First Yakimix branch in Cebu opens

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Spacious, conducive to conversation, an average of 150 dishes including beverages and dessert items worth indulging are the best features of Yakimix Restaurant on Escario, Capitol Site here.

Birthdays also become exciting and memorable because promotions cover free treat to the celebrator, along with three members of the family or friends.

Robert Chua, manager, whose main line is into distribution of fruits and vegetables, sees to it that special occasions become worth celebrating all the more, for the price of none. “We start with some noise we will sustain the bang with a tribute to birthday celebrants. They can choose to celebrate it seven days before their birthday, or seven days after, that is if they can’t be available on the very day of their birth anniversary. Just to make things convenient,” he explained.

Regional manager Chito Manlapaz pointed out that diners will sure be very excited about Yakimix’ cooking features because they have brought in the smokeless grill that their 10 Manila branches are famous for.

“Guests can enjoy very minimal smoke emanating from items cooked on our built-in smokeless grill on every table. They will get to know what it’s like to experience grilling their own food, grill all they can, grill all they want – as we have a selection of marinated meat and seafood. And with our Cantonese chefs Tony Lau and Ken Diao, we assure that every hot dish is cooked and served just right,” Manlapaz added.

Says print media practitioner Que Bajenting: “I’m glad to know Yakimix is already in Cebu. Judging from the rates, it seems a lot better here in Cebu, and you still get to enjoy close to 200 dishes that the restaurant has been known for.”

Lunch is at 499Php while dinner is at 599Php, Monday to Friday. On weekends and holidays, lunch and dinner rates are at 599Php. Children below three feet can dine for free, while children below four feet are to pay 299Php only.

Yakimix, which began operations last year, already claims top spot in being the best smokeless grill restaurant in the Philippines. FB/Yakimix and Tweet @Yakimixo_o.

Yaki means grilled, broiled or pan-fried. Mix means “to put together.”

It offers a fusion of Asian cuisine, mainly Japanese, Korean and Chinese or a cornucopia of the best dishes in these regions.

The facility can seat a maximum of 140 pax.###

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Check a halo-halo, rice bowl @ Kublai Khan

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Do you remove lettuce from your burger? Or has the habit of picking out of your sandwich the cheese wedge?

Would you rather have red mung beans over boiled corn grains on your halo-halo (refreshment using ice shavings, milk, and a cocktail of colorful ingredients), a dessert item that is so much a part of the Filipino food culture. Or are you fond of setting aside julienned carrots of a veggie-based dish?

Kublai Khan Restaurant on the Ayala Center Cebu Terraces has developed a system to make it convenient for clients to enjoy their rice bowls and halo-halo. So diners won’t end up tossing the bean sprouts out of the bowl. Through the “Check a Bowl” and “Check a Halo” services, clients are given a list of ingredients divided into four sections – meat and sauces, condiments, vegetables, and base which is either rice or rice noodles (bihon or canton). Customers choose the items according to preference. That way they can enjoy their meals more, preventing further wastage of food, and paying only for what’s necessary.

This blogger, for example, is not so much into Schezuan but can tolerate native chili for hot and spicy Warrior Bowl. Doesn’t really pay attention to gizzard but adores liver (chicken and pork). And as tofu is a very healthy stuff, it is on top of the “ticking job.”

For the halo-halo, tahore or red mung beans is a favorite along with the natural sweetness of nata de coco, the pretty colors of kaong, the softness of coco strings.

According to Juditha Batino, store manager, they make sure that ice is shaved only the very moment the order comes in to maintain safety in food handling. “There’s no pre-shaving. We want ice to be pure as it should be, so preparation comes only after real-time orders are taken.”

She takes pride in “specially formulated milk that doesn’t need further granulated sugar.” Ingredients such as green gulaman, monggo, sweetened banana and sweet potato, jackfruit and leche flan, among others, are said to be homemade.

Rice bowl costs P140 while halo-halo is pegged at P79 but one can add P20 to get all 12 ingredients or the “7-5” formula (base and toppings).

Expect congee at its Cybergate outlet on midtown Cebu next month featuring chicken congee, seafood congee, and black congee or with squid ink.

Of the four outlets in Cebu, the one in Ayala Terraces is the biggest with 128 seats. Kublai Khan is also at the Parkmall, Robinsons Galleria at Fuente Rotunda, and at SM Foodcourt. One is in Bacolod. Two more outlets will be opened soon here.###

Healthy options to dietary supplementation

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #newmedia specialist

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES (Feb. 25, 2015) — Boomers wane.Millennials wax.

Changing patterns in consumer behavior, especially on dietary supplements, have now led to building of business empires that involve even those without full medical knowledge or its allied sciences.In attempts to push further in the market certain products, the truth supplements have on our health has become muddled by unproven claims and exaggerated guaranteed results.

Such leaves a wide misconception on what exactly it is supplements can do for us with all those thousands of brands ranging in different levels of quality, target market, manufacturing processes, among many concerns. How is a consumer to choose which supplements to take, knowing that not all food supplements are made the same?

In the US alone, dietary supplementation is a $32-billion industry being a commodity of over 180 million Americans daily. In the Philippines, there’s a growing consumer base, as observed, because of the business aspect of “living healthy.” Distributors may apply direct sales scheme but still involving networking that strengthens the ethos to “live in health, grow in wealth.”

And an obvious lack of funds for nationwide, general healthcare coverage, consumers easily ride on the “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” axiom underlined by dealers/distributors to push nutraceuticals and or herbal products.

However, American pharmacognosy expert Dr. Daniel Fabricant of the Food and Drug Administration and chief executive officer of Natural Products Association, accentuated that before you pop up a pill or two into your mouth, cross-check information on the label whether these are facts or plain claims.

This writer shared, in a forum with Dr. Fabricant here recently, that even broadcast journalists here have already been used as product endorsers of herbal supplements to increase probable consumption. In fact, this writer is turned off already, as major radio programs here carry already an overload of dietary supplementation-related commercials. All of these have easily waived responsibility by highlighting the “no approved therapeutic claims” note.

Dr. Fabricant, indeed, warned consumers to be wary about what supplements to take in. “You should be guided with your purchase. So get checked by your doctor first. For example, you may need Omega 3 fatty acids but may have possible reactions to fish allergens.”

Marine resources can also be agents of possible contaminants like mercury, the doctor added.

Other things to check out, before you believe in promises of certain products, are clinical trials. “Science doesn’t always work in sound bites. Trials are changing. Google-ing doesn’t always constitute the totality of science, so be careful with news and reports, posts and blogs that flood online.”

There’s also the difference between a genetically engineered and a genetically modified organism. So the sources of the products must be traced too. It should be important to be informed whether the contents are of natural sources or synthetic.

Another is that since some vitamins can be produced by the body, ask how much you do need daily to supplement. Carnitine, an amino acid, can be sourced from dairy and lamb while Alpha Lipoic Acid, which should be 300 mg/a day, can be sourced from potatoes, yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, and broccoli.

On the other hand, this writer learned from local internist Dr. Emmanuel Tangpuz, of the Visayas Community Hospital, in a prior interview, that there is such a thing as an overdose of B-complex since the body can actually produce this type of vitamin.Thus the need to be checked medically for blood chemistry, diet and nutrition and other vital aspects to bodily health.

The forum is a regular event of Healthy Options, a company that empowers people to take charge of their health by saying no to preservatives, additives, and artificial ingredients. Offering a forum as such is part of its policies to give consumers better choices for a better life.

Pharmacognosy, meanwhile, is the study of drugs derived from plants and animals. Dr. Fabricant has insider information on the nutritional supplements trade, including the controversial challenges and issues, having spent several years as FDA’s chief supplements enforcer. ###

‘Linamnam’ 2nd edition launched in Cebu

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES (January 19, 2015/for #newmedia) — Anvil Publishing and National Bookstore, together with SM City Cebu and Cafe Laguna, introduced here the new edition of a bestselling title in culinary arts – “Linamnam” by Claude Tayag and Mary Ann Quioc.

The latest edition features 14 of the best of Cebu cuisine like lechon (roast pig) and tuslob buwa (pig’s brain in goo), among others.

“Linamnam 2” is a collection of the best food from all over the Philippines and the restaurants that serve them. The introduction reads “…not only do Claude and Mary Ann lead the reader to the best eats (of) every region…, but also the whys and hows of what makes each dish unique and outstanding in its own right.”

TV personality Ces Drilon writes “Linamnam is the book I never leave home without when traveling around the country. (It) has been a great guide in discovering places to eat. It’s not just a guide, it also provides the historical insight into the food you eat.”

Anton Diaz, blogger and founder of “Our Awesome Planet,” said that when it comes to really good food around the Philippines, “I rely on Claude Tayag for the best secret foodie places to eat. Claude is a true foodie, a well-respected chef, and a well-loved author.”

Meanwhile, Margaux Salcedo of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine shared that “Claude and Mary Ann Quioc-Tayag are the “it” couple of the foodie scene in Manila. This knowledge is both vast and deep, exploring varieties of favorite Filipino specialties like lechon, aligue (crab fat), or Philippine vinegar (suka) across the various regions of the country.”

Further, Salcedo pointed out that “true patriots and real gourmets, the couple’s passion for authentic Filipino flavors has allowed foreigners to be properly introduced to our cuisine, and has given us nationals a deeper appreciation of sweet, salty, and sour on this side of the world.”

As for chef Claude Tayag, he mentioned prior to a book signing at the SM City Cebu Event Center that “Linamnam” is not about the authors, but about us Filipinos. “It is a reflection of our diversity brought about by regional division. No matter how we call it – bulalo to us from Luzon, pochero here in Cebu, kansi in Iloilo, pakdo in Leyte – we always end up celebrating the good taste. The linamnam, the lami, the yummy, the manyaman – to us Pampanguenos.”

The book costs P355.50 a copy and is available in the food and travel sections of all National Bookstore and Powerbooks nationwide.###

Cafe prides in 5 key innovations

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, newmedia specialist

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Laguna Garden Cafe at the Ayala Center Cebu Terraces is now wireless.

With the installation of system upgrades, there would be another reason to come back, aside from its renowned delectable food and excellent service, shares Ms. Jill Urbina during the recent relaunch of Cafe Laguna Garden here.

Laguna Garden Cafe has set up five key innovations beginning with The Wireless Presentation feature which lets guests conveniently display documents, presentations, photos, videos, and more from PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablet directly onto a projector.

Music playback and volume control can be done via Bluetooth through any of Bluetooth-enabled device like smartphones, tablets or laptops.

Another innovation is room combination. This means that Laguna Garden Cafe’s five independent rooms can be combined in whatever configuration the guests want. No rewiring or manual setting-up is needed to do this, Urbina pointed out.

All these rooms are equipped with an automatic mixer, which means one doesn’t need a sound guy to constantly adjust the level and equalization to make all the microphones sound smooth and undistorted.

Lastly, guests can bring their own recorder to capture the audio mix for the event. These recordings are for those milestones they want to cherish.

Further, since Laguna Garden Cafe is Internet-ready, it is deemed the “most convenient space for any type of function” – from business events to family gatherings.

Contact (032) 233.8600/02 or e-mail: lgc@cafelaguna.com. Laguna Garden Cafe serves a wide range of cuisines from Chinese to Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, and Italian. It is well received for its ability to customize menu – presenting great eats in bite sizes via cocktails.#