February 23, 2018

Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Cafe Bai at Bai Hotel

I've visited Cebu three times in the past, but for me it was always only just a jump off point to Bohol or Siargao. I would just usually spend a day or day and a half in the Queen City of the South and I was not really able to experience this vibrant city. Cebu is probably the other city state outside of Luzon that is urbanized and equally progressive as Manila.

Although it is a metropolitan area, what I like about Cebu is that destinations where you can enjoy nature is easily within reach. Mountainous areas like in Busay is just a few minutes away from the city, world-class beach resorts in Mactan Island is just an hour away while Bantayan Island, Moalbal (diving site) and Oslob (whale shark watching) are just a few hours away.

So when I had the opportunity to go on a weekend trip to Cebu, even though it was somewhat unplanned and instantaneous I grabbed it in a heartbeat. Getting to travel early on this year excited me, it’s my first trip of the year, yey! Plus this will be the very first time that I'll get to really experience Cebu. 

Bai Hotel is nestled between the bustling cities of Mandaue and Cebu. Bai Hotel Cebu presents spectacular Harbor and City views with ultra-modern amenities and facilities. A Contemporary Chic Business Hotel and Culinary Destination in one of the country’s top Business and Leisure destinations. All 668 guestrooms and 8 restaurants are stylishly designed in contemporary hues. That evokes an ambiance of modern luxury and spaciousness secured with a world-class access control system. Envisioned to enhance the beauty and transformation of the highly-urbanized cities of Mandaue and Cebu. Bai Hotel Cebu also is for the Business and Leisure Traveler who seeks Boldness, Authenticity, and Innovativeness on each visit, whether it is for the first time or succeeding visits.

I flew with fellow blogger and friend, Bettina via AirAsia. I went straight from work to the airport and good thing the flight was on time. Upon arrival at the Mactan International Airport there was no waiting time as we were immediately greeted by a staff of Bai Hotel who ushered us to our car service. We went straight to Bai Hotel, which will be our residence for our first night and met up with the other bloggers at the lobby. 

The hotel houses 8 restaurants/cafes in various cuisines (plus there's a mall just across the street) so looking for a place to eat won't be a problem. The 8 restaurants are: Lobby Lounge (serves light meals, desserts and pastries, signature drinks, cocktails and a variety of liquors), Wallstreet Café (offers all the signature selections of a traditional coffee house alongside assorted baked goods made fresh daily), Ume Japanese Cuisine (authentic Japanese cuisine served a la carte au me in a smart casual ambience) Marble + Grain Steakhouse ( a fine dining steakhouse serving fine custom-aged USDA prime beef and other meats alongside an excellent wine selection); Café Bai (all-day buffet restaurant with live cooking stations featuring the cuisines of the East and West) Pool Bar (offers light drinks and snacks beside the hotel's 25-meter infinity pool overlooking the Cebu skyline), Executive Lounge (exclusively serves complimentary buffet-style breakfast, afternoon tea and liquors to Executive Floor guests) and Twilight Roofdeck (exclusive members-only al fresco lounge and bar; serves bar chow, cocktails, wines and concoctions unique to the hotel)

One of the dining options that we got to try at Bai Hotel is Cafe Bai. It is currently Cebu's largest all-day dining buffet restaurant which has 400 seating capacity. The resto serves Eastern and Western cuisines, run by both local and foreign chefs. It occupies almost half of the second floor of the hotel. The place is well-lit with interiors in-line with the hotel's contemporary chic theme. It actually reminds me of Viking's and Niu's interior design. 

We dined here twice, once during lunch and once during breakfast (which comes with the room accommodation). From what I can remember, at lunch they serve local Cebuano cuisine, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, American, Mediterranean and other Western dishes. I particularly gave my attention to the Cebuano food and got grilled seafood. I took a piece of a fish that I haven't tasted or heard of before, unfortunately I forgot its name. It had soft, flaky and milky meat that I like in fishes. I also filled my plate with cheeses, shrimp tempura and tuna and salmon sashimis because I love Japanese food. I was astonished to find that their ice cream is served like that of the dirty ice cream that you would usually see being peddled along the streets of Manila. Among the food spread is of course will be ever present: the famous Cebu Lechon, a must-try because the pork is made from young pork, very soft, tender and flavorful.

The breakfast buffet is something to look forward to. There was an abundance of danggit, dried fish local to this area. Talk about unlimited bacon! Also, Ruth and I had some little fun preparing our own taho (soy curd dessert). She said it was her on her bucket list to make her own one. We even documented our very first time to create it, and it was so fun. I love that we were able to put so much sago (tapioca balls) and sugar sauce on ours as when you buy it from manong magtataho you have to beg hi to put more of those hehe.

Other things that I loved about the breakfast buffet are the Chinese dim sums and the pastries, I kinda lost track on how many dim sums, danggit and mini peach Danish breads I ate that morning. I had so few photos of the food since I was busy getting food and I don't want to walk around lugging my camera, but the fatlay photos here are what you could expect from Cafe Bai. Taste wise, everything was good, there was nothing I put on my plate that I didn’t not like. For current prices and promos you can check out Bai Hotel's details which I included at the bottom of this post.

2nd Flr, Bai Hotel, Ouano Avenue cor. Seno Boulevard 
North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Contact Nos: +63 32 342 8888 | +63 32 355 8888
Email: info@baihotel.com.ph
Website: baihotels.com/

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Cafe Bai - Bai Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Read more of my Cebu 2018 trip: 
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Bai Hotel, Mandaue City
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Cafe Bai at Bai Hotel
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Twilight Roofdeck Lounge + Bar at Bai Hotel
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Marble & Grain Steakhouse at Bai Hotel
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Oqtagon
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Cebu Original Lechon Belly
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: The Pyramid
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark, Mactan Island
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: The Abalone at Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: The Olive at Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Ching Hai at Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Coral Sea Side at Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Havana By The Sea at Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark
Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Temple of Leah

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