Kusina Tsina, Reloaded

KUSINA TSINA

 

” Reloaded”. That’s the word Eugene Chua of Kusina Tsina wants to attach to his gastronomic baby after its renovation and menu relaunch. For me, it was an afternoon of rekindling my love for this Chinese restaurant in Iloilo.

You see, we used to be one of their loyal customers and some bumps along the way – mostly due to service – made us shy away from dining at Kusina Tsina. But it is hard to say goodbye to good food and I appreciate how the owners responded with an open mind to my constructive review of my previous dining experiences at their Chinese restaurant in Iloilo.

As Eugene further shared, if he can only call all of their loyal diners with a not-so-pleasing experience at his restaurant, he would love to invite them over to prove that they have made major tweaks from menu to servers. Therefore, I didn’t hesitate to visit Kusina Tsina again because it will be a chance to interrogate the owners. Kidding.

My return to Kusina Tsina

The first thing I noticed when I entered was the new color – red. When they first expanded, the color theme was orange.  The food photos printed on its walls helped customers in choosing what to order.

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The color is not just suited for a Chinese restaurant (Chinese = red), but the color is highly recommended for food and restaurants because the color red makes you eat. That explains why most food company logos are red.

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Compared to the first years of Kusina Tsina, their menu now is more varied and I have seen new names like Golden Pumpkin Soup, Polunchay Sauteed in Garlic, and choices under their Roasting menu. Their dim sum choices are affordable ranging from Php65-Php85 . Their roast duck ( 1/2) is the most ” expensive” on the menu, priced at Php900.

Now, what to order? Of course, dim sum! They are just comfort food for everyone, not to mention how budget-friendly they are.

Comforting Chinese Food

My kids love their siomai so much that they know what is good and bad siomai. Kusina Tsina’s siomai was such a hit that Kid1 asked for a second serving. Yeah, he had like 8 pieces of siomai so I think we leave it there. Wanton Siomai Rice Topping (Php98).

 

 

Hakao, Php85. I love how translucent the wrappers looked. Inside, it was well stuffed with shrimps.  To be honest, I eat hakao because they look so pretty but this one is just delicious.

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I used to eat this at Kusina Tsina when I was pregnant with Kid2.  Lechon Macau, Php220. This time, the serving is way bigger ( so better share it!).

 

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I challenged myself to try something new, so I picked this from their Hotpot menu – Fish Fillet Taosi Beancurd in Pot, Php220.

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My goodness, it was love at first taste. I love tofu and with the sauce, I will definitely be getting this for our next visit.

For rice, we had Yang Chow Fried Rice, Php168.

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To help me push all these Chinese food into my tummy, I had Fresh Lemonade, Php80.

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How do you say, ” Let’s eat!” in Chinese?

Kusina Tsina

New, Better Kusina Tsina

If you can’t make it to their restaurant, they also deliver for free within Iloilo City proper and for a minimum order of Php700 within Iloilo City.

I’m glad to have Kusina Tsina back and can’t wait to enjoy Chinese food again in Iloilo. I’m hoping they can permanently maintain the good food and impeccable service this time around, because Chinese food will always be a hit.


For inquiries, visit their Facebook Page.

KUSINA TSINA

Quezon St. Iloilo City

500-5063

Opening hours- 9:30AM-9PM

 

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Tea Time at Mrs. Wharton Pastries

 

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Photo by Feature Iloilo

 

A new place to enjoy great food and company in Iloilo, Mrs. Wharton offers tea, coffee, and a well selected English cakes and pastries. From the lobby of Spa Riviera, Mrs. Wharton is ready to serve more with their new location at SM City Iloilo’s Southpoint. It is easy to located Mrs. Wharton, as it directly faces the fountain in Southpoint.  Serving British pastries from cakes to scones, this is perfect for post shopping or malling hanging out.

There are two things that Mrs. Wharton distinguishes itself from other cafes or pastry shops – its interiors and British menu.

London bakes and English teas

 

Iloilo is no doubt haven for food and cake shops provides uncommon baked goods but British, it’s got to be Mrs. Wharton.  Their freshly baked scones for one is my favourite.

 

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Available daily is their British pudding, I brought my parents and kids to Mrs. Wharton on a different occasion and they love the place and the food. Again, something different from the usual.

This is a crowd favorite – Creme Brûlée.

 

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                                                        Photo by Feature Iloilo

 

Here are other sweet goods you can enjoy at Mrs. Wharton over tea or coffee.

 

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Come to Mrs. Wharton and enjoy Apple Gallettes, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Banana Carrot Cake, Vegan Cake and much more. Follow their Facebook Page to know what is available for the day – they bake fresh every day.

They also serve Lasagna  – a winner! My eldest, who is Garfield in human form loves Mrs. Wharton’s lasagna.

An inviting space at Mrs. Wharton

 

Mrs. Wharton’s store is dainty with an edge.  Edgy that men will not be intimidated to come in and have tea – you will see distressed tables, exposed pipes, a growing vertical garden and more. . Perfect blend of pretty-ness and industrialism.

 

Here is Mrs. Wharton herself in her cozy space…

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Her place is so Instagrammable, perfect backdrop for photos.

 

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The moment you walk in, you just want to sit on a couch and relax – truly homey with attitude!

 

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You will appreciate the interiors when you know the story behind, from this chandelier that Mrs. Wharton herself made because she can’t find the chandelier that she wanted

 

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to the furniture brought from real markets and repurposed items.

 

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Completing the ambiance is their location right at the end of Southpoint, giving guests a calmer atmosphere even during malling rush hour.  I prefer to visit Mrs. Wharton right before heading home, you’ll be glad to know that they close at 11pm!

 

So have tea, enjoy the fancy British teas with an Ilonggo touch at Mrs. Wharton Pastries London Bakes and English Teas. Tea time!

 

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Cabalen Opens 28th Store in Iloilo

 

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Cabalen is one of the most familiar names in the world of restaurants in the country. Whenever we hear, ” Cabalen”, you will automatically think about ” local cuisine” and “buffet”. For the past 30 years, Cabalen has kept their ground as one of the top names in the industry.

A restaurant known for their Kare-Kare as well as other Kampampangan dishes, Cabalen adds more cuisine choices for Ilonggos. I asked what does, ” Cabmen” mean? And a few Google searches, I learned it means ” town mate” – “balen” means, ” town” while “ka” means ” mate” or “fellow“, just like the word, kabayan. Thus, the restaurant offers family-friendly dining venue for all types of occasions and dishes that everyone will love.

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When it comes to gastronomy, the Kapampangans takes the lead and they are known to be good cooks. Yesterday, Cabalen formally opens their 28th store in Iloilo bringing more dining options in a city known for gastronomy and flavor. Cabalen is another addition to the various restaurants opening their doors to the local market.

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The ambiance is homey, drawing inspirations from local homes in the Philippines or those elegant heritage homes in the country. Thus, everyone feels at home with the company of good friends and family.

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At the far end is their function room, for Ilonggos to host their special occasions and intimate events.

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What’s in the menu?

Proud to be the Home of the Best Kare-kare, Cabalen offers a complete set of menu from starters to desserts.

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When you say, Kapampangan, I look for one of my favourite dishes – sisig – which was invented in Pampanga.

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Plenty of options like chicken and bangus. I still go for the original and tofu.

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Cabalen is famous for their signature dishes like Dinuguan, Caldereta and Lechon Paksiw.

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I’m hungry just writing this post.

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Still on your 2017 New Year’s resolution? Cabalen also offers low-calorie choices like their own salad station.

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If you want to skip meat, my personal choice is their Lumpia Hubad. Tokwa’t Baboy as well as Crispy KangKong won’t hurt your diet regimen too.

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Their dessert table ranging from local sweets to foreign like the chocolate fondue.

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Kapampangan Cuisine

I love discovering cuisines from other regions of the country and I found a taste ( literally and figuratively) at Cabalen. I only learned that they call Arroz de Valenciana ( a local take on Paella) as “brenghi“.

Here is  Sampelot– Kapampangan’s version of “Ginataan” or what we call in Cebu as ” Binignit”.

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Tibok Mais for me is a hybrid of sapin-sapin and maja.

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Ilonggo Dishes

Though Cabalen is a restaurant known for Kapampangan dishes, I overheard from the owner while taking photos that they also want to focus on Ilonggo food. True because it is not easy to cook Ilonggo dishes at home these days.

One of them is Bagongon. Bagongon is type of snail ( that grows mostly in fishponds) and Cabalen’s alternative to their famous snail dish which is another authentic Kapampangan.

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My dad will be happy to dine at Cabalen in SM City Iloilo. Whenever we visits Iloilo, off we go to the local market to look for bagongon and he patiently cooks and prepares them. I’m not into  “exotic” food but I love bagongon. I just wonder how I can suck the snails with class while dining at Cabalen.

Another Ilonggo favorite is Tambo – young bamboo shoots.

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Aren’t you not salivating yet?  This newest restaurant in Iloilo is located at the 2nd floor of SM Iloilo ( Cinema Level). For Cabalen Iloilo price tag and contact information, here it is:

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Kids 4-feet and below get 50% discount while kids 3feet and below can eat for free. Now that’s a new addition to the list of family restaurants in Iloilo.

If you are looking for where to eat in Iloilo, check out this new restaurant in Iloilo.

 

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Raging Ribs and Wicked Wings from Bourbon Street

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Iloilo has always been synonymous with great food from its local dishes to restaurants offering delectable dishes to diners. In recent years, restaurants both from local restaurateurs to franchises has been sprouting all over the city. Still, some restaurants has kept a loyal following and one of them is Bourbon Street.

 

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Catering to yuppies ( young professionals), Bourbon Street is also a nice place to bring your family, friends or enjoy a dinner date. If you love meat as much as I do, Bourbon Street is the place to dine.

Speaking of meat, Bourbon Street is happy to introduce one of their latest dishes  of wings and ribs. What can go better than that duo?

Introducing Bourbon Street’s Raging Wings..

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From clockwise you have,  Garlic Parmesan, Fiery Buffalo, and Mango Lemon. My personal favourite is Garlic Parmesan. The saltiness in parmesan was a great contrast to the ribs’ natural flavor.

If you want something tangy and sweet, have the Mango Lemon..

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But if you can’t get enough of the classic ribs, Fiery Buffalo is for you.

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The best way to enjoy some drinks with your friends is to nibble these wings – Teriyaki, Garlic Parmesan, and Honey Mango Lemon.

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For the wings, my personal pick is the Honey Mango Lemon. The Garlic Parmesan is the best if you want to eat them with your hands.

 

All in all, Bourbon Street continues to offer dishes that fits the palate of today’s hip and adventurous diners. Bourbon Street is also located in Smallville, Iloilo’s nightlife hub.

 

 

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Haunted Halloween Feast at The Promenade

 

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Growing up, I only see Halloween on TV. No costume parades or Trick or Treat. As time goes by, Western culture has intertwined with our local ones. I personally don’t mind because it means knowing a different tradition and as long as we still continue our own local practices ( hey, bring back Magandang Gabi Bayan Undas Specials! #Batang90s).

But of course, food. From Fourth of July to Easter, I like these Western celebrations because they become themes in many restaurants just like The Promenade’s Haunted Halloween Feast.

Days Hotel Iloilo‘s in-house restaurant is having their Halloween-themed Lunch Buffet (October 24-28) for this week and Dinner Buffet this Saturday ( October 29).

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No, they won’t turn their food into something gross. You can see and taste the Halloween at their dessert table which is great for kids. Just a sprinkle of Halloween at the main courses and appetisers like this Dinuguan …

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Main Station is Lechon de Rondalla. See, no grossy food!

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Up close. That crackling skin. Yum!

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I always say that I’m already full with Promenade’s appetizers. I have Pumpkin Soup which was delectable.

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I won’t share each dish so you can have something to look forward.  But maybe some of the desserts because they are such eye candies!

Mummy Cupcakes

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Poltergeist Pannacota

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Heaven and Hell Cake

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Green Blob Jelly

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Conjouring Fruit Medley

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Bat Cupcakes

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And other Halloween-themed sweets like these cake pops.

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Torte

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If you want to skip, The Promenade always have a halo halo Station.

Now for the drinks, they serve both Alcoholic and non-alcoholic Halloween-themed drinks on top of their regular offerings.

To name some, here’s my drink- Ghastly Glycol Punch

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Here’s another one – Vampire Kiss

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Don’t forget to bring your kids and enjoy The Promenade’s Haunted Halloween Feast!

The Promenade is located at Days Hotel Iloilo, 4th Floor of The Atrium.

www.dayshotel.com.ph

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Craving for Greenwich’s Lasagna

 

I remember Greenwich giving me an updated taste of real pizza from what we used to eat growing up in Cebu. I remember their place in Gaisano Mactan and how my Grade 6 teacher corrected our pronunciation of “Greenwich“. College days, Greenwich was a treat with affordable pizzas and pastas.

After so many decades, I found myself ordering their lasagna while window shopping and running errands. It was perfect for the price of less than Php100, just to cure your famish body. A week ago, together with some bloggers, I met Greenwich’s lasagna again.

Would you look at that.

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Perfect for summer or anytime you want to fix your pasta craving without going to a fancy Italian Restaurant. My reaction was the lasagna is cheesier and even “saucier”. Oh, yum yum!

As described in their press kit, it is “ perfectly cooked al dente noodles smothered in a generous coating of tasty meat sauce and mounds of rich cheese in each layer, topped with creamy white sauce with mozzarella cheese basked to perfection. The cheesy Lasagna Supreme is now made even cheesier and every forkful is sure to get to saying “#OMCheese.

True to Greenwich’s appeal of affordable pizza and pasta, you can enjoy this starting at Php80 only for snack size ala carte! Beat that!  Since it is summer, enjoy Lasagna Supreme Pasta Pans at Php 825 (large) or Php 451 ( regular). Take it with you to your next summer adventure.

Of course, pasta is best paired with their Garlic Stix, and Wacky Wings. Among their pizzas, my new favourite is the Ultimate Overload.

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Visit your nearest Greenwich  Pizza and Pasta store and check out their new flavors and offerings. Enjoy summer more with Greenwich!

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C’s by L’Fisher Now in Iloilo

 

 
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I’m one of those souls delighted when C’s by L’Fisher finally crossed over to Iloilo. C’s is one of the dining venues offered by L’Fisher Hotel, one of Bacolod’s top hotels. Whenever we are in Bacolod, we always stay at Chalet, so when I heard I saw their store when SM’s extension opened, I went giddy-giddy thinking about their cronuts.

 

The day  we devoured C’s cronuts by the pool of Chalet.      

 

 

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It was so good, I wrote a post about it. Here is my post..

Caught by the Cronut Craze

With C’s opening in Iloilo, we can have not just cronut but artisan French bread and pastries anytime we want!  It was a pleasure to meet Chef Denis. Amazingly, he started out as a customer of L’Fisher and offered his services to provide authentic and artisan French goodies.

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I love the interior of the cafe, I always look for it on top of the food. Going back to jolly Chef Denis, he proudly showed his creations and learning a thing or two about French artisan breads. One of these is La Banette, it is pointed compared to the baguette, which according to Chef Denis only means one thing – it is made by hand.

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Artisan bread, croissant, danish bread as well as cookies and cakes.

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My personal picks for their desserts are Croinuts  ( their cronut), corknuts, and eclairs.

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Bited-sized, kids will love these..

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I’m not fond of Churros, but go to C’s. I have heard that they have great churros from my friends in Bacolod and indeed, it was the best so far. I tasted those too oily churros. Not this one. Great for sharing.

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C’s is not just about bread, cookies, and coffee for they also offer meals. Must-try are their rice toppings – beef burgundy, salpicao, and Spanish Chorizo.

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For the Lent Season, my mommy friends recommend their Mackerel & Garlic Pasta.

So there you have it, a comfy and chic dining venue in Iloilo, offering beyond satisfying dishes – dine at C’s by L’Fisher! Certainly a great place to enjoy coffee, cakes, chocolate, churros and more.

C’s is located at the Ground Floor , SM City Mall Extension.

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Meeting Jericho as Kuya J Comes to Iloilo

 

 

Crispy Pata Poster

Kuya J Restaurant is one of the anticipated restaurants when SM Iloilo opened its new wing last November. From Cebu, it has made a bold move to expand to different parts of the country.  For a foodie destination like Iloilo, Kuya J offers comfort food that every Filipino will love to enjoy with family and friends.

Brought to you by Winglip Chang, who has more than 3 decades of experience in the food industry, Kuya J has 30 stores  as of the end of 2015 – impressively, they opened 12 stores in a span of 3 months ( Sept-December). Kuya J is eyeing to open 80 new stores in the country from SM Davao to SM Cabanatuan. No doubt, Kuya J is the country’s bagong bida.

One of their most popular dishes  is Crispy Pata.

Crispy Pata

Crackling skin with meat so tender, they softly separate from the bones. I love that their Crispy Pata is not the very oily type we often get from other family restaurants.

A Filipino family meal will be incomplete without Kare-Kare.

Kare Kare

If you want something light, enjoy their Lumpia Presko which has sautéed crabmeat. The wrapper is infused with malunggay, thus giving its green hue and made healthier.

Lumpia Presko

Yours truly was delighted to attend a Meet and Greet event with Kuya J’s endorser – Jericho Rosales – last January 31st. Kuya J Restaurant in Iloilo opened last December.

Jericho Rosales

We enjoyed other dishes like Kuya J Grilled Scallops, Crispy Catfish,Rellenong Talong, Danggit Rice, Humba (Cebuano version of adobo) rice along with desserts, Mango Pandan and Tablea Coffe Flan ( must-try!).

You might be asking if the restaurant is named after Jericho Rosales. No, it isn’t. A press conference was held and Mr. Chang himself explained that the name came from the fact that many Filipino names begin with “J” like Juan.  For Jericho, he considers Kuya J restaurant as his ” best endorsement ever”.

Let me share some photos from the Meet and Greet event at Kuya J Restaurant in Iloilo.

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With blogger and Panay News Correspondent Raymart Escopel. We were kilig because Jericho was sitting at our back. So close yet so far situation.

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Photo by Tisha September Arnaldo 

After the casual press conference, Echo treated the guests with few of his songs. He is a great singer. And of course, my fan girling moment.

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For your next hearty meal, visit your nearest Kuya J restaurant. If you happen to be in Iloilo, Kuya J Restaurant is located at SM City Iloilo new wing.

For updates, follow Kuya J’s Facebook page . See you there!

 

*all photos unless stated courtesy of Kuya J

 

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Boun Gelato, SM City Iloilo

 

 

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Go beyond your usual ice cream with a scoop (or two) of artisan Italian ice cream from Boun Gelato. Opening their second store for sweet desserts and coffee at SM City Iloilo mall expansion, Boun Gelato is another place to hang out with your family and friends while malling.

Here are some of their gelato flavors…

 

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I picked their top sellers – Dark Chocolate and Mascarpone. You can also opt for a single scoop.

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For cakes, they have classic chocolate moist cake and cheesecakes like this Mango Cheesecake that will go perfectly with your favorite cup of joe.

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Visit Boun Gelato at the Lower Ground floor of SM City mall expansion, close to the elevator.

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Christmas Drinks at The Promenade, Days Hotel

 

 

As the city’s premier dining venue, Days Hotel Iloilo’s in-house restaurant kicks off the Yuletide season with their assortment of Christmas drinks. Serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, these mixes will definitely make dining at The Promenade during the holidays more festive.

Let’s start with the alcoholic drinks..

 

Apple Pie Mistletoe

 

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A refreshing cocktail of apple juice, cinnamon syrup with a zest of lemon. Vodka is added to this drink.

 

 

The Grinch

 

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Named after the infamous character created by Dr. Seuss, The Grinch is a sweet-sour cocktail made of melon liqueur and lemon juice.

Hot Chocolate Peppermint

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The classic minty hot chocolate drink we all love, now prepared for grown ups with peppermint liqueur.

 

Berry Christmas Margarita

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Christmas is synonymous with parties. Celebrate the holidays with this festive frozen drink with cranberry juice cocktail with tequila.

Yuletide Tipsy Spritzer

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Enjoy this glass of orange juice, lemon-lime drink, cherry juice, and vodka.

Celebrating with your kids or with those who are not into alcohol? Then let The Promenade serve you with these refreshing and comforting non-alcoholic drinks. Check out the hot beverages that will surely complement the cozy cold Christmas nights.

Crimson Cola

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Inspired from Harry Potter’s dragon character, this refreshing drink is concocted with grenadine, cola, and lime.

Cranberry Holiday Splash

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Delightful drink made with cranberry and lemon juice, with a punch of honey flavor.

Christmas Eggnog

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Can be served hot or cold, enjoy this rich and creamy drink made with fresh milk and pasteurised raw eggs – simply perfect for  December’s cold nights.

S’mores Hot Cocoa

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The best-selling dessert, made even yummier when you enjoy it as a drink. This luscious hot chocolate drink has all the flavors of s’mores – chocolate, grahams, and marshmallows!

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

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The well-loved cake can also be enjoyed as a hot drink! An easy and decadent Christmas chocolate drink topped with whipped cream.

Christmas Drinks at The Promenade is available from December 1 to December 31. Enjoy alcoholic drinks for Php145 and non-alcoholic drinks for Php95 only.

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