Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mactan, Cebu Island: Jungle Restaurant and Maribago Grill

While staying in Mactan Island last October 2010, we’ve discovered a few very interesting Filipino restaurants. You know, my goal for this Philippine holiday was to only eat at Filipino (or Asian) restaurants but towards the end of our 2-week holiday, we’ve surrendered, albeit willingly, to European influenced restaurants and American fastfoods. Sigh, we are not perfect OK?

Anyway, let me show you 2 Filipino restaurants in Mactan Island that have caught our attention. To get to these restaurants you would need a private car or you can book a taxi. The best GPS in the Philippines are the locals, so if you are lost, just stop and ask, someone would know.

Bagumbayan, Maribago, Mactan Island (Cebu, Philippines)

What strikes us most with this restaurant is the cultural entertainment. The fire eating act was splendid and the Filipiniana regional dances as well but I think the show took a loooooooooooong time that it kind of lost its flavour. Food here is OK, between 3 and 4 stars out of 5, nothing to rave and complain about except that its pricey compared to other restaurants. Like they say nothing is free in this world, the entertainment for sure has a price tag. Food here is served per set menu only.

My suggestion to this restaurant: Keep the show short—keep the fire act going and do at least 5 dances ONLY. No more. Then lower down the prices of your set menus or perhaps offer ala carte. I am sure you will get more guests, and not just foreign guests but locals as well (ergo more profit).

Punta Rizal Street, Maribago, Mactan Island (Cebu, Philippines)

What can I say? I just love, love, love the ‘bahay kubo’ (nipa hut) concept! It’s so local, so Filipino, so cute and so cozy. The restaurant is set outside, in an open lush garden venue with cobble stones on the ground and little nipa huts dotting all over the place. Dimmed lights and light background music, the ambiance is just perfect for a romantic dinner for two, in a bahay kubo. Lovely!

Food is 4 stars out of 5. Would love to come back here again.

And if I have to choose from both restaurants, which is which? The Jungle Restaurant or Maribago Grill? Well, I’d choose for Maribago Grill.

Tip: For more reviews, google the names of the restaurant adding mactan, cebu to it
Travel Period: October 2010

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