Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tao Yuan Seafood Restaurant (Cebu)

Now let's get back to Tao Yuan Seafood Restaurant at the second level of J Mall. It was very easy to find it. Near the entrance across the supermarket, there is an elevator...

Taking the nice elevator to the restaurant

Glass Doors / Entrance to Tao Yuan

It is spacious inside and has a very nice interior design. Reminds me of some old popular Chinese restaurants in Cebu like, the now defunct White Gold Restaurant, and the old Majestic in the Grand Convention Center...


We were served first with Jasmine Tea in a white teapot, and some peanuts. I fell in love with the Jasmine tea because it smells soooo nice and tasted very light....

From hot to cold... hahaha... I did not know we will be served first with hot Jasmine Tea, so I ordered a cooler - Mango Shake. 

It was service deluxe! We felt like some kind of royalty with servers fawning all over us, even if our orders were just spring rolls, steamed rice, siomai, and lomi. Wow! hahaha... We wondered if this will still be the same service even when the restaurant is full with a lot of customers? At that time, there were only three tables waiting to be served. Later however, more and more people started trickling in...

Crabstick Spring Rolls


Their version of Steamed Rice

Yummy Lomi

We thought the lunch we ordered was just enough. We did not want a lot. But the Lomi and the Steamed Rice were more than enough for two. We had to bring home the extra that were left. 

I have read rave reviews, but honestly the spring rolls were just about the same as in my other favorite Chinese Dimsum restaurants. Even the steamed rice did not impress me so much. But I was very happy with my lomi. Beats ChowKing a hundred miles. Of course, this one is not fast food. I get to realize that maybe we did not order their finest, that is why I missed the raves. Again I wouldn't want to make a conclusion based on some few trials. I will be happy giving this Tao Yuan another try.

Tao Yuan Seafood Restaurant
2nd level, J Centre Mall, A.S. Fortuna St.
Mandaue City
(032) 266 0505

J Centre Mall (Cebu)

J Centre Mall is one of the few smaller malls that sprouted all over Cebu City in the recent years. Although Ayala Center Cebu and SM City Cebu lord over the mall competition in this small island city, still it did not discourage smaller players to join in the fray. It's even funny because with the size of Cebu, the mini-malls are jostling within minutes from each other. 

One day, I had a scheduled meeting somewhere in A.S. Fortuna, Mandaue - which is also where J Mall (as we call it) is located, and that gave me the excuse to finally check it out. But the truth is, I was wishing to try Tao Yuan Restaurant, which is located in the second level of J Mall.

Just as we expected, J Mall turned out to be the usual mall. Cold and clean supermarket, restaurants, cinemas, and easy access to taxis and jeepneys because it is just along the road. It has some parking spaces too. The only downside here is that during the rush hours in the afternoon and early evening, traffic can be quite congested here.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mandarin Plaza Hotel (Cebu)

Our next stop was Mandarin Plaza Hotel in Escario (actually more like Escario St.cor Archbishop Reyes Avenue). Kit was going to have a meeting there that afternoon. So after lunch at C2, we went down the stairs of Robinson's and took a taxi (lots of taxi are waiting in front of the department store). It was Sunday so there was no traffic, it took a maximum 15 minute drive to Mandarin.

Facade of Mandarin Plaza

Doorway to Mandarin Plaza

I find their lobby simple. Not many lounge chairs available. I wish they could add some more...
That's the hallway to their retaurant - the Mandarin Bar and Restaurant...

View of the elevators from the lobby

Mandarin Bar and Restaurant

Another view of the Mandarin Bar and Restaurant

I waited for Kit in the restaurant instead of the lobby and ordered a watermelon shake. The restaurant was empty because it was late in the afternoon, too late for lunch and too early for dinner. 

That's my gorgeous watermelon shake. Surprisingly it was not too expensive. Wow thank you! I also observed the staff were attentive and nice. I like that.

From where I sat, Parklane Hotel is just an arms-length away. Actually Quest Hotel, Mandarin Plaza, and Parklane Hotel are very near each other. And they are all walking distance to Ayala Center Cebu. They are all also quite basically new hotels.

I have been to both Parklane and Quest hotels and have tried their restaurants. But not to Mandarin yet, because I guess it was the last among the three to finish construction. I have some hotels in my bucket list for checking and I think I will add Mandarin. Hopefully my next write up will include feedback on the accommodation and service.

There are a lot of taxis waiting outside so it was very convenient for us.

Mandarin Plaza Hotel
Archbishop Reyes Avenue Corner Escario Street,
Cebu City 6000, Philippines
Tel: 63 32 266 1111
Fax: 63 32 266 7788

Summit Circle Hotel (Cebu)

Just across C2 Classic Cuisine is the lobby of Summit Circle Hotel. I didn't realized it changed its name. I remember it used to be called Cebu Midtown Hotel before. And I remembered it was one of the most popular and favorite venues for functions. But with so many hotels and new resorts mushrooming in the city, it probably suffered stiff competition. Now it is under Robinson's management (so that's why it is called Summit because the holding company of Robinson's is JG Summit). It has been refurbished and improved.

Front Desk

Spacious Lobby

The Lobby from another angle

Elevators going to the rooms

Entrance to the Lobby from the carpark

Lounge Chairs outside the lobby near the carpark

Stairs going to the pool and a Function room

I think the location of Summit Hotel is a bit ideal, because it is in the middle of everything. If you are a business traveler, you will have an easy access to transportation. The provincial Capitol, hospitals, business offices, schools, and even churches are very near. Their room rates are not too cheap but not too expensive either. And if you want to come to Cebu for the Sinulog, I think this is the perfect place. Because the parade will always pass here going to the Cebu City Sports Center where the formal dance presentations are held. The nearest hotels to Summit Circle are Crown Regency (along Osmena Blvd.) and Rajah Park Hotel (which is just across). There are many restaurants to choose from if you don't want to eat in the hotel. And there is a department store on the ground floor with a number of ATM's. Convenient. Just be careful of some unsavory elements like beggars or street children roaming in the Fuente Circle. But it is still a relatively safe area.

Summit Circle Hotel
Fuente OsmeƱa Street
Cebu City, Cebu 6000
+63 32 239 3000