In the Philippines, steak is usually served on a sizzling plate.

At Amo’s Café over at Alpa City Suites Hotel at the corner of Hernan Cortes and F. Cabahug Streets in Mandaue City, Cebu, they do steaks differently.

They call it “Stonegrill” and they serve the steak on a block of volcanic rock.

The block is heated for around 12 hours, and when it reaches the correct temperature, the steak is placed on top and served to the customer.

It’s kind of like doing the whole Korean barbecue or Japanese shabu-shabu thing, except it’s for steak.

Of course, every order of steak comes with sides, like buttered vegetables, mashed potatoes or rice.

It’s a good concept, when you think of it: there’s less effort for the cook and the customer enjoys the experience of cooking the steak themselves.

There’s also less stress for the cook since they don’t have to worry about serving a steak that’s either overcooked or underdone.

The volcanic stone hold its heat for quite a good while, so there’s no worry about not being able to cook the steak long enough. If you screw it up, that’s on you.

Amo’s Café relaunched the stone grill concept in August this year (2019) and the event was attended by journalists, Cebu-based food bloggers, Alpa City Suites Hotel’s business partners, and yours truly.

There was a live demo of the concept held at Amo’s Café, where we got to see how it was done, and of course, we got to have some steak in the process.

We were also served some hors d’ouvres to nibble on, which included crackers topped with a really great pate.

After the demo, we proceeded to the main function room on the eighth floor, where a really nice buffet was set up.

I had both pasta Bolognese and Alfredo, as well as chicken skewers with pesto dip, roast beef, more crackers with pate, and lots and lots of rum and Cokes.

In fact, I got on really well with the bartender once he decided to hold off on the Cokes.

The night ended with Alpa City Suites Hotel General Manager Aneth Galoy raffling off a steak dinner at Amo’s Café. Too bad I didn’t win, though.

Oh well, there’s always next time.

Nestled at the centre of key cities, Cebu and Mandaue, Alpa City Suites Hotel is suitable for any type of traveller because of its location just a few minutes from the major business districts and popular tourist destinations, and its distinct facilities and exceptional service.

Alpa City Suites Hotel is at Hernan Cortes corner F. Cabahug Streets, Mandaue City, Philippines

For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/AlpaCitySuitesHotel/, call +63 32 422 71 71 or email info@alpacitysuites.com

Words & Feature Photo by Jigs Arquiza

Jigs Arquiza is a journalist-turned-mechanic who lives on the island of Cebu, Philippines. He’s been cooking since he was 12 years old, but refuses to go professional because he doesn’t want to get into arguments about how authentic his food is. You can follow him on Instagram at @eatssogood

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