Thursday, October 25, 2018

Reality Bites: Virtual Reality and Good Food at The VR Zone and Food Park of City of Dreams Manila's The Garage

Virtual reality and sumptuous good food combine for an all-new and first-of-its-kind experience at City of Dreams Manila...

City of Dreams Manila takes the lead in changing the metro's entertainment and dining landscape with the recent unveiling of The Garage, an innovative new attraction offering a unique and immersive experience with its VR Zone and Food Park. Hit the ski slopes at the VR Zone's Ski Rodeo, put the pedal to the metal at Mario Kart Arcade GP VR or dare if you will with the eerie Hospital Escape Terror. Sounds fun? You bet. And enjoy some good eats too for a dose of reality bites. And it's all here at The Garage...

Virtual reality is the next big thing in entertainment, and City of Dreams Manila blazes the trail with its latest attraction showcasing the latest in VR technology. Formally  launched last October 14, The Garage is guaranteed to be the newest and coolest destination in the metro.

Gamers, foodies, millennials and those forever young at heart, everyone can now come together and experience Manila's newest attraction. "The Garage is City of Dreams Manila's latest attraction featuring unique entertainment activities in partnership with Bandai Namco Amusement. With their creativity and cutting-edge technology, we are honored and delighted to partner with them, and together blaze a trail in delivering extraordinary entertainment experiences that go beyond gaming and recreation in the Philippines," explained Kevin Benning, City of Dreams Manila's Chief Operating Officer.

"The virtual reality experience provided by a leader in video digital entertainment development is complemented by quality food and drink choices offered by 10 of the hippest and contemporary food and beverage partners including the resort's own talented staff. The concept, curated all in one place, makes The Garage a first of its kind in the country--setting us apart from the rest," added Benning.

This is also the very first VR Zone Entertainment Facility of Bandai Namco Amusement in Southeast Asia outside of Japan. The Garage is an impressive 2,714 square meters of pure coolness with its modern industrial chic and a 563 seating capacity for all the space you need to explore your virtual reality adventures.

I have to admit, I've never had the most thrilling, exhilarating and even terrifying yet absolutely most fun minutes in a long time. Seeing the knee-jerk reactions and surprised shrieks of the guests at the Mario Kart Arcade GP VR as they glide down the race track, or speeding down the steep slopes of the Ski Rodeo Downhill Simulator and the different kind of thrill offered by the Hospital Escape Terror just tells you this is not the usual arcade game you've tried before. It's a complete sensory experience unlike any other. Guests can purchase tickets on-site with the single player ticket price pegged at P 450 net while packages are also available for groups or pairs ranging from P 800 net for two persons for Ski Rodeo, P 1,200 net for all three activities and P 1,600 net for a group of four persons playing Hospital Escape Terror or Mario Kart GP VR. This is cutting edge technology up close, and it's a lot of fun. Navigating the creepy hospital on your escape, racing down the track while avoiding Piranha Plants dead set on slowing you down or breezing through a downhill ski slope can leave you thirsty. And hungry. But no worries, you can find some real good eats at the Food Park of The Garage.  

With ten food and beverage trucks and trailers to choose from, the Food Park at The Garage is a foodie destination in itself. The Bar at The Garage offers a wide selection of refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to let you wind down after an exciting virtual reality adventure with its signature cocktails like The Garage and Elixir...

...and the soothing Jasmine Red, an iced tea beverage that's perfect after a lap around the race track or the ski slope.

You can also enjoy a healthy beverage alternative at Juiced with its wide selection of freshly-squeezed smoothies, shakes and juices. Choose from an extensive range of fresh fruit smoothies like the Berry Blizzard with blueberry, strawberry and apple or the Brekkie To Go with bananas, honey, vanilla and muesli. Need some much needed detox for a change? Go ahead with the Spring Serenity Detox with spinach, kale, mint, cucumber, apple, lemon and pineapple. Or why not try The Classic with apple, carrot and ginger? You'll find even more healthy alternatives at The Beverage Cart with their Sasakura Lemonade, Lychee Lemonade and Lemonade Mojito with that refreshing kick to get you back at the racetracks of the Mario Kart Arcade GP VR.   

You don't have to leave The garage for a sumptuous meal. When you're really hungry, head on over to Little Flour for their Beef Tapa Rice Bowl...

...or the equally tempting Sisig Rice Bowl. Little Flour is from the same group behind the successful Wildflour Cafe + Bakery with their take on locally-inspired Filipino rice bowls.

LA's popular Pink's Hot Dogs is also at the Food Park with their signature offerings including burgers, fries, nachos and more. 

Have a bite of their Tokyo Dog...

...or the famous The Hollywood Legend with chili, cheddar cheese, mustard and chopped onions.

Craving Italian? If freshly made artisan thin crust pizza and pasta is on your mind, then Pizza Grigliatta is the perfect choice with their innovative yet rustic Prosciutto Arugula in Squid Ink Dough and innovative creations like the Spinach and Pesto in Squash Dough...

...and other pizza and pasta specialties like the traditional Margherita and Quattro Formaggi with Truffle Oil. Handmade from scratch everyday with the freshest ingredients, it's the perfect snack or light meal for an exciting day at the VR Zone.  

You'll find another favorite at The Garage known for their authentic street-style tacos, burritos, enchiladas and Flying Chupacabra Hot Wings. El Chupacabra brings its popular repertoire of Mexican classics like the SF-Style Pork Sisig Street Taco, the Lengua Street Taco...

...and the Al Pastor Street Taco along with their other popular specialties like the Pollo Asado Mission-Style Burrito and Cheese & Garlic Quesadillas.

Sometimes, a bowl of comforting ramen is what you need, and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka's popular Shio Ramen does the trick. The mild, pearl-colored tonkotsu pork broth flavored with vegetables, dried fish, kelp and other special ingredients gets you ready for another round at the ski slopes. With thin, chewy noodles, tender char siu pork with rich smoky hints and pickled plums, you'll be happy and satisfied in no time.   

The Food Park at The Garage also offers another Japanese-inspired option with Katsu Sora and their signature deep-fried pork cutlets. Katsu Sora elevates your dining experience with their selection of premium pork including Iberico, Kurobuta, Shimofuri and Sakura. With the Iberico and Kurobuta Tonkatsu, diners can also enjoy their unique Juugokokumai Rice, a special blend with premium white rice, corn, barley, millet, sesame seeds and black beans.

After a satisfying meal, the gourmet coffee creations made with local coffee beans at The Roaster is always a good idea.

Consistent with the resort's sustainability campaign, the beans are sourced from local coffee growers in various communities supported by the Philippine Coffee Board. Try the Cafe Caramel (L), an iced-shaken espresso with milk, sea salt, caramel and honeycomb or the Bombon (R), an espresso shot with condensed milk.

Indulgently rich and sweet with the robust flavors of premium roasted coffee, the Cafe Caramel is an absolute must-try at The Roaster.

The Roaster also offers the refreshing Citron Tea, an ice-shaken black tea with lemon, calamansi and honey. Coffee or tea before or after hitting the VR Zone? Your call. You'll definitely need a soothing brew at The Garage. Both Juiced and The Roaster are City of Dreams Manila's very own concepts... well as Chocol8 with their artful handcrafted chocolates in various shapes and sizes blended with special ingredients like nuts, fruits and spices.

Like edible art, the creations of Chocol8 are a chocoholic's dream...

...with an impressive array of visually stunning and indulgent chocolates... satisfy your chocolate cravings.

From the decadent selection to the packaging, Chocol8 is definitely one of my favorite stops at The Garage. The Pistachio Bar, Croustilant Bar, Rocky Road Snickers Bar, Crunchy Almond Snickers Bar, White Chocolate Cheese Bar, Raspberry Chocolate Bar, White Chocolate Tropical Tile and Milk Chocolate Cashew Nut and Mango Tile, that's just some of the options to get you started on a wild chocolate binge. So go ahead and knock yourself out with the ultimate chocolate fix at Chocol8...   

...and maybe some ice cream? Why not. Farmacy Ice Cream takes you back on a nostalgic trip down memory lane in their turn-of-the-century ice cream parlor vibe with fresh homemade ice cream done "the right way." Strawberry, Ube or Double Chocolate, have a scoop or two and go back for another round at the VR Zone.

Both an entertainment and dining destination, you can spend a day at The Garage exploring virtual worlds of adventure while treating your palate to a variety of flavors all in one place. Embark on your own virtual adventure and enjoy a tasty bite right The Garage. 

The Garage is located at City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Boulevard corner Macapagal Avenue, Brgy. Tambo, Paranaque City or call +632 800-8080 for more information and inquiries.

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