Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jack’s Blue Plate Diner: Delicious Food to Crave For, To Die For.

Jack’s Blue Plate Diner 
Delicious Food to Crave For, To Die For. 

We have always been craving for Jack’s Blue Plate Diner 
but since it is located way off at the Pili- Naga boundary,
we end up dining in Naga based restaurants most of the time.

We were happy when they opened a branch in Naga City,
but the restaurant was always full packed and never got a
chance to dine there, and their everyday visibility reminded
us of what we were missing, making us crave much more.
So when we ran out of luck while waiting for our seats
in Jack’s Blue Plate Diner, in Panganiban Drive, we
decided to drive off to Pili to dine at their original store.

It was also full packed at that time, and this goes to prove
that people would troop for good food wherever it is located,
whatever it would cost them, as Jack’s Blue Plate Diner serves
delicious food that one would crave for, and addicting high
quality cuisine that comes in huge serving that one would die for.

There was also an ongoing Pizza and Pasta Buffet at
the  al fresco section, a popular offering of the restaurant.

Jack's Blue Plate Diner's dishes comes in big servings,
and are meant for sharing for the whole family.

We ordered the Sinigang na Baboy, which we always
do as my family considers this as the best sinigang in
the Philippines. Having an American Chef mellowed
and tapered down most of Pinoy’s horribly sour versions
that could contort the diner’s face in acerbic revulsion.

One should also never miss the Fish and Chips,
as this may be the best version in this part of the
world, next to its iconic counterpart- the enormously
popular in Bondi Beach Fish and Chips in Sydney.

We also ordered Orange Chicken, another family favorite
a dish we always order in Chinese Restaurants and this
version concocted by and American Chef did not disappoint.

Finally, the US Certified Angus Sirloin Beef Steak.
It was served Pinoy bistek style, well done and lots
of sautéed onions and aromatic minced garlic topping.

It came with a tasty Fresh Vegetable Salad and
a generous mound of yummy Mashed Potatoes.

It was a sumptous dinner of delicious fusion cuisine from
the Pinoy Sinigang, western style Fish and Chips, oriental
Orange Chicken, and classic and iconic all American Steak
made of US certified Angus beef with a superb Pinoy twist.

Jack’s Blue Plate Diner’s wonderful American/Pinoy
fusion cuisine is a good reason to get us driving to Pili.
The restaurant owner casually informed us that they are
opening third their branch in Magsaysay Avenue we are
all looking forward to that with excited abated breaths.

Read the links below for related posts:

 Jack's Blue Plate Diner, Best Burgers in Bicol
 Jack’s Blue Plate Diner: Death by Burger Combo
 Jack's Blue Plate Diner: Fresh Lobster, Heavenly Lobster 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Midas Hotel: A Pot of Gold on Midas Touch

Midas Hotel 
A Pot of Gold on Midas Touch 

We have already stayed in this hotel in the past
as it used to be  the historic Hyatt Hotel Manila 
but this was our first time to stay here after it
was renovated and re- branded as Midas Hotel.

We were one our way to the US and we have a
nine hour lay over in Manila from Naga City 
and since we did want to get trapped in one of the
world’s worst airport, we checked  in this hotel.

The hotel shuttle picked us up from the airport,
and we immediately felt at home as the young
driver was a fellow Bicolano from Albay. 

It is of  no wonder why there are quite a number of Bicolanos 
in Midas Hotel as it is owned by a Bicolano tycoon who
also operates several posh hotels in Legazpi City, Albay. 

Midas Hotel had a very beautiful modern lobby bathed on
vibrant  shades or orange and gold. The kids being  familiar 
 with the  tale  of King Midas whose touch turned everything  
to gold-  we were looking for that touch of gold in this hotel. 

We found a pot of gold here though, 
but I will discuss about it later in this blog.

The newly renovated lobby bears not a single resemblance
to the old historic Hyatt Hotel which was designed by 
Leadro Locsin, a celebrated national artist for architecture,

…except for a section of the old brick wall
which was enclosed in glass to remind guests
that this was once a treasured historical site. 

The hotel lobby had a lot of multi- layered 
shelves with filled with hundreds of orange
colored boxes of  different shapes and sizes,

What was in them? Nobody really knows
I guess they were there just for decorative
purposes so the shelves would not look bare. 


The hotel lobby reminded me as a dainty version of 
Hotel Indigo in Alexanderplatz, Berlin, whose lobby also 
had those multi- layered book shelves but  appropriately 
had hundreds of books, toys and even bottled of wine on it.

^^^Hotel Indigo, Berlin

^^^Hotel Indigo, Berlin

^^^Hotel Indigo, Berlin

The similarty between the two hotels was striking. 
The check in was fast and easy,

…and we were on our way to our suite room
passing thru a lovely nature inspired corridor,

…lighted with charming bird cage lamps.


Our room, a De Luxe 1 Bedroom Suite 
 was  located right at the end of the corridor,

…and we were awed on how  beautiful
and very spacious the living room was.

Huge, comfortable sofa that
could double as an extra bed,

…massive handsome couches that
could cuddle you to deep slumber.

The mini bar was located at the foyer,

...and had an adequate selection of alcoholic 
drinks, various snacks and even multi- vitamins.

It also had a well stocked refrigerator
and a coffee maker by the TV console.

The living room had study table,
and a huge LCD TV.

There was a rather long corridor
that leads to the main bedroom,

…but we were surprised and a little disappointed
to see two medium sized  beds, which is neither a
solo bed nor a queen sized bed, and definitely not
proportionate for a massive suite room this standard.

This type of room deserves a huge king sized bed.
They also added an extra bed for us,

…but these small beds really doesn’t matter as we
will not be staying overnight in the room anyway,
as we checked in to while away the long lay over at
the airport and we have a flight to catch in the evening.

The room had a huge,
well organized  closet,

…a wide screen LCD TV,

…and my wife lamented that there was no 
vanity  area for a hotel suite this big.

The bathroom looked plain and simple,

…had rather regular amenities, while their webpage  
says they  have Evelyn and Crabtree toiletries,
and unfortunately, they have none of those.

Otherwise, the toilet bowl was something else.
This is one of the most modern toilet bowls I’ve
seen in any hotel in the Philippines, as I have seen
a similar one in Marriot Hotel in Tokyo and in
my sister’s dorm in Yokohama two decades ago.

This toilet bowl has a fully automated bidet
that sprays, washes and dries your bottom in
a touch of a finger convenience. Hands free.

Both the room and living room had wall 
to ceiling glass panel doors,

... that open to spacious balconies with a 
rather regular a view of Roxas Boulevard.

Connectivity is not a problem as it has
a free fast Wi Fi internet service,

…there were two land line  phones, one in the bedside,

…and another on the working table.

For a room this size I was expecting at least four or five telephones,  with  
the third one living room, the fourth  the toilet and maybe a fifth at the foyer.


Midas Hotel is located in Roxas Boulevard and
there really nothing to visit on its neighborhood,

…and the Mall of Asia is located several blocks from
the hotel and about a 15 to 20 minutes taxi ride away.


Aside from the casino, there is no
other leisure area in Midas Hotel. 

…and I was disappointed to learn that
they do not have a swimming pool.

So for non-gamblers like us, there is really nothing
much to do here except to laze in the hotel room.


Midas Cafe

Midas Café is the hotel's a multi- awarded
restaurant that serves all day buffet,

…with a massive spread of
local and international dishes.

The food is good and
the service was superb.

For this wonderful restaurant alone, it is
worthwhile to stay or visit Midas  Hotel . 

Room Service 

We were able to order a room service
before we checked out  of out room
to catch our evening fight to the US.

The food was also delicious as it is being
catered by the award winning Midas Café.


Midas Hotel offers one of the most spacious hotel suites 
that we have ever stayed in the past. The room was well 
designed, and the spacious  living room was awesome.

The beds were rather small for a room, no vanity area and it
 lacks in telephone units,  for a suite huge room this standard. 

It is surprising that they do not have a swimming pool.
The hotel is beautiful- yes, but they might have
built it just with gamblers as the targeted guests,

Photo Source:

The hotel is not meant for leisure and for
those family traveling with small children. 


Aside from the awesome toilet bowls, that works with King Midas’- like touch of a  
finger,  though I believe, figuratively, is operated just with a gentle touch, but it does 
not turn to a pot(ty) of gold,  I’m willing to spend a lot of gold to have one at home, 

…there is no major reason to rave about this hotel as one can find 
a similar accommodation with better amenities in most hotels 
in Manila at the same price- with a swimming pool to boot.