December was a busy month for me. Aside from work, I had to attend several events, family activities, and a lot of parties. One of the most memorable experiences I had last month, however, was the 1st Uptown CDO Food Crawl organized by Italpinas and Primavera Residences.
On December 18, 2017, I joined bloggers and friends from CDO, Iligan, and Davao as we went around Uptown CDO to explore its culinary offerings and adventures. Our friends from Italpinas, led by Ms. Mai Mai Romulo Galvez, also joined us. First on the list was one of the dining places I have always wanted to try out but didn’t get the chance to (until the food crawl): Secret Garden.
This Korean restaurant has been around for quite awhile and I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about it. So when I found out that we were going there first, I was extra excited. I will finally be able to taste delicious authentic Korean cuisine! And I wasn’t disappointed. The experience was everything I thought it would be.
When we arrived at Secret Garden, we were ushered into a room where a delicious-smelling dishes were waiting for us. The long dining table was practically covered with food! It was an endless buffet of authentic Korean food. Check out all the food that the kind owners served us:
My favorite Korean dish is Samgyeopsal (not sure about the spelling), but I loved every single item we devoured. And, oh yes, we each had our own sampling of Soju, Korea’s most popular distilled alcoholic beverage. It was the perfect way to start the food crawl.
Secret Garden is located along Masterson Avenue, just across gate 2 of Xavier Estates.
Primavera Perks Card
Since we were still full from the feast Secret Garden prepared for us, we made a brief stop at the Italpinas/Primavera office before proceeding to our second food crawl destination. We were entertained by Ms. Clara Elizaga, VP for Marketing and Brand Management. She introduced us to Primavera Perks Card.
The Primavera Perks Card is a special discount or perks card for Italpinas Development Corporation’s clients, particularly the residents of Primavera Residences. Launched last December 17, 2017, the card will allow unit owners to enjoy discounts and other perks from participating establishments, all located in the Uptown CDO community that Primavera belongs to. These establishments are Bad Burgers, Secret Garden, Bikes ‘N Barrels, Coffeeholic, Mom’s Pig Out, Luna Ristorante, Michelle Bakeshop, Barkadahan Grill, and Shield Diner.
According to Ms. Clara, the Primavera Perks Card is Italpinas’ “Thank you” gift to its unit owners. It is intended to “show our appreciation to our clients who have trusted and continuously supported us. Primavera Perks Card is a community card, we want to enhance the experience of Uptown Living with Primavera Residences and Primavera City as we feature the best of uptown eats.”
So, yes, we felt really lucky that we were given the chance to try out the dining places covered by the Primavera Perks Card. I, for one, have always wanted to tour the Uptown CDO area because, for me, it is the ideal community.
After the short feature on the perks card (and Italpinas), we were led by Ms. Mai Mai to the rooftop area where we had a mesmerizing view of Cagayan de Oro, including Macajalar Bay. We also saw the solar panels, one of the unique features of Primavera Residences and the upcoming Primavera City. We took some photos – selfies and panorama shots of the beautiful scenery.
And then it was back to business as we continued the food crawl.
Our next stop was Bad Burgers, one of the more popular burger joints in CDO. It’s been attracting a lot of attention – and diners – because of its name and concept. Bad Burgers serves gourmet burgers that come in big sizes.
Since I’ve already tasted their burgers more than once, I decided to try their pork barbecue. I liked it because it’s not too heavy on the sauce (I don’t like the ones that look red because of too much sauce). It’s also just the right size, so I think two or three sticks will be enough for me.
Salted egg potato chips, one of the most popular snack products to make it to the Philippine market last year, is also available at Bad Burgers. This highly addictive potato chips is only Php95 per order.
All in all, our Bad Burgers experience was not bad – not bad at all!
Michelle Bakeshop & Cafe
Michelle Bakeshop & Cafe is a small but really cozy cafe conveniently located at the Primavera Residences building. I’d like to describe it as a community bread shop that serves all the bread and pastries you can think of!
This hole-in-the-wall bakeshop serves fresh and hot bread and pastries at very reasonable prices. Your Php100 will go a long way here, and your tummy will be completely satisfied!
Michelle also serves premium coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea, and cakes. If you’re too hungry for bread and cakes, you can go for their affordable meals.
Check out some of the goodies we were served during the food crawl!
My first visit to Shield Diner, which is located just beside the Primavera building (near East West Bank), was during last year’s CDO Toy Show press conference. That first time proved to be a fun experience as I found myself completely awed by all the diner’s interiors.
There are superheroes all over the place! As in literally! Look up in one side and you’ll see Spiderman hanging from the ceiling (or wall post). Look up in another direction and you’ll find Ironman or Captain America. It’s like a museum of superheroes with food on the side. I was completely at home inside Shield.
And then we had some really big burgers….
Well, burgers are not actually my thing but I was caught by surprise the when I saw how big Shield’s was. It also looked so juicy and, therefore, tempting. So I allowed myself to indulge in one – errr, in a portion rather (we shared one big burger). True enough, it was juicy and tasty. And I was satisfied.
When we got to Shield for the food crawl, I decided to go for their hotdogs this time around. Like their burgers, one order is big (for me and some of my friends, at least). I couldn’t finish everything, but boy, it was exactly how I want hotdog sandwiches to be – juicy, tasty, and flavorful! I’d go back for the hotdogs (and the awesome interiors).
Shield Diner also serves the coolest, most colorful drinks; as well as the thickest and creamiest shakes. If you like to imagine yourself dining in a completely American-inspired diner, Shield is the place to go to. You won’t regret it because the food is good!
Shield Diner is located at Alfresco VLC Tower, Pueblo de Oro Business Park.
Our next stop was Luna Ristoranti, one of my favorite dining places in Camiguin. I love their pizzas and pasta, which are all uniquely Italian (and mouthwatering!). The CDO branch, located on the ground floor of Primavera Residences, opened back in 2016 and Kagay-anons have been enjoying world-class Italian dishes ever since.
For the food crawl, we tried out some of their best dishes. We had their Pizza Margherita, Luna Pizza, my ultimate favorite Spaghetti Aglio Olio, and Bruschetta Pomodoro, among many others. It was a feast of the senses because everything did not only taste eccelente, they also looked and smelled good!
Luna also offers al fresco dining, so an Italian-inspired date with your dog (or cat) is a welcome option.
Check out Luna Ristoranti CDO’s Facebook page HERE and find out what else it has to offer. You can also call 0927-5708636 if you prefer to talk to someone. Luna is open from Monday to Sunday, 8am to 11pm.
Our next stop was Barkadahan Grill, one of the Kagay-anons’ go-to places when they want good food at reasonable prices. The restaurant serves all-time favorite Filipino dishes.
That night (yes, it was night time already when we visited the restaurant), we feasted on some of their bestsellers like sisig, lechon kawali, liempo, grilled blue marlin, and chicken barbecue, among others. Although we were quite full already, we couldn’t say no to the tempting goodness of Barkadahan Grill’s culinary masterpieces.
Barkadahan is already quite well-known among Kagay-anons. What some people do not know, however, is that it has a branch in Uptown CDO. Located on the ground floor of Primavera Residences, Barkadahan Grill Uptown is a favorite hangout of diners in the neighboring communities, establishments, and offices.
Our last stop for the food crawl was a cozy, comfortable, and Instagrammable coffee shop at SM City CDO. Coffeeholic is located on the ground floor of the mall, near the supermarket. It serves some of the best coffee specialties in the city.
The minute you step into the cafe, you won’t be able to resist the tempting aroma of coffee. After a brief introduction, each one of us was given a piece of paper where we were to write two coffee specialty choices. I chose Arabic Coffee and Karak Tea. I’m not a coffee drinker (I react to caffeine), but I drank a little of both so I could experience what Coffeeholic was all about.
Both tasted good, but I liked Karak Tea more because of the two, it was the one that was “un-coffee” like. But seriously though, Coffeeholic knows its coffee specialties.
Everything not only smelled great (certainly a feast for the senses, too!), all the coffee they served us were a hit! Everyone loved them!
Aside from Arabic Coffee and Karak Tea, Coffeeholic also served Vietnamese Coffee, Turkish Coffee, and Armenian Coffee (among others).
Coffeeholic SM City CDO is open from Monday to Sunday, 9am to 9pm.
That was the last stop of the first Uptown CDO Food Crawl sponsored by Primavera Residences. However, the following day, the Iligan and Davao bloggers had a chance to try Pig Out’s mouthwatering lechon – and other dishes. Located on the ground floor of SM City CDO, the restaurant is the go-to place of Uptown residents who want to enjoy a good lechon meal.
All the establishments we visited, including Pig Out, are partners with Primavera Residences and offer rewards to all unit owners who are Primavera Perks Card holders. For more information about the Perks Card, contact +6388-880 5002 or +63917-792 1078.
The first Uptown CDO Food Crawl introduced us to some of Cagayan de Oro’s best dining destinations. It helped us discover some of the reasons why living in Uptown CDO has become the norm nowadays. Hopefully, we’ll get more opportunities to explore and experience this progressive, safe, and beautiful community in the City of Golden Friendship.
(All photos by Maia Fortich-Poblete)