Imagine the beauty in Cebu……
White-sand beaches and dive sites. World-class resorts. Magellan’s Cross. The Santo Niño. Tops. Guitars. Dried mangoes. Lechon Cebu. Rosquillos. Otap. Chicharong Carcar. Danggit. And some of the prettiest chanteuses in the world.
Add one more to this growing list of Cebuano wonders: Gourmet Walk.
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino has designed a unique dining experience for foodies looking for the next best thing. Can’t make up your mind what you want for dinner in the Queen City of the South? The barkada wants to hop from one restaurant to another in a convenient venue? Then Gourmet Walk is definitely for you.
Waterfront Cebu’s Gourmet Walk is exactly that: an alley with a selection of restaurants that offers foodies all their hearts’ — and tummies’ — desire. If you have a hankering for freshly-cooked dim sum, roast duck, and yummy tofu, then enter Tin Gow, already a Cebuano institution when it comes to fine Chinese cooking. For something fresh-tasting and blissfully pleasant to the eye, then it’s Japanese at Mizu. For a feel of the Parisian sidewalk café life and mouthwatering cakes and its exclusive flavored brazo de Mercedes, Madeleine is it. If you want something Italian and hearty, or perhaps just a crusty pizza and wine or grappa, then head off to La Gondola. For after-hours cocktails and a selection of innovative pica-pica, then click your heels and look for Treff, which has an al fresco smoking lounge. For a taste of Pinoy favorites — including Cebuano specialties — and a sampling of everything the other restaurants have to offer, then make Uno your first stop at Gourmet Walk.
Designed as a one-stop gourmet destination, this unique collection of restaurants takes the guesswork out of dining. With dining a year-round celebration in Cebu, Waterfront Cebu’s innovative lineup of restaurants ensures guests get the best of all worlds.
At Gourmet Walk, diners literally take a walk through an alley of restaurants. The hotel’s west wing has been transformed into a European walkway: cobblestoned flooring, a painted ceiling of fluffy white clouds on an azure sky, and walls painted with a trompe l’oeil of fountains, trees and other architectural detail. There are even quaint wooden park benches and lampposts to add to the mood. The light even changes as the day progresses. In the morning, it’s a soft white light to bring into Gourmet Walk some of Cebu’s natural sunshine; in the afternoon, the lights turn a mellow yellow to evoke the setting sun. And at night, the lights dim down and the lampposts burn even more brightly to suggest an evening walk in the park.
All the restaurants at Gourmet Walk are under the seasoned management of Waterfront Cebu executive chef Anders Hallden. Working with him are the hotel’s different chefs who provide the authentic flavors the different restaurants offer: sous chef Linda Hou for the dim sum treats and canapés at Uno; Chinese chef Low Yuen Kong for the sumptuous Chinese feasts at Tin Gow; Japanese chef Ken Imamura for the delicate yet delicious entrees at Mizu; Italian chef Vito Froio for the authentic Italian meals at La Gondola; and pastry chef Gabriel Garcia for the wonderful cakes and pastries at the hotel’s different outlets.
It was a maddening weekend at Waterfront Cebu when we visited to explore Gourmet Walk. There was no need to leave the hotel for breakfast, lunch, merienda or dinner – not unless you have a craving for the local sutokil. Otherwise, we were just in foodie heaven.
Even before we had seen our room – and what delightful rooms Waterfront Cebu has – we were already having lunch at Uno with Waterfront F&B marketing communications manager Kaye Luym. There we met the Waterfront culinary team: Waterfront group executive chef Nick Anderson, Waterfront Cebu executive chef Anders Hallden, F&B director Janine T. De Padua, and Rooms marketing communications manager Renee Villasin. During the course of our stay, we would be acquainted of all the hotel’s different culinary minds.
Uno is a modern interactive lifestyle concept restaurant with four active cooking stations, including a noodle chef who pulls noodles the whole day. And yes, they do serve local delicacies here, including the famous lechon Cebu and a selection of meat and seafood for grilling sugba-style.
Tin Gow is the oldest restaurant on the walk, pre-dating Waterfront’s purchase and management of the property. It is reputed to be the premier Chinese restaurant in the city, serving popular Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine. The restaurant is up for renovation any time now, and when it reopens, it will surely be another feather in Waterfront Cebu’s cap of culinary wonders.
Mizu offers Japanese dining in a luxe Zen-like setting. With four private rooms that are designed like gift boxes set separately from the main dining area and a teppanyaki room, it is a popular venue for business lunch and dinner meetings. Apart from its menu of Japanese favorites, it has a selection of picture-pretty desserts as well as a collection of premium wines and spirits, including sake and shoju. It also serves UCC Coffee from Japan.
The newest kid on the block is La Gondola. After two months of extensive renovation early this year, it reopened with much acclaim last July. This early, it is one of the jewels at Waterfront Cebu’s Gourmet Walk, attracting discerning diners looking for more than the usual pizza and pasta.
Madeleine serves French-inspired bread and pastries, as well as chef Gab’s famous confections of chocolate, cakes, quiches and freshly-baked breads. Don’t miss the flavored brazo de Mercedes, especially the ube and Oreo variants, which are perfect with coffee while lazing away an empty afternoon.
When the day is over and a nightcap is in order, then Treff will delight you. It is an all-white and glass-encased bar that opens at happy hour and closes after midnight. Aside from its selection of beer, wine and spirits, it also serves ingenious pica-pica that will surely add spice to your evening.
What I find appealing about Waterfront’s Gourmet Walk is that the property’s chefs are always on hand to assist diners. Chef Anders says they can always meet the needs of diners – be it in adjusting dishes to suit personal preferences, or just to have something different from the usual – so long as the ingredients are available in the kitchen.
If all that talk of food got you hungry, then take note of some culinary favorites we enjoyed during our weekend at Waterfront Cebu: the make-your-own sandwich counter at Uno, the miso-marinated gindara teriyaki at Mizu, the Waterfront chocolate delice and brazo de ube at Madeleine, the homemade tortellini with chicken and Parma ham filling at La Gondola, and the vegetarian cake at the Lobby Lounge. For all these, our stay at Waterfront Cebu was a complete joy.
About the Author
On the Job Trainee Online Food Catering Services