My Reviews

Conrad Manila

4.0 Stars
Hotel
9

Disclaimer: My overnight stay was paid for by my company because of an event. But, I will review it as if I paid for it with my own money.

This is my first time to stay at Conrad Manila, which is under the Hilton Chain of hotels. My expectations were high because at almost 10k a night, it better be worth it.

Parking: It was confusing at first to find a parking slot near the elevator to the hotel. There are no clear signs. I initially ended up at the S Maison side. But, the guards were helpful so I got redirected to where the hotel elevators were located.

Checking-in: When the elevators opened at the 3rd level of the Central Lobby, I was wowed! I liked the view of the Manila Bay. (First Photo).

There was initially confusion on where to leave my bags because the rooms were still unavailable. We were told it was at the third floor but turns out it was at the first level. However, since the staff were cheery, I did not mind.

Other than the bag confusion, check-in was a breeze.

Room: My room faced the side of Microtel. It had partial views of the hotel, the bay, and a construction area. Not the best view, but, I'm not complaining.

The bed was Queen sized matrimonial style bed. Nice and firm enough for my sensitive back (I have a herniated disc that I got a year ago).

The toilet was separate from the shower, which is a good thing. However, the exhaust on the toilet needs work. The lingering scent of pee remained even after spraying it with my room spray that I have on hand. A demerit in my book.

Room Amenities:

Free Wifi.
Aromatherapy and Associates Toiletries- smells manly though. Just saying. The scent should be unisex.
Weighing scale- yay! I love hotels with weighing scales in the rooms. Helps me watch what I eat in case I don't use the gym facilities.
Flat screen tv.
And the best amenity: NESPRESSO MACHINE with 6 capsules!

There was a turn down service at night. But unlike other 5-star hotels, there was no Turn-down sweets that were usually given away.

Breakfast buffet: You have 3 restaurant choices- Brasserie on 3, China Blue, and Blu Coffee Bar.

I went to Brasserie on 3.

The choices were within my expectations: sausages, bacon, egg station, bread station, waffles and crepe station, dimsum section, Filipino dishes station, and cereal station.

The notable areas for me were the cereal station with greek yogurt and the noodles section. I could make my own yogurt bowl with the selection of muesli, flax and chia seeds, nuts and sunflower seeds, and assortment of dried fruits.

In the noodles section, I asked for laksa sans noodles with lots of mushrooms! Sarap! Just the right kick and creamy taste.

Overall, it was a nice experience. Would I still book here if I'm the one paying for it, likely.

#unicorngiveaway

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Grace Park

3.0 Stars
Italian
4

Ambiance: Looked industrial to me instead of fine dining. Service was good but the ambiance just doesn't match with the price of the food.

Food:

Muscovado Beef- this was the highlight of the night. Super tender and flavorful. Not happy about the price but it was really good.

Chicken Parm- was good. But then I saw the price and I was outraged. It's not THAT good to warrant a price tag of 600 plus pesos without any sides. Was this pounded and rubbed by virgins to warrant such a price point? Or the rent was just too expensive in the area?

Pasta- was good. But tiny. TINY!

Salad- didn't bother to check what this was called. It was unmemorable and I am certain it was expensive.

Overall, it was ok but not worth a dent in your wallet. Glad to be able to have ticked this off my list.

On another note, friday night and a restaurant row void of people? I'm scared of the tenants in One Rockwell. I hope they still make a profit. Oh wait, must be why the food around here is pricey AF.

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Crepe Amelie

3.0 Stars
Café

No photos. Order was for takeaway.

Ordered:

- Cucumber, Apple, and Mint drink. Really refreshing and delicious.

- Ham and Cheese Sandwich. No wow factor but not bad either.

- Mango and Strawberry Greek Yogurt. Pretty yummy! Helped with my digestion a few hours later.128540

Food would be 3.5/5 stars.
Price would be 4/5 stars.
Service is a 3/5 stars as one of the ladies handling my take out was throwing my order around haphazardly.

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Annam Noodle Bar

3.0 Stars
Vietnamese
4

I'm a Bahn mi lover but I decided to try their Pho first so that I have another reason to be back.

I got the Pho Australian Beef steak slices for P320 and a Viet Coffee with Condensed Milk for P120. Prices include already Vat and Service Charge.

The serving was huge! I had the rice noodle option so I knew it would be heavy on the tummy. It had about 4 slices of beef steak served medium rare.

The broth was ok. It would have had more depth if they had lemon and veggies like bean sprouts included. You pay extra for the veggies. Sad. And they use calamansi. I had to add more nuoc mam/ fish sauce, hoisin, chili sauce, and even nuoc cham to add more dimension to the broth. The hoisin was also lacking in depth of flavor. Too commercialized, probably.

The beef was tender but the cuts were big that it was cumbersome to bite into. I read some reviews that other people got few slices only so I'll accept the huge slices as a blessing.

The viet coffee had a strong flavor, as expected. However, the caffeine kick was missing. But, I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Service was efficient and very attentive. I was there around a little after 11am so the attentiveness level was top notch.

I've had better pho elsewhere but will be back bec I will have to try the Bahn mi.

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Provenciano Restaurant

4.0 Stars
Fusion
4

Post field work and being stuck in traffic, we were pretty hungry.

Took a detour to Maginhawa to try this place out.

Love the Pinoy decor and ambiance.

We ordered:

Sinaing na talakitok- my Mom would love this!
Tadyang ni Enteng- fried beef ribs
Sugpo in Alavar sauce- I miss being in Zamboanga so this is a great way to sort of taste the flavors again of that City.
Leche Flan.

Price is on the high side but servings were good for 3people.
All the dishes we ordered were good.

Will try their bibingka next time.

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Banh Mi Kitchen

4.0 Stars
Vietnamese
3

I was a Bon Bahn Mi addict when my office was still at Chino Roces.

99 bucks for a large Bahn Mi. Free delivery for a min 300 bucks. Easily 3 sandwiches for me! My only complaint was that the veggies weren't pickled.

Enter these guys who will give Bon Bahn Mi a run for their money!

They highlight their crunchy baguette.

And crunchy it is! Very very crunchy! 128522

For 149 bucks for the Full Classic Bahn Mi, it was a hefty 6 inches of meat and pickled veggies. I love that they were generous with the cilantro! If I could marry Cilantro, I will! 128513

It was yummy that I decided to take out 3 full sandwiches for the family.

Tip: warm your take out at 250° for 3 minutes.

If you don't heat them, they will be chewy.

Prices are very reasonable. The only downside is it's located at Megamall. Parking is hard. Driving there is also a pain if you're from QC. Other than that, all upsides!

Sulit'

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BLK 513

2.0 Stars
Frozen Yogurt
4

Looks great! Taste is just ok. Activated Charcoal is highlighted as a claim in helping to remove toxins and reason to buy this product.

You're forced to get the minimum accoutrements because of the P185 price tag for a cup. Pretty pricey.

Choose 1 crunchy topping + 2 fruits + 1 sauce for the cup. No sauce if you pick the cone version and pay 15 pesos less.

Personally, I'd rather have a plain one but I don't think they sell plain froyo.

I suggest you skip the sauce if you want a healthier version and avoid the sugar rush. If you subscribe to the YOLO mantra then go ahead.

I ended up throwing half the damn thing bec the Matcha Milk Sauce was sickeningly sweet for my taste. It was more condensed milk than matcha. I'm just not into saccharinely sweet stuff anymore. This is why I rated it 2 stars.

Skip the sauce if you're maarte like me when it comes to sweet stuff. Stick to fruits and granola.

Waste of money. But I'll have an insta-worthy photo.

I hope they can sell the froyo without the trimmings. I'd buy that as is.

----
Remark from a friend:

"Activated Charcoal? Uling? Mag inihaw na liempo na lang ako!" 128540

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Apero

4.0 Stars
Café
2

Nothing beats good old kape at pandesal for breakfast on a rainy morning.

Let's kick it up a notch by having Black Cat Mocha from Intelligentsia, Duck Fat Pandesal, and cultured butter.

Sarap! The rich duck fat made the pandesal pillowy inside and have a crisp and delicate crust outside. On it's own, a winner. Slather cultured butter and it's a slamdunk!

128525128525128525128525128525128525128525128525

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Mango Tree

4.0 Stars
Thai
8

My friends think I am a hermit. To rectify my lack of social life, they took me out on a date.

We ended up here.

My first thought was "Wow! Date talaga!"

The ambiance was worthy of a first date. Dim lights, fancy linen, attentive staff, and of course... Good food.

We couldn't make up our mind on appetizers while waiting for my other date. It's was a three-some date. Actually, they're a couple who just took pity on me. Lolz 128514

We ended up with Thai Coffee and Pad Thai first. We let the staff mix it for us bec we're fancy and lazy like that. Good decision as the way the lady mixed the pad thai and added the chili and lime juice was just right!

When my buddy's girlfriend arrived, we ordered the ff:

Spring rolls- unmemorable. Was ok.

Papaya salad- man this was HOT128293128293128293 and we loved every bit! The crunch of the papaya was a great contrast to the spiciness. Sarap!

Satay- was good. But also unmemorable.

Massaman Curry- sublime. Like Indian Buttered chicken but I can't put a finger on it why it's so darn good... Lalo na with Jasmine Rice. Huhu. #fatnessfirst lick your plate good!

Red sticky rice with mango- this was very yummy. The fact that the General Manager gave this dish complimentary made it all the more yummy!

Can't review the price as it was a date. So my dates paid. Harhar.

Will def be back!

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The Dessert Kitchen

4.0 Stars
Dessert

I went here for the Raindrop Cake or Nippon Warabi. This is one of those "hip" foodie trends in New York that I've heard about when I was there.

So is it a blob of water? A silicone breast implant?

Made from water and agar, it's practically flavorless. BUT, ZERO CALORIES! Well, almost.

The one I ordered is the Sakura version.

This one had sakura mochi balls, red beans, and brown sugar paste.

The nippon warabi has a very delicate flavor. But if you combine all the components, you'll get a great mix of flavor and textures.

If you have a sweet tooth, you might find this bland. But, I enjoyed this immensely. Plus, lower calories. Yay!

Will be back again bec it's only 168 pesos. 128523

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