Monday, February 12, 2018

First Bite:, Hotel Jen Manila

Most of us usually shy away from dining in hotels thinking that  its food would be out of the budget. However, the more I explore, the more I realize that these hotel restaurants offer dishes and set menus that I find value for money. Though it may still be a bit more expensive compared to restaurants elsewhere, one thing I like about dining in hotels is that I am assured of, at the very least, good service. But I recently discovered a hotel restaurant that offers good food at reasonable prices. 

This inviting restaurant and cafĂ© is located at the ground floor of Hotel Jen Manila which was formerly known as Traders Hotel. 
The first thing I noticed were the restaurant's light colored accents and furniture which gives it a youthful vibe contrary to what I'd usually picture a hotel restaurant. 
The place was also packed with young diners, mostly students during my visit which reinforced the idea that is not your typical hotel restaurant. 
I was about an hour late for lunch and everyone already had their fill when I arrived. Our host Twinkle of Hotel Jen was very generous and accommodating though and let me pick dishes I would like to try. I went with Mushroom Cappuccino Soup (PHP180) and  Latitude Pizza (PHP336) as well as a glass of Morning Rush (PHP180).
First served was my healthy shake which is a blend of apple, mango, banana and pineapple. It had a light taste with a hint of all fruits with banana and pineapple overpowering the other two fruits. It was refreshing though.
My warm bowl of mushroom soup was served next and it came with cream and garlic bread on the side. I was excited to try this as the soup looked thick which is how I like my soup. And it was indeed thick and creamy but it lacked taste. I could barely get any mushroom flavor from it. Perhaps I should have gone with Tomato Bisque with Basil Cream (PHP168) instead.
Latitude Pizza was the total opposite of my soup. This pizza was generously topped with ham, bacon, salami, Italian sausages, mushroom and cheese! Each bite was oozing with flavor and complemented by various textures that made me smile from ear to ear. This dish is definitely bang for the buck and I wouldn't mind getting this again on my next visit.
But if you want to be more involved with your pizza, you can make your own pizza for PHP364. You can also make your own pasta for PHP348. I'm sure this is something picky eaters would love. 
Twinkle also recommended that I try its Seafood Laksa which I excitedly said yes to. Knowing that Hotel Jen is part of Shangri-La Hotel Group, I was confident that's laksa will be as good as the one I tried at Heat's take on laksa was different from the other Shangri-la hotel restaurants but this one was pretty good too. It has that beautiful marriage of land and sea with the fresh seafood and coconut flavors. 
The highlight of our visit though were the mouthwatering cakes (each priced at PHP250 per slice | PHP1,800, whole) served after our meal. Three cakes from its Indulgence collection were brought out for us to try. Each one was too pretty to be eaten so we asked one of the hotel's chefs to do the honor of slicing the first two cakes with the heart shaped cake untouched. 
Triple Chocolate was January's Indulgence cake and I was surprised that it was not as sweet as it looked. 
It had that delectable chocolate mousse texture making each bite so velvety smooth. 
Strawberry Kiss is the month of love's Indulgence cake and it was love at first bite! I loved how this heart-shaped scrumptious cake was beautifully glazed in pink and its strawberry filling. And don't get me started with how heavenly its delicate chiffon was making it an ideal treat with tea or coffee.
Mangoes and Cream is March's highlighted cake and it has charmed my mango-loving taste buds. Just like the other two, this one had the perfect level of sweetness. 
It somehow reminded me of mango float with its graham-like middle and base. 
Overall, it was a lovely visit and I wouldn't mind dropping by if I'm around the area. may be a lot simpler than most hotel restaurants but such added charm to the place. It was not intimidating and welcomes even those in a budget to experience hotel dining.
I'm also glad that Hotel Jen is with the Shangri-La Hotel Group as that means I get points in my Golden Circle card! is located at Ground Floor, Hotel Jen, 3001 Roxas Boulevard, Buendia, Pasay City. It is open daily, 24 hours a day. - Hotel Jen Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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