choco and banana monkey business, the triple chocolate, the blueberry, the cappuccino, the flourless mudpie-needless to say, we got our sweet fix that night, and then some. Head on over and don’t bother trying to control yourself from tasting everything they’ve got!
- Song Hits!– Karaoke has never really been a successful endeavor for me. Okay, so I enjoy as much as anyone else, but my voice is enough to induce rain clouds and thunderstorms to go on overdrive- especially when I’m attempting a Whitney, Mariah or Adele song. Now how about a KTV that not only lets you sing your heart out, but dance till you drop as well? At the newly opened Song Hits! KTV at the Banilad Town Center, you can do both. It’s the only one with an Xbox 360 that lets you play Kinect with your friends, simultaneous 2 player dancing. And every hour you do Kinect is just like one hour of cardio at the gym, plus it’s a lot of fun! Rooms are just at Php 99 per hour from Sunday to Thursday, or if you want to throw a KTV party, you can get a package for as low as Php 300 per head, and ‘inuman’ packages for Php 1,200 per group. Call them for reservations at 416-2228 and follow them on Twitter @SongHitsBTC.
- Waves bar– One of the most beautiful places to hang out in Cebu (I’d go every day if I could!) was the Cowrie Cove bar at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa. Recently it’s been shaken and stirred to a whole new level of excitement and re-named as Waves, aptly dubbed at their opening party as ‘one part sexy, two parts stunning’. There is no out of town guest I’ve brought there who was not absolutely blown away—having cocktails while breathing in the sea breeze and watching the sunset, then the moon gleaming over the sea. Now we’ve got even more reasons to keep coming back!
With these 6 new hot spots to try over the summer, it’s definitely more fun in Cebu. Have a sizzling summer ahead!