I have always dreamed of Manila as a modern destination with luxury casino resorts and iconic hotels situated right next to each other similar to Macau and Singapore. With the development of Entertainment City (Manila’s new entertainment complex facing Manila bay and just a few minutes away from the airport), my dream of a modern Manila is finally becoming a reality. This year, a new integrated resort has opened in Entertainment City – Okada Manila. Dubbed as Manila’s biggest and most lavish integrated resort, Okada Manila is carved in over 40 hectares of picturesque oceanfront and has been making headlines when it unveiled The Fountain – the world’s largest multicolored dancing water fountain. I’ve been following the development of the resort ever since and I am so thrilled to be the one of the first guests to finally experience what Okada Manila has to offer!
Another great addition to my #NotYourUsual food series is my visit to the Alabang branch of Planet Grapes – an upscale wine shop and restaurant perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy wine without the drama. I love a good glass of wine. However, I never got the chance to know more about it, which is why I always wanted to discover wine without the anxiety or judgement of others and I just found the perfect place. I was so stoked when I got an invite from Planet Grapes to experience firsthand their great selection of wine paired with delectable food for lunch!
When visiting Neil’s Kitchen, be prepared for a visual and culinary treat. Housed in an impressive Mediterranean-inspired building in Westgate, Alabang, opening its doors feels like you are stepping into a storybook. We went there to have lunch and celebrate dad’s birthday – choosing Neil’s Kitchen among other good restaurants in the neighborhood was the right choice. Neil’s Kitchen’s centerpiece – the spiral staircase, is adorned with random items that made it look oddly perfect. The entire floor is well-lit and most tables offer large window views of the neighboring area. Even the mason jars hanging upside down with light bulbs switched on are irresistible you can’t help taking a snap after snap. The entire space almost looks like an art space than a restaurant – Instagram-worthy, indeed.
I first came across Marcia Adams’ Tuscany when I read an article on 10 of the Philippines’ Best Restaurant Interior Designs. Marcia Adams got the 8th spot, along with Antonio’s, which is another favorite place of mine when in Tagaytay. Marcia Adams’ Tuscany lies in a quiet and hidden boundary of Tagaytay & Alfonso. It is a hidden gem but still easy to navigate. Since I also just turned 21, I decided to bring my family here with me and treat them for a different kind of lunch. I was lucky I also got my 13th month pay check on my birthday!
Heading to Taipei? You might as well consider ordering the best soup dumplings in the world or dining in their famous toilet themed restaurant! Taipei is a city that is also known for its amazing street food – beef noodles, tea eggs, stinky tofu, chicken cutlet, dumplings, and more. But at the same time, it also has many good restaurants and themed cafes that are worth checking out. Din Tai Fung – the creator of the famous Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings also originated from Taipei. Obsessed with milk tea? Try the original and birthplace of the bubble tea we all love today at Chun Shui Tang. If you’re not into night markets or street food, try some of the weirdest themed restaurants in Taipei, such as having a bowl of ‘poop’ for dessert, eating in a fake aircraft, or buying drinks in a hospital themed bar!