A classroom with a twist

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Friday, February 7, 2014


AT The Classroom, green boards are pinned on the walls for the day’s schedule and special menu. The arrangement of wooden tables and chairs blends with the “educational” feel around. Boys and girls in neat uniforms are jotting down orders instead of writing notes, while Mr. DJ is perking up the afternoon with his electro beats. Classes are about to start. Our lesson for today is about food and drinks.

The restaurant opened last Dec. 9 and was officially launched on Jan. 31, simultaneously with the Chinese New Year celebration. The place is located at the City Times Square, Subangdaku, North Reclamation Area. Mandaue City.

Owner Willis Go Jr. wanted something different. Although he comes from a family who’s active in construction and advertising ventures, the young entrepreneur was already cooking in his head a default passion for restaurants. His wife Zyra pitched in a concept—and a quirky resto bar was born, perhaps, for the record, the first in the metropolis.

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The Go couple could have explored the existing ‘50s or the meticulous hospital motifs that other business people have embraced, but the “schoolish” atmosphere ended as the perfect fit. With barely two months in the scene, the new player is already picking up loyal followers among the youth; you know, the party movers. But everyone is invited—teachers, students, anyone.

You’ll never get bored of the fare because The Classroom integrates an attractive wine canteen and an elaborate Filipino cuisine. The couple wished to create an impact that Filipino dishes are not only sourced from mainstream points in the city but [can] also [be featured] in themed resto bars where people can loosen up a bit.

For appetizers, best on the list are the deep-fried chicken intestines with atsara called Chicken Snake, the crispy squid rings or calamares and the Spicy Cheese Sticks—sili espada pieces coated with cheese, an in-house version with a bang!

On random cheat days, the last thing you have to worry about is cholesterol. Why, lechon kawali, crispy pata and pork binagoongan are just downright sinful. Praise the heavens for cheat days though!

When the weather is a downer, grab a bowl of pochero. The smell alone is hypnotizing while all its steamy goodness makes you long for soup the entire season. Find solace in the smokes and sourness of sisig or in the juiciness of tuna panga while a serving of the honey-licious baby back ribs is just about to melt your bad day away.

You’ve just emptied your lunch box and, well, you’re just in time for some good cheer. A line of bottles at the liquor booth is winking. Say hello to Johnnie Walker, Jose Cuervo, Jack Daniels, Patron XO, Tequilla Rose and to bartender Mark’s very own creation, Pumping Iron, the drink of the month.

For a special number, School Bully, stand up. The gorgeous 2.8-liter frozen blue margarita in a huge cocktail glass is primarily served for a drink challenge. The fastest drinker of the month (no spillage, etc.) wins something. It could be a consolation for either the brain freeze or hangover later.

Joke aside, you can also take the giant drink for the whole barkada to consume. Drink to your heart’s content (but be a responsible party animal).

So that’s just about it, fellows. School blues no more. The Classroom is open daily from 9 to 3 a.m. A DJ plays every Saturday while live bands render music on Sundays. Learn, eat, drink and be merry. You know the drill.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2014.

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