Ain Restaurant and BarMe and my friend went for a swim in one of the resorts in Mactan last weekend and decided to grab something to eat on the way back home. We thought of eating at Yamiga (Korean Shabu-shabu) but when we entered the arcade where the restaurant is located, we saw that the it was noticeably full of tourists and we didn't want get into that circus. So we went further in to the arcade to make a U-turn, and that's when I saw this stand-alone resto with white picket fences and a blue door. If you've ever watched a Korean drama recently, you would know that they often use these scenic locations for shoots.
I was in awe and I had to get out of the car to take a few snaps. The Instagrammer in me wanted to take artsy photos and post them right away! The place is instagram-worthy. From the moment I stepped into the garden, I knew that I wouldn't be satisfied with one photo alone. My artistic soul was telling me to go in and check out the place, and so I did.
Ain Restaurant and Bar, that's the name of this not-so-hole-in-the-wall restaurant (No, not named after Korean actor Yoo Ah In), and the owner is this lovely Korean ahjumma who was so sweet that she welcomed me when I went in and told me to take a few more shots. The interior of the restaurant was superb! Clearly, the owner paid attention to details and knew that Filipinos love taking pictures that she didn't leave a blank canvas in the room, everything was so picturesque. It was more like an American diner with lots of movie memorabilia, which reminded me of my favorite place in Dumaguete, Gabby's Bistro.
|Glamping tents outside are perfect for couples and groups of four|
We decided to have dinner there instead of going around Mactan and looking for another place to eat. Through our little chit chat with the owner, we learned that they just had their soft opening a few days ago and they are still trying out their recipes. We had a look at their menu and saw that the prices were reasonable and the dishes were more on American (steaks) and Italian (pasta and pizza). After a few discussions, we decided to have a go at Gorgonzola Pizza and Carbonara.
|These daybeds were so comfortable that I felt like I could just lay there and look at the stars.|
Maybe it was because the restaurant is still new and they were still on a dry-run that we had to wait an hour for our order, but we didn't realize it was that long since we had fun taking pictures of everything. The owner gave us a pitcher of fruit juice and a plate of salad on the house to ease our grumbling tummies.
While waiting for our order, I wanted to go and do my business in the restroom and the waitress pointed me to the direction of a coca cola and sprite cooler/ fridge. I was confused for a minute and then it dawned on me that the fridge really was the restroom. I opened the fridge and thought that I was opening the door to Narnia. I found the set-up amusing and told the owner that she was really creative for thinking out of the box.
At last, the food has arrived! We gobbled it up in a jiffy. The Carbonara was good, not too salty, and not too sweet and it was served with pickled jalapeño on the side just in case you wanted an extra kick. The serving, however, is only good for one. The pizza was OK, but it needed a little more improvement. The owner had to apologize profusely since her assistants didn't prepare the dough before hand and it was not able to rise properly. I was a little bit more understanding than usual and assured her that it was alright since the pizza tasted good anyway.
Despite the food experience, I would still come here again if ever I'm in the area mainly because of the service and the Instagram-worthy interiors. Hopefully the food would improve soon.
AIN RESTAURANT AND BAR
Bagumbayan Uno, Maribago, LapuLapu City
near Yamiga, White Sands, and Maribago Blue waters
|Coming from Mactan Newtown on your way to Maribago, on the right side of the road, you will see a restaurant called Yamiga. Turn right and enter the arcade. You will see the restaurant on the left side of the cul-de-sac. You wont miss it!|
Price range: 250PHP - 899PHP
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