The island of Siquijor

The island of fire.  That's what the Spaniards used to call Siquijor (pronounced as "see-kee-hor") because it gave off an eerie glow from the swarms of fireflies on the island.

It can also be attributed to its reputation as the "mystic island", with stories of sorcery and witchcraft masking the island for decades.  But while there are a handful that shy away from the island because of this, I've always been curious about Siquijor.  It's one of the places in the Visayan region that I never had the chance to explore yet.

Until recently.

And contrary to all the spooky stories I've heard, the Siquijor I experienced was tranquil and picturesque.  It actually gave me the perfect jumpstart for the summer.

Friday food fest at Mezza Norte

Overnight food fiestas are heaven to foodies like me.  Unfortunately, since I work and live in Quezon City during the weekdays, I have to travel all the way to Ortigas for their weekly Banchetto or to Makati for their Midnight Mercato.

Luckily, around July last year, the brains behind Mercato Centrale decided bring this delightful food fest up north!  Thus the opening of Mezza Norte at the UP-Ayala Land Technohub along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.   You could just imagine how happy I was to hear that!

So last Friday, after an evening run around the UP Campus in Diliman, my friend and I decided to reward ourselves with some Mezza Norte experience.  (Hey, we ate well within the magic hour. *Defensive* Haha.)

And just like the other food markets, it was quite a feast.

Chef's Bistro : A very bad experience

Chef's Bistro in Scout Gandia cor. Tomas Morato,
Quezon City.  Photo taken from their Facebook account.
My friends and I always look forward to our regular weekly dinner because aside from it being an excuse to momentarily forget our diets, we make it a point to try out new restaurants.

For this week, it was Chef's Bistro located at Scout Gandia cor. Tomas Morato in Quezon City.  The food's good, I was told.

It was a little past 7:00pm when my friend and I arrived at the place.  The waiters were very friendly, quickly setting up the table for us and taking our orders.  Since we were still waiting for the others to arrive, we ordered a bowl of pumpkin soup and a whole pan of truffle pizza which I was told was their specialty.  I asked Waiter #1 if the truffle pizza was good for 6 people and he said yes.  He repeated our orders then went to the kitchen.

The soup was served quickly enough.

45 minutes later, the rest of our friends arrived and ordered more dishes.  Since  we were so hungry already, I followed up our truffle pizza with Waiter #2.  He smiled and acknowledged our request.  10 minutes later, Waiter #2 returned and asked who took our order of truffle pizza. I pointed to Waiter #1.  He went back to the kitchen and after another 10 minutes, came back to our table.

"Ma'am, sorry po pero hindi available 'yung truffle pizza.  Actually po, walang available na pizza ngayong gabi," he said.  ("Ma'am, sorry but our truffle pizza is not available.  Actually, there are no pizzas available tonight.")

I hardly act up at restaurants.  In fact, I always make it a point to always be nice to the service crew.  But I was hungry and I can't believe it took them almost an hour to tell us that our order wasn't available!  Nevertheless, I tried to keep my temper since the waiter was apologizing profusely.  So instead of biting their heads off, we just decided to order other dishes.

"Available naman 'yung mga inorder namin, 'di ba?" I asked.  ("Everything else that we ordered are available, right?")

Waiter #2 said yes.

Lo and behold.  20 minutes later, Waiter #2 returned and said that our order of pork sirloin is not available.


We exploded.  Seriously?  Making us wait that long before telling us that our orders aren't available?  We asked for the manager and both waiters went into the kitchen. A few minutes later, Waiter #3 came out and asked what the problem was.  We said we'd rather talk to the manager.  Waiter #3 went into the kitchen and then came back to our table to say the manager was out for the night and that he was the one left in charge.  He kept apologizing profusely.

Since we were already in a bad mood, we just decided to pay for the pumpkin soup and left the restaurant.  On our way out, we discovered that the manager was there all along.

OMG.  Really?! Hiding from your irate customer?  I'm not an expert but shouldn't you at least have the courtesy to address them?

Talk about really, REALLY bad service.

With that said, I am never setting foot on that restaurant again.  We may be just six people but if you could turn your head away even from a single customer, then maybe you should rethink about running a restaurant.

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