Photos and text by Gretchen Filart
Paying homage to its trailblazing approach to leisure, luxury integrated resort City of Dreams Manila will soon reveal another Philippine first: a virtual reality (VR) zone and food park complex called The Garage which opens at 5 pm today, October 14.
Resting on the hotel’s old car park, the 2,714-square meter concept houses the first VR Zone entertainment facility in Southeast Asia. It was designed by Bandai Namco Amusement, the Japan-based video game development pioneer behind Nintendo games, such as Pac-Man and Mario Kart.
“We hope to bring outside of Japan an immersive, multi-sensory, and fun activities (sic) to Filipinos and foreign guests,” Kunihisa Yagisita, Bandai Namco’s General Manager, said during a media preview last October 9.
The VR Zone hosts three games – Mario Kart, Hospital Escape Terror, and Ski Rodeo –integrated with new generation VR technology for an immersive gaming experience. Each come with a P450 door charge, or a discounted rate of P1,200 for all three. The experience is complemented by industrial interiors by Malherbe Design, a Parisian agency whose clientele include Dior and Cache.
“We are honored and delighted to partner with (Bandai Namco Amusement), and together blaze a trail in delivering extraordinary entertainment experiences that go beyond gaming and recreation in the Philippines,” shared City of Dreams Manila’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Benning.
Surrounding the VR zone is a food park with 10 exceptional food and beverage outlets. Now, guests can savor world cuisine while comfortably seated in an air conditioned space, replete with food trucks.
Among these taste makers is Pink’s, an iconic hotdog stand that has been serving Hollywood’s most scrumptious dogs since 1939. Next to it is Pizza Grigliata, whose grilled, artisanal flat bread pizzas come with doughs made with squid ink or Beetroot, carrot, and squash.
For Japanese delicacies, try Katsu Sora’s melt-in-your-mouth katsudon, and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s Shio Ramen. This household name in Hokkaido is acclaimed for its savory, from-scratch broths.
You will also find homegrown stalls like Little Flour, known for its Filipino rice bowls like sisig, adobo, and beef tapa; and El Chupacabra, the first to introduce authentic Mexican street tacos (in soft tortillas) to Filipinos. Wash it all down with a healthy smoothie from Juiced.
Cap off your day with Farmacy’s homemade ice cream and milkshakes, or handcrafted chocolates from Chocol8 – with your choice of nuts, spices, fruits, and cheese. There is also specialty coffee from The Roasters, who prides itself with premium homegrown beans that are roasted in house.
Daily operating hours from October 15 onwards will be at 10 am to 2 am. Entrance is free. Children are allowed but certain VR games require parental consent for those under the age of 7. The Garage has a 563-seating capacity and can be rented for private functions.
The Garage is located on Upper Ground Floor City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Avenue and Roxas Boulevard, Parañaque City. For more information, call +632 8008080 or visit www.cityofdreamsmanila.com.