This is a very late post as we have stayed at the Oriental Legazpi over two months ago. Maybe because I have mixed feelings about staying here, hence, my lukewarm reception to it. Why mixed? Because I was happy when I first set foot in the hotel because of its warm and elegant design, which slowly dissipated as we went up to the rooms. Plus, we had a bad experience overall because of delayed flights, which ended up with us taking a 14-hour bus ride, so it wasn’t the best trip at all.
Anyhoo, as I said, I was quite impressed with the decor as you go in the hotel. Both the lobby and the restaurant just off it are visual feasts. I especially like the purple theme.
But oh the room! The room is the biggest disappointment of all. Websites do lie! The photos posted that led us to the decision of getting them is quite a farce. The beds are the saving grace but everything else in the room (I didn’t even have the heart to take photos) is forgettable. Literally like they were forgotten since the 1980s. The cabinets, desks and chairs’ wood are old and chipped. The bathroom is horrible. They didn’t even have bidets, no tissue holders (toilet papers are just propped on the toilet tank), water tap is broken, you get the drift. Just plain horrible. I wanted to run as fast as I could. But knowing we were staying just overnight, we endured it like saints.
Food was also just okay. Couldn’t say anything bad about them, we’re just neutral.
Going back? Not in a million years. Not worth the price.
One quiet afternoon in Naga City, I took my girls out for meryenda. We ventured into a place called Coffee Table in the lifestyle center of the city. It was nice haunt for meetings and quiet conversations. Located in the same building as a hotel, it fairly attracts students, professionals and anyone in the neighborhood looking for a place to unwind.
I was actually gunning for their specialty Bicol Express Pasta, but too bad that it was not available. So I settled for the seafood pasta and the super hot sili affogato. I almost didn’t make it the next day. lol. It was soooo spicy! I must have drunk 2 gallons of water in one sitting.
Matcha green tea
Seafood Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes
Cookies and cream crepe
In the Philippines, Christmas season, including the spillover days after New Year, is all about food. If I had been a diet fanatic or health buff, I would have committed suicide. lol. Kidding aside, since it is a time for various family gatherings and celebrations left and right (yeah because we have branches on all sides of the family, circle of friends, colleagues, etc.).
Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie is one of the restaurants we binged on this holiday. And we sort of celebrated in advance Ma and Dad’s 45th anniversary. I would say that the Chinese Hongkong style comfort food they is…comforting. Hehe. I had noodles of course. Noodles make the world go round for me.
Cantonese Seafood Pan Fried Noodles
Baked almond fish fillet with pesto sauce
Chao Chou Style Dried Fish and Minced Pork Soup
In one of our trips to Iloilo City, we stuffed ourselves with one of the most delicious native chicken dishes I’ve ever had. It was straight up adobo with generous amounts of toasted garlic. There must be some gayuma in here, it was indecently good.
We had this at a restaurant called Y2K Talabahan, which is located at Atria, a spanking new place in Iloilo City. The Atria is a lifestyle complex developed by Ayala Land that boasts of restaurants, retail stores, the Seda Hotel, and a condominium for the middle and upper classes of the city. I liked it! It’s too bad that I am at the tail end of the project which had me coming to Iloilo all the time (my eldest is already complaining!). It is a breath of fresh air in the slowly becoming crowded city.
Back to Y2K, we also had this wonderful squid to go along with the whole chicken.
Next time, I have to have the oysters!
Our bunso loves bread so much. Even with a tummy full of rice or milk, she would always have room for bread. If you want a few minutes of quiet time when she’s wide awake, best thing to do is give her bread. Hehe.
This year, we decided to enroll Mischa in the school’s nutrition program. Supposedly, it is designed to address the nutritional deficiencies of kids by creating a well-balanced menu for the whole school year. As it is quite heavy on the pocket, we are now testing it out for the first term. Here is the menu from the last week of June until July.
We will see if we will continue in the succeeding school terms. My take is that at least, we have started doing away little by little with free radicals in hotdogs, chicken nuggets, ham and other kid-favorites. We now have more choices of “real” food, and I can see that she has started expanding her horizon when it comes to food. I don’t have to rack my brains about what to feed her picky appetite. Yay!
Still in connection with my trip to Aklan, we also had a chance to eat at a couple of restaurants that featured both native Filipino dishes (not necessarily Aklanon) and international cuisine.
On our first night, we took a tricycle ride to the nearby town of Numancia, to have dinner at their famed Niño’s Ihaw Ihaw. We just had to try their seafood specialties. My favorite from among this batch is the crispy shrimps.
The next night, we were gunning for Saylo, supposedly another one of the better restaurants in Kalibo. Unfortunately, it was closed (not sure if permanently or temporarily). So we went to the next good thing, which is nearby Latte. It was good enough, what with a great ambiance, soft lighting and comfort food. I only had fish and chips that night. I should have tried their variety of cakes and desserts.
On our last day, we drove for almost an hour in our rented tricycle trying to get to the Residence River Restaurant. We were going in circles, even traversing the narrowest barangay streets of New Washington trying to locate this joint. It was a good thing we had time to kill before our evening flight. It was right on the highway and we completely missed it twice because it had an obscure signage and you either have to know it’s there or you should be looking very, very closely.
And in the end, all the travel was worth it. The restaurant rests on the banks of the Aklan River, and we dined with a beautiful view of the sunset while listening to the calming sounds of the water and the crickets abound.