City of Dreams is about to change how entertainment is defined in the Metro. Slated to open this October 14 is The Garage – a VR zone and food park in one. I was half expecting for the food to become the highlight of this space, but I was proved otherwise. The Virtual Reality space was the most fun element of this space. Here’s what to expect at The Garage: The Garage UGF City of Dreams, Asean Avenue cor., Roxas Boulevard Entertainment City Manila, Parañaque, 1701 Metro Manila Operating Hours: 10AM – 2AM Contact #: (+632) 800-8080 E-mail: email@example.com Website: https://www.cityofdreamsmanila-vrzone.com https://flic.kr/p/PMhMjY The entrance to The Garage is located beside the souvenir shop of Dreamplay. The entryway alone already piqued my interest. THE VR ZONE The games at the VR Zone are provided by Bandai Namco Amusement from Japan. City of Dreams was not kidding when they said they were going to bring in the best. The access to these virtual worlds is through the VR goggles, which honestly look really funny and ridiculous at first but I got used to it after a short while. https://flic.kr/p/Naai2H There are three games to choose from in the Virtual Reality Zone. The first of the three is Mario Kart. I’ve played Mario Kart before, but only on the rare occasion. I’m really not much of a gamer, but getting to play Mario Kart in this setup even made me consider buying my own gear. https://flic.kr/p/PMhN9o Mario Kart requires four people to play, but you don’t necessarily have to come in as a group. You can play with strangers and it shouldn’t be a problem. https://flic.kr/p/PMhMLu The two-minute Ski Rodeo game was the most difficult of the three. I spoke to one of the VR guides and she mentioned that only three people were able to finish the game so far. I’ve always wanted to go skiing in the snow but my fears of injuries have gotten in the way – and this game only intensified that fear as I kept crashing into the trees and falling off the cliffs. It was so realistic I found myself closing my eyes every time I crashed. Among the three, Ski Rodeo is the only non-competing game, thereby it’s not a race against whoever is on the other machine. https://flic.kr/p/2bQT6Bj Hospital Escape Terror felt more immersive compared to Mario Kart. I definitely felt the whole abandoned hospital and being stuck in a wheelchair vibe and wouldn’t recommend it if you’re easily scared. I did find this game to be the most fun of the three, as I’m a horror fanatic. This game needs four people to start, and it would be best if you could find three other friends who don’t mind hearing you scream at their ears for 9 whole minutes. https://flic.kr/p/29co7x1 The rates for the VR Zone are as follows: One activity: ₱ 450 Three activities: ₱ 1,200 Ski Rodeo for two: ₱ 800 – 140 cm and above Mario Kart only (4 pax): ₱ 1600 – 13 years old and above Hospital Escape Terror (4 pax): ₱ 1600 – 13 years old and above Entrance to The Garage is free.
POST-GAME GRUB The games only lasted for less than 10 minutes, but I found myself working up an appetite as soon as each game finished. By the end of all three games, I was famished. The great thing about The Garage is that the VR and the food park are side-by-side. https://flic.kr/p/PMhLVm The food park seats 563 people, and its design is a mix of modern accents against an industrial setting. And unlike the food parks we’ve come to know in the Metro, this one is air-conditioned, and they’re not fooling around with that – I was literally shivering the whole time. https://flic.kr/p/PMhBJf Pizza Grigliata has grown exponentially since their successful stint at the Ultimate Taste Test last year. I was blown away by their pizzas that time and I’m glad to know that their quality has remained consistent despite the growing demands of branching out. Our recommendation: Their winning Prosciutto Arugula in Squid Ink Dough at ₱ 400 for a whole pizza. https://flic.kr/p/PMhr6b Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s well-loved ramen has also found a home in The Garage. Their signature Shio Ramen remains true to their core of a good Tonkotsu soup, thin-noodle ramen, and slices of char siu pork. The ramen should help in alleviating the shivering from The Garage’s cold temperatures. Price starts at ₱ 385 for a bowl. https://flic.kr/p/2bVBC2i Another Japanese stall is Katsu Sora serving Tonkatsu sets made only from the highest quality pork meats such as Iberico, Kurobuta, Shimofuri, and Sakura. (Sets range from ₱ 300-695) https://flic.kr/p/2bVBAfc The iconic Pink’s Hot Dogs from Los Angeles makes for a great post-game snack too. Order The Hollywood Legend or the Tokyo Dog. https://flic.kr/p/PMhteu Local fare is provided by Little Flour – Wild Flour’s younger sibling. The Sisig Rice Bowl (₱420) is a medley of pork cracklings, sisig, seasoned rice, and topped with two fried eggs. https://flic.kr/p/29a6zJw El Chupacabra, a Burgos (now fondly called Poblacion by the millennials) favorite, is also at The Garage. They haven’t branched out before so the move to the COD market is quite surprising. You can never go wrong with their street tacos. My all-time favorite is their Pork Sisig and the Tacos Al Pastor (₱152) BEVERAGES City of Dreams also has three of its own outlets inside The Garage: Chocol8, Juiced, and The Roaster. https://flic.kr/p/29a6z4d Chocol8 features handcrafted chocolates in a number of shapes and forms, and are enhanced with special ingredients such as fruits, nuts, and spices. They are a bit pricey as the chocolate bars start at ₱ 1,000 each. https://flic.kr/p/2awPymZ Those into smoothies and green smoothies will find that Juiced has just what they need. All juices and smoothies are priced at ₱190 each. https://flic.kr/p/PMhALy While The Roaster is the go-to outlet for an array of gourmet coffee creations from beans sourced and supported by the Philippine Coffee Board, Inc. https://flic.kr/p/2aPteRu The Bar at The Garage is the in-house drink provider, with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices available according to your preference. FINAL THOUGHTS My first VR experience is remarkably positive thanks to The Garage. I would recommend this place if you’re looking for something new and interesting to do in Manila. The Garage is great for kids (13 and above) and adults alike. Great games and good grub all in one place, what more can you ask for? Order the Squid Ink Pizza from Pizza Grigliata, Tacos al Pastor from El Chupacabra, Shio Ramen from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, and a smoothie from Juiced. Food budget at Php 300/head. THE GARAGE 2/F City of Dreams, Asean Avenue cor. Roxas Boulevard Entertainment City Manila, Parañaque (Besides Dream Play) Operating Hours: 10AM – 2AM Contact #: (+632) 800-8080 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://www.cityofdreamsmanila-vrzone.com Operating Hours: Open daily from 10 AM to 2 AM. Live an Awesome Life, Monique of Team Our Awesome Planet Disclosure: Our visit was courtesy of City of Dreams. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. P.S. The Garage officially opens on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.