Pueblo de Oro Clubhouse Makeover: Chris Coffee Cuisine Chic
Time was when the clubhouse of the Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club was mostly patronized by golfers. Which is not surprising, considering it sits a good 500 meters away from a guarded gate to the exclusive Pueblo de Oro Estates and next door to the 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II International, not to mention a good 10 kilometers from downtown Cagayan de Oro.
Inaugurated May 5, 1998 by President Fidel V. Ramos, himself an avid golfer, the course has been hailed as one of the finest in the Philippines with a majestic driving range, clubhouse, tee houses and practice putting greens.
Golf expert Brent Kelly defines “clubhouse” as the main building at a golf course where golfers first head to when arriving at the course. The clubhouse usually contains the pro shop where golfers check in and pay, and some kind of food and drink service (full-scale dining, snack bar or simply drinks in a fridge). He notes how the clubhouse in larger golf clubs, also has a conference room and a bar or lounge, and locker rooms for golfers (http://golf.about.com/cs/golfterms/g/bldef_clubhouse.htm)
All this the Pueblo de Oro Clubhouse has but heading into its 17th year and after two concessionaires, it was beginning to grow “long in the tooth”, so to speak, thus the smiles on the faces of club members and visiting golfers when Chris Coffee Cuisine took over the clubhouse concession early this year.
“I proposed to Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club to completely renovate the entire clubhouse so as to bring in not only golfers and residents but guests and visitors from outside the golf course and estates as well,” said Jenny Chua, who together with Helen Grace Heinsohn and Virginia Bruderer, form the dynamic trio that’s been turning heads and palates with their complete “inside-out” makeover of the clubhouse.
Ms. Chua takes care of the business side of things and the kitchen, while Ms. Heinsohn organizes the marketing and functions, especially for clients outside the estates and golf club, and Ms. Bruderer is charged with liaisoning with clients within the golf estates and club.
And it’s not only the clubhouse’s veneer which has been buffed to sheen. The menu has been revamped as well with steaks that taste much better than the ballyhooed ones from nearby, but cost a third less in the bargain!
For where else can in Kagay-an can one get Filet Mignon for P699? Or Galician Rib Eye or Tenderloin for P599? Or T-bone for P499, for that matter?
Among the best sellers that have golfers and non-golfers coming back for more are the house specialties Lengua Concitas (Beef tongue boiled in onions and garlic, covered in brown sugar); Pinaputok (Stuffed bangus wrapped in banana leaves with tomato and onion) and yummy pork favorites like Crispy Pata, Lechon Kawali, Baby Back Ribs, Patatim, and Sweet and Sour Pork, not one of which will set you back more than P210 and even less.
For the more health conscious, another house specialty you’ll love is their Royal Baked Salmon (baked with caper vinegar and olive oil at only P280 (medium cut) and P380 (large cut).
While waiting for your orders, you can munch on the house’s complimentary welcome treat of bread rolls freshly baked from the kitchen.
Yes, the prices are unbelievable, the portions generous and taste real value for your money which add up to a really fun dining experience!
And that’s not all! Non-golfers, residents from nearby Uptown subdivisions and businessmen from as far as downtown can hold their social and corporate events in the fully equipped conference rooms like what the Oro Bankers Association headed by newly minted president Cris Parojinog of UCPB recently did.
By the by, residents of Pueblo de Oro Golf Estates have an additional privilege: for a minimum order of P400, they can order any of the items on the menu and have it delivered hot to their doorstep!
Jenny Chua has had 15 years experience managing a Cindy’s franchise in SM Cebu and promised hubby Wilson she would hang up her apron when she reached 40, but the opportunity to bring something special to the Pueblo clubhouse proved too strong to resist.
“I guess being a restaurateur will always be part of me as I’ve always been taking as much opportunities as I can to give great dining experiences for my friends and families, so I guess, instead of complete retirement, it became more like a hiatus or a break from the business side of it but not from offering my services.”
Never one to back down from a great chance when she sees it, and take on a challenge to flex her knowledge and skill in business and the culinary arts, Ms. Chua said Chris Coffee Cuisine (named after her eldest son) was as a much a challenge to show others and more importantly herself, she could still hack it.
“It was also just a great chance that came around the corner, and like the rest who were offered the same chance, I did my best to show that I still had it in me. I guess you could say that I also wanted to know if I still had it in me as well.”