The City of Dreams Manila currently sets a high bar in terms of food parks with their newest offering. They are about to change our dining and entertainment experience here in the Metro as it opened THE GARAGE – a VR zone and food park in one last October.
The space is a perfect marriage of fun and food as you are welcomed by the different Virtual Reality games (The VR Zone) and while going on farther, you are welcomed by the aroma of coffee and sumptuous food (The Food Park).
Entrance to the park is free but you have to purchase entrance to the games. Note that the games require players to be 13 years old and above or at least 140 cm (4 feet 7 inches, hope I got my Math right) and above in height.
THE VR ZONE
The virtual games at the VR Zone are brought here by Bandai Namco Amusement which provides planning and operation of theme parks. City of Dreams was not kidding when they said they were going to bring in the best. Bandai also offers state-of-the-art arcades, event shops, cafe and bars, facilities for children, amusement machines, and other facilities so you can say that they are the best in this field.
The primary subject of virtual reality is simulating the vision. You will be given a headset which creates an immersive 3D environment which feels like reality.
There are three VR games to choose from: Mario Kart, Ski Rodeo and Hospital Escape Terror. I can say that they tried to diversify the games by giving us three different categories which are fun and competitive, sporty and sometimes full of suspense. The access to these virtual worlds is through the VR goggles.
The first of the three games is the Hospital Escape Terror. Wherein the scenario is that you are stuck in an abandoned and haunted hospital in a wheelchair, trying to escape with your friends.
A 9-minute game which needs four people to start. Our advise, if you are a scaredy cat or have heart ailments, better not continue with this game. But if you are brave enough, make sure to find three other friends who are used to your occasional outbursts of screams and physical mannerisms which include but are not limited to striking them with your arm or feet at any time.
Second game is the Mario Kart. Yes, this is the more familiar Mario Kart you are playing in your play gears but now on VR.
Mario Kart requires four people to play but I’ve seen two people play it like in the picture. But as we all know, the more, the merrier! Bring your A-game on as you compete with your friends on a race to finish first.
The third game is the Ski Rodeo which is the hardest game of all three. It is just two minutes but you will feel like if this were real, you cannot go home alive since you will be crashing into trees and falling off from cliffs.
I don’t think most of the players will not finish this game except for those who are very skillful at skiing.
VR Zone Rates and Operating Hourss:
THE FOOD PARK
Though we were invited during the park’s launch a few hours just before the public came, there were already so many people. Just like any other amusement park, there were long lines of eager people to try out the VR games. So after all the games, we already worked up an appetite. Great thing about The Garage is that the VR Zone and the food park are side-by-side.
One thing you would notice about the food park is the spacious area, which can sit about 500 people. The furnishings are of industrial setting and you can see splashes of bright colors in their interiors. And unlike the food parks we’ve come to know in the Metro, this one is air-conditioned so it is more comforting to stay here.
As you move towards the end of the hall, you will see the 10 carefully curated food concessionaires in the area plus their very own drinks and refreshments bar. While others are noticeable from their store’s usual facade and signage, some restaurants are dressed up as food trucks. This add up to the regality of the ambience since you don’t normally see a combination of both in a food park.
As for the restaurants in here, we can say that the list is a diverse because it caters to some of the major world cuisines.
Owners of the widely successful Wild Flour Cafe + Bakery restaurants, the Wild Flour Bakery + Cafe Corp., brought in three of their yummy brands inside The Garage: Little Flour, Farmacy and the new Pink’s Hotdogs.
Little Flour serves local Filipino dishes with their rice bowl toppings while Farmacy brings in their homemade ice cream, milkshakes and soda fountains for the sweet tooths. Though both were not open at the time we were there, I heard that the Sisig Rice Bowl of Little Flour is the one to watch out. Now, Los Angeles’ most famous hotdog stand is also here, Pink’s Hotdogs! Be sure to have a bite of their world-famous Chili Cheese Dog while you are here.
El Chupacabra, a Poblacion favorite grub place, brings in the Tex-Mex dishes. Their yummy street tacos are full on display for you to enjoy. This is their first store outside Poblacion, so you are so lucky because El Chupacabra chose to put open here.
Pizza Grigliata, is known for their grilled and torched pizzas on impeccably thin yet crunchy pizza crust. This is the best to order for sharing when you are out with your family and friends in The Garage.
Now, there are two Japanese restaurants in The Garage to satisfy your umami desires.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka serves their comforting ramen dishes highlighted by their signature Shio Ramen which has a great Tonkotsu-based soup, thin-noodle ramen, and slices of char siu pork.
Katsu Sora serves their sumptuous tonkatsu sets for those who like a filling meal. They also have Salmon Teriyaki and different kinds of maki if you just want to take bite size pieces while waiting for your turn in the VR games.
City of Dreams also has their own brands inside: Chocol8, Juiced,The Roaster and The Garage’s Drink Bar.
Chocol8 serves irresistibly good-looking handcrafted chocolates that have different special ingredients such as fruits, nuts, and spices.
The Roaster takes care of your caffeine fix as they serve an array of different gourmet coffee and tea creations.
Juiced serves a variety of fresh and healthy squeezed smoothies, green smoothies, slushies, and juices.
The Garage’s Drink Bar is the in-house drink provider, serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices of your signature cocktails, iced teas, and mocktails.
The experience plus the food at The Garage is totally a uniquely awesome one! You can see from our flatlay that aside from the VR Zone, we had a great time here at the food park side.
Well, if this is the future, the future begins now and The Garage at the City Of Dreams Manila lead us there. So, if you want a totally new experience, invite your family and friends to The Garage at the City Of Dreams Manila.
Location: 2/F City of Dreams, Asean Avenue cor. Roxas Boulevard Entertainment City Manila, Parañaque (They are at the opposite side of Dream Play)