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


The family’s appetizer was well, due to a lack of a better term, appetizing. We opted to have a Japanese platter inclusive of all Japanese goodness such as several servings of sushi, maki, sashimi, etc.
Vegas Cafe Final 007


The Pork Spareribs was a-okay. Not disappointing. Not something to rave about either. Imagine tender pork cuts marinated in salty soy sauce, tossed in a pan with onions and green bell peppers.
Vegas Cafe Final 008


My mom’s chicken mami. An ordinary ensemble of noodles, chicken, onions, chives, and chicken broth.
Vegas Cafe Final 004


Sean’s huge serving of bolognese lasagna was generously meaty and very tasty. Think dry meaty red sauce palette.
Vegas Cafe Final 003


Representing Filipino dishes was the infamous Sinigang. We opted to get the Sinigang sa Bangus Belly. Again, nothing fancy. Sour soup coupled with string beans, tomatoes, and kangkong leaves here and there, with tons of Bangus Belly swimming in sour broth.
Vegas Cafe Final 002


Vegas Cafe’s a typical restaurant with average-tasting food, ordinary ambiance, and slow yet courteous service. Slow service might be due to the undermanned staff. How slow was the service? Look at Familia Pascua whilst waiting, and waiting, and waiting. And waiting. Picture not staged. I swear.
Vegas Cafe Final 005


Food Spot: Vegas Cafe
Address: Fiesta Casinos – Poro Point, VOA Compound, Pennsylvania Avenue, San Fernando City, La Union Philippines 2500
Telephone Number: +63.72.888.7777

Budget: PHP 300 to 500 per person
Others: Operating Hours – 24 hours



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One thought on “Food Trip: Dining at Vegas Cafe at Thunderbird Poro Point

  1. Hi There Mailovestoeatandtravel,
    Neat Post, (I’m absolutely terrible with grammar, this is a short 600 word essay I had to write for a scholarship and I really want to get it, but I won’t be able to with this atrocious grammar! Please help me!)

    “What? She has cancer?” My mother’s eyes widened in horror, “I’m coming,”
    Vacations are meant to be taken to escape—if not temporarily—from the repetitive ‘lifestyles’ we all experience in our lives: the perpetual job, dragging days at school, all too familiar faces. Rarely do any of us embark on a journey which heavily alters the way we ponder about the value of leading a healthy, normal life.
    My mother and I took a trip to Pakistan in 2006, to bid farewell to a young aunt of mine. I roughly recall a day we spent in Dubai, U.A.E, on our way. We were provided for by family friends, who were truly supportive of my mother for being strong enough to travel across the world in the state of mind she inhabited. She hardly touched the food placed in front of her on the extensive flights. There were only three things my mother did on this trip: pray, pray and pray. That very evening, she had been glued to her prayer mat, a shawl tightly wrapped around her head as she feverishly rocked back and forth, muttering prayers with her eyelids closed. I was too young to discover the spiritual power of prayer; instead I stood by the window with the embroidered curtains pulled away. The image in front of me stood out like a ravishing artwork. I witnessed the sun slowly sinking beneath the emblazoned orange sphere above me. The light of it filtered through the tall, majestic palm trees—which were as regular in this city as lights in Las Vegas, Nevada. I caught the distant call to prayer, the muezzin’s words echoing throughout the voluminous sky. I was fascinated by this—by the magnificence of an omnipresent almighty, by the normalcy of traveling across seven seas and encountering a land of beings who worshipped as faithfully.
    The first thing that welcomed me to Karachi, Pakistan was the unavoidable blast of sweltering heat. The second, however, were the towering golden arches of the freshly constructed McDonalds across from Quaid-E-Azam international airport. The importance of McDonalds in Karachi was extremely amusing. The folks here dramatically groomed themselves to perfection to ‘dine’. The women dressed in which would only be considered as party wear, and the men wore their thick, native black hair combed and gelled specifically to one favored side. Back home in Chicago, McDonald’s signified nothing more than a swift, hasty meal through the driveway after an exhausting day.

    Finally, I stood before my aunt—but if it could have been delayed further, I wouldn’t have minded at all. The portrayal of her health brought nothing but pain and sympathy. The laughter had gone from her eyes, the once two gleaming marbles elaborately lined. Only a few strands remained of her once abundantly thick, curly mane of hair. It seemed as if something had sucked the air out of her cheeks, no longer fatty apples resting under her eyes. Her lips were pale, and the bones were finely defined against her skin.
    A pool of questions swam through my mind, what would she give to stand in my place instead? Or rather, how grateful should the people standing around her be? Throughout our lives, why do we take the ability to rise like the sun and start our everyday lives for granted?

    She passed away the following week, but left all of us with a valuable lesson.
    “When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor.”-Eleanor Roosevelt
    Lonnie Gibson

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