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A beautiful discovery: The Farm at Carpenter Hill Koronadal

July 31, 2012 2 comments

I have been to The Farm at Carpenter Hill several times and have already declared it one of my favorite getaways in Socsargen. During those times, I would just stay for one or two hours, dine and walk around but not stay overnight. At that time, I already enjoyed the place.

Came back recently to stay overnight, spend time with my husband and to have a “calm before the storm” weekend before my crazy month starts. It is only around 45 minutes from Gensan (depends on how fast or slow you go) so travel was most convenient too.

Our room was a spacious room in the courtyard complex. They do have separate Villas just in front of the hotel complex which would be what we’d try next time.

What is very different about The Farm is the expanse of space and how it’s practically covered with plants obviously tended to very well. The structures also obviously have Japanese influences. The design of the individual buildings is very cohesive, simple, practical and in my opinion, energy-efficient becase they are almost covered by trees which makes the building easier to cool and almost glass-covered to optimize the sunlight which we practically have everyday. They have so many function halls too. I think I counted eight.

The resort is super quiet except for crickets and birds and when there’s a party in one of their halls. Luckily, the noise does not get to the rooms which was a relief.

I want to go back there alone to finish a book or just to stare at the grasses. Or my coffee cup.

The Farm’s food is delicious! Sticking to what locals like best, their food has the rich flavors of Asian cuisine. It’s unpretentiously good. It’s the kind of food that, well, still considred restaurant food but the kind that is still familiar to most Filipino palates.

I rave about their Cream Dory Burger. Crispy and soft (how odd of me) cream dory patty with what I would guess would be teriyaki sauce instead of your usual catsup-mayo-mustard combi. I didn’t care much for the fries but we ate them anyway. *smile* Their coffee is great too. The measure of a wonderful coffee is if the plain brewed makes your heart sigh. Yes, it’s two thumbs up.

Our dinner was a supposedly “diet” dinner with Sweet and Spicy Shrimps, Kani Salad and Garlic bread. The quantity was good for three but my husband and I ate everything up. So much for dieting.

I would say, though, that while the service for our snack and dinner at their restaurants have been superb, it was a little lacking for breakfast. The staff came across a little grumpy and unwelcoming and the breakfast items on the buffet were not kept warm. The coffee was not as good as our order the previous day too.

Going back. Our room is meticulously clean and big enough for my family, four kids and all. The bathroom is also spacious with the usual toiletries provided. They also have soft, thick towels of three sizes. I am glad they have a bath mat because, of their tad-short wall from the shower, the water splashes to the lavatory area. They obviously spent well for their bed linen. The pillows are of great quality and the duvet has the institutional cover of sorts. And yes, they have two pillows per person. The room also has complimentary bottled water and coffee. Great setup and very comfortable.

All in all, it was the kind of short holiday that can reenergize you. You’ve had those vacations that left you tired and upset more of the time. It was not one like that time.

Most of The Farm’s staff were very helpful and sincere in being nice to you. You can see they like what they are doing. There’s one thing: I have really poor eyesight so I think I would prefer better lighting in the grounds. Also, I would be glad if there was an in-room fact sheet or list of resort features for guest’s to read. I also wish they have an in-house spa and other wellness facilities because those would be most suitable for their place.

The Farm at Carpenter Hill is located in Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City right along the highway. Their website is farmatcarpenterhill.com. Numbers 09228489098, 0832281888.

All photos from this blogpost are properties of Cathy and Milper Bolodo. 

Cafe Mita, all day comfort food

July 30, 2012 2 comments

It’s the newest restaurant to open in General Santos.

As their tagline says, it’s all day comfort food. The food indeed is. Cafe Mita’s menu consists of dishes you would love to have when you’re sick, homesick, lonely, happy, extra-happy, brokenhearted. But of course, you can dine there when you’re feeling otherwise. It would be my destination if I want to be alone, dine with a friend or two or for a comfortable lunch break.

I dined here with my family and we tried their Honey Chicken, Arrozcaldo, Tokwa’t Baboy, Pancake with Crispy Bacon and they were all good.

Cafe Mita is located in PG Building, National Highway, General Santos City. It’s right beside Maduramente Clinic and Caltex.

Get Ready for SASHIMI NIGHTS 2011!

August 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Any Tuna Festival will not be complete without a Sashimi Night. This year’s Sashimi Nights (yes, more than one night!) is organized by GENSAN C.A.R.E.S. or the Association of Restaurateurs and Caterers in Gensan headed by Donna Mae Congson of Piyesta in Robinsons.

SASHIMI NIGHTS will be from September 2-4, 2011, 5pm onwards at the Robinsons Place Gensan Parking Area. 

This year’s highlights:

  • SASHIMI All-You-Can (until supplies last) and a free drink for only P 150
  • Nightly entertainment: Gloc 9 (Sept 2), 7th Patronage (Ssept 3)) Kuerdas (Sept 4)
  • Raffles
  • Bazaar
  • FOOD DISPLAY from Gensan’s top Restaurants (they will sell other dishes aside from tuna)
For tickets, you can buy them from Piyesta Robinsons or from hotels and restaurants in Gensan. You can call 09339405498 for inquiries.

My Overnight Stay at Sarangani Highlands Hotel

July 10, 2011 6 comments

After four years, Sarangani Highlands still continues to surprise me and even their most loyal customers with continued development.

On our annual anniversary dinner, I decided to ask Dr. Abella, the owner, if I can stay overnight in their new hotel. Thankfully, she agreed. I had a great time.

I stayed in one of their deluxe rooms on the second floor. It’s a clean, simple yet elegant room with a great view from the room veranda and from the veranda in the hallway. It’s the type of hotel room you want to stay in and just read a book or watch tv or even just stare at the ceiling.

 

Due to my weekday 5am alarm, I automatically woke up at 5am…. on a Saturday morning! Even without the alarm! Anyway, it wasn’t too bad because I got to have the whole place to myself at the break of dawn.

Lovely. Priceless.

It was a relaxing moment trotting to the ridge thr0ugh the morning mist. If you like Sarangani Highlands with a lot of people walking around and dining, imagine being alone (well, aside from the gardener) and basking in the calm and quiet of the place. But it was also a great moment to have breakfast with the people behind Sarangani Highlands.

I plan to do this again, alone and with my family and to invite my friends to do the same because I know a lot of them would appreciate some downtime.

The deluxe rooms start at P 1,500 per night and the superior rooms (good for seven people) are at P 1,900 per night. Great price for a fabulous time!

Should you wish to reserve a room, you can call 083 3040752 or email saranganihighlands@gmail.com.

 

Asian Tongue, anyone?

May 8, 2011 8 comments

Socsargen bloggers were recently invited to the soft opening of new restaurant, Asian Tongue.

Asian Tongue is a new restaurant located along Roxas East Avenue.

It was a special invitations-only event for two weeks meant to promote the restaurant before its grand opening on May 13, 2011.

We were first served with Asian Chicken Salad of chicken tips, lettuce, fried noodles and an oriental vinaigrette followed by a Tom Yum bowl and Chicken Inasal for the main course. From what we have been served, it is obviously going to be a mixed Asian cuisine type of restaurant. Our dinner was capped with Palitaw, a local dessert or snack even made of glutinous rice powder balls with ube and langka filling.

I can say that the food is good, not mind-blowingly good but not-bad good. The service, though, is over the top good. The staff attending to us were really attentive, courteous and vibrant. The restaurant was full midway through our dinner. Interiors-wise, Asian Tongue is simple Asian, non-airconditioned though so I am not sure how great they’ll fare during Gensan’s warmer weathers. They have a show kitchen so I am happy to eat there knowing I can be sure they handle food properly. One great idea also is that they actually have a reception area. I hope it’s not a grand opening thing only because it’s one thing that is lacking in most restaurants in Gensan.

Asian Tongue will open on May 13 (yes, on Friday!). Check them out and all the best.

Sa Balai Bistro in Koronadal City

April 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Recently, on a business trip to Koronadal, I decided to try Sa Balai Bistro. Sa Balai Bistro is owned by Carlo Ebeo who has invited me to his restaurant a long time ago. I owe him this visit and I am glad I decided to check out his place.

The restaurant is set in an ancestral home-like place which really bespeaks of Carlo’s involvement in the culture and the arts. We decided to sit in the outdoor area with a single table.

We ordered Bulalo Soup and Garlic Chicken. One word: Superb! Sad thing is we attacked the chicken at once so I didn’t get to take a pciture. But here’s the Bulalo Soup. The taste was simply heartwarming. For people who considers bulalo their comfort food, they should try this. It’s a very “clean” version of bulalo. Not greasy, over umami-ed nor bland either. The vegetables were cooked just right. The chicken is a dark-colored garlic chicken that really had loads of garlic. It was good! What’s great was that the price was really very affordable and the servings aplenty. We ordered only Bulalo soup and Garlic Chicken but it was more than enough for the four of us.

If there was any thing I would change in Sa Balai, it would be the semi-dark lighting inside the restaurant. It was also obviously homey which almost bordered on “too familiar”. We had to call out to be entertained and there was practically no waiter around when you need one.

Otherwise, I am excited to try out the rest of their dishes. I hope I could visit them again in my next visit.

Sa Balai Bistro is located in Abad Santos St., Koronadal City.

 

 

 

Resto review: Little Kitchen

March 27, 2011 4 comments

Before anything else (and probably the summary of this post), I love Little Kitchen. Let me tell you why.

Little Kitchen is a pretty little resaurant in Quirino Avenue right next to Calderon Clinic. It is indeed a small space but the food sure makes up for it.

Little kitchen does not have any particular cuisine or theme but when I tasted their pasta and pizza dishes, I felt that the menu must be somebody else’s comfort foods or just the kind of food they want to eat and cook. I tasted the “love”.

Just recently, I got the chance to meet the owners and I was spot on.in my theory. The dishes in their menu were the dishes they wanted to eat themselves and which they can cook well too.

Little Kitchen serves some of the simplest yet tastiest pizza and pasta I have tried. Honestly, I wish they would use another kind of cheese other than cheddar for the pasta dishes but, on the other hand, I tasted olive oil-loving. (I cannot have everything.)

One sign I like a restaurant is when I don’t get to take a lot of pictures. I just go straight to devouring my pizza and pasta. So I’m really sorry if I cannot post any picture of their pizza and pasta.

On my recent visit, I tried their Fresh Lumpia. The wrapper was soft and the filling crunchy good and tasty. Unfortunately, I did quite like my meatballs toppings as the meatballs were a little bit dried.

I have tried all their pasta and pizza dishes (yes all!) but my personal favorites are the Shrimp Scampi Pizza and the Pasta Lucia. You should try those out.

Just a little tweaking on their service and they would be an awesome restaurant.

Don’t need to ask me if I’m coming back because I surely will.

Coffee Dream Reopens in KCC Gensan

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

March 19, 2011 marked the relaunching of Coffee Dream’s first store in General Santos City. It is located at the 3rd floor of KCC Mall of Gensan. With its relaunching comes its fresh new look that emphasizes a different kind of comfort and dreaminess. The blue, chocolate brown and white colors were a refreshing break from the usual dark hues used in coffeeshops.

The store design might have changed but what remains is their simply good coffee and tasty sandwiches and pastries.

City personalities who accompanied Glenn Anthony Soco, president of Coffee Dream, in the ribbon cutting were Bench Tacumba, Executive Director of GSC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Glenn Gonzalez, OIC of City Economic Management and Development Office and Joanne Marie Tan, Lakambini ng Gensan 2011.

Photos courtesy of Milper Bolodo.

Ranchero stages concert featuring Sitti

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Philippines’ bossa nova queen, Sitti, will be back to enchant Generals again, this time, at Ranchero Grill’s Paseo del Sol.

The concert will be on March 22, 2011. Be there at 8pm for the cocktails.  The concert entitled Hey, Look at the Sun!, is Ranchero Grill’s pre-summer gig. It sure is a great way to launch summer!

Tickets are at P 500 including cocktails and drinks already. For your inquiries, call Ranchero at 5539298.

 

Have you chosen your Valentine destination?

February 7, 2011 1 comment

Restaurants in Gensan and Koronadal offer you lots of choices this Valentine. So if you have not chosen where your heading to on February 14, better choose now or risk losing that romantic dinner for two (or more).

Check out the posters below to get started.

Ranchero Grill

Ice Castle

Family Country Hotel

The Farm at Carpenter Hill Koronadal City

 

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