Garden Dining by Whitemoon Bar

It’s been more than a year into the quarantine, and while we have gone back to less stringent restrictions, there are many of our life’s former pleasures that some of us still can’t enjoy.

One of these is dining out, isn’t it?

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

The excitement of venturing outside our home, discovering a new place to try or a new dish to enjoy, and hanging out with our friends – all these and more make up the experience of dining out that we used to take for granted.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Thankfully, more of our favorite haunts are re-opening, albeit while adopting new ways to operate so that they could keep us, the dining public, as well as their staff safe from the still present threat of pandemic.

One of these pivoted but still very welcome returns to the local food scene is Manila Ocean Park’s Whitemoon Bar which recently launched its Garden Dining.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Situated in The Barnyard, Garden Dining by Whitemoon Bar offers a delectable array of Asian fusion dishes that can be enjoyed in a relaxing al fresco setting.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Here, diners can take a brief escape into the outdoors, surrounded by greenery and interesting bric-a-bracs, while they enjoy their meal amidst the gentle breeze from Manila Bay and chirping birds from the aviary.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Sri Lankan Chef Ranuka Hettiarachchi brought his considerable skill sets to bear in whipping up dishes for Garden Dining’s refreshed menu using just a griddle and a stove in The Barnyard’s recently converted kitchen.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Safely served in to-go containers yet still retaining the visual appeal of gourmet food, these dishes put a fresh spin on our old favorites. Together with fellow food, bloggers Jen of sandundermyfeet.com, Anj of anjcolumna.com and Nix of ieatandiwander.com, I was able to check out samples of Garden Dining’s offerings such as:

Onion Rings (Php120). Large slices of onions battered and deep-fried for an appetizing start to the meal.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Corned Beef and Cheese Toast (Php140). Truth be told: I’m not a fan of corned beef sandwiches but this made me change my mind. The combination of grilled cheese and corned beef is a highly snackable treat.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Kimchi Fried Rice (Php190). A blend of tangy and spicy flavors, this fragrant rice complements the viands served.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Pork Satay (Php180) and Chicken Satay (Php160). Seasoned meats grilled to smoky deliciousness and served on skewers with sauce on the side.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Pineapple Glazed Pork Liempo (Php190). Tangy pineapple tidbits complement the savory grilled pork belly.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Spicy Asian-Style Seafood Spaghetti (Php250). A hearty and delicious taste of the sea with loads of seafood and noodles tossed in a slightly spicy sauce.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Whether you’re looking for refreshments or in the mood to imbibe, Garden Dining by Whitemoon Bar also has a great selection of drinks for you, such as:

Watermelon Shake (Php130).

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Pineapple Shake (Php120).

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Ginger Honey and Citrus Immune Booster (Php100).

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

A variety of red and white wines from its wine list such as this 2014 Elfo Salento Negroamaro from Italy (Php230/glass).

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

We’re still a long way from enjoying everything we used to enjoy before the pandemic, but with places such as Garden Dining by Whitemoon Bar, we can recreate those experience we look back on so fondly and even make new memories to cherish.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by Whitemoon Bar is located at The Barnyard, Manila Ocean Park, Luneta, Manila, open for outdoor dining Thursdays to Sundays from 3pm to 9pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 85677777.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

To know more about its latest promos and offers, follow Manila Ocean Park on Facebook or Instagram.

Disclosure: Together with fellow food bloggers, I attended a food tasting held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to facilitate this feature article

Savoring the moment at Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel Manila

Nestled amidst the hustle and bustle of Cubao is Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s newest restaurant concept – Sabor Bar de Vinos – a welcome haven for the urban denizens seeking some respite from the daily grind.

My fellow foodies and I were warmly welcomed by Novotel’s staff and its digital marketing manager Angela Silvestre, who told us more about Sabor, as well as made recommendations for our highly anticipated repast (all were good calls, by the way).

This newly opened wine bar boasts of warm and colorful Spanish-inspired interiors, a highly Instagrammable outdoor sitting area which also serves as a venue for live musical performances, an extensive wine collection and masterfully prepared tapas. All of these elements help the bar’s patrons to #SABORthemoment.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Its name Sabor translates to “flavor,” a philosophy made apparent with the elegant serving of its delectable sangria and tapas offerings.

Sangria is an alcoholic drink that originated from Spain. Technically a variation of the fruit punch, it consists of red wine mixed with chopped fruits and sweetened with sugar water and fruit juice.

Sabor has three signature sangria concoctions created by its expert mixologists. These drinks are priced at Php360 for a 250ml glass, Php900 for a 450ml half carafe and Php1,200 for a 750ml whole carafe.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

The Sangria de Rosa, for instance, is a mixture of rose wine, tequila, pureed guava, strawberry syrup, the juices of pineapple and lime, and as well as mint leaves.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

The Sangria Blanco, on the other hand, is made of Savignon blanc, vodka, the juices of lime, apple and lychee, and basil leaves.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Lastly, the Fortress Sangria combines red wine, brandy, grenadine, the juices of orange, lemon and lime, cinnamon and lemonade.

Lightweights like me, take heart! You do have the option to request the bar staff for virgin versions of your chosen drinks. That way, you can enjoy all the fruity flavors without the alcohol.  (Plus, better for you if you’re driving afterwards.  Remember, don’t drink and drive.)

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Feeling a little adventurous? Try mixing your own sangria from the mixing station beside the bar. Some of our group did and while the results of their efforts ranged from delish to disquieting (and oh, the names we came up with for those concoctions!), the experience of mixing your own drink (or watching someone else make the attempt) is not to be missed.

We enjoyed our drinks together with the tapas, small servings of tasty Spanish cuisine, expertly prepared by Sabor’s own chefs  Josh Mara  and Glenn Estrella which include:

Smoked Salmon Roulade (Php350) – A scrumptious roll of made of dill, cream cheese and sun-dried tomato with capaers – mandarin sauce wrapped in homemade smoked salmon.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Mushroom Croquette (Php350) – A mixture of finely chopped Porcini, Portobello and Button mushrooms, covered with a crunchy layer of breadcrumbs and accompanied by a blue cheese sauce.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Beetroot Arancini (Php350) – Crunchy crumb-crusted balls stuffed with marinated beetroot (hence the pink color of the filling) accompanied by goat cheese fondue.

Galician Empanada (Php350) – Galician style empanada stuffed with marinated chicken and herbs.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sauteed Chorizo in Red Wine (Php350) – Sliced Spanish chorizo sauteed in red wine, herbs and red onion, served rosemary focaccia.

Gambas al Ajillo (Php350) – Delectable shrimps served in a Spanish style sauce flavored with lemon, paprika, olive oil, white wine, parsley and chili flakes, then served with tomato focaccia.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Selection of Cheese (Php690) – An assortment of cheese accompanied by crackers, nuts, Taggiasca olives and radish. Here’s a tip: After tasting the cheese, a bit of the sangria jelly can help freshen the palate.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Bitter Ballen aka Dutch Meatballs (Php350) – A mixture of veal, chopped parsley and onion covered in bread crumbs and served with mustard.

Tiramisu the Classic Way (Php250) – Amaretto-flavored mascarpone cheese layered with coffee-soaked lady fingers and topped with cocoa powder, a fitting cap to the meal!

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor’s tapas are varied with complex flavors and well-presented with a continental flair but can still be appreciated by those with a decidedly Pinoy palate. For instance, some guests do request for rice to go with their flavorful chorizos or gambas dishes (to take full advantage of those flavorful sauces and drippings), and who’s to say that it’s wrong to enjoy your food that way?

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

The combination of the wine and food served turned our group from a bunch of relative strangers into a fun and boisterous crowd by the night’s end which just goes to show how good food, good drinks and good company make for a great time.

Sabor Bar de Vinos is located at the Ground Floor of Novotel Manila Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.  It is open from 5pm to 2am, Tuesdays to Saturdays.  For reservations and inquiries, call + 63 2 990 7888.

Disclosure: Together with other foodies and bloggers, I was invited to attend a food and wine-tasting at this wine bar. All the food and beverage items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.
Sabor Bar de Vinos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro: