Tuesday, January 31, 2017

De Oro BBQ King: Affordable BBQ Treats

De Oro BBQ King 
Affordable BBQ Treats 

We have been trying to dine on De Oro BBQ King 
since it opened, but it was always overflowing with
diners on peak hours and never got a chance to do so.


So on an unholy hour of 3 PM, on a Sunday weekend,
we chanced upon the almost empty restaurant our way
to watch La La Land, and we took advantage to have
a late lunch as we have not eaten anything after breakfast.


The restaurant has two sections,
first, is the indoor dining area,


…and an alfresco dining area.


We were amused of the several fancy chairs,
and my young son had fun sitting on them.


There was no air- conditioning but the cold and breezy 
California- like weather on the first two months of the year
 in the country makes dining in this restaurant bearable.


The downside of dining in a non- air conditioned facility in 
a tropical country like the Philippines, is it could really get 
 uncomfortably  humid here when summer season comes.


Most of the meals here comes with unlimited serving
of rice, reminiscent of the more popular Mang Inasal.


I ordered Sinugba, and this is probably the best dish in this restaurant. 
The pork loin was perfectly grilled. It was  tender and was  marinated with 
just the right amount of vinegar and spices and had a slight hint of sweetness 
but was not disgustingly sweet like most popular Filipino style- pork barbecue.


The Chicken Barbecue was a typical Pinoy style barbecue, cured with sugar- 
laced  marinade that caramelizes on grilling. It was okay. The chicken was tender 
and not  sickeningly sweet as expected of these type of meat candy barbecues. 


Sweet and Sour Pork is our favorite Chinese dish and we ordered one.  
Unlike most versions that had lighter yellow to orange sauce,  this one looked 
gross as it had a darker sauce that appeared like it was bathed in blood.


We were initially reluctant to  touch it, but it turned out to be very 
delicious that we ordered another one to take home to our daughter.


My daughter did not go with us as she had to study
for an examination and we ordered an additional 
Pork Barbecue, which she tremendously enjoyed. 


De Oro BBQ King is a straight forward, no frills, open- air restaurant
 that offers delicious and affordable, crave worthy barbecue treats.


I wish they would open up an air- conditioned area where
people could dine in comfort this coming summer season.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rolando’s Café @ Villa Caceres Hotel; Ushering the New Year with Delectable Chinese Dishes

Rolando’s Café  at Villa Caceres Hotel
Ushering the New Year with Delectable Chinese Dishes 

It was January 1, the first day of 2017 and
my family’s first dine out  for the new year.


Except maybe for mostly fast- food chains and mall based
restaurants, we are aware that most dining establishments
are closed as Filipinos traditionally stay home, because of
a superstition that spending on the  first day of the year is
bad luck- as one would end up penniless the whole year.


Everyone wanted to eat Chinese food, so we went directly to
Rolando’s Café at the Villa Caceres Hotel as the restaurant
is known to serve some of the best Chinese dishes in the city.


Rolando’s Café was located just across
the newly renovated Rose Garden which
was gaily decorated for the Christmas season,



…and we took advantage of having
some of our holiday photos taken.


We started our meal with Hot Prawn Saladfor an appetizer.
This was surprisingly very delicious. The deep fried prawn
was piping hot, lying in a bed of ice cold fruit salad and crisp,
fresh, green lettuce. I believe it was a Ying and Yang inspired
dish which resulted to a naturally perfect blending of contrary
forces, hot and cold, that deliciously complemented each other

The Mixed Seafood with Century Egg was beguilingly tasty.
The thick soup was delightfully reeking with eclectic flavors of
various seafood with a hint of the pleasantly rancid century egg.

Rolando’s take of our all time favorite Chinese dish,
Sweet and Sour Pork made of deep fried, tender pork
loin, with assorted fresh vegetables, bits and pieces of
pineapples, bathed with sweet and sour sauce, and topped
with spring onions, can only be described as nothing but
a culinary perfection and masterpiece of this popular dish.

The Ampalaya with Shrimp was intensely delicious.
The stir fried bitter gourd was not overcooked and very
fresh and crunchy. There was generous amount of plump
shrimps and bathed with sweet and savory black bean sauce.

I found the Roberto’s Fried Chicken
overcooked but still tolerably edible.

It was a full an satisfying meal, 


...just fitting for our first dine- out for the new year. 

Read on the links below for related posts: 

 The Villa Caceres Hotel: Mediterranean Opulence in Naga City
Villa Caceres Hotel Family Room: Quiet and Windowless Storm Shelter

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

ADC Hotel Naga: Beautiful Hotel, Insensible Management (Christmas Typhoon 2016 Series 4)

ADC Hotel Naga 
Beautiful Hotel, Insensible Management
(Christmas Typhoon 2016 Series 4)

ADC Hotel without doubt, is one of the most beautiful
hotels in Naga City  which I avoided like a plague for
years after a very bad experience when we had a dinner,
at Eight Secret Spices which I have blogged on this LINK.

A super- typhoon would hit Naga City the next day,
I called Villa Caceres Hotel for a reservation as we
always stay there for shelter every time there is a
storm, but they were fully booked until New Year.

 Sogo Hotel's bigger executive rooms  where we also 
stayed as a storm shelter in the past are all occupied.
 I also blogged about our stay in this hotel on this LINK.

I did not bother to call our favorite hotel, Avenue Plaza,

...and the Carmen as these two are riverside hotels and not
a good place to stay on a storm as both could get flooded.


I asked for a family room at ADC Hotel
and I was happy when they confirmed
that the Presidential Suite was available.


It was December 24, the super- typhoon would hit Naga City
the next day and we checked in on December 25, noon time.

At the front desk, we were informed that the Presidential Suite
that we earlier reserved was not available as the panoramic windows
were leaking. It was okay with us, as we didn’t want to stay in a room
with nothing but glass windows for a wall during a super typhoon.

They offered us two separate rooms instead, 
a Junior Suite, and an  Executive Suite, and
 we settled comfortably right in after checking in.

Junior Suite

One of our rooms was the Junior Suite which
had a minimalist but elegantly designed interiors.


It had one double bed, too small for a family of four to fit in,
but that was okay as we had another extra room with  two
single beds reserved for us where the two kids could stay.

Right above the bed is a decorative wrought iron framed mirror
that serves as the modest decoration on this minimalist room.

The beautiful room had a large LCD TV hangs on the wall,


…and right below is a large working table that serves
as a mini- bar and holds the kettle and the coffee kit,



.,..and a small refrigerator.

The closet was spacious.

…that holds the electronic lock.

It had a beautiful toilet with a nice bathtub

…provided with basic amenities,
and sufficient toiletries.


There  were several beautiful 
decorative chairs in the room.,


...but unfortunately, no sofa.


The room had huge window, with a backyard view of the 
street leading to a residential area at the back of the hotel.

A room had only landline phone at the bedside,

…and  a complimentary Wi Fi connection.

Executive Suite

The Executive Suite where the kids stayed
also  had a minimalist yet elegant interiors.
It had two double beds, perfect for two kids.


Just like the other room, right above the bed is a decorative wrought iron
framed mirror that serves as the modest decoration on this minimalist room.

The beautiful Executive Suite, although apparently
smaller than the Junior Suite appeared like it is more
spacious than the latter and it even had a living room.

A large LCD TV hangs on the wall,


…and right below is a large working table that serves 
as a mini- bar and holds the kettle and the coffee kit,



.,..and a small refrigerator.

The closet was just as spacious as the first 
room that also holds the electronic lock.

It had a beautiful toilet, but  this
 room does not have a bathtub,

…and just like the other room, it was provided 
with basic amenities and sufficient toiletries.

The room was windowless and we found
it a perfect and sound proof storm shelter.

A room had only land line phone at the bedside,

…and  a complimentary Wi Fi connection.


ADC Hotel is located at the glittering Magsaysay Avenue,
A walking distance to other major hotels, lifestyle centers
and almost a hundred restaurants lining the strip.

It is located few blocks away
from the Penafrancia Basiliica,

…and the Penafrancia Shrine.


ADC Hotel does not have any recreational and health
facility so there is really nothing much to do inside the hotel.


It’s location at the busy Magsaysay Strip makes
the hotel ideal for people wanting to have good time
and experience the dazzling night life in the city.



Despite the numerous restaurants lining the Magsaysay Strip,
 there are several excellent in- house dining facilities at the ADC Hotel.

Eight Secret Spices

Eight Secret Spices was one of our favorite restaurants then,
that we even booked a Thanksgiving Dinner here in the
past and had a horrible dining experience (which I blogged
on the LINK)  and we never returned ever since- until now.

I was once invited by a pharmaceutical company to speak
on a medical forum but I backed out when I learned that the
venue was  Eight Secret Spices. They decided to change
the venue to Carmen Hotel (which I featured on this LINK).

It is ADC Hotel’s in house restaurant and we were supposed
to eat dinner here. We had no choice as the super- typhoon
was expected to have a landfall early in the evening. Together
with other hotel guests we trooped early in the evening to dine
but we were told by the front desk to dine somewhere else as
the restaurant was closed because of the on coming typhoon.

This was a forbidding and irresponsible decision of ADC Hotel
by abandoning their guests without anything to eat and to fend
off for themselves to look for food in the middle of a typhoon.

Set Breakfast

The complimentary set breakfast was supposed to be served
at Eight Secret Spices but it was still closed after the storm,

...so it was served as a room service.   

Bear Cups Patisserie

Bear Cups Patisserie is an in house cake shop.


We have never been here, it was closes during our visit but
it had about a hundred teddy bears inside when I peeped in.

The Coffee Table

Used to be known as the Chef’s Office,
The Coffee Table is probably one of the
best homegrown coffee shops in the city.


This coffee shop is also known to serve
mouth-watering sandwiches and pastas.


What used to be occupied by Mexicali
my family’s favorite Mexican restaurant,

…was turned in this wine shop called Paradise.


ADC Hotel, has no doubt is one
beautiful but badly managed hotel.


I avoided this hotel like a plague for years after
a very bad experience on our thanksgiving dinner,
at Eight Secret Spices (posted on this LINK).

We stayed here as this was the only hotel with
available room during the Christmas eve storm,
which served as my family’s typhoon shelter.


I was optimistic that it would redeem itself
from our unpleasant experience in the past,
during this stay, but  we were disappointed.


We enjoyed the rooms as they were beautiful, comfortable and kept 
us safe during the storm,and the staff was courteous and hospitable.
 But closing the hotel’s in- house restaurant and leaving their guests
 without anything to eat and to fend off for themselves to look for food 
at the height of a super typhoon, is nothing but gross irresponsibility
on the part of the hotel’s negligent and insensible management.


I had to brave the strong winds to buy food
for my family at the nearby Ministop store. 

For abandoning their guests at the time when 
they are needed most , they have no right to be 
in hospitality business for being inhospitable.