Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tinderbox - A Restaurant Review

Archbishop Reyes Avenue cor. Bauhinia Drive
Banilad, Cebu City
Photo from - Tinderbox

My Hubby and I went there on our monthsary for dinner. It was a weekday, so the place was not crowded. There were just around 3 diners including us. The place is simple and it has a delicatessen counter crammed with heaps of cheeses, hams and sausages. The place is very accessible. The ambiance was nice. The attendants are really familiar with their menu and are really courteous. Our food arrived by course and it did not take long for it to arrive on our table. Very good presentation and very yummy =). The attendants are really quick, once we were done they immediately cleared up the dishes that we've cleared up, which is good because it clears the table for the next dish. We did not have to call their attention, they were very attentive. Very good service. Even the security guard was very okay. It was raining when we went out. He immediately opened a big umbrella for us. The price per person depends on the dishes that you order. It would range from 300++ per person.

Place - 5/5 very accessible.
Service - 5/5 very good. attendants are very attentive and very knowledgeable.
Food - 5/5 very yummy. you really get what you pay for.
Price - 4/5 quite expensive if you really are a hearty eater. just like us...hehehe we spent around P500/person

overall experience - very good. we plan to go back there again...still saving up for that next date...hehehe

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Alibyo - A Spa Review

Located at the 2nd level I2, Asiatown IT Park
Photo courtesy of the web

To love life one must enjoy life. So, here is my first post about enjoying life =)Pampering oneself is one way of enjoying life and at the same time giving your body a time to relax and unwind and for an hour or two be free from all of the cares and worries. =)

To quote what I have read from the paper, their piece about the place =)

The Visayan term alibyo, which means relief or alleviate, will take on a bigger meaning in a few days. A new boutique spa will open on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the second floor of the i2 building at the Asiatown IT Park. And you guessed it right—it’s called Alibyo.

Proprietor Johnie Lim and his wife Flor (they own the franchise of Body and Sole) say that the spa specializes in traditional Filipino hilot, which is currently being promoted by the Dept. of Tourism itself. Why not? If Thailand has its Thai massage, why can’t the Philippines have its hilot as a kind of massage?

So what differentiates Alibyo from the other massage spas in the metropolis, including Body and Sole? It is very Filipino. Better still, check it out.
- from Sun.Star -

My Review

Hubby and I went to Holiday for some foot massage last December 12, 2007, because we also wanted to avail of their buy 1 take 1 promo. alas, they already had their last call. So we racked our brains for some ideas and we thought of ALIBYO. this is a newly opened spa located at I2. I think this opened just last November. Off we went to try their services.
We availed of their 2 hour massage. Upon entering the Spa the front desk was all smiles already, Gives a very good first impression. He was also very knowledgeable about the services they offer. He also gave some suggestions on what is good. The spa is also quite different from the other spas, it is well lighted with very old and rustic setting(like you are being transported to the old era). The seats are made out of wood, the table is inlaid with raffia mat. the attendants wear Spanish era type of clothes(filipiniana). air-conditioning is just the right temp, not too hot and not to cold. The attendants are also very accommodating, they are all smiles. I did not see any of them loitering the reception area. When we came out after the massage and they saw us, they immediately vacated the reception area.

Before the massage the First thing they do is they wash your feet with ground coffee and water. Upon entering the common room for the massage area, You can smell the incense burning. On a side note, I like the comfort room, it is clean and nice with a little touch of zen. We were ushered to the couple's room, unlike the other couple's room that we've been to, this room has no divisions. It is a room with two beds and its own air-conditioning unit. The bed is quite firm and when i placed my head inside the hole of the bed, my nostrils were greeted with the scent of potpourri. a very wonderful smell, light and relaxing not intoxicating. Their kind of massage is quite different from what we have been used to. Good massage for the night which gave me a good night's sleep afterwards. (*thumbs-up*) =)

After the massage, we were treated to a glass of drink of our choice and some home-baked cookies (the extra service they give when you avail of their services). I had the Alibyo signature drink, which is iced tea with a hint of pandan leaves. My Hubby got the Salabat with honey, hot ginger drink with a hint of kalamansi and honey, Wonderful concoctions they have. We also availed of their 50% off coupon for the next visit. Well, the front desk gave us a choice: 20% discount for the services we have availed for the night or 50% discount on the next visit and we chose the latter. =) (this is their Christmas special promo, valid until the 31st of the month only).

over all rating 4/5. hubby found his therapist quite slow with his massage but the pressure was consistent though. He had a comparison with the therapist that massaged me. =)

for the 2 hour massage - P600 per person. just reasonable for a 2 hour pampering. =) They do have other packages that you can choose from.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Casa Verde - A Restaurant Review

Casa Verde
Photos from the Web

It is an ancestral house converted to a restaurant which serves baby back ribs that are tender and to-die-for! Also try their Callos. For dessert, indulge in their death by chocolate. Prices are reasonable.
Address: 69 Ranudo Extension in Ramos
Phone: (+63 32) 253 6472
- from USC -

Went there just last December 28, 2007, Friday, after about a quarter of a year of not having been there. The place was packed and we had to wait for our reserved table.

They have maintained the quality and taste of the ribs but sad to say the beef and mushroom bliss I ordered was not. It smelled of uncooked meat and some pieces of beef were still pinkish. My dish was not cooked well. I lost my appetite after seeing runny pink juices oozing from the beef. I just asked for some of the baby back ribs that my hubby ordered just to finish off my rice. The death by chocolate was better, it was not as hard as a rock, like the one we had the last time we visited the place. The death by chocolate they had is composed of ice cream with a chocolate cookie base and covered with hardened chocolate. Yummy! The baked Alaska failed my expectations. The baked Alaska was composed of 3 flavors of ice cream with spongecake as base and covered with a meringue.The ice cream was not that many, maybe around just 3 scoops of it. 1 for each flavor. What made it look big was the meringue that did not look like one. The ice cream was indeed covered but with a runny hastily beaten egg white that did not even reach its hard peak stage. it was slightly torched and NOT baked. Yuck! Eww! It was disgusting, honestly. We just dug for the ice cream and the cake. I was greatly disappointed with the baked Alaska.

this is how it should have looked, but sad to say it did not :(

the meringue here is firm and cooked. which looks very appealing and yummy.

what we had was something like this but was torched a little bit.

see the difference?!

Food - 3/5 due to my order that was quite unappetizing and the baked Alaska that did not meet my expectation of how a baked Alaska should look and taste like.
Place - 5/5 Accessible and the temperature of the room was just right, not hot and not too cold.
Service - 3.5/5 Our reservation was not listed on the reservation list. I still had to look for the person who I talked to before our reservation was honored. We waited and our friends started arriving and we still did not have our table.
Price - 5/5 very affordable and reasonable.

My overall rating for the night - 3/5