Thursday, August 2

Claypots and Chandeliers

One of the things that make me happy is finding small, amazing restaurants tucked away in a corner somewhere and I'm glad to see a growing number of these cozy little treasures around Cebu. 

Just beside Shamrock in Capitol, you'll find One Claypot House. It might look very simple outside but the restaurant's interior will surely impress you. Decorated with a 1950's Black and White Vintage Chic theme, this restaurant has character. I just love that feeling when you walk in and be surprised with the elegantly designed interiors. 

One Claypot House

Get ready for a surprise behind that door

When East meets West

Silver on Black

Grace Kelly and a crystal chandelier

Now let's talk about the food. In contrast to the western feel of the place, One Claypot House serves dishes from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and of course, the Philippines. 

We ordered their best seller, the Lah-lah-lah Claypot Rice. It's available in three sizes, Small (150pesos), Medium (250pesos) and Large (350pesos). The rice is cooked in the claypot itself and topped with Chicken, Pork, Sausage, Egg and Salted Fish flavor with a dark soy sauce. Chester and I decided to get the medium size for both of us. Quite heavy for an afternoon merienda but we wanted to try something different. The Chicken and Pork were thoroughly cooked and we loved the fragrant blend of all the different flavors in this dish. 

Merienda Time!

Our steaming hot Claypot Rice

Total wipe out. Nom-nom-nom!

I also got to try their Milky Bandung (50pesos). Popular in Malaysia and Singapore, it's milk flavored with Rose syrup. So good, I was drinking Roses. Hehe.

Beautifully colored Pink!

One Claypot House was easily a favorite. The elegant but cozy atmosphere was a great plus too!

My afternoon date

Tuesday, July 24

Buffet and a Chocolate High

A family home transformed into a restaurant every Friday... Interesting, huh? Ralfe Gourmet is located at Topaz street, Casals Village in Mabolo. They have a buffet every Friday from 2pm-6pm (strictly by appointment) at 185pesos per person. It's basically just soup, salad, pasta, grilled sausages and an assortment of breads, chocolate truffles, cakes, brownies and of course their traditional hot chocolate with Puto. Sounds like a light buffet but trust me, it isn't. 

It was quite tricky to find which house Ralfe Gourmet is at. We didn't see a signage from the outside but guessed that we were at the right house when we saw a lot of cars parked outside. 

Ralfe Gourmet entrance

So we went in and felt like we crashed a party. Different groups were seated around the garden enjoying their dinner and we were standing there not knowing where to go or who to approach and ask about our reservation. We were starting to think that we were at the wrong house! LOL. 

Just like a private party

Dining Area

Good thing Edu, the guy who I called when I made the reservation noticed us and quickly sat us at a wooden table in the garden. We were then led to the buffet table located inside a small room beside the main house. Chow time.

Warning: This is not a light buffet

The buffet table was small, like I said, it's just soup, salad, pasta, grilled sausages and an assortment of breads, chocolate truffles, cakes, brownies and their traditional hot chocolate with Puto. There were quite a number of diners that night which made the small room crowded since there's also a big table inside. We took our plates and started filling them with Ralfe Gourmet's homemade dishes.

The Pumpkin Soup was quite bland, I would have loved it if it were creamier too. Not the best part of the buffet and I was too full to try their Onion Soup which I saw when we were already done with our dinner. 

The Herb Potato Salad was good, the potatoes were cooked thoroughly but not overcooked that they would fall apart and ruin the texture of the salad. 

Now here's the best part of the buffet, PASTA! That Friday they had Fettuccine with double meat tomato sauce. How can I resist that? The sound of it made me drool already! This isn't some kind of pasta dish that's just made with store bought spaghetti or tomato sauce. It had real chunks of tomatoes in it which I enjoyed eating. Light but flavorful and because it was absolutely delicious, I went back two times to the buffet table for it. Then I realized I had to leave some space in my tummy for the chocolates, cakes, and of course, the hot chocolate with Puto!

Ralfe Gourmet is a chocolate boutique and they started doing the buffet just recently. I had too much of the pasta that I only got to try a few of their desserts. The Choco Peanut Butter Truffle was so good, I'd give it two thumbs up. I didn't know we had local gourmet chocolate makers in Cebu. 


Tablea Moist Cake!

More cake!

Sinfully good!

Here are more of their products:

We ended our dinner with some hot chocolate and Puto. Look at how this guy makes hot chocolate the traditional way.

Chocolate being whisked using a Batidor

Ahhhh... my hot chocolate!

Puto and Sikwate, the traditional Cebuano breakfast

What a very filling dinner and I did not expect that! We even walked around the village before heading home. Oh well, I love evening walks. If you don't know where to go on a Friday night, head over to Ralfe Gourmet in Mabolo for a dinner buffet and get a chocolate high too!

Nice Friday night dinner!

* Call or text Edu at 0917-628-7661 for reservations

* Saw a recent post on their Facebook page and they now have an afternoon chocolate buffet every Tuesday and Wednesday! Here's what they posted on their page:

Every Tuesday and Wednesday 
savor a rich chocolate tradition through 
An Afternoon Chocolate Treat at
Ralfe Gourmet Chocolate Boutique:
Tablea peanut butter

Peanut butter caramel with cacao nibs
Tablea Ganache

Chilli | Cumin | Cinnamon | Ginger | Garlic | Mint | Pepper

with three kinds of
Chunky Double Chocolate

Enjoy these for only Php 150.00
1:00 - 6:00 pm

Strictly by appointment

Please make your reservation thru Edu

Monday, July 23

Magayon ang Bicol: Day 3 - Goodbye, Legazpi!

We flew back to Cebu at noon time so we didn't really do much anymore on our last day. We just had a big and heavy breakfast at the hotel, took a few photos and went to the airport. 

Let me share some of the photos we took on our last day.

Awesome view of Legazpi's mountain side from our balcony

Best spot to chill and enjoy the beauty of Mayon. The Oriental Legazpi's infinity pool!


At my favorite part of the hotel

Mother and daughter bonding

Legazpi Airport

Waiting for our flight to Cebu

One last photo

I've won quite a few contests in my life but this has got to be the best one ever. There are no words to describe the moment when you first see the majestic Mayon volcano and I'm not exaggerating. 

The Oriental Legazpi, Thank you! For your warmth, excellent service and for giving me and my mom an experience that we will remember for a long long time.

I would go back in a heartbeat.

Sunday, July 22

Magayon ang Bicol: Small Talk Cafe

Where to have dinner on our last night in Legazpi is a no-brainer. Small Talk Cafe is a quaint restaurant located at Dona Aurora St. that serves pasta with a local twist. A family home transformed into this charming restaurant, dining at Small Talk Cafe makes you feel like having dinner in your own home.

Small Talk Cafe

Vintage photos and different paintings of the Mayon volcano can be seen around the restaurant,

I love the homey ambiance

More dining space outside

Some vintage photographs

I've read a lot of good reviews about this restaurant and have already decided what to order even before I saw their menu. 

Oh yes, let's talk PASTA!

I had my eyes set on the Pasta Mayon ever since I've read about it online, Taro leaves stuffed in Ravioli pasta with a red tuna sauce. The Taro filling was so creamy and I could tell that the pasta was made fresh with its delicate texture, loved that it was cooked just right too!

Pasta Mayon = WINNER!

Mom had the Bicol Express Pasta. I only got to try a little of it since it was too spicy for my taste. She said it was good but found it really spicy too! 

Bicol Express Pasta, spicyyy!

Small Talk Cafe's genius idea of serving pasta dishes with Bicol's local ingredients like Taro leaves and Coco Milk is a great way to show travelers how unique and special Bicol is. Apart from their famous pastas, they also have pizza, crispy pata, paella and many more. Everything on their menu is reasonably priced too!

Small Talk Cafe has made our last night in Legazpi even more special and memorable. And yes, I still crave for that Pasta Mayon every now and then. 

Magayon ang Bicol: Day 2 - Legazpi Boulevard and La Mia Tazza at Embarcadero

My mom and I are big coffee drinkers and we've heard a lot about this local coffee shop in Legazpi which offers a coffee beverage that is uniquely Bicolano. La Mia Tazza Coffee is located at Legazpi's waterfront mall, Embarcadero de Legazpi

Before getting our caffeine fix, we went for a short drive along the Legazpi boulevard

Legazpi Boulevard

Panoramic view of the Mayon Volcano... covered in clouds. haha


I bet Legazpi Boulevard looks better at night with all the lights on. 

Now let's head to Embarcadero to try La Mia Tazza's Pili Tazzino!

Embarcadero de Legazpi

Coffee with a seaside view? That's what you'll get at La Mia Tazza!

La Mia Tazza Coffee

Here's the drink we came here for, Pili Tazzino. So, what makes this drink uniquely Bicolano? It's the Pili nuts! Ice blended coffee with almond syrup and Pili nuts.

Pili Tazzino

My mom had the Pili Tazzino and I just couldn't resist ordering their Iced Caramel

Caramel forever

Ahhhh... Coffee with my mom on our last stop for the city tour. We needed that caffeine kick after a whole day of touring the beautiful city of Legazpi!

Here are a few photos of Embarcadero de Legazpi:

I'm so glad we were able to visit all the touristy places in Legazpi. Thanks to Froilan for the very informative and fun city tour!

Back at The Oriental Legazpi with Froilan