May 26, 2018

Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: Coral Seaside at Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark

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. I flew with fellow blogger and friend, Bettina via AirAsia.

After our wonderful and luxurious stay at Bai Hotel we transferred to another equally luxurious and wonderful resort in Mactan Island: Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark. I was excited that I’ll be able to get my feet on sand moreover to enjoy the sea and sun. It will be a shame not to visit a nearby beach; after all Cebu is also well known for its beautiful beaches. Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark, is the only 5 star resort and waterpark in the country that is owned by a local family. The resort rolls out the red carpet for guests in a vibrant sun, sea, and sky setting and boasts as a quality single destination in Cebu. There are a lot of things to do (or not to do anything at all, basically up to you) inside this resort and waterpark. 

Jpark houses 8 restaurant restaurants and bars to satisfy your every food cravings as these 8 dining options offers the world’s most-loved flavors. These are: The Abalone, Ching Hai, Olive, Coral Seaside, Maru, Aqus Pool and Island bars, JLounge and Havana by The Sea. We got to try The Abalone, Ching Hai, Olive, Coral Seaside and Havana by The Sea but I will blog about those restos on separate posts. 

On our last day in Cebu, we were send off with a very lovely and memorable dinner at Coral Seaside  Restaurant. Coral Seaside is one of the restaurants inside Jpark where they serve seafood served on a silver platter. You have all the reasons to plan that perfect date with a loved one or a dinner out with friends as Coral serves seafood and contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. This restaurant is open for dinner and seats up to 150 guests.

You have two options where you want to dine: By deck or inside the glass walled-restaurant. At the deck where you can feel the cool sea breeze as you dine by the beach as this outdoor section is a lovely place for cozy dining. Even indoor, Coral Restaurant gives you a breathtaking view of the ocean. We all loved to dine inside but no one could resist the unique experience of dining by the beach.  

For this dinner we were favored to be indulging with the Coral Seaside’s Degustation Menu by Chef Stroppa Mattia. Chef Stroppa is an Italian chef with considerable experience with Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. He was already with Imperial Palace even before it was reinvented to be Jpark Resort and Water Park. Chef Stroppa was also gracious enough to meet with us and check on us while we were dining. So here are the dishes included in this Degustation Menu by Chef Stroppa Mattia:

Pan Navajo - bread, spicy tomato and Calabria salami. Pan Navajo is actually a Native American type of fry bread and a kind of flat bread using a variation of the dough use to make flour tortillas. I think this was included in the menu as this is similar to those Middle Eastern or Mediterranean breads. The traditional Italian Calabria salami was quite on the spicy side yet unnervingly soft and delicious that went well with the spicy tomato and the fry bread.

Grouper Ceviche - grouper, red onion, calamansi and coconut milk. The Grouper fish meat (Lapu-Lapu in Filipino) was fresh and had a milky and sweeter flavor. I loved the punchy, citric explosion of flavor of the dressing and adding coconut milk to it was a nice Filipino touch to it.  This appetizer truly jump-started our taste buds and set the heart racing.grouper, red onion, calamansi and coconut milk. 

Seafood Carbonara - homemade taglioni, Uni, scallop, Nori powder. I’m not really a fan of seafood pasta, but for this one I am making an exception for the reason that it contained Uni or sea urchin roe. I am a big fan of uni, in my sushi or as it is dipped in vinegar. The taglioni pasta was perfect their long and ribbon shape absorbs and holds the rich, creamy and delicious white sauce. The uni had a texture that is very rich and buttery. The briny taste of fresh sea urchin, scallop, heavy cream, and Nori powder was utterly and absolutely scrumptious. The visual and taste factor of this seafood carbonara immediately gives an oomph to another euphoric high. Dang it was so delicious! 

Langostinos - Squat lobster with Pico de Gallo. The grilled squat lobster had a sweet, delicate flavor more like lobster or crab but I must say that its texture resembles shrimp more than lobster. The dish was smokey yet simple, but the richness combined with the oceanic flavor is just extraordinary.

Bavette - flank steak with chimichurri, cherry tomatoes, charred spring onion. By this time we were all so full but who can’t say no to steak? Bavette is a beef steak cut from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the cow which makes this steak super soft and tender. I love that it was cooked medium rare which made it retain its natural flavor and juiciness. It’s smokey and savoury flavor was really nice making it hard not to stop eating them. Personally, the steak didn’t need the chimichurri at all, as it was already delicious by itself.

S'more - milk ice cream, smoky marshmallow, graham biscuits and ube coulis. I love love this dessert! It was a perfect end to this lovely dinner. I love how Chef Stroppa made this Western dessert Filipino by using ube (purple yam) instead of chocolate. It was a delight to eat this!

I have nothing but great time and fun as the sun dips below the horizon and lights up the sky make up the luscious seafood dining experience that is the Coral Seaside Restaurant of Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark. Truly a memorable experience that is one for the books!


Jpark Island Island Resort & Waterpark
M.L. Quezon Highway, Brgy.Maribago
Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Contact Nos: +6332.494.5000

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Coral Seaside - JPark Island Resort 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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