|View from the top most floor of City Garden Grand Hotel|
A few days ago, we were fortunate enough to visit another hotel in the Makati. Along the busy district of Makati Avenue, a colossal structure stands out among the throng of room and board establishments in the city. They call it City Garden Grand Hotel. We didn't get to stay there yet but we had first dibs on their foremost restaurant named Spice Cafe. Unbeknownst to the general public, these chain of hotels with the "City Garden" monicker actually operate independently. This hotel is pretty new, the first two was built in Manila, the third one is in Makati. City Garden Grand Hotel is on their 9th month of operations (started July 14) and share the common vision, mission with the other franchise.
The hotel's GM Lawrence Pena says "The hotel is fully operational, though the spa is still on its final touches. We can cater to them on individual rooms if they want to experience that already. We have the Spice Cafe on this floor, the infinity pool is on the 32nd floor, the gym is on the 9th together with the spa that's going to open real soon. We have a business center over there together with the meeting rooms. We have three function rooms also on the 8th floor and a Grand Ballroom on the 31st. We want the Filipino look and feel for this restaurant so we took time to put up capiz chandeliers, narra tree back drafts to almost all the walls, we had to redo some parts of it until here which caused some delays. We had to have consistency all the way up so the guests would feel homey. The contractors had certifications so they could source narra and use it all throughout.
This is Spice Cafe. We want to have that Spice feel and it's really challenging because we have a specific way we want it done. There will be additions later on. Spice Cafe is fusion, we would like to stay and provide what the guest wants. It should be Asian, but at the end of the day we want the business segment and everybody else to be well taken cared of."
Spice Cafe is casual dining. This serves as the same venue for breakfast courses of hotel guests but it's pretty much open for walk-ins and reservations. They do offer lunch and dinner too but they're not a whole day buffet. The place can seat around 80-100 people if I'm not mistaken. I particularly like the long table that can seat groups and the very intimate ones beside the window. I wanted to have breakfast, lunch and dinner there and look out over the Makati sky line.
It was busy but I could tell service wasn't letting anything to get in the way. They won't be intrusive either and would only do simple things without the need to call attention. Coffee? They've got really good baristas who can whip up pretty fancy designs with just froth from milk and coffee, we watched them do it live too!
This wasn't a one time thing, they made a couple for all of us on the table. Check out these designs! They were too cute that we almost didn't want to drink it.
|They call this Hibiscus, probably from the flower pattern.|
|This one's a super duper cute 3D latte art Cat! It's even waving at me!|
Then we went out and checked the buffet spread. They have an extensive menu, but I love the Asian stations the most. They can make your soups fresh, there's also dimsum, plus a separate salad, dessert, cheese and cold cuts on an island. Here's what they have on the bread stations.
|There's Chocolate Chip Cookies and Scones!|
|These are Chocolate Cupcakes and Blueberry. It was pretty good and baked fresh just for this day!|
The buffet spread had Fish and Tofu, Mashed Potatoes, Vegetable Stir Fry, Fettuccine, Salmon Sushi, White Rice and Yang Chow Fried Rice. They had more but I only took photos of the ones I tasted that afternoon.
This was the noodle station. You can make your own soup with tons of things on it. I wanted something like Laksa and it was easy because everything was laid out on the buffet, you just have to tell them, or better yet, ask for their suggestions!
|Salads, Cheeses, Fruits were on a separate table. Not far from all of it.|
|Dimsum entails lots of Siumai, Sharks Fin and other Asian favorites.|
Then we headed on to have the things on the ala carte menu. As I mentioned earlier, they don't have the buffet opened all day. Although, they are gunning to have that happen real soon. They have the nicest things to offer guests from the hotel, or those that choose to walk in this place. It did not disappoint.
This is Spice Cafe's Beef Noodle Soup. It's part of the buffet which I showed you earlier. It's made fresh and since you choose what to have with it, the fish balls, veggies, chicken, beef slices would be something that you'll really love. Make sure you eat this hot, it's gonna be way better!
One of my favorite comfort foods, this is Spice Cafe's Congee. This is still part of their buffet.The hot congee is topped with chicken strips, fried tofu squares, slices of century egg and chicken egg. They also did put in golden brown garlic and chives. I super love this and if there's something I'd like to have when I get back, this will be on top of my list. It's simple, but it's everything I want in a bowl!
This is their Pizza Supremo. Isn't it colorful? Aside from the usual sauce and cheese layers, they went ahead and put in crunchy fried basil leaves, radicchio, and more crunchy strips of pumpkin on top. It was good, so good that I had 2 slices all by my self. It's not just pretty on pictures, it's really good. Oh and the sausage slices that are also on this pizza is made fresh by Spice Cafe's chefs. They made other things aside from that, all in house, which is quite impressive.
This one is Spice Cafe's Eggs Benedict. It's one of their best sellers and I'm not surprised. The poached egg, the bacon, the sauce, the asparagus, the cherry tomatoes, how can you not love that on your breakfast table? Sometimes, you deserve to have the best things in life, and this is one of it. Break the egg yolk, sit back and let it ooze out on your plate. Need I say more?
This is what they call the American Breakfast.It's got sausages which they make fresh, scrambled eggs, onion slices, tomatoes, toasted bread, and a croissant. This one is also served with fresh fruits so it is a complete meal. You've got your carbs, proteins and healthy stuff on a plate. If you want something for breakfast, lunch or dinner that'll still keep you fit, this might be it. Oh there's more!
This is a Filipino favorite. This is Spice Cafe's Filipino Breakfast. You may look at it like a modern take on the Tapsilog. It's one of the reasons why people come back to this place as the Tapa is pretty popular among the guests. The beef strips were quite tasty and I felt it was college all over again because this is one of my staples. It's fresh, hot and they can prepare it fast. Have a cup of coffee nearby and it'll be the perfect breakfast!
Their best seller is the Salmon Steak. The salmon itself is seared quite perfectly, it's also got great grill marks, then probably finished in the oven. It's soft, fresh tasting, flaky and hot. The mashed potatoes were a little chunky though and might be better if it was passed through a siv/mill. It's also got other veggies and fried basil leaves and arugula on top. Mix it with the cream, take a bit and enjoy it! Ahh it's all heavenly! I'll surely be back for more!
For those looking for something a little healthy and light, here is Spice Cafe's Sicilian Salad. With it's contents I thought it was a Waldorf salad but they say it's different. This one's got Arugula, Lollo Rosso, Romaine Lettuce, Iceberg Lettuce, Red Apples, Cherry Tomatoes, Mandarin Orange, candied walnuts in a light dressing. Ladies would love this!
Last but definitely not the least is this sinful dessert. This is SPICE Cafe's Signature Cheesecake. It's got shards of milk chocolate, fresh strawberries, strawberry jam, strawberry/raspberry coulis and roughly chopped pistachios. It's a battle waiting to happen, something sweet, salty, tangy and fruity, all in one plate. I wanted it all for me, but I had to share, like what every good man should do.
City Garden Grand Hotel's SPICE CAFE is pretty new. Being in it's infancy, it has room to grow, to show how much flavors their chefs can whip up in this new restaurant. This can bring gustatory experience to new heights; to have zest, acidity, sweetness, aroma and essence of good food made in this massive structure right in the heart of Makati City. They've got great rooms, amenities, exquisite service that's got a Filipino touch. This short stint in City Garden Grand Hotel and their new restaurant Spice Cafe made me realize that it has so much promise, something which I hope could rival the best ones in the industry too. Remember, competition is healthy, which is way better for us so we could have wining and dining choices while they all show us their stuff. It's reassuring!
Call them now at (+632) 888 8181 so you can reserve a table or book a room or two. They are located at 8008 Makati Avenue corner Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City.
For more information about their hotel:
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Visit their official website
Visit their official website