Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cocina Don Vicente - Tara na sa Leyte 2013

Because of the grueling trip from Kalanggaman Island in Palompon and back to Tacloban City plus the rain/cold accompanied by it, we arrived in Tacloban City very tired and hungry. We initially planned to explore further the Tacloban night life like the barbecue stalls in Downtown or try out another Trip Advisor-recommended eats somewhere however we got no energy left in us when we arrived at Go Hotels. And to think, it was only 8:30pm in the evening. The night was sooo young. But alas, we were drained of our youth during that ride back. We just wanted to eat really good food (and hopefully a lot of it) that's near and then go to sleep.

When we got off the van at Go Hotels, we saw an ongoing dinner buffet at the ground floor of Robinson's Tacloban mall. It was one of the many ground floor restaurants at the mall where you can see the hustle of the waiters and customers inside. The entrance was inside the mall. We were immediately interested.

What a spread! 

That's my initial thought going in to Cosina Don Vicente and seeing the various display of food available for their Eat-All-You-Can dinner buffet. For the price of only P378, you get a variety of dishes, meat, seafood, grilled, barbeque pork and chicken, soups, breads and spreads, pastas,desserts like pastries and native rice cakes especially their famous moron, 4 types of refillable juices/iced tea to choose from and ice cream.

4 types of powdered juices/iced tea
Desserts like flans and fruit salads in small shot glasses so as not to overwhelm you and give more room to taste other desserts.
Desserts still: Pastries like small cakes and brownies, fresh fruits, moron bites, etc.
More pastries!
Grill section
Grilled and barbecued meats, seafood and poultry
Salad selections like greens, fruits, macaroni, potatoes, etc.
The interior of the restaurant makes you feel like you are visiting a lolo's house and dinner is served.  

Wooden chandelier
Like a kitchen counter with pots and pans hanging on a wooden wall.
Good for families dining out
Nice table setup
Old school drink dispenser with metal faucets and etchings on the glass
At times, there would be someone singing on the side, with a guitarist and a guy playing the keyboard. That night, a customer sang a song for his friend who's celebrating her birthday.

Visit Cosina Don Vicente when you're in Tacloban City, the buffet is a steal in my opinion. I mean, I had 3 trips to the buffet table. :)

Trying out the pastas
And of course, the desserts.
And goes on... :)
Cosina Don Vicente

Buffet at P378/person. Senior citizens 75 years and over get up to 50% off. Kids 3 feet below in height get 50% off while kids between 3.1 to 4.5 feet are entitled to 20% discount. Call +63 (53) 3238788 for advance table reservations. Located at the Ground Floor of the new extension wing of Robinson's Place Tacloban.

Ocho Seafood and Grill - Tara na sa Leyte June 2013

Before going to this Leyte trip, we checked the internet for places we would like to go to and eat at while we were there. One place that is often suggested by netizens is Ocho Seafood and Grill. 

So after unloading our stuff at the hotel, we immediately set off to finding Ocho. We knew it was in the downtown area so we got on a jeep that heads to downtown. It has a sign that says "Imelda Downtown" (can't go wrong with that, eh). The fare going to downtown is only, I think, Php11 or Php12.00 per head. 

The driver is familiar with Ocho and he said he will drop us off at Gaisano Central and we have to ride one of the tricycles to Ocho. Once we got off the jeep, there were tricycles lined up at the side of the Gaisano building. One took us to Ocho for the price of Php50.00. In less than 3-4 minutes, I think, we were at Ocho. We all looked at each other and then, where we came from, all agreeing that, "shit, we should've just walked!". LOL. I guess that's normal since it's our first time there.
Ocho was packed! We didn't have a reservation but fortunately, there were still a few tables upstairs. We didn't go up immediately but instead went towards the area where you will choose the seafood you want and tell them how you want it cooked. Aside from seafood, there were vegetables and meat like pork, chicken and beef. One of my friends took a picture of the showcase but was surprised to see that there was a sign asking people not to take pictures of the seafood.
A lady who works there also asked her not to take pictures. My friend immediately obliged. She didn't notice the sign. We ordered some seafood and also pork to grill and sauteed vegetables. Too bad, no scallops that night. I was looking forward to finally eating one. Or two. I was waiting for the lady at the counter to give us a number or something to identify our food with us but she just said, "Akyat na po kayo." I guess within the chaos of ogling customers over seafood and the hustle of servers, they have an underlying system to get the correct orders to the correct customers. 
So we went upstairs to find our table then suddenly a server appeared beside us, leading us to the available table. I noticed that upstairs, it was divided into several rooms, probably for functions and group dining. It was not like what I expected, thinking it would be a big room with several tables. It was all rooms. Our table was located at a room probably for meetings and business lunches because there was a big white board at one of the walls. There was like 4 tables set up in this room. And then there was a door inside our room where people were also coming in and out. Probably another set of diners inside.
Like if you happen to open the wrong room, you'd see a table with mahjong players having a go at it. Hehehe. It was crazy. If I worked at this place, I'd probably be lost and my boss would always be smacking me on the head for not finding the right customers.

Finally our food arrived. It didn't take long so props for that. And indeed, they were delicious. We ordered squid, fish, mixed vegetables with tofu and pork liempo.
We were stuffed afterwards. And for that much, we only paid a little over Php1,000. That's what the netizens were talking about, especially if you are in a group and would be sharing the cost, it's a good place to dine.

Visit them at:
Ocho Seafood and Grill
Trece Martinez  Tacloban City
(053) 325 4171