The Okada Manila has been on soft opening since December 2016, and it’s already been featured during the whole Miss Universe event, but this is the only time that we’ve had to check it out. Aayyyyy, it’s already February!
It seems like everyone has already been there but us!
So we drove out to Okada Manila. It’s a little past Solaire. It is the pink-lined sort of curved, truncated pyramid building. I’m sorry, I don’t know how else to describe it.
Parking entrance is off to the right. From the look of things, it’s still very obvious that construction is not yet fully finished on the place. Just follow where the security people point you to park. Parking is FREE!
The connection from the parking area to the casino building is not yet done, so for the meantime, Okada provides a shuttle service that takes visitors to and from the parking area to the casino building. It’s actually not that far, the shuttle is just to avoid visitors having to walk up the ramp to the casino building. The shuttle ride is literally less than a minute.
After we arrived, we were greeted by ushers wearing full gowns. And of course, the first thing we did was to get our membership card. All you need to present is a valid ID, and you have to think of a PIN. Within a few minutes, we got our membership cards!
The theme of the decor is pink! So much pink! I love the lobby!
There were entertainers:
I didn’t dare take a picture inside the casino area, so you’ll have to bear with pics of the general area of the place. The casino area was all shades of dusty rose and reminded me of 80’s ballroom…
Many areas were still closed off / under construction, well, the place is still on soft opening…
Getting Our Membership Cards
As usual, once we went in, it’s like we lost all concept of time and ended up spending hours and hours there!
They have an ongoing promo right now where you can claim an umbrella as soon as you earn 1 point! You can keep earning points, and when you have earned 10 points, you can claim a second umbrella. You can choose a long umbrella or a folding one.
Points are calculated by the system, so make sure to present your membership card in everything you do – while dining, playing at the tables, the slot machines, etc… It’s not as straightforward as earning points in your other cards. I don’t know how it’s computed, but I assume it includes the amount spent, time spent playing, games played, etc…
DINNER AT RED SPICE
We only had two choices for where to eat. There was a lounge near the entrance which served mostly cakes and drinks, and there was a Chinese restaurant inside the casino called Red Spice. Red Spice was a bit hard to find, it is located behind a slot machine area.
Prices at Red Spice are expensive – it’s the norm for a casino restaurant, as expected. As soon as we entered, we were greeted warmly and led to our table. The manager told us that their bestsellers were the duck and the sea bass. The menu was limited but he also told us that they would be adding some new items to the menu in the future.
I suddenly remembered when Solaire opened, there was only one place serving “affordable” food, if by affordable you mean, P700 for a serving of Beef Hofan. Well, at least it was below P1,000. The other restaurants there at the time were for P3,000 per person budgets. Anyway, almost everyone I knew complained about the expensive food at Solaire until the fancy cafeteria place opened in Solaire that sold food for a more reasonable P200-400 per person.
With that experience in mind, I hope they add more dishes suited to frequent casino visitors. Duck is great, but we’re not going to order that every visit. And just because someone plays thousands of pesos on the tables, doesn’t mean he is willing to plunk thousands of pesos on a meal.
While waiting for our orders, we munched on these delicious, addictive mix of cornflakes and sweet peanuts. Their chili sauce is delicious.
Beijing-Style Roast Duck with Chinese Pancakes
Now, the duck is P5,010 for a whole duck + tax + service charge. But J really wanted to order the duck. There is no duck that escapes him, he has to eat them all. Haha, but he is paying, so he orders what he wants.
Since it was just the two of us, I told him to get the half duck instead. The half duck is P2,520. The duck also comes with a second course. We chose the XO – they stir fry the remaining duck in XO sauce.
They showed us the roast duck half first, then took it back to the kitchen for slicing. Then they presented it like this, for table side wrapping.
They served us a bowl of delicious duck soup – it is a clear soup, like a consomme. No hint of fat whatsoever, but the soup was very flavorful. We had already drank half of the soup before I remembered to take a picture:
The presentation and the service is great! Here’s a video of the Roast Duck being wrapped in Chinese pancakes:
This is what the wrapped thing looks like:
The duck was fragrant, but when combined with the hoisin, the spring onions, the cucumber, it seems like the flavor of the duck is overpowered. I liked adding a little sweet chili sauce on my Peking duck roll (the chili sauce was a condiment on our table).
Stir-fried Duck in XO Sauce
J really, really liked this. He said the duck fat melts-in-your-mouth. I don’t share his enthusiasm for duck fat, but I agree that this was the better duck dish.
Stir-fried Hor Fun with Sliced Beef (P680)
This was actually pretty good. This is not the comforting Beef Hofan of our favorite local Chinese restaurants. This is a lighter, more refined version. With carrots.
J was very happy with the duck dishes, and for him, our P3,500 bill was worth every peso. For me, I thought the food was okay. Good but not outstanding. At those prices, you better bet I am expecting something outstanding.
Serving size is kind of small.
We got a 5% discount because we had the Okada membership card.
One good thing about this restaurant is the service. Aside from the table side service for the duck, our teas and water glasses were always refilled almost immediately. They were also very attentive, removing unused or finished dishes when they saw that our table was getting crowded.
On the other hand, towards the end, we were talking while leisurely picking over the XO duck and veggies, they were trying to take it already. Several times. At least they asked first, but still. Stop trying to take our food away, we’re not yet done eating! *pet peeve. We’re still talking and grazing on the remaining food at our leisure, stop trying to take it.
I want to see Okada Manila once everything is fully finished! Since it’s still on soft opening, it still hasn’t shown its best, I am excited to see it in its full glory.
*All pictures and videos were taken with my Huawei P9. #OO #HuaweiP9 #HuaweiPH
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