The Cruise Buffet Restaurant

Sign

OPEN: Daily 6:00pm to 11:00pm
PAYMENT: Cash & Credit Card
SEATING: Indoor/Non-Smoking
LOCAL PHONE #: (045) 322-7944
MENU: All You Can Eat International Dinner Buffet with Nightly Standards and Variations Including Soft Drinks
PRICE: PhP599 (Approximately $13.31) Per Person, Discount for Children Available Based on Height. Prices as of Jan. 24, 2014.
LOCATION: See Map Below


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Las Vegas Style International Buffet in Angeles City

December 2013 saw the opening of a new Las Vegas style international buffet called The Cruise. The restaurant is located in Balibago, conveniently located near Fields Avenue Walking Street.

I first noticed this new establishment while driving on MacArthur Highway, but due to heavy construction was unable to explore it in more detail until Christmas. My cousin had mentioned how he stopped by for a meal and thought it was really good. He suggested we head there for Christmas dinner.  I was skeptical as I hadn’t heard anything about the place and he tends to be more interested in quantity over quality when it comes to food.

Christmas dinner was excellent and the restaurant itself was remarkable. I made plans to meet at a later date with Texan, Korean-American and Front of House Manager Jeff Choi, who with his family owns and runs The Cruise Buffet Restaurant.

Impressive & Opulent Decor

The Cruise is unlike any restaurant currently in Angeles City. It’s design, layout and decor immediately reminded me of a Las Vegas buffet. The long entryway is a marble lined floor with wood lined pillars.

Entrance Hall

The first buffet station is shaped like the bow of a ship and that part of the room opens up with a dramatic mural painting of a cruise ship perched high atop overlooking the middle buffet sections.

Buffet Station

The entire restaurant is well themed. No details have been overlooked and no shortcuts have been taken in the interior decorations. Ceilings and lighting in the restaurant are modern and add to the unique ambiance of your dining experience. It’s truly an extraordinary, awe-inspiring atmosphere from the moment you walk in.

The dining rooms are massive and can seat 180 to 200 people; an ideal and available setting for large parties, groups, receptions, private luncheons and events (contact Ms. Jherty for information). Each table is set with a cloth napkin and silverware set while plates are neatly tucked away inside buffet station compartments. The seats and booths are soft and comfortable with a white faux-leather covering. Every detail from lighting, background music, seating and buffet structure has been well thought out from every angle.

Seating

The Cruise Docks in Angeles via Texas & Korea

I finally made plans with Jeff to stop by again for dinner and an in depth review. I was greeted immediately by a waitress when I walked in and soon after that I was introduced to a Filipino Floor Manager named John who guided me around the imposing buffet providing finer details of the dishes while I took photos and video of the cornucopia laid out before me.

Front Desk

After I filled my plate with a few items from the over 40 delectable choices in front of me,  I was joined at my table by the friendly, outgoing and affable Front of House Manager/Co-Owner Jeff Choi. Jeff is a wonderful host and truly understands as an American (and a Texan) what Westerners expect at a buffet dining experience.

Plates and Items

We spoke about how The Cruise Buffet Restaurant concept came to be, why Angeles City and what future changes we could expect from this new and exciting eating establishment.

Jeff came to Angeles City to visit his brother who has lived here for over 10 years. After visiting some buffet restaurants in Manila and seeing a lack of large, Las Vegas style buffets in Angeles, the idea of The Cruise was spawned. Jeff quit his job managing 6 sushi restaurants in Texas and moved to Angeles City with a concept, background in restaurant management and a family with roots in the community familiar with running businesses and ventures here.

The concept of The Cruise is to take you on a culinary journey of various cuisines from around the world. Each night you can find a variety of foods of different styles that give you a “best of” taste from numerous Asian cultures and international dishes with over 40 items to choose from.

Some highlights of the dishes include:

  • Japanese sushi

Rolls

  • Korean dishes

Korean Food

  • Chinese dim sum

Dumplings

Homemade Recipe

  • Filipino dishes

Filipino Food

  • Classic American selections

American

There is also a carving station and grill station with plans for an ice cream machine in the future, daily lunch, as well as possibly having some special themed nights and special dishes.

This is certain: Jeff intends on keeping The Cruise interesting and not settling on putting out the same food night after night or sacrificing quality.

Embarking The Cruise Buffet

The Cruise has only been open a few months. Like most new restaurants tweaks and changes have been made as they navigate the diverse clientele of Angeles City. The dinner buffet currently costs 599 pesos (approximately $13.31) and includes soft drinks.

Jeff also assured me he will not be changing the quality and tastes of the foods that comes out of his kitchen.  His multi-cultural background, attention to detail and work in the restaurant business ensures that all items being served are up to his high standards and tastes.

The main dishes are made each day using mostly fresh, local ingredients in small quantities to ensure freshness. You will be hard-pressed to find a dish or item that is pre-made. If an item runs out, you may have to wait a few minutes as dishes are not stock-piled in warmers. In my opinion this is more than acceptable. I’d much rather have delicious, hot and fresh food served on a buffet rather than something that’s been sitting in a warmer for a few hours.

The buffet stations seem to go on forever. It is a vast spread of ice filled troughs for the plated cold dishes and individual warming plates for hot main dishes. The video below shows a walk-through of the buffet’s extensive size:


Each dish is tastefully garnished with carrot, cucumber, tomato flowers or parsley which is a small, yet brilliant touch that adds to the overall dining aesthetic.

Ice Trough

The choices are endless and each dish I sampled was delicious. I went out of my way to try unfamiliar dishes and dishes I thought for sure wouldn’t be up to par such as the Chicken Casserole and Pork Meatballs. To my surprise these turned out to be more delicious than I could have imagined! It’s nearly impossible to taste over 20 hot dishes and just as many cold items, but I did my best to sample a little taste from each cuisine.

Grade A Pork

The Sushi Bar

Rolls Galore

The sushi bar is a maki roll lovers dream come true. On my visit there were 10 maki rolls and a limited selection of nigiri sushi. There was also some shrimp and vegetable tempura off to the side. The roll selections were very tasty and well presented. This is not a sushi restaurant and with so many other choices I was content with the selection presented.

MakiFried Goodness

The Carving Station

Another highlight on the buffet is the carving station. I passed on the delicious looking pork roast due to many other dishes having pork. I’m hopeful that Jeff can find some quality U.S. or Australian beef or perhaps a turkey to add to the carving station’s rotation.

Pork Roast

The Grill Station

The grill station was tempting with fresh squid, shrimp and pork but I was more interested in trying additional dishes on the buffet. These items are cooked to order and served table side.

Squid, Shrimp & Pork

Even More Hot Dishes

While many buffets try to entice you to fill up on carbohydrate filled side dishes, bread and pastas, The Cruise offers an extensive mix of protein based items featuring fish, pork, shellfish and chicken. Beef seems to be lacking, but this is to be expected since quality beef is cost prohibitive and often difficult to come by in this part of the world.

Spicy PrawnsSeafood

The Salad, Fruit & Desert Bar

A section of the buffet is dedicated to a salad bar with make your own and pre-made salad and fresh fruit selections.

Salad BarWatermelon, Mango & Pineapple

There is also a small selection of breads and sweets for desert if you possibly have room.

Cookies and Cakes

Yet Even More Items

There are many, many other items like soups, fried rice, mini-Clubhouse sandwiches, canapes, pizza, Korean noodle dishes, vegetable sides, made to order carbonara, won-tons, lumpia and other finger foods that I simply didn’t have room to try on this visit.

Finger FoodsKorean Noddle

Thankfully many of these items are permanent fixtures on the buffet so I’ll have an opportunity to try them on the next visit.

Extraordinay Service

One other point worth mentioning is the service. From the moment you walk in to the moment you walk out the wait staff is very attentive, but not overbearing. Not once did dirty plates stack up on the table on this visit or my previous Christmas visit after numerous visits for refills. While there is a walk-up drink station, I never needed to use it as there was always an attentive server ready to refill my water or beverage glass before I needed it.

Cold Beverages

The staff does their best to ensure that dishes on the buffet stay fresh and filled, but can become slightly flustered if a large group of 20 enter at one time. These are normal growing pains that I suspect will be rectified in the near future as the kitchen and wait staffs become more accustomed to runs and rushes that can occur at any buffet.

Set Sail For A Fantastic Culinary Voyage

The Cruise has dropped anchor in Balibago, Angeles City and have set a new standard on what customers can expect for buffet dining. The limited buffet competition in town should take note of the quality, atmosphere and pricing structure that The Cruise has instituted. The maiden voyage has already shown they are by far the best value for the money and they have successfully navigated through the stormy roll and turbulent first month of business .

The price at 599 pesos (approximately $13.31) is extremely competitive, the food is high quality and the taste is excellent. The atmosphere rivals and in many ways equals or surpasses VariAsia in ABC Hotel. The Cruise is strategically located in an area that is easily accessible by tourists just a few hundred meters away from Walking Street. Other buffets are much further away, much more expensive and often missed by visitors unless it happens to be in the hotel where they are staying.

Street View

Jeff Choi and his family have finally brought an affordable, high quality, Las Vegas style buffet to Angeles City that will appeal to local families, single persons, small groups, large groups and couples. They’ve incorporated great service and delicious food choices at the right price and provide an incredible dining atmosphere. They have reset the standard on what a buffet restaurant experience should be like in Angeles City and expats will feel as if they’re back at a world famous Las Vegas casino buffet. All aboard for The Cruise Buffet Restaurant and be prepared to enjoy the culinary voyage you’re about to embark on!

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Rating: 8.1/10 (8 votes cast)

Canterbury Tales Guest House

Sign

TYPE: Guest House
RESERVATIONS: Strongly Encouraged, Especially During High Season (Dec. to Mar.)
ROOM TYPES: 22 Rooms in 5 Different Buildings. 9 Studio Style, 8 Separate Bedroom, 2 Budget, 1 Apartment, 1 Private Room and 1 Condo Unit. Configurations and Square Meters/Feet Vary.
RATES: 400 to 800 Baht (Approximately $12.50 to $25.00) Per Night Depending on Room Style and High/Low Season Rate. Monthly Rates Also Available but Do Not Include Electricity and Water. Prices as of Jan. 9, 2014.
PAYMENT: Cash & Credit Card via PayPal
LOCAL PHONE #: 038-720-946 During Business Hours, 086-575-4966 After Business Hours (Dave, Owner & English Speaker)
ROOM SERVICE: Available via Canterbury Tales Café During Business Hours
LOCATION: See Map Below


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Lodging — Your Vacation’s Money Pit

Besides airfare, where you sleep is typically going to factor in to a large portion of your travel budget and will tremendously encroach on your vacation spending money. Most people spend 8 to 12 hours a day in their room and most of that is sleeping. Even though that equates roughly to a half day, you’re paying for a full day. Dollar for dollar, hour for hour this is a lot of money for very little use unless you’re the type of person who loves to lay out by the hotel pool, eat and drink at the hotel restaurants and bars or have room service delivered.

In these cases perhaps your money is well spent. But if you’re like me and  look at your room as simply a place you’re paying to sleep, shower and store your things safely then a hotel is not the best option. Hotel prices can vary immensely based on factors such as:

  • Location
  • Brand
  • Amenities
  • Room Size

Many travelers choose a slightly lower grade option by staying at a motel or budget hotel that typically have fewer niceties than a hotel but have a lower price. A Bed & Breakfast may come to mind for some, but these places are typically priced similarly to budget hotels or motels with the nicer ones in the hotel price range. Younger travelers likely are familiar with hostels, but if you’re out of the college age bracket you may feel slightly out of place at these establishments.

In the end, most people think that these are the only options available and either splurge on a nice hotel that has everything they’re looking for or they opt for an always disappointing budget or lower end hotel/motel.

The Guest House — Not a Hotel/Motel, B&B or Hostel

An often overlooked lodging option when traveling is the guest house. A guest house is like the forgotten middle child of places to stay. I’d place it right between a hotel and a hostel. You typically won’t have as many services or amenities like a hotel has, but you also don’t have the rules, regulations and sometimes shared sleeping/bathroom conditions that a hostel may have.

Guest houses can range from very nice to borderline terrible and everything in between. Typically they are not clustered in to one area like hotels. You can find guest house nestled in the same areas as 4 and 5 star name brand hotels, right in the heart of the action or slightly off the beaten path. They are usually owned and operated by independent proprietors and the rooms are often larger than any hotel room at 50% to 75% less cost per night. Guest houses feel much more like homey apartments rather than a hotel. Some basic things I expect when staying at a guest house are:

  1. A private, decent sized, secure and clean room with full bathroom
  2. Shower with hot water
  3. Cable TV and WiFi
  4. Air-conditioner and/or fan (depending on climate)
  5. Basic towels and bedding
  6. Cleaning service every 2 to 3 days

It’s important to remember that guest house lodging is not the same as a hotel but it should have more faculties than a hostel. It is a basic set up and the niceties and degrees of services varies from owner to owner. Do not expect an elevator, front desk, bellmen, concierge, phone, mini-bar, soap, shampoo or any other hotel-related types of amenities. Guest house rooms are sometimes located in nondescript buildings such as Canterbury Tales Guest House.

Main Office

Review of Canterbury Tales Guest House

There are many guest houses available in Pattaya, Thailand. I chose Canterbury Tales as my place to stay since it was close to an area I enjoy staying near, price per night and overall good reviews I’d read about from similar minded travelers. This was my second stay at this establishment and my third booking will take place in February of 2014.

Safety & Security

This is my first and foremost concern. I was the victim of a robbery on a trip to Pattaya a few years ago. I was staying at what I thought was a safe hotel, yet an intruder was able to enter my room while I was away and steal my laptop. Sadly this was not the first or last incident at this hotel. The rooms at Canterbury Tales are located in 5 non-descript buildings that do not have signs. The entrances are secure and discreet. There are no guards, elevators or front desk. In the building I stayed in the door leading up to the rooms is secured with a magnet locking system that opens with a key card. The hallway leading to the stairs up to the rooms was equipped with security cameras.

Room 201 Layout — Split Level Studio Style

After checking in at the bookstore I was led down the road for about 2 minutes with one of the workers who helped me with my bag. Upon entering the room I was pleasantly surprised at how large it was; more than twice the size of a hotel room.

Room 201 Flat Screen TV

The layout was a split level design. Directly to the right was the refrigerator, kitchenette area and bathroom. Just up one stair to the second level was the king sized bed, nightstand, flat screen TV, DVD player, dresser, and shelving holding the microwave, kettle and various reading materials and menus for food delivery. There was also a 3 speed standing fan in lieu of a ceiling fan.

Split Level

Also on this level was a separate sitting area that included a sofa, coffee table, two chairs, a large cabinet with more drawers, a small electronic safe (properly installed) and another small mirrored sitting area.

Sofa and Chair Drawers

Despite all of these items there was still plenty of space and nothing seemed cluttered at all.  There were 4 small sliding windows, 2 of which that opened (also locked), had screens and looked out on to the main road. Rooms facing this road may be too loud for some individuals, but I can sleep through most anything.

Hard

Some rooms also have balconies, but I tend to stay away  from these as I’ve found sliding glass doors in Asia are not secure and can easily be lifted off the track allowing entry from the outside despite being locked.

Kitchenette & Bathroom

The kitchenette is basically just a sink and cabinet outside of the bathroom. A few plates, plates and silverware are included. The medium sized refrigerator nearby is empty but there are plenty of mini-markets nearby so you can stock up on what you like yourself.

Bathroom View

The bathroom is of fair size. There’s a sink with cold water only, mirror and some shelving. The shower has a hot water heater and the pressure is good but the hot water didn’t get as hot as I would have preferred, but it was hot enough for a shower and shave.

Sink & Shower

The one downside in most bathrooms I’ve encountered in South East Asia is the lack of a containment area for the shower water. Once you shower, the entire bathroom floor remains wet. This can be slippery and messy if you don’t dry the floor or let it dry naturally. Neither of these are good options as you don’t have enough towels to dry the floor plus high humidity and lack of ventilation make for long natural drying times. I’ve also noticed that faucets are usually not connected securely to the sink. I’m not sure why this is, but these are small annoyances that I can overlook for the price per night.

Other Details

    • Free WiFi – In my visits I’ve found the WiFi to be very stable, a solid signal and relatively fast. This can change day to day in countries like Thailand but I’ve never had an issue in the buildings I’ve stayed in at Canterbury Tales.
    • Air Conditioner – Each room’s air conditioner I’ve stayed in has worked well. Even though the electricity is turned off when you leave the units cool down the rooms very quickly once you return.
    • Bed – The mattress is on the very firm to hard side. In my experiences outside of name brand hotels this is fairly standard in Asia.
    • Management – You may not even meet Dave on your stay, but he is readily available to take care of any issues you may have via cell phone and texts. During my stays I’ve run into several small issues that were resolved quickly and efficiently simply by texting Dave who dispatched his workers to attend to my problems.
    • Cable – The channel selection is good, but if you only speak English it’s limited to an extent. Many channels are in Thai. There’s plenty of news and sports stations (showing mostly games like curling, soccer, cricket, etc.) but very few entertainment/movie channels in English. In my stays I think I’m watching 2 or 3 channels total.
    • Food & Snacks – There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and safe street carts available 24/7 in the surrounding area as well as many that will deliver to your room. There are also numerous 7-Elevens and Family Mart stores where you can buy just about everything you need to stock your room with snacks and drinks.

The video below gives you a good idea of the size, style and layout of the room.

Final Analysis

Canterbury Tales Guest House has been in operation since 2009 and the rooms are often booked months in advance. There is good reason for this. Dave and his staff run a clean, efficient and fairly priced guest house. In my opinion it is one of the best run guest houses I’ve stayed at and a great value for the money. The location is fantastic and you’re less than 10 minutes away via Baht bus from the main attractions in Pattaya like TukCom Mall, Central Festival Mall, Walking Street, Pattaya Beach and Baht buses to Jomtien.  You’re steps away from Soi LK Metro which is a lively area with many bars and restaurants.

If you’re heading to Pattaya on a budget and haven’t ever stayed in a guest house I would highly recommend checking out these often overlooked establishments. You might find that these types of lodgings are more suited for your travel accommodations and Canterbury Tales would be a great first experience for you if it’s not fully booked.

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Rating: 8.9/10 (8 votes cast)

Thai-Ger Line Golf

Signage

RENTAL: See Attached PDF, prices as of Dec. 7, 2013
BAG STORAGE: Available
REPAIR SERVICE: See Attached PDF, prices as of Dec. 7, 2013
GOLF APPAREL & SHOP: Available
HOURS: 8:00am to 7:00pm Daily
LOCATION: See Map Below


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Playing Golf in Pattaya

Thailand is now the world’s number one tourist destination and it is rapidly becoming a golfer’s paradise for millions of new tourists every year. The secret is out and golf courses are becoming harder and harder to get tee times. Greens fees are affordable and the courses are world-class golfing excursions for the beginner or expert golfer.

Fortunately, much of the tourism is focused on the cities of Bangkok and Phuket. Pattaya and the surrounding area is still a golfer’s paradise with over 25 golf courses in the surrounding area for players at all levels.

But how do you know which links are going to be up to your skill level? How can you even get to some of these courses in an unfamiliar land where English isn’t the first language spoken?

If you’ve got a lot of free time on your hands you could spend countless hours researching on the internet, arduously planning out your trip and which courses you plan to play. Most people don’t have the patience or time for this.

Another option is to turn to a company like Thai-Ger Line Golf in Pattaya who serve as a one-stop shop and guide you through your entire golfing vacation without you having to do much of anything except book some tours and showing up to play. Thai-Ger Line Golf will take care of everything for you.

All-Inclusive Golf Tours

I came across Thai-Ger Line Golf completely by accident. I happened to be staying across the street in a guest house on my trip and decided to stop by to see if I could speak with the owner about his business for this article. Unfortunately we were unable to connect and meet up but I was able to stop by one day and speak with Kik, ask some questions and snap a few photos. Even without a face to face meeting I was able to get a lot of information.

Thai-Ger Line Golf has been in business for over 15 years. They have forged relationships with many golf courses in the area and offer daily golf tours starting at 1800 Baht (approximately $60.00) per person. This fee includes:

  1. Transfer to and from the office to the golf course
  2. Caddy
  3. Greens Fees

Office

These daily tours run on weekdays and should be booked a day or two in advance. Custom tours and packages including hotel bookings are also available as are weekend and holiday trips at some higher end golf courses for additional fees. Contacting the office or stopping by to speak with the knowledgeable staff will ensure you’re playing courses that meet your skill level.

If you’re simply looking to play one round of golf in Pattaya or want to spend your entire time playing as many different courses as possible then Thai-Ger Line Golf can help make your dream golfing vacation a reality at a competitive price. They have packages that include 3, 6 or 8 rounds of golf. All you need to do is book your tour, show up and play.

Repairs & Fine Tuning Your Clubs

Thai-Ger Line Golf doesn’t just arrange golf tours. The store also is a full service pro shop providing you with all your golf related needs including repairs and fine tuning of your set.

Need your clubs re-gripped or new shafts? Thai-Ger Line in-house Golf Clinic offers the following services to fine tune your sticks:

  • Grip and shaft change out
  • Lie and Loft change
  • Torque, Swing Weight and Shaft Frequency

Relax & Unwind

Before or after your round you can have a seat at the bar and reminisce about your Eagle shot with friends or figure out how much you and your friends will be wagering on a skins game on your next round.

Cold Drinks

Rest and Relax

You can also practice on the Full Swing Golf Simulator and get your swing analyzed. The store is a great spot to relax and unwind before or after your round.

Video Golf

Golf Apparel & Supplies

The on premises golf shop stocks all the golfing apparel and supplies you need. No need to worry if you forgot something at home as Thai-Ger Line has everything you need right on site including bags, gloves, shirts, hats and much more. They even have custom embroidered clothing with the Thai-Ger Line logo so you have a souvenir of your golfing adventures in Thailand.

Bags

The store also has various makes and brands of high-end golf clubs available for sale.

Golf Lessons

If you’re new to the game of golf and have always wanted to try it  but are unsure on where to start Thai-Ger Line can help. They can arrange a 10 day all-inclusive lesson package that will provide you with 3 hours of daily lessons and includes 2 rounds on beginners courses as well as 9 holes on a professional course. All materials and supplies are included. This is a great way to introduce younger members of the family to the game and is very reasonably priced compared to what it would cost you in your home country.

Golf Tours in the Land of Smiles

Thai-Ger Line Golf is an international member of the USGA and has an excellent record for over 15 years of arranging fabulous golf tours at multiple clubs in Pattaya and the surrounding area.

If you’re a single player looking to get into a game or a large corporation needing a group outing Thai-Ger Line Golf is a great one-stop to arrange all of your golf tour needs. The staff is highly knowledgeable and can help any size group choose the best venue for their needs.

Staff

The next time you book a trip to Thailand be sure to bring your golf clubs. If you truly love golf then make sure you stop by Pattaya and Thai-Ger Line Golf to speak with Kik or Fabian to arrange some rounds. They will ensure that your valuable vacation time is well spent on some of the best courses Thailand has to offer at a fair and reasonable price.

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Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Blue Rock Beach Resort, Part II of II — Bars, Restaurant & Dive Shop

OPEN: Restaurant/Bar — 24hrs., Floating Bar — Seasonal (Late Nov. to April/May), Mid-Afternoon until 11:00pm’ish Depending on Weather
PAYMENT: Cash/Credit Cards
SEATING: Open-Air, Semi-Enclosed Outdoor Seating (Smoking)
LOCAL PHONE #: See Part I
LOCATION: See Part I

Eating and Drinking at Blue Rock Beach Resort

I was looking forward to eating and drinking at Blue Rock Beach Resort during my stay. Blue Rock Beach Resort advertises extensively in a local magazine called the Blue Book in Angeles City.

My girlfriend and I ate just about every meal here for a couple of reasons.

  1. There’s not much else around without traveling off the property other than Wild Orchid which is also in Angeles City and has a similar menu.
  2. The food is relatively well reviewed, particularly their steakhouse and seafood choices.

I was also looking forward to visiting their floating bar which is situated just off shore during the dry season (typically late November through April/May) for some drinking and relaxing.

Food Experiences

We were hungry upon our arrival at around lunch time, so we dropped off our bags in our room and headed to the restaurant. The restaurant  and bar overlooks the beach and there are a bunch of great seats in the dining room.

We ordered Thai Style Shrimp Fried Rice and BBQ Chicken Wings. The fried rice was good but I was expecting some large, plump shrimp based on the reputation for seafood at Blue Rock and in Subic. Unfortunately this was not the case and it was just a basic fried rice. I swear there’s some small shrimps somewhere in there. Tasty, but nothing spectacular.

Average Taste

The BBQ Chicken Wings were as bad as they looked. I’m used to oddly cut chicken in the Philippines, but this was primarily bones, fat and skin with very little meat. Overall a slightly disappointing experience for our first meal and fairly pricey which is to be expected at a hotel/resort.

Disgusting

I had faith that future meals would be much better with the extensive menu and perhaps we just caught a bad meal which can definitely happen on occasion.

Dinner time was fast approaching and since it was our first night we decided to splurge. Blue Rock Beach Resort has a steak and fish grilling area where you can pick from daily specials and it will be cooked up in front of your eyes.

Steakhouse

I like this concept, but the prices were a little too expensive for my tastes and the side dish choices weren’t that appealing to me. We opted for the Seafood Platter for 2, Caesar Salad and French Fries instead.

The salad was good, but portion-wise it was small. I liked the dressing and the fact that they put real anchovies and cheese on the side.

Small Portion

For around $30.00 I thought the Seafood Platter  for 2 was extremely overpriced (especially since I know what it would cost me to piece this together buying the items in the market locally). There was a salty, MSG filled gravy on the crab, shrimps and mussels. This is totally unnecessary for fresh seafood unless you’re trying to cover up the natural flavor for some reason. The shrimps were small and were peel-yourself style. The fried squid, fish and imitation crab sticks (Really? Imitation crab sticks?!) were all just your basic fried variety. Tough to screw these up and at least they weren’t overcooked.

Overpriced

Since it was a special occasion being a 1 year anniversary and I had a few drinks in me I wasn’t complaining and did enjoy this meal. Including a 1/2 dozen oysters on this item without changing the price would have made me feel much, much better about it. So far my meals at Blue Rock Beach Resort were under achieving considering all the hype I’d heard and read about.

The next morning for breakfast I went with the North to South breakfast for around $8.00 which I would classify as an Australian type of breakfast. The sausage, bacon and eggs were good, but the canned mushrooms were a drag as were the generic frozen hash browns. I’m really not a big breakfast guy in the first place, but English and Aussie breakfasts are just confusing to an American like me. What’s with the grilled tomatoes and sometimes beans?

Confusing Aussie Breakfast

My girlfriend went with the Club Sandwich. I don’t know why she thinks this is a great sandwich and wants to order it at every opportunity. I’ve tried to explain to her that she’s not even a member and therefore can’t order this sandwich. For what it’s worth, here it is.

Members Only

A little later for lunch we ordered some nachos and a BLT Sandwich. Again, these were very average and pricey for what you got. The nachos were greasy, the meat was full of gristle and the cheese was Filipino style. In other words, my girlfriend loved this!

Greasy

This was the attempt at the BLT. At this point all the sandwiches were the same to me.

Sad Attempt

At some other point I also tried the Reuben sandwich. It was uninspiring. The picture below should give you a good idea on the quality. If I didn’t see the corned beef I’d swear a tryke driver ran over the bread before it was served to me. No that is not Swiss cheese and yes there is some sort of sauerkraut in it.

Uninspired

Again, not what I’m expecting at a “beach resort” for the prices paid, portion sizes and overall taste and quality. I had much higher expectations. Fortunately, I was in possession of discount card that gave me 10% off all meals and drinks which helped ease my disappointment with the food experiences.

My opinion is that the food at Blue Rock Beach Resort is overrated, pricey and average to fair at best. Good for a quick snack if you’re there or if you just want some bar snacks. We ventured next door to the Wild Orchid for dinner later that evening which was much better overall for food services.

Libations

So the food wasn’t the highlight of Blue Rock Beach Resort, but if you plan on just relaxing by or on the water there are great opportunities to get your drink on here.

During the dry season (late Nov. through April/May) the floating bar is positioned about 200 feet offshore and is open from mid-afternoon until late night. It’s a fun and unique spot to spend an afternoon or evening and the drinks are priced fairly.

Drink on the Water

Yes you can jump off the bar and swim, yes there are bathrooms on board. Operations are subject to weather conditions as are operating times.

The bar inside Blue Rock Beach Resort is also a great spot to have some drinks and spend some time. You can sit at the bar itself or grab one of the many seats in the restaurant dining room.

Drinks

Every night there was also a small live band consisting of a keyboardist, singer and guitarist singing popular favorites. Sitting on the water in the floating bar or at the bar or restaurant having some cocktails taking in the exceptional beach and view is always a great way to spend the day or night.

Live Band

Diving

Blue Rock Beach Resort also has on onsite dive shop. If you’re an experienced or first time diver or snorkeler the staff can help arrange some great dives at shipwrecks and other popular sites in the Subic Bay area.

Snorkeling

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