Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Thumbs Down for Brasserie on 3, Conrad Manila

Read our Conrad experience here.

Guests staying at the executive floors have the option to eat breakfast at the exclusive lounge on 7th floor or at Brasserie on 3, an all-day dining venue, alongside all other hotel guests and walk-in customers of Conrad Manila. While both places offer buffet breakfast, CS and I decided to check out Brasserie for more options and hopefully, a better breakfast selection.

Just an hour after it opened, Brasserie on 3 was already full of guests, myself included, excited to taste what Conrad Manila has in store for the first meal of the day. We waited for about 5 minutes before we were ushered to our table near the salad station. Selection was decent with some exciting offerings like the detox drinks corner and the make-your-own yogurt section.

Assorted bread and pastries

Waffles and pancakes

More breads

Variety of cereals

Salad section

Dimsum station

Selection of homemade jams

Hot breakfast meals

I was thrilled when I saw that poached free-range eggs were offered along with a small variety of hot meals placed on the table by the open kitchen. I ordered one for myself and told the staff our table number so they can deliver it to us once cooked. Ten minutes has passed and still no poached eggs in sight, I asked the staff to follow up on my order and the only reply I got was that they already received a lot of orders. No time frame, no apologies whatsoever.

Yogurt shop

Fresh fruits

Fresh fruit juices and other healthy drinks

On the table

Ham and salami

Caprese salad

The only remarkable dish we had on Brasserie on 3 was this Caprese salad. Too bad some people just get the grilled mozzarella on top and leave the tomato on the serving plate.

My breakfast plate

They only have one female staff manning the waffle and pancake station so be patient when she mixes up your orders. When I went back to get my waffle, what was left of my order was the 1/4 slice she kept in the oven because they already ran out of the pancake mix and is no longer accepting new orders. This was just halfway thru breakfast so I can imagine how many hangry customers came to her that she had to cut my order into 4 slices to distribute to the other diners.

Waffle + honey

When I asked the staff the third time on my poached egg order and still got no clear response, that's when I lost my patience and asked CS if we can finish our breakfast at the executive lounge. Its one thing to endure the restaurant's slow service but when we got ignored multiple times whenever we follow up our requests, its a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen especially if you have guests who pay premium to book a room in Manila's newest 5-star hotel. As with the accommodation in Conrad Manila, I wouldn't mind paying more if it means that the service is at par with the high quality standard Hilton Hotels and Resorts is striving for. Hoping that management can reiterate and retrain the staff on good customer service because a hotel's excellent location can only take you so far with first time clients but its the returning customers and their recommendations that make a successful business running for a long time.


Conrad Manila
Seaside Blvd., Coral Way
Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 833-9999

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eat Fresh Hongkong Famous Street Food

He had me at curry fish balls.

When CS told me of a place in Little Baguio that specializes in Hongkong street food, he knew that I wouldn't miss it for the world so I dragged him all the way to Greenhills that same afternoon. Traffic was horrible but it didn't dampen my spirit even a bit because I was too excited to eat some of my favorite street food while reminiscing about our previous Hongkong trips.

The place was surprisingly packed on a rainy afternoon. The tables in the middle was the least favored seats as it directly in front of the floor-standing aircon and there's no way you can enjoy your glass of iced Nai Cha or fresh fruit shakes if you're already freezing.

What we ordered

Yakitori - Php120.00 (2 sticks)

Anything with golden mushrooms in it and I'm sold! The staff just need to perfect their grilling method so they won't have unattractive and burnt Yakitori. Plus points to the delicious sweet sauce it was served with, helped mask the bitterness from the charred parts.

Fish Balls - Php28.00/stick & Squid Balls - Php38.00/stick

Ordering fish and squid balls may seem like a crazy idea to order in a restaurant but this is Hongkong fish balls we are talking about! This popular street food is the best and easiest thing to grab in HK if you're in a hurry and already starving. A must order in Eat Fresh, the balls are cooked in curry sauce but you can also have them fried if you're not a fan of the versatile Indian spice.

Goto - Php28.00/stick

Fish Tofu - Php38.00/stick

Chicken with Mushroom - Php145.00

Seeing the tables beside us with so much food left us even hungrier so CS and I ordered clay pot rice meals for both of us. He wanted a healthy meal so he had the Chicken with Mushroom with very bland tasting chicken while I had the 2 Kinds Sausage with Mushroom meal. Hello cheat day!

Two Kinds Sausage with Mushroom - Php185.00

My favorite Chinese and duck liver sausage in a pot, it was only necessary that I finish everything by myself, something I usually refrain from doing lately. But it was a delightful mix of sweet, salty and savory flavors and there's no perfect way to eat this except with hot steaming rice.

Everything is cheap and yummy, Eat Fresh is now my go-to place for all my HK street food cravings!


Eat Fresh Hongkong Famous Street Food
691 Jose Abad Santos St.
Little Baguio, San Juan City
Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 234-9059

Monday, July 18, 2016

On a High with Blue Rocket Cafe

I had initial qualms about Blue Rocket Cafe thinking its just another restaurant in the overly populated pool of dining options in Quezon City. But since the restaurant is a mere 5-minute drive from The Cocoon Boutique Hotel where we were staying for a night, it was a convenient and agreeable option for us to take. There was a sign at the door that Blue Rocket was closed for a private function, good thing we arrived just in time for its re-opening that night.

Then one by one, the tables got occupied and by the time our orders arrived, the restaurant was already full. A sign that Blue Rocket is a popular dining spot not only for couples like us but for families having dinner or friends hanging out on a Saturday night.

Interiors is spacious and homey with interesting pieces and signs that make a great conversation piece or a trip down memory lane. I also love the lighting that makes the photos more appetizing.

What we ordered

Blue Rocket Salad - Php175.00

My family and long time friends would be totally surprised because the day has finally come when I can say that, "I love the salad here!". You see, I loathe vegetables when I was younger to the point that I became an expert separating the meat from the vegetables no matter what dish it may be, even if the sauce is color black. But with CS' good intentions, he made me realize that vegetables are indeed any girl-on-a-diet's bestfriend. Blue Rocket's signature salad was a refreshing combination of romaine lettuce, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, sun-dried tomato and parmesan cheese in lemon vinaigrette. You can also request some grilled chicken on top for an additional charge of Php50.00. The lettuce was fresh and crunchy and the dressing was delicious! We forgot to ask if it was for sale because we would love to buy a bottle or two.

Spicy Tuna Sandwich - Php165.00

We loved our orders but my least favorite was the Spicy Tuna Sandwich which was obviously from the can. I regret choosing this over the burger thinking it was a better and healthier option. 

Pumpkin Pasta with Smoked Salmon - Php220.00

Another revelation was the Pumpkin Pasta with Smoked Salmon and grilled panini bread on the side. The pasta was firm and the pumpkin sauce was creamy, a real comfort food for pasta lovers. I liked it a lot but halfway through the dish, I had to stop because the umay factor was overwhelming. More salmon should do the trick to boost the saltiness and balance the flavors.

Pan Seared Mango Teriyaki Parrot Fish - Php275.00

I got excited seeing a parrot fish dish on the menu because CS won't stop raving about the soft and delicate texture of its meat. This was the last order to arrive but hey, they might be saving the best for last right? The serving was filling with 2 large grilled parrot fish fillet to go with a cup of rice and a side dish of salad. It was soft as advertised but noticeably overcooked, giving the fish a bitter flavor which buried its freshness and ruined the mango teriyaki dressing it was covered with.

I love that the prices are affordable enough that you won't have to limit yourself to order just one dish if you wanted to try more, but not too cheap either to ensure that the quality of the dishes does not suffer. The service may be slow on the night we dined in but its one thing I am willing to compromise as long as Blue Rocket continues to deliver. Excited to try more dishes soon!


Blue Rocket Cafe
79 Scout Lozano corner Scout Reyes
Paligsahan, Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (63917) 837-6308

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Our Unpleasant Stay at Microtel by Wyndham - MOA

Before Conrad Manila came into the picture, there was only Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham to cater to guests who prefer staying near the Mall of Asia. There may be several hotels within the area, not counting the Sea and Shell Residences with available rooms for rent, but those who like the full amenities that a hotel offers usually go to Microtel for its convenient location. I've been meaning to check it out for the longest time but kept backing out mainly because CS and I thought its not worth the high price it commands especially on weekends. So when Agoda offered a promising rate, we thought it might be the best time for an overnight stay at Microtel.

The staff at the reception said that I made a mistake of booking a smoking room when we went back to her to request for a room transfer. From the elevator, we immediately noticed the strong scent of cigarette smoke that instantly transferred to our clothes and hair. Since they were full that day, we had no choice but to just call it a night and spray cologne to the entire room with the hopes that it will overpower the unwanted smell. The room was already paid for and we were bone-tired to look for another hotel but it was a very uncomfortable stay for non-smokers like us. Only consolation was the room was on a higher floor and is facing Manila Bay and Conrad Hotel.

Our 2-Queen Beds Corner View Room had chiropractor-approved mattresses, perfect for people who have back problems, air-conditioning, LCD television with cable channels, an NDD & IDD phone, coffee and tea maker and an empty mini-ref. The hotel does not offer complimentary wifi, the fee may be minimal but a free internet access should already be included if they're charging at least Php4,500 per night for the most basic room, definitely #HindiSulit.

The bathroom was spacious with hot and cold shower and basic toiletries. 

We should probably have trusted our instincts on why we kept passing on Microtel even if there were chances that we could have stayed there before. The hotel features and room amenities may be above par for a 3-star hotel but CS and I both agreed that we paid more than what we probably should. I guess that was the first and last time we are staying there because aside from the free parking and its strategic address, there was nothing else to rave or be happy about our experience at Microtel Mall of Asia. Trust me, there are way better options and value for money hotels in the area if you're looking for a place to crash before your early morning flight. My top picks are:

Red Planet Aseana City
Golden Phoenix Hotel
Hotel 101 Manila


Microtel by Wyndham - Mall of Asia
Seaside Blvd., Coral Way
Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 899-7171

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sinsun Korean Buffet Restaurant

While Quezon City is a hub for all things intriguing and delicious, there are times when a girl just wants some peace and quiet with everything she desires laid on the table. So on one of our lazy nights, CS and I headed to Sinsun Korean Restaurant in Tomas Morato for an early feast. Dinner buffet is Php550.00 per person while lunch is a bit cheaper at Php500.00 person.

Early meant that we arrived just as the staff was still preparing the dishes on the buffet table. While the restaurant is open 24 hours, they only bring the dishes out on peak hours. Otherwise, customers availing the buffet can order as much food from the hardbound ala carte menu.

Lettuce, Garlic, Sliced Cucumber, Korean Green Chili and Special Sauces

Samgyupsal and Sukiyaki

Various types of Bulgogi

So Bulgogi (Marinated beef barbecue)

Samgyupsal (Sliced pork belly)

We loved the Bulgogi and Sukiyaki the most. The Bulgogi was bursting with flavors, no need to dip it in their special sauce, while the Sukiyaki was sliced thin so its faster to cook and easier to eat!

Sukiyaki (Sliced beef sirloin)

Red Iced Tea

You can order from Sinsun's wide variety of side dishes and as many servings as you can eat.

Spicy Cucumber

Lettuce with Sesame Seeds

Jang Jorim

Spicy Fish Cake

I kept on asking for refills of the fish cake to the point that the staff already placed a huge bowl on the buffet table. I'm looking for a store that retails ready to eat fish cake, any recommendations?

Korean Fried Chicken

Customers can also choose other ala carte dishes like this Korean Fried Chicken. The skin was crispy with soy garlic taste while the meat was tender and juicy. Just be warned that one order has 4 huge pieces so if you're already full, better specify to the waiter how many pieces you think you can consume. Though Sinsun does not charge for leftovers, its still not right that too much delicious food would just go to waste. For dessert, each guest is allowed 1 free Melona ice cream.

Melona Ice Cream

I've been to several Korean restaurants around Metro Manila but Sinsun's staff is probably the most attentive people I have ever met. They know exactly when to approach you to ask if you need a refill of your drinks or if you need another set of lettuce to go with your meats. The place has been around for years but they were able to maintain the restaurant well, same goes for the quality of food as CS claims. Its not easy to keep a restaurant but its even harder to keep it running for so long. I just hope that Sinsun Korean Restaurant would stay operational for many years to come!


Sinsun Korean Restaurant
116 Scout Lozano cor. Tomas Morato
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 962-8282
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...