May 18, 2018

Cebu 2018 Travel Diary: The Olive 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 first day at Jpark we had our dinner or should I say a feast at one of the resort's many restaurants: The 
Olive. In this restaurant one can experience Asian-Mediterranean fusion. Olive features a unique blend of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine that is sure to answer your want for some gastronomic delights. Here, you can also enjoy the best Filipino comfort food. This restaurant can seat up to 110 guests and is open for lunch and dinner. 
But for this dinner feast, we were served with mostly Filipino comfort food and Cebuano local cuisines. 

Below are the dishes that we got to try: 
Fresh Lumpia - Lumpiang Sariwa or Fresh Spring Roll is a Filipino vegetable dish composed of different vegetables with a soft (unfried) wrapper garnished with sweet sauce and crushed peanuts

Green Mango Ensalada - sliced green mango with tomatoes and salted egg wedges served with our The Olive’s homemade shrimp paste and honey vinaigrette.

Cebu’s Kinilaw na Tanigue - The Olive’s own ceviche style raw fish cured in local vinegar and spices with green mango and coriander infusion

Beef Pochero - flavored beef shank broth with potatoes, fresh bamboo shoots, sweet corn and white cabbage

Crispy Pata - deep-fried pork knuckles with native sauce, pickled papaya and liver sauce

Pancit Palabok - vermicelli noodles with crushed chicharon boiled egg and smoked fish flakes with seafood sauce 

Bam-I - Cebu’s famous duo of noodles sautéed with meat chorizo Bilbao and wood ear mushroom

Grilled Mixed Seafood Platter - grilled tiger prawns, lobster, squid, Tanigue fish steak and crabs.

Leche Flan - Filipino custard crème glazed with sugar caramel

So here are my favorites from all the food that we ate during the dinner at The Olive. First was the Kinilaw na Tanigue, for some it is an acquired taste to eat raw fish, but since I was young girl, my family has been making them occasionally and I’ve took a liking for it ever since. I like how fresh and milky the fish meat was, the sourness was just enough too. Next is the Beef Pochero, another dish that I grew up with but the one I know is one where the soup is with tomato sauce. But in Cebu their Beef Pochero doesn’t have tomato sauce. It looked and tasted like Batangas Bulalo and everyone can’t stop sipping the soup as you can really taste the savoury flavours of the mixture of beef, marrow and vegetables in it. 

The Crispy Pata was very well plated and presented. The pork skin was super crispy and the meat was soft and tender, a good crispy pata should be. It was my first time to try Bam-I and it is combination of stir-fried vegetables, vermicelli noodles and canton.  All these ingredients provided a satisfying distinct Pinoy flavors and texture. And my favorite dish of the night is the Grilled Mixed Seafood platter, I’m in love with seafood even though I am allergic to them, if I have to eat one type of food my entire life, it would be seafood. Everything was so good especially the lobster and the Tanigue fish steak. The dinner was capped off with a heart shaped Leche Flan topped with macapuno. It was the sweetest ending for a great dinner. If you don’t think that was a feast, I don’t know what is. It was ten of us and after that dinner, there were still a lot of food left on the table. This was a truly sumptuous and memorable dinner, if I can say so myself. 

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: 
Olive - 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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