KEx Tour ‘18 Chronicles: Part 2

November 30, 2018

The Kagay-an Experience Tour is an initiative by the CDO Bloggers Network in showcasing the outstanding restaurants and cafés that hail from the city while promoting the plush epicurean cultures and traditions, by-products of sociocultural commerce among different ethnic groups. It is an avenue to foster food tourism to Northern Mindanao in the thick of insurgency and security issues that the entire island faces. Indeed, there is more to other parts of Mindanao than all the stereotypes and biases the media superficially accounts it to be. Its cultural diversity and natural wonders are compelling enough for someone to peregrinate into this so-called Land of Promise. 

With diverse individuals come cosmopolitan palates. Thus, different dining experiences are continuously flourishing in Cagayan de Oro to cater to everyone’s needs. I will be continuing in here my previous post with the recently concluded Kagay-an Experience Tour.

Mykarelli's Grill

A venture on family business, Mykarelli’s Grill, is a portmanteau from the second names of the owners’ daughters, Julia Myka and Jiani Marelli. They are known for serving delectable Filipino meals good for barkadas and family gatherings in a homey atmosphere, reminiscing the good ol’ days of your mom’s or grandma’s impeccable savvy in cooking. Best-selling fares include chicken inasal, bulalo, grilled tuna panga and belly, kinilaw, baby back ribs, pork barbecue, and boodle meals, which may go either by an all-meat or an all-seafood selection. Their recently opened uptown branch is accentuated with a festive vibe, truly apt for its feast-like offerings. 

Samgu-i House

Apart from homegrown restaurants catering to local Filipino favorites and heritage cuisines, foreign eateries have already burgeoned into the city to fill each one’s cosmopolitan palates. One of which is the Samgu-i House, a Korean-style grill and barbecue restaurant. Staples in Korean dining are featured here such as Samgyub-sal, pork belly with veggies; Tteokbokki, spicy mix of odeng noodles, rice cake, veggies, and noodles; Jab-chae, sautéed Korean glass noodles with vegetables; Kim Bab, rice, meat, and egg wrapped in nori sheets; Je-yuk, stir-fried spicy pork; Odeng Tang, a fish cake soup; Cheese Deung Galbi, spicy back ribs smothered in melted cheese, among others. To neutralize the spicy victuals, an ice cream and popsicle corner fronts the store.

Seda Hotel Centrio

Just in time for the holidays, different establishments are already gearing up for their yuletide presentations and setting up their Christmas trees, each having their individual adaptations of how the season should be celebrated. Well, Seda Hotel Centrio heralds it as a season of giving. They partnered with Smile Train, a nongovernmental organization dedicated in helping children with cleft lip and cleft palate. The hotel will sell Christmas decors that can be hanged on one’s Christmas trees. Proceeds will then be for the benefit of the children supported by Smile Train for surgery. The Christmas tree in its 4th floor lobby has also been lighted, joyously commenced with Christmas carols from a chorale and an audio-visual presentation inspired from Vincent van Gogh’s painting, Starry starry Night.  A cocktail-style reception was served by Seda’s very own restaurant, Misto. 

Superstar KTV Lounge and Club

On the last stop of our second day, we sang our hearts out. Good thing, Superstar KTV Lounge and Club got us covered! Opening last August, this multifaceted bar features four exclusive, soundproof lounges for those who want to mellow out and to showcase their vocal prowess in the game we call, karaoke. If you want the other way around, the club encompasses almost all of the place’s vicinity, with comfortable tables and couches or high stools. Most of all, local and high-end spirits and wines are served and mixed. The club has set and themed each day with different moods such as salsa day Thursdays and freaky Fridays. Finger foods (or even meals, you decide!) are available such as calamares, buffalo wings, grilled squid, french fries, chicken snakes, and sinuglaw.

Missy Bonbon

For one’s sweet tooth cravings, Missy Bonbon can surely fill and satisfy that. This place, known for their gelato, pastries, pastel, and cakes, have long been captivating the heart of the Kagay-anons through its saccharine treats. From a comely breadshop, it has expanded as an all-day breakfast diner, serving comfort food to regulars and transients. Still in line with the Christmas season, Missy Bonbon released its holiday cakes and holiday brownies. According to one’s personal choice, the holiday cakes can be made up of soft chocolate or vanilla sponge base, detailed with icing designs of all-time favorite Christmas symbols like santa, elf, or Christmas tree. Meanwhile, the holiday brownies have two varieties. First is the Walnut Brownies, chewy chocolate brownies, topped with generous amount of nuts. Second is the Food for the Gods, a fruitcake-inspired treat, melded with raisins, brown sugar, and fruit flavorings.

Food. Such a powerful word! More than a mere provision or aid to physiological satiety, to me, it is an art to be experienced and to be appreciated. It is how one can greatly immerse oneself into a culture, a society. And, an indispensable element that shapes Cagayan de Oro’s identity is food, ready to be unraveled and reckoned by anyone adventurous to try it.

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