We are excited and finalizing our plans for the Ultimate Tagaytay (10 days to go) and Pampanga Tours (24 days to go). Spanx’s Uncle sponsored our meeting in the newest hotel in the heart of Manila– Manila Grand Opera Hotel. One of its main attraction is the New President’s Sharks Fin & Seafood Restaurant and Circa Bar & Restaurant. You might have heard the news that President’s Restaurant along Ongpin in Binondo closed down recently because of internal problems. The two restaurants have no connections whatsoever. I was even surprised that they were able to reuse another restaurant name by just putting in “New”.

I was surprised to see an 8-storey elegant hotel in the middle of all the old houses and buildings. The hotel is located at the corner of Dorotheo Jose and Rizal Avenue where LRT1 is located.

The Manila Grand Opera Hotel is significant because this is the place where the First Philippine Assembly was inaugurated on October 16, 1907.

One of the interesting restaurant is the Circa Bar and Restaurant at the first floor. The actors who started their career and performed in the Manila Grand Opera were honored with a big portrait surrounding the restaurant.

In each of the floor, you’ll be greeted with panels showcasing the significance of the Manila Grand Opera in Phil history.

This is a sample of the rooms in Manila Grand Opera Hotel. Spanx was right to compare the rooms with Tides Hotel in Boracay or G Hotel in Roxas Blvd. One thing I noticed was the absence of a window in the room but I don’t think there is even a good view out there, if you are familiar with the location. The curtains creates an llusion so that you don’t get claustrophobic. Take advantage of the P1,500/ room opening promo rate!

The 8th floor houses the ballroom where you can reserve it for weddings and grand functions.

General Manager Lawrence Li Tan showed us how high tech their kitchen is, particularly their oven wherein you’ll just choose what type of cooking you’d like to have. The young GM’s claim to fame is that he started Club Ultima in Cebu, Avenue Hotel in Naga City and now Manila Grand Opera Hotel in Manila.

Full Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Spanx’s Uncle who is promoting the new Manila Grand Opera Hotel. The photos are taken by Iggy Bilbao with my Canon DSLR camera.

The New President’s Sharks Fin and Seafood Restaurant has a grand buffet by Chef Lau Wai Chung. Chef Lau is the former chief cook and working for 20 years at Century Seafood Restaurant before transferring to the New President Restaurant. The restaurant serves a mix of Chinese and Western cuisine.

I don’t like buffet style especially if you arrive late because the best parts have been taken and the food is a bit cold already. I would recommend ordering from the Ala Carte menu instead.

Chef Lau showed us the fresh and authentic ingredients used (including the Shark’s fin) by the New President’s restaurant.

Check out the Chinese Menu 1 | Menu 2 and the International Cuisine Menu.

Sauteed Australian Scallops with seasonal vegetables (S-P920, M-P1,470, L-P2,070).

We enjoyed these big and soft scallops from Australia and the fresh crunchy cauliflower.

These shrimps were forgettable because you need to exert an effort to separate the skin from the shrimp’s meat.

Steamed Lapu Lapu was soft, juicy and fresh. We all enjoyed it and this was gone in a few minutes.

GM’s Cocktail fave is the huge Margarita to share via straw. Chef Lawrence was kind enough to serve us this margarita he created. The alcohol content was deadly but I liked it.

Lamb Chops (P665). Don’t be surprised to see a chinese restaurant serving delicious lamb chops.

We tried out the desserts at the Circa Bar and Restaurant. I would not rave about them but if you have to choose one, get the Chocolate Cake.

The Manila Grand Opera Hotel
925 Rizal Avenue Corner Doroteo Jose St. Sta. Cruz
Website: www.ManilaGrandOpera.com
Telephone: +632 314-0090-99

Live an Awesome Life,


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Copyright 2008.