Food Trip: Dining at Vegas Cafe at Thunderbird Poro Point

20 May 2012


Food Trip: Dining at Vegas Cafe at Thunderbird Poro Point


“It is a concept restaurant reminiscent of casino restaurants in Vegas and in Macau,” says the front desk personnel of Thunderbird Resort Poro Point (read review here) when I asked her of the other Thunderbird resto other than Olives Restaurant (read review here).


I look at her. “Really? I’ve never been to Vegas but I’ve been to Macau a couple of times. Please ask our shuttle driver to take us there,” I courteously requested.


Right beside the Thunderbird Poro Point compound is the Fiesta Casino. As I was with my family which does not enjoy casinos much, er or should I say at all, we opted to try the restaurant right beside Fiesta Casino – – Vegas Cafe.


Vegas Cafe is a 15-minute walk away from the hotel, or if you are a hotel guest, can ride the free shuttle that drives around the compound. As mentioned by the front desk personnel, Vegas Cafe is a conceptual restaurant reminiscent of casino restaurants in Vegas and in Macau. Or not.
Vegas Cafe Final 001


I’ve been to Macau twice. Macau never failed to impress me with the marriage of its new buildings and old structures (read Macau blog here). I was preparing myself to be impressed by this so called Vegas Cafe’s alleged awesomeness. Negative.


Boy oh boy, was I ever disappointed. The Vegas Cafe was nowhere near what I imagined it to be. It was a typical restaurant with ordinary resto ambiance, average resto service, and so so resto food. It was a typical multi-cultural restaurant with cuisine ranging from Filipino to Asian, to Italian, to Japanese, to Chinese, etc.


Usual dinner buns were unusually cold. Cold buns aren’t good. Not good at all. Hence to request for the buns to be heated in a toaster or oven, we had to do the frantic waving of hands ritual, as several waiters ran up and down the aisle, waiters busy with the other gazzilion, okay okay am exaggerating here tens of guests’ requests in the resto.
Vegas Cafe Final 006

Read more here. =D


Food Trip: Olives Restaurant at Thunderbird Poro Point

14 May 2012


Food Trip: Olives Restaurant at Thunderbird Poro Point


It was one of the best family vacations we’ve had. Vacation came complete with excellent accommodations in a 5-star hotel, cool breeze of the ocean against our faces, the sound of the rolling waves hitting the rocks nearby, and good old mediterranean food.


Ah good food. Ah good Mediterranean food. Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point (read my article here) is a superb hotel with an a-okay restaurant, The Olives Restaurant.


“The Olives Restaurant is the only fine dining restaurant in Ilocos and North Luzon. It is also the only one that offers Mediterranean fare, and boasts of having the sole wood-burning pizza oven the region.” -


I personally like Mediterranean food. The Olives Restaurant does not disappoint. However, it does not impress me either. Read on to know why.


Food took at least 30 minutes to be served for our table of five. Our appetizer while waiting for 30 minutes was pita bread.
Olives Restaurant 006


My brother’s appetizer – – “Olives” Soup Du Jour – Olives chef’s creation of the day. For tonight, Chef’s creation is Pumpkin Soup.
Olives Restaurant 005

Read more here. =D

Food Trip: Private Dining at Mickey’s Place, Singapore

Food Trip: Private Dining at Mickey’s Place, Singapore


Tired of the usual restaurant scene? Why not try private dining?


Private dining is a combination of eating out without leaving the comforts of a home, as owners literally open their houses to cater to diners in a more personalized way.


Manila, to date, has a lot of homes open for private dining usually located in chef’s houses in the posh villages of the city or in foodies’ elegant ancestral-homes-turned-private-dining-areas. To experience a private dinner, one only has to have the proper connections to reserve a private dinner with the homeowner.


The Singapore foodie scene had a different vibe ongoing. Private dining in SG merely meant reserving one of the rooms of the restaurant for the exclusive use of a group of restaurant guests. Only a handful of chefs and foodies in SG have opened up their own personal homes to offer a real private dining experience.


As we were getting tired of the restaurant scene in SG, it was such a pleasure to experience private dining in a different country.


Tucked away in a residential area in Toa Payoh is Mickey’s Place. Mickey’s Place is an apartment-turned-private-dining-place. Mickey has opened up his house for us for a day to showcase what he has to offer as a foodie.


Portal to Mickey’s Place.
Chef M 001


The private dinner starts.
Seafood Pasta. King prawns, sea scallops, and black mussels on a bed of spaghetti, seasoned with garlic and fine herbs.
Chef M 002

Read more here. =D