Big plate meets delicious

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Friday, August 15, 2014


THERE IS such a place in uptown Cebu where “big plate “meets “delicious” and where “heaven” completes the experience. It is a place where a guest is not just a visitor but also part of the family.

This is one place where you can be your most casual self, carefree and comfortable; where you can simply be yourself. Because no matter who you are, you’re always welcome and you will be served by attentive and friendly staff who enjoy making you feel important and at ease. This is a place where the elements of an enjoyable experience entwine and places of gastronomic adventure converge. This place is called Azia Suites and Residences, tucked on a quiet neighbourhood in Rahmann Ext., sandwiched between two major thoroughfares, Gen. Maxilom and Gorordo avenues.

Azia (which means “sunrise” in Greek) houses three main outlets: Café Lazat on the second floor; Platela Grill and the Raya Bar; and Sky Lounge on the 10th floor. Lazat means “delicious” in Bahasa Indonesian, platela means “big plate” in Greek, while “heaven” is raya in Bulgarian.

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What’s in a name, really? These foreign-sounding names couldn’t mean anything actually, but their meanings are thought provoking and interesting. “Café Lazat offers a modern twist to your all-time Southeast Asian favourite dishes. Not only that, the restaurant also serves our favourite home-cooked food ,“ Ian Fresnido, the hotel operations manager said.

“What is even more interesting is the fact that we offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and other meals in between, such as our delicious sandwiches and pizzas, because Café Lazat is open from six in the morning until 10 in the evening,” Ian added.

The restaurant also serves delicious cakes and pastries whipped up by a team of very young chefs as well as fresh French breads with Café Lazat black coffee. And another surprise—this is one place where you can savour original La Paz batchoy, a welcome treat after an intoxicating drinking party at Raya Bar. Because the bar is on the 10th floor—Azia is the only high-rise building in the area—it affords a spectacular view of the city. And if you’re lucky, you might see the sunset while sipping one of the impressive cocktail drinks on the menu or just a bottle of ice-cold beer.

And if you are in the mood for fresh seafood and other Filipino dishes, Platela Grill will satisfy that craving. The place is also a “showcase” of the Cebuano’s ingenuity and artistry, with its distinctive décor of native cane weavings, especially the ceiling which are of various designs and patterns made by local artisans.

“If you notice, the hotel is actually a fusion of sustainable and indigenous materials such as Lampakanay, bamboo, abaca, rattan, assorted shells, and local wood,” Ian revealed. “With its vibrant entertainment options, the hotel could be a “one-stop” place where everyone can unwind, offering simple pleasures but sumptuous meals. And before I forget we also have omada (Indonesian for “group”), function rooms that can accommodate a maximum of 120 people.”

With a place where one feels at home and where one can unwind after a stress-filled day, Café Lazat, Platela Grill, and Raya Bar will always be bright and sunny even on gloomy days.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 16, 2014.

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