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At COD’s virtual reality playground, food is for real

Powered by the Japanese tech-wiz firm behind Pac-Man, The Garage takes guests on virtual and culinary trips–from El Chupacabra to Pink’s Hot Dogs
By: - Reporter
/ 05:35 AM October 11, 2018

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s Shio Ramen –PHOTOS BY EARVIN PERIAS

Virtual reality and food combine in The Garage of City of Dreams (COD).

Located beside COD’s activity center Dreamplay on the upper ground floor, Garage is a massive space of virtual reality that transports people to fantasy worlds. It has a food park taking guests on a gastronomic journey, from Italian to Mexican, American, Japanese and Filipino cuisines.


Garage has well-lit modern industrial interiors, playing around with wood, metal and steel. It can sit 500-plus guests in a relaxed ambience with cushioned seats and sturdy wooden tables.

Garage is where COD’s parking area was.


“Watching a carpark dramatically turned into what it is today has been awesome,” Kevin Benning, COD chief operating officer, said.

The space was initially planned for just food.

Then, in one meeting, Benning was told to meet the tech guys from Tokyo, who created the famous 1980s game Pac-Man.

Benning flew to Tokyo and met with the Bandai Namco Amusement group, one of the world’s leading video digital entertainment development companies.

“We closed the deal on the same day,” Benning said. “With their creativity and cutting-edge technology, we are honored and delighted to partner with them, and together blaze a trail in delivering extraordinary entertainment experiences that go beyond gaming and recreation in the Philippines.”

Pizza Grigliata food truck serves artisanal pizza that are grilled and torched, not baked.

Virtual worlds

The immersive Virtual Reality Zone has three attractions and will add more in the next six months.


The action-packed Mario Kart Arcade GP VR, developed by Bandai Namco under license from Nintendo, is an exhilarating race with startling traps and creatures that attempt to crush the players. A player can choose to play as one of the characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach or Yoshi. Up to four persons can play the game.

Not for the faint-hearted is Hospital Escape Terror, a horror room game for thrill-seekers. The goal is to escape and survive in a dark, abandoned, and cursed hospital in nine minutes while strapped on a wheelchair.

The two-minute Ski Rodeo gives you that heart-in-throat feeling with its steep downhill ski simulator that lets you ski a vast snowy mountain course, with sharp turns and steep drops at an immense speed.

Single player ticket is priced at P450. Ticket is P800 for two persons playing Ski Rodeo; P1,200 per person for three activities; and P1,600 for a group of four persons playing Hospital Escape Terror or Mario Kart GP VR.

Chocol8 highlights handcrafted chocolates in various flavors, shapes and forms, enhanced with fruits, nuts and spices.

Food adventure

For a quick break from all that playing, Garage food park has a myriad of dishes in 10 hip food and beverage trucks and trailers parked around the hall.

Pizza Grigliata serves handmade and freshly grilled and torched—never baked—pizza. It has a thin crust dough topped with fresh ingredients. Popular flavors are Prosciutto Arugula in Squid Ink Dough, Margherita, Quattro Formaggi with Truffle Oil. Want it extra hot? Drizzle with honey chilli oil.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka  serves its signature mild and creamy Shio Ramen (soup is made of pork broth seasoned with salt) and Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce-seasoned pork broth).

The Garage features well-lit modern industrial interiors with a relaxed ambience.

Katsu Sora churns out Pinoy favorites Iberico Katsudon, Salmon Teriyaki and Dynamite Tempura Maki. The Japanese restaurant is known for dishes that use four kinds of pork: Iberico, Kurobuta, Shimofuri and Sakura.

El Chupacabra has a selection of tacos and other Mexican-influenced dishes for snacks, lunch or dinner. Pork Sisig Street Taco, Pollo Asado Mission-style Burrito and Cheese and Garlic Quesadilla are must-tries.

Los Angeles’ most popular hot dog stand, Pink’s Hot Dogs, shouldn’t be missed. Lip-

smacking hot dogs, especially the iconic The Hollywood Legend, a merry mix of chili, cheddar cheese, mustard, and chopped onions, are tasteful and filling. Pink Hot Dogs also offers other American favorites such as burgers, fries and nachos.

Little Flour Café by the highly successful Wildflour Café + Bakery presents Filipino rice-bowl meals, such as Sisig Rice, Organic Chicken with Kimchi Rice, Adobo Rice and Beef Tapa Rice.

El Chupacabra’s Chiqui Mabanta offers Mexican street tacos.

Farmacy offers such ice cream delights as Double Chocolate, Ube and Strawberry Ice Cream. The ice cream parlor is known for serving fresh homemade ice cream “the right way.” It also serves comforting treats such as milkshakes, sodas, coffee and pastries.

Alongside the well-curated food and beverage outlets at Garage are COD’s own food outlets: Chocol8, Juiced and The Roaster.

Chocol8 highlights handcrafted chocolates in various flavors, shapes and forms, enhanced with fruits, nuts, and spices. Exciting flavors include Pistachio, Croustillant, Rocky Road Snickers, White Chocolate Cheese and Raspberry Chocolate.

For the health-conscious, there are Juiced’s freshly squeezed smoothies, slushies, and juices. Those in need of a caffeine fix can head to The Roaster, which has an gourmet coffee creations made from freshly roasted Philippine beans.

The Bar serves cocktail drinks and mocktails.

The Garage opens on Oct. 14, 5 p.m. It will be open daily, 10 a.m.-2 a.m., at the Upper Ground Floor of City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Ave., Parañaque City.

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TAGS: City of Dreams (COD), Food park, The Garage
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