26 July 2010, Monday–THUNDERBIRD RESORTS, a Santorini-inspired piece of paradise in La Union, Philippines offers infinite possibilities. Beyond its Mediterranean architecture and interiors that provides leisure and recreation, it’s a foodie’s heaven.
I had the privilege of experiencing the world-class resort and savoring the food with 9 other passionate Filipino bloggers as we gave in to the resorts’ irresistible invitation to a 3-day-FREE accomodation and tour.
After 6 hour-trip from our meeting place in Makati City to the resort itself at Poro Point, we were brought first to VEGAS CAFE; a restaurant and bar adjacent to the FIESTA CASINO of THUNDERBIRD RESORTS. It was indeed a fitting feast 3 days before I submit myself to a whole new universe as I begin to work as a medical college lecturer abroad.
I smiled from ear to ear when I learned that we’ll be having an order-and-eat-what-you-want meals during our stay. How can you resist such prelude to indulgence? Best of all, everything’s FREE (thank you, TBR!).
Take a peek at OUR GASTRONOMIC ADVENTURES…
Ala Carte LUNCH at VEGAS CAFE, TBRPhilippines
A basket of freshly baked breads and butter…
CHEF’S SALAD, PhP 250+ Iceberg lettuce topped with strips of Swiss cheese, chicken, beef, & your own choice of dressing. Surprisingly, the serving was humongous! Larger than anyone’s appetite.
SEAFOOD CHOWDER SOUP, PhP 150+, One of the BEST tasting chowder I’ve ever tasted.
SUSHI-SASHIMI COMBO, PhP 750+ This was my personal choice for lunch. Beautiful, isn’t it? Yummy too!
BULGOGI, PhP 385+ a Korean dish made of thinly sliced beef marinated in slightly sweetened soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic.
SEAFOOD MEDLEY (left), PhP 480+ Grilled prawns, salmon and dory. SURF and TURF (right), PhP 500+
I washed down my Japanese treat by savoring a tall glass of ripe mango shake…
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE (left), PhP 200; Puree of pumpkin with cream. PANACOTTA (right), PhP 200 Italian rum and milk pudding.
Then I and other fellow bloggers had a cup of brewed coffee.
End of lunch. Burp!
Let’s move on to OUR DINNER on the same day.
At around 8PM, all of the 10 invited bloggers were shuttled to the Vegas Cafe again after a relaxing afternoon at our cozy and spacious deluxe rooms. Dinner was ala carte again and we’re not complaining.
Everyone agreed to mostly Pinoy and few Asian dishes for our sumptuous supper.
CRAB and CORN SOUP (left); POTATO SALAD and SEAFOOD PENNE PASTA (right) from the spread.
KARE-KARE, a personal favorite; however I want the peanut sauce creamier and thicker.
CRISPY PATA. Let’s not talk about calorie count, ok? Indulge, whenever possible. LOL!
Thai dishes, anyone?
KHAO PAD (left) and PAD THAI (right).
SINIGANG na SUGPO, another classic Pinoy favorite. The more sour, the better.
CHICKEN INASAL (left) and FOUR SEASONS (right)
After dinner, half of the group decided to burn the calories by strolling the distance of about several meters from Vegas Cafe to the hotel. Perhaps, most of them absorbed the thoughts I shared about digestion and food intake.
A glorious morning came the next day and I thought I woke up in Greece.
We were advised to take a heavy buffet-breakfast at OLIVES, the restaurant located near the lobby, enough for us to last for the scheduled City tour that day.
Few minutes after I had those 2 plates, a glass of fresh four seasons juice and a cup of coffee, we headed to our La Union City Tour (last part of this blog series).
We had a long but fun day that we savored every minute in places we’ve been to. We were brought to a locally famous and quaint hole-in-wall restaurant in San Fernando City. It’s called HALO-HALO DE ILOKO which boasts of, what else but Halo-Halo and other Ilocano dishes.
This late merienda was another new stimuli for my palate.
clockwise : OKOY TIKYOSKO, PhP 85+ : shrimps, sprouted monggo, squash, malunggay leaves. It was a vegetarian feast. HALO-HALO de Iloko, around P135+ : has all the ingredients plus a bit of strawberry that wasn’t found in my glass. EMPAREDADOS or Native Hamburger/Sandwich PhP 80+. It’s a pair of fried buns with Vigan longganisa, mayonnaise filling.
That was indeed a satisfying heavy merienda.
After which, we were brought back to the hotel and since my fellow blogger and I have to leave that night for Manila while the rest of the group still had their 3rd day at the Casino the next day, we were offered to try pizza at OLIVES before being heading home.
Wood fire-baked pizza…
We tried PIZZA ILOKANO, PhP 400+ (left): Tomato concasse, mozzarella, cheddar cheese, Vigan longganisa, tocino, tuna and onion.and PIZZA QUATTRO STAGIONI, PhP 470+ (right) : Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, parma ham, fresh mushrooms, and mozzarella.
Thank you, THUNDERBIRD RESORTS and to my fellow Pinoy bloggers–Ann, Kristel, Betty, Sol, Hanna, Vince, Estan, Oggie and Ferdz, it’s a pleasure to have dined with all of you in these digestive feasts Burp!
THUNDERBIRD RESORTS, Poro Point Freeport Zone, San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines.
Makati office : 24/F Salcedo Towers 168 HV Dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City 1227. Tel No# (63-2) 886-5555.
Special thanks to the warmest people of TBR especially to Ms. Nica Serrano.
Up next : San Fernando City and Luna, La Union Bloggers’ Tour.