Hello 2014! I heard that this year is a good and lucky year for the Year of the Snake (me). 😀 Irrespective, I would still not place a bet and gamble away in style. What’s the point of going to Solaire Resort & Casino then, in the first weekend of the year? Well…there’s the food!
I have always been excited to go to Solaire Resort & Casino ever since it opened in March 2013, but because of series of planned events last year, I just did not have spare time. Thank God for those busy days. 😛 Now that my schedule is cleared up, I thought it’s the perfect window to go to the tallest hotel in Manila Bay area and first casino in Entertainment City for food and entertainment. By food, I meant “food court” and “entertainment” meant watching other people play games and hit it big at the roulette table.
Upon arrival, we registered for membership and got a card. We walked around for a bit and took pictures of the lobby, the halls, chic boutiques and the restaurant facades (taking photos of the gaming area is prohibited). Before coming, I did my research on reviews of the restaurants (Fresh, Yakumi, Lucky Noodle, Red Lantern, Dragon Bar, Finestra, Eclipse, The Strip Steakhouse) and found many “horror stories” on unexpected and surprising food bills.
If you’re on a conservative budget, the safest you can go to is the Solaire Food Court, where the “Best of Everything” lies. It has six stations: Sapporo, Pan Asian, Hong Kong, Chicken Licken, Americano and Patisserie.
Solaire Resort and Casino’s website has not updated the menus of these stations to date and it only shows a brief description of the general. For sure, some people are like me who fancy reading into details. So I take the first step in sharing the food menus (see bottom of the post, except Patisserie — sorry for that) for everyone’s reference and convenience. You’re welcome! 😉
Now let’s get it on for the review.
Review of Solaire Resort and Casino’s Food Court (Tambo, Paranaque City)
After involuntarily inhaling a lot of cigarette fumes from the entire gaming area of the casino, I give a thumbs-up to Solaire Resort and Casino’s Food Court for its cleaner air and lower temperature that made us feel and breathe comfortably. An orange motif was used as inspiration for decors from the ceiling, walls and lights to even the chairs. Seating arragnement was like a spiral (not boxy), and the space was maximized without compromising the walkways.
Like typical fast food stalls, each one had about one to two servers. The servers were polite and quick. I could not expect more. When an order is placed, customers are given a restaurant pager that lights up and vibrates to signal picking up the food when ready. This device makes waiting guests free to roam around any area within the immediate vicinity of the food court inside Solaire.
House water is available beside Sapporo and likewise is self-service. Maintenance guys clean up tables once they are freed.
With so many options available, we took so much time in choosing what to order. I wanted to grab a bite of at least one dish per station, but our stomachs could not fill them all in. So using the elimination method, we resorted to getting food from Pan Asian, Sapporo and Patisserie.
From Pan Asian, I had the Prawns in Coconut Gravy with Steamed Rice (PHp 240). The coconut gravy tasted a bit pungent and sour and the coconut milk’s flavor was consistent. I would prefer the gravy to be richer and thicker though. The texture of the prawns was quite gummy. The prawns were not traditionally breaded but naked and headless. The six pieces failed to absorb the flavor of the gravy. Sad.
My sister had the Black Peppered Beef with Steamed Rice (PHp 240) also from Pan Asian, and she happily shared bits of the beef with us. It came with warming spices and aromatics, cooked down long enough for the braising liquid to evaporate. The tender beef chunks were well infused with black pepper. A letdown could be that the peppery taste was so overpowering that finishing the whole dish in one go was hard. I suggest adding lime on the side to contrast and brighten up your palate considerably.
Food selections for vegetarians at this joint are kept to minimum. Either you go to Americano and order the Four Cheese Pizza (PHp 130/slice) or take Jap Chae (PHp 220) from Sapporo. We figured to give the latter a go. Their Jap Chae was sweet and savory but nothing special. It’s the classic Korean noodle dish cooked with stir-fried vegetables, toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar.
Meanwhile, my mom contented herself with the lavish Tow Cheong Meehoon (PHp 190)—fried vermicelli with fish tofu and fermented bean paste. The noodles had a springy, chewy texture. It’s one of the staples of Malaysian cuisine. With the seafood ingredients shining through, this dish was the best among everything we had for dinner that night.
For desserts, the Carrot Zucchini Muffin (PHp 70) and Blueberry Muffin (PHp 70) from Patisserie were neither too sweet nor absolutely divine but satisfactorily enough to give our taste buds a pleasant departure from the spicy, strong and bold Asian dishes. The pastries had just the right amount of moist inside, yet I’d rather want them to be melt-in-your-mouth softer.
Menu of Americano:
- Reuben Sandwich (PHp 230) peppered beef with sauerkraut
- Spaghetti with Meatballs in Tomato Sauce and Parmesan Cheese (PHp 220)
- Hand-chopped Beef Burger (PHp 240) with lettuce, tomatoes, onion rings, bacon and French fries
- Pizza slice (PHp 130) Pepperoni, Hawaiian, Four Cheese
- Quesadilla (PHp 200) with Salsa Mexicana
- Chili Dog (PHp 240) with French fries
- Cheese Fries (PHp 150)
- Chili Nachos (PHp 150) with Monterrey Jack Cheese and Salsa Mexicana
Menu of Hong Kong / Filipino:
- Pork Adobo (PHp 240) – stewed pork belly with steamed rice
- Asado Rice Bowl (PHp 240) – marinated barbecue pork with steamed rice
- Ampalaya sa Hipon (PHp 240) – bittergourd prawns with jasmine rice and cucumber relish
- Beef Caldereta (PHp 240) – stewed beef in tomato sauce with steamed rice
- Soy Ginger Fish (PHp 240) with steamed rice
- Pritong Bangus (PHp 240) – fried milkfish with spicy vinegar
- Sinangag (PHp 200) – with fried garlic rice, egg and salted fish
- Lumpiang Prito (PHp 190) – with sweet chili sauce
Menu of Pan Asian:
- Beef Rendang (PHp 250) – with mango chutney and basmati rice
- Kerala Chicken Curry (PHp 240) – with mango chutney and basmati rice
- Fish Curry Tomatoes (PHp 230) – with fragrant rice
- Prawns in Coconut Gravy (PHp 240) – with steamed rice
- Nasi Goreng (PHp 210) – spicy fried rice with shrimps and eggs
- Black Peppered Beef (PHp 240) – with steamed rice
- Fish Ball Noodle Soup (PHp 200)
- Sweet and Sour Pork (PHp 210) with Davao pineapple chunks and steamed jasmine rice
- Prawn and Egg Rice Bowl (PHp 240)
- Kung Pao Chicken (PHp 220) with steamed rice
- Towcheong Meehoon (PHp 190)
Menu of Sapporo:
- Salmon Teriyaki Bowl with Rice and Pickled Ginger (PHp 240)
- Yakibuta Ramen (PHp 240) – braised pork belly ramen soup with mushrooms in Shoyu broth
- Yaki Udon (PHp 220) – stir-fried Udon noodles with seafood and vegetables
- Gyoza (PHp 175) – pan-fried pork dumpling with soy ginger
- Mochi (PHp 60)
- Sul Rung-tang (PHp 250) – brisket and beef broth with sweet potato noodles
- Bibimbap (PHp 240) – rice with sauteed vegetables, beef and egg
- Bulgogi (PHp 240) – grilled marinated beef slice and steamed rice
- Jap Chae (PHp 220) – wok-fried potato noodles with vegetables
- Kimchee Fried Rice (PHp 200) – with chopped beef, eggs and scallions
Menu of Chicken Licken:
- Chicken Caesar Salad (PHp 180) – Romaine lettuce, garlic toast, shaved Parmesan and bacon bits
- Southern Fried Chicken (PHp 230) – with Cajun fries and homemade roll
- Rotisserie Chicken (PHp 250) – with bacon mashed potatoes, homemade roll and garlic gravy
- Grilled Chicken Pasta (PHp 230) – penne pasta in herb tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese
- Chicken Wings (PHp 230) – with honey barbecue sauce and French fries
A Glimpse of Everything:
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
Solaire’s food court definitely has pricier food than most of the food courts we have been accustomed to (think SM malls, Ayala malls, Robinsons malls, etc.). For the most part, food here are just made with simple ingredients and presented in a nondescript manner however with lovelier ambiance. Prices range from PHp 180 to PHp 250 per serving, For a mere food court, they are not really justified. I’m less likely to swing by unless they improve the quality and taste of food.