Consider this breaking news—the beloved seafood and Cantonese restaurant Hai Shin Lou (HSL) in Cebu will be re-opening its doors in time for the holidays. It will resume operations in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, where it first introduced its trademark Cantonese fare to Cebuanos in 2018.

Speaking of the holidays, the hotel is getting into the holiday spirit with a series of events. First, its Christmas Tree of Hope lighting was done on Nov. 13 in partnership with the GMA Network benefitting the GMA Kapuso Foundation. Next, it rolls out its festive offerings at the SunStar Best of Cebu-winning Cafe Marco, available from Dec. 2 until Dec. 23 for the most discerning foodies in town.

Some of the menu highlights include the traditional Christmas ham, roast beef, roast turkey, chicken relleno, among others. Don’t worry if you’re not into the traditional Christmas fare, the hotel buffet continues to serve its solid Filipino food and snacks, and an equally impressive Japanese station.

During a luncheon held on Nov. 25, it was definitely interesting to see a plateful of Yang Chow Fried Rice sharing the table with the Christmas Ham. I felt this wasn’t random, and true enough, I was able to confirm with Marco Polo Plaza and Cebu director of sales and marketing Lara Scarrow that this was the hotel’s way of teasing us with HSL’s return—more specifically, on Dec. 14.

I’ve spent Christmases at home for the entirety of my life. I’ve had the privilege to enjoy this thanks to my folks who are, in their own way, chef extraordinaires. However, only recently have I opened myself to the idea of eating out in celebration of the holidays. It makes perfect sense to celebrate the essence of home away from home (most especially coming from the pandemic lockdown when we spent most of our time at home). And we’re not even talking about New Year’s Eve yet!

The Cebu dining scene is thriving with numerous options. If you look hard enough, you’ll surely have a favorite. It’s welcome news, then, that Marco Polo Plaza Cebu is bringing back a city favorite in HSL while joining the rest of the city in celebration of Christmas 2022. Reservations for these restaurants are highly encouraged. Cheers!