Text and images by Dom Galeon
Filipinos love food, no doubt about it. Everywhere you go, every street corner, you’ll find a place to get some chow. Our malls are filled with restaurants and food courts, and now, even our casinos have become culinary hubs. But the City of Dreams wants to top all of that by introducing a unique concept that’s never been done before in Manila—a food park with a twist, so to speak.
And it’s not just any kind of twist. It’s virtual reality or VR. This coming Sunday, Oct. 14, the City of Dreams will formally open The Garage, a food park with a VR Zone. It features 10 concessionaires, each serving a taste of Pinoy, American, Japanese, and Italian cuisine, and a bar that serves a variety of carefully prepared signature cocktails, iced teas, and mocktails. These include Chocol8, El Chupacabra by Mexicali, ice cream parlor Farmacy, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Juiced, Katsu Sora, Little Flour by Wild Flour, Pink’s Hot Dogs Manila, Pizza Grigliata, and The Roaster.
The Garage began literally as a garage, a parking space at the second floor of the City of Dreams. But thanks to the wonderful work by Paris-based creative agency Malherbe Design, in tandem with local firm Westar Architectural Interior Design, it has now become one of the hippest and coolest places for a weekend family getaway.
But what, perhaps, got my attention is the VR Zone, which is set up by Bandai/Namco—the Japanese game developer that’s behind many of our childhood computer games. This VR Zone is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, and guests can try games like Mario Kart Arcade and Hospital Escape Terror. I got to try both out, and personally, I loved the former more! There’s also a Ski Rodeo VR game. But more of that in another story.
For now, you can check out The Garage at the City of Dreams and experience this one of a kind family hangout starting on Oct. 14, 5 p.m. A single ticket to these VR games cost around P450, with special packages for those who want to play in groups.