September 9, 2018

Spice Cafe at City Garden Grand Hotel

We are in the age where hotel restaurants are climbing back to popularity and respectability. I remember when I was young and life was better than now, my late father would hold meetings at hotel restaurants for when they would meet foreign or local clients for their business. He and my mother would usually debate if it’s practical do so. My father would argue, the food is great and that it is a way to impress their clients. 

Ever since then I’ve always thought, dining in hotel restaurants has always got to be expensive plus extravagant. Only that I’ve started earning money and want to reward myself once in a while and getting invited to events where the venue is a hotel, that I understood why my father prefer eating or bringing his clients to hotel restaurants. 

The positive buzz has probably resulted with the good reviews these hotel restaurants are receiving. Dining at hotel restaurants can be a bit costly but I guess it is still on reasonable level. All the dishes that you get to eat were prepared by professionals who have years of experience and with great care and attention. Everything is fine, tasty and nicely laid out.

Moreover, hotels are reinventing themselves to focus on social and community spaces. Many hotels around the world, are putting emphasis on flexible areas that can help boost social interaction. They are offering upscale eateries to appeal to a wider array of patrons and to enhance the overall dining experience.

Speaking of hotel restaurant, I was given the privilege, together with two of my friends to dine in one of the established hotel restaurants in Makati: Spice Café at City Garden Grand Hotel. Spice Cafe is one of the three in house restaurants of City Garden Grand Hotel. It is an all-day dining restaurant located at 7th floor of the hotel.  They have called this space the Spice Café to evoke a sense of excited gastronomy among their patrons. Their kitchen has brought together a great amount of culinary experience to focus on one goal: using time-tested techniques and celebrated cuisines to develop rich and unique offerings for City Garden Grand Hotel guests.

Each dish represents their team's many years of experience working in some of Manila's finest establishments, further refined and developed in rounds of taste-testing, feedback, and experimentation in their very own kitchen. As per Executive chef, Dennis Peralta, the value of learning from their guests, and so you will notice that him and his staff will occasionally visit the restaurant to better understand their clienteles’ dining experience.

Here are the regular menu entrees that we got to try: 

Napoleon Of Smoked Salmon - smoked salmon fillets with taro gaufrettes, wasabi cream and baby greens. Anybody who knows me knows I'm a sucker for salmon. So I was glad when my friends decided to get these smoked salmon in sandwiched in taro waffles. These stacks of goodness are delicate. I also loved that they used wasabi cream as it went well with the salmon. 

New England Clam Chowder - a classic creamy potato and seafood soup served in a freshly baked bread bowl. This was a bowl of creamy comfort especially that it was drizzling and quite cold that night. The soup was bursting with the flavors and textures of shellfish, bacon and potatoes. The crusty bread bowl can also be eaten as it is unlike the others I have tried before which mainly serves as just containers.

CPA Pizza - classic shredded chicken and pork adobo, with creamy adobo sauce topped with mozzarella, kesong puti, spring onions and toasted garlic. All three of us agreed that this pizza is really good. I love that it has got the Filipino flavors. I mean can’t you get Filipino enough with adobo and kesong puti. I also liked the consistency and texture of the crust, as it is more like bread. The thickness of the crust is also what I like, not too thin and not too thick. 

Reef & Beef - grilled shrimp and beef tenderloin served with mashed potato and béarnaise sauce. It is called as such because it is a combination of seafood and meat. The mashed potato was creamy and went well with the béarnaise sauce. The presentation of the dish was also exemplary. This kind of fanfare in food, you would only and/or usually get with hotel restaurant dishes. The rings is actually potato and is edible as well. The prawn was plump, sweet and smoky. And as for the beef tenderloin we all loved that it was cooked medium rare and very tender. I forgot to take a photo when we cut it before dividing to ourselves. 

Pad Thai - stir-fried rice noodles with chicken, shrimps, bean sprouts, and tofu. This is the only Pad Thai that I’ve eaten in Manila that looks close to the ones I have tried in Bangkok. It greatly reminded me of Thipsamai’s Pad Thai because of the full egg pancake and not scrambled into pieces. This had the usual tangy Pad Thai flavor and was quite spicy. 

Fresh Calamansi and Lemonade Juices with Honey - freshly squeezed calamansi and lemon with a shot of honey. For some reason me and my friends wanted to drink something sour and citrusy that we ended up ordering these drinks. All were good and we love that they are all freshly made and that the sweetener is honey instead of sugar. 

All in all we had a great dinner at Spice Café. We even witnessed a small gathering where a long table near us were celebrating a girl’s 18th birthday and only her closest family and friends were in attendance. They even decorated the long table with marquee lights. I want to give a shout out to Spice Café supervisor Mr. Marc Guillen Rala and his staff for an exemplary service. He and his team were super helpful by suggesting what we should order and being attentive to our needs while dining. 

Don't miss Spice Café’s latest promos: "Dance Through the Decades" and “Happy Hour”. The "Dance Through the Decades" night at Spice Cafe will started last  July 28, 2018 and happens every weekend from 7:00PM - 12:00MN featuring the Big Bash Band. The “Happy Hour” offers servings of unlimited drinks and pica-pica from 6:00PM - 9:00PM for only Php 698 NET/ person. 

I believe walk in guests are welcome to dine at the hotel restaurant, just call in to make reservations. I’ve written the details down below. 

7F, 8008 Makati corner Kalayaan Ave.,
Poblacion, Makati City 
Contact Nos: 02 2469069 ext:398 

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Spice Cafe - City Garden Grand Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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