Esquina Pasta Bar, Cebu

Lately laundry days with my sister have been one of my favorite bi-monthly chores (we’re disgusting, I know!) because laundry days are the times we both get to walk around the Mabolo area and discover new restaurants in Cebu.

For those who are wondering, I do my laundry at Rapid Rinse in Mabolo and if you didn’t already know, Mabolo is a haven when in comes to hole in the wall restaurants and such.

This week, we stumbled into a PASTA BAR which first of all, I never even knew existed (!!!) and boy did we have a blast!

I first heard of Esquina Pasta Bar on Instagram and was instantly drawn to their bright & catchy marketing material and well, long story short, I had to go. So last Wednesday, on laundry day, we ventured out to Esquina Pasta Bar at 39 C Pres. Laurel St. Villa Aurora, Kasambagan, Cebu City

Getting to the place was a little bit difficult for us because 1, we walked to the location & 2, we have no sense of direction and cannot comprehend maps. It took us a good 15 minutes to finally figure out where Esquina was but once you walk by it, you can’t miss it! (I was suggested to follow Waze to get there)

The pasta bar is outdoors but well ventilated and shaded for those who are iffy about the heat & humidity. Plus, the pretty exteriors makes you forget you’re even outdoors so there’s really nothing to worry about!

I was really interested in their menu as they not only had a nice selection of regular & premium pastas but they also offered what they call the Collossal Chicken, which is closely resemblant to Taiwan’s popular Hot Star chicken.

We were only able to order two of the items on their menu which was ok because it only made us want to go back sooner even more!

We were definitely impressed by the serving size and flavors in each of the dishes that we tasted and I also really appreciated how they altered my linguine shrimp scampi and made it non- spicy, as per my request.


Country Fried Steak – P 180.00


Linguine Shrimp Scampi –  Php 155

I am definitely going back to Esquina Pasta Bar in the near future and would suggest this pasta bar to my younger market who loves adventures and good food. I can’t wait til my next foodie adventure (hopefully laundry days can be a weekly thing) but until then, please do drop by Esquina Pasta Bar.

Esquina Pasta Bar is open every Tuesday – Sunday from 4:00 pm – 12 mn

SEE YOU THERE!

xx,
Issa Gandionco

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D&M Cafe: Home of Cebu’s Best Burgers, Cookies & More!

Allow me to go out on a limb and dare use the term “best”- besides, how often have I ever used this to describe a burger before? Only one other time and it was for this episode.

I don’t like throwing the word best around because we tend to use it so lightly nowadays but this time, I truly believe that I have found the one when it comes to burgers and let me tell you why:

Its price. At P75.00 for a regular burger and P90.00 for their signature cheeseburgers heavily smeared with their special cheese dip, you’d first take a look at it and think that 1 burger might not be enough- WRONG.

Because of it’s tightly packed meat and generous toppings, one burger is actually enough. It also goes well with a bottle of soda for P15.00.

The flavor. At D&M Cafe, they use the finest quality ingredients, making sure that this brings out the best taste in their recipes. From the fresh, soft buns; tender & flavorful meat and especially their special cheese sauce that you can also order separately as a dip.

The taste. While some burger joints like to garnish their burgers with overbearing sauces, I find my favorite aspect of this cheese burger is that I still know what I’m eating, I can feel the extra kick & flavor they’ve added to the dish and everything works so well together, creating a wonderful harmony in my mouth. It’s not a combination of a million things that leaves you wondering what you’re eating- it is simply a burger and that is, after all, what I came for.

The effect. I walked into D&M Cafe thinking with my stomach and not my head. I had this grand illusion that I was going to eat everything on the menu and go back on my merry way- WRONG AGAIN. While a full stomach is good, it was the effect of such good food that impressed me the most. You see, I blog about food round the clock almost and so, it’s become hard to come by a dish/ dishes that blow me away, but here I am, not only blown but completely swept away by the food & the charm that D&M Cafe has to offer.

Admittedly, this cafe is still in it’s early stages of life having just opened about a month or so ago. It is currently run by the American & Filipina chef couple who recently moved to the Philippines to share their love of food & pastries with us Cebuanos.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, make sure to stock up on their cookies & brownies because they are absolutely bomb especially the fudge brownie and the butter scotch which are my faves!

Other must tries are the rice toppings that sell for P65.00 (Chicken Teriyaki) & P75.00 (Pork Stroganoff & Sausage Gravy).

D&M Cafe is located at 93 E Urgello Rd, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu <for directions, use this map!>

Operating days/ hours:
Mon-Fri 11AM–2AM
Sat-Sun Closed

For promos/ reservations/ inquiries, follow them on Facebook!

D&M Cafe is perfect for study sessions alone or with friends, meals with friends and family. Cash only.

Indulge in the cookies & cream slushies. Image result for drool emoji

xx,
Issa P.

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Steak- All- You Can @ Bai Hotel For P999.00

Bai is one of Cebu’s newest luxe hotels that offers guests with the perfect view of the city and the harbor while also providing them with a visual adventure with their beautiful industrial and minimalist interiors. Although they are very new in the industry, their offerings and services seem to be quite polished and seasoned gearing them, as early as now, to be one of Cebu’s top hotels.

Being strategically located close to malls and establishments, Bai has raised the bar by offering check in guests, walk ins and anyone looking for a gastronomical treat great food selections with over 8 dining options to choose from. In this post, we explore Marble + Grain, their swanky steakhouse known for their custom-aged USDA prime beef and impressive wine offerings.

Starting January 16- 31, at P999.00+++, guests can eat to their hearts content every lunch time to mouth watering slices of certified Angus beef prepared and cooked to your liking by Marble + Grain’s very own resident British- Filipino Chef, Jaimes Van Haght. Aside from that, you can also help yourself to a variety of side dishes such as: mashed potatoes (a personal favorite!), corn, baked macaroni, salads and more! And if that’s not enough to catch your attention, you can always appease your appetite by pairing your meat with your choice of wine from their extensive collection.

1″ cut beef steak cooked medium rare. Just how I like it

Marble + Grain Steakhouse is located at the ground floor or Bai Hotel Cebu, Ouano Avenue cor. Seno Boulevard North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City Cebu, Philippines

For reservations, call +6332 342 8888 or +6332 355 8888.

 Cuisine | Premium 21 days dry-aged Steak
Time of Operation |
Lunch Open 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Dinner Open 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Closed on Mondays
Ambience | Fine Dining
Dress Code | Smart Casual (with collar for men)
Location | Ground Floor
Capacity | 48

See you there!

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Frying Now: Fry High, Urgello

Urgello is surprisingly popping up with great, quaint little shops around the area that caters to students, residents and the adventurous foodies in Cebu, Fry High being one of them.

We’re always looking for new places to eat near our place (because let’s be honest, there aren’t too many of them in the South) so when I got the invitation to check out the place, I couldn’t pass it off!

To paint you a pretty picture, Fry High is located along the busy roads of J. Urgello street or along Sacred Heart Hospital. It’s a small shop at the side of the road and you have to keep an open eye out for it or you could possibly miss it. Be extra attentive because once you spot interiors that are beautifully plastered with black and white  murals, you’ve found the right place! Unfortunately, there is no parking in front of the store but you can park at a walking distance from it.

As I scanned the menu, I was delighted at how affordable each meal was. With meals ranging from P20.00- P99.00, I then asked myself if the food, at those prices, could possibly be any good. I mean, something that costs this cheap can’t be THAT good, right? Wrong, again.

I was able to gather that Fry High isn’t just an affordable place to dine after class or after a drunken night out, it’s a product of love. The owner of this establishment loves to cook and has an amazing way of putting a twist on already interesting pieces which are evident in dishes such as: maling sticks, dynamite, corndoggy, burger high, canton toppings, chicken proven, tuna high flakes, cheesedog balls and a lot more!

Paolo and I made a visit during dinner time and here are the photos:

As you already know, I cannot stand spicy food so I kept a nice distance from the dynamite and sisig but curiosity got the best of me and I tried it out anyways. I enjoyed both until the spice kicked in then, I was downing glasses of water until I couldn’t anymore. Paolo, on the other hand, went to town with them and ended up finishing my left overs.

We truly enjoyed our experience there and came home with full stomachs and hearts. My favorites were the ginabot, chicken and calamares but I can’t wait to go back and try out their corndoggy, burger high, batchoy, pancit canton toppings, proven and cheesedog balls. Now, that’s obviously a lot of food I want to try which means, I’ll have to make multiple trips which I completely do not mind. The ambiance there is super chill and they even have board games for you to enjoy while waiting or after enjoying your meal.

Get directions here

Fry High is open all day, everyday and can accommodate around 20 people. You can also hold private events there that can be coursed through their Facebook page.

Bring cash when you visit and make sure to come on an empty stomach!

Fry High my loves,
Issa P.

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Welcome To The Weekend, Cebu

It seems like restaurants are popping up left and right here in the Queen City of the South. With the sudden influx of new places to dine, it often leaves us Cebuano’s wondering, “of all the places to choose from, where can I get my money’s worth?”.

There are a lot of factors that come into play when choosing a place to dine but if you’re looking for a spot with a hint of sophistication, variety, good food at a very reasonable price range, The Weekend might just be your new favorite culinary spot!

The Weekend, which is located at The Greenery in Kasambagan, is technically not a stranger to the critical Cebuano taste buds (which we are all pretty familiar with). Jan Rodriguez, who brought us Cebu’s well- loved and all time classic, Ilaputi, has raised the bar yet again together with his partners Jay Alba, Edward Mellana and Jon Louis Yu, to serves us with dishes from around the world.

Aside from the incredible dishes, The Weekend is also home to extensive collection of craft beers. In fact, it is the first in Cebu to house a 16- tap draft system which pours beers from two of Cebu’s best craft breweries, Turning Wheels and Cebu Brewing Co. And if beer isn’t your thing, the Weekend is also stocked up on a curated selection of whisky, gin and mezcal.

So that’s ✓ on food, ✓ drinks, ✓ interiors – all we need now is great company to make The Weekend complete!

Check out their dishes:


Buffalo Cauliflower – Crisp fried cauliflower, celery sticks and Gorgonzola cheese dip

Jupiter’s Acorn salad – Candied walnuts, apples, bacon bits, romaine and arugula, maple vinaigrette, blue cheese drizzle| *soon on the menu


Bourbon Bacon Steak- Bourbon maple- glazed double- double cut bacon, grilled tomatoes, fried eggs, dirty rice, quick pickled onions


Fish & Chips – Beer- battered fish fillet, slaw and handcut thick fries with malt mayo


The Fat Bastard-  Tender, thick- cut chop, dry- rubbed and grilled

Steak and Cheese Sandwich – Angus sirloin steak, caramelized onions, green & red bell peppers, Provolone cheese

Angus Beef Tapa- Fried eggs, pickled onions, spicy vinegar, dirty rice


Fried Chicken Sandwich – Herb- crusted chicken, Jamon Serrano, Manchego cheese, poached egg, horseradish hollandaise

 My personal favorites from the Media Preview would have to be the acorn salad, bacon bourbon steak, fish & chips and the fat bastard- each dish was very different from the other but each special in their own ways. The salad’s fresh greens and light dressing was not too overwhelming despite the blue cheese, the bacon steak was tender and juicy, the fish and chips was a great healthy option for those who are a little more keen on what they eat while the fat bastard was a complete experience in itself.

Find out more about The Weekend on Facebook & Instagram!

Operating hours: 11:00AM – 11:30PM

Everyday is THE WEEKEND,

Issa P.

edit: prices and menu items constantly change at the Weekend, which is why I decided to remove the menu photos. Best drop by Weekend to find out for yourselves but to give you a price range, food offering start at about P250.00 ☺️

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Tim Ho Wan Finally Opens In Cebu!

It’s about time Cebu finally gets a taste of what a Michelin- starred restaurant tastes like! Tim Ho Wan, the most affordable Michelin approved and starred dim sum restaurant, has finally opened their doors to eager Cebuano foodies after a year of waiting.

Tim Ho Wan started in 2009 when Chef Mak Kwai Pui and Chef Leung Fai Keun opened a modest 20-seater hole-in-the-wall eatery in Mongok, Hong Kong. A year after, it earned the coveted star in the 2010 HK and Macau Michelin guide, the international benchmark of good food and highest form of recognition in the culinary world.

Since then, the restaurant branched out around Hong Kong and brought its delicious and affordable dim sum overseas. Tim Ho Wan opened its first international location in Singapore in 2013 then the Philippines in 2014, followed by Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Macau, and most recently New York, USA. With six branches in Luzon, it opens its 360- sqm. branch in Cebu at the Upper Ground Floor, Mountain Wing of SM Seaside City. The yum cha restaurant seats 83 persons in its main dining area and 19 in its function room.

I paid a visit to this world renowned restaurant during their press & media launching earlier today and had a chance to sample almost all of their dishes. And although I won’t go into too much detail for each dish, this is basically my verdict:

As someone who frequently eats Oriental Asian food but doesn’t necessarily enjoy it, I can easily understand why many people enjoy Tim Ho Wan’s dishes. Their Big 4 Heavenly King dishes are delicious (Baked Buns, Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork & Shrimp) while some are quite foreign to me (pan fried radish cake & steamed egg cake) but altogether enjoyable.

Of all the dishes that we sampled, my top choices would have to be: the baked buns with BBQ pork, Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork & Shrimp, Vermicelli Roll with Shrimp, Chow Mien Stir Fried Noodles, Prawn Dumpling, Pork Dumpling with Shrimp, Beef Ball with Beancurd Skin and the Mango Pomelo Sago.

The best thing about Tim Ho Wan, along with every other dimsums, is the communal dining setting which encourages sharing diners to share each dish among one another.

Check them out:

Big 4 Heavenly Kings

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (3 pcs) – P145.00

  
Pan Fried Radish Cake- P120.00


Steamed Egg Cake- P 85.00


Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork & Shrimp- P140.00

Vermicelli Rolls


[above] Vermicelli Roll with Sweet & Sesame Sauce- P 140.00
Vermicelli Roll with Shrimp- P190.00

Stir Fried


Chow Mien Stir Fried Noodle- P 130.00

Steamed


Prawn Dumpling- P 160.00


Pork Dumpling with Shrimp- P 150.00


Beef Ball with Beancurd Skin- P 120.00


Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp- P120.00

.
Braised Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce- P120.00

Congee


Congee with Lean Pork, Century Egg & Salted Egg- P 140.00

Rice


Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf- P 190.00


Rice with Chicken, Sausage & Mushroom- P 170.00


Steam Minced Pork with Dried Squid- P 170.00

Dessert


[Left- Right] Taro Coconut Milk with Sago & Mango Pomelo- P 120.00

To celebrate its arrival in Cebu, Tim Ho Wan Cebu will be giving one (1) complimentary order of Baked Buns with BBQ Pork every day to the first 100 quests with a minimum bill of P500.00 during its opening week from March 25- 31, 2017.

Tim Ho Wan Cebu is located at the Upper Ground Floor, Mountain Wing of SM Seaside City Cebu and is open daily from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Seating for dine-on is on a first- come, first- served basis.

Follow Tim Ho Wan Philippines on Facebook and @TimHoWanPh on Instagram and Twitter for thr latest events and updates. For inquiries, contact (032) 341 5770 and 0917 118 6453.

HAPPY EATING,

Issa P.

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No MiSTEAKS @ St. Moritz, Cebu

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I thank the Instagram and Facebook Gods yet again for leading me to a humble hotel/ restaurant that is quietly tucked away in the heart of my most loved city. If you’re a bit over 40 years old, St. Moritz might not be a secret to you as it is to us younger folks- apparently, it’s been around for a while.

Aged is definitely one of the words I would use to describe St. Moritz as it differs completely from the bustling, concrete walls and minimalist designs that oh-so-often fills our news feeds. Here, cold metal stools are wooden bar stools and linear furniture are cozy, comfortable floral fitted chairs. Sure, the interior may be a sight for sore eyes in some ways but it’s its quirkiness that grows on you plus their steaks are pretty damn good.

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Mother- daughter dates are always things that I look forward to especially if my mom gets the bill when it’s somewhere new and fun. I had already heard of St. Moritz and had added it to my list of places to go to so when my mom suggested to bring me there, I could not say no. Come on, who wants to eat a steak alone? No one.

We ordered a 450 gram rib eye steak for P1,100.00, had it slices into two and some pasta on the side just in case. Truthfully, we hardly even touched our pasta nor do I remember what it was. The steak was more than enough and I still have dreams about it until today…

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I usually prefer my steaks medium rare but after much contest from my mother who paid for lunch prefers her steaks grilled medium, I had no say in the matter. Either way, I fairly enjoyed it as the meat was juicy, soft and it melted in my mouth. In fact, I opted to skip the steak sauce and eat it as it is because it was pretty flavorful already and steak sauce would feel like an insult.

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Oh hello, I forgot about you…

Now if you can’t afford a steak or if you’re just looking for a new place to dine, try out or hide at then here’s a their full menu for you to contemplate on but I would push for the steak, of course. I wouldn’t wait too long to go there though, word around the city spreads fast and it is the Christmas season, after all.

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Lemme me know if you’ve had any of their other dishes and what you thought about them!

For more information check out their official website

For reservations/ questions, contact: +63 32 231 1148| +63 32 231 2408| +63 32 231 2477| +63 32 231 3436

Email: info@stmoritz-cebu.com

Operating hours: 7:00 am – 12:00 mn| Monday – Sunday

Live long & prosper,

Issa P.

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Lucky 8: Eat All You Can for P888.00 @ UNO, Waterfront Cebu

CAFE UNO, which is located at the ground floor of Waterfront Cebu, is and has always been one of the premiere dining destinations when it comes to class and quality food and service. Although Cafe Uno has been around for quite some time, having garnered the loyalty of avid foodies, there is still a common perception that hotel food can be a bit pricey. And I can’t lie, there might be some truth in that, but I believe that some things in life are worth spending for and that you always get your money’s worth especially from a prestigious hotel chain.

But now, at P888.00, food lovers can finally enjoy their famous buffet without having to worry about breaking bank. At this reasonable price, you can now take advantage of their buffet that highlights the best food all around the world like sashimi from Japan, lechon from the Philippines, laksa from Singapore, pasta from Italy and many more!

For those who are thinking that their food selection might not be as huge as compared to the common trend of buffet chains lately, you can expect that each dish at Cafe Uno is always up to par. Quality over quantity is what I always say 🙂

Here are a few photos from my recent trip there:

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Salad bar with fresh vegetables, cold cuts and cheese- the perfect appetizers

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Japanese station with tuna sashimi and different maki rolls

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The Filipino station with all our homegrown favorites

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The Chinese and Singaporean section where you can create your own soup dish

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Pasta section

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Dessert

DSCF2314Drink all you can beer

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For more updates and promos, follow Watefront Cebu on Facebook

This post made me hungry,

Issa Perez

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Paluto All-You-Can- Cook. Eat. Repeat @ Isla Sugbo Seafood City

Seafood City’s latest offering for the month of October is a gastronomical experience like no other. For P680.00 you can enjoy their PALUTO All- You- Can which includes their seafood, meat and a fruit platter which can be cooked according to your preference. At their discounted price, you can help yourselves to their wide array of fresh seafood choices excluding their premium items such as lobsters, crabs, grouper, stone fish and the sea mantis which are charged separately.

PALUTO All- You- Can is not for the greedy though as left overs will be charged P 1,360.00. But with food as good as theirs, left overs are highly unlikely so dine away!

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Here are some shots of our feast during the launching of Paluto All- You- Can:

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Steamed live suahe soy sauce

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Squid Adobo

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Fried fish grouper sweet and sour soup

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Tinola tangigue soup

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Mud crabs with salt & pepper

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Grilled pork belly

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Buttered lobster

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Oysters

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Fruit platter

For reservations and inquiries, plese call +63 32 260-800

Eat Well,

Issa P.

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The Asian Taco in Cebu: Pow Bao

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Consider me a little late when it comes to popular food choices in Cebu but like the saying goes, better late than never.

The Asian Taco, also known as Pow Bao, invaded Cebu a couple of years ago, first debuting at our favorite food markets until they finally set camp at the Banilad Town Center. Their handful of choices for fillings offer Cebuanos who love to experiment with food with great options such as chicken, pork belly, chorizo and even tofu!

If you’re looking for something heavier, they also offer rice meals with the same meal options.

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Pao Baw is actually a fusion of Taiwanese food with a touch of Mexican street food which are both great cuisines individually and surprisingly great together.

Not being the most adventurous with food, I was honestly a bit hesitant to try this meal out but I was delightfully surprised that the Asian Taco was really good and not to mention, extremely filling! I personally enjoyed the chicken and tofu fillings the most.

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Assorted (mix of 3 baos) @ P100.00

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Rice meals (pork belly, fried chicken, chorizo or tofu) @ P 90.00

Meat+ vegetables +special yellow rice = LOVE!

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Baos (pork belly (steamed or fried)/ chorizo/ fried chicken/ tofu) @ P80.00

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Pow Bao is located at the front of the Banilad Town Center. Operating hours are from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm everyday.

Follow them on Facebook Instagram for updates and deliveries.

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