Let’s head somewhere far from the usual hospitality and restaurant location of the metro.

Right smack in the heart of Cubao, Novotel Araneta Center inaugurated in October 2015 located abreast of the Araneta Coliseum boasts as the only hotel built offering the largest number of rooms in Quezon City to date. Strategically located, AccorHotels’ brand known for business and leisure travellers has the vantage point having close proximity to where concerts, professional court games and farmers market; It’ll be a hard-miss not to check on this world-class property.

As you walk in you might hear a welcoming voice in your head, maybe Morgan Freeman. It’s like you’ve gone towards heaven’s staircase where a friendly well-taken cared K9 would give you a homecoming, cheerful concierge opening the doors, the sun’s natural lighting transcending from the high-ceiling and and a modern front desk without a sight of the back office and beautiful receptionists to assist you.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center
Gourmet Bar by Novotel. Perfect for a Family meal or drinks with Friends.

Being true to the brand’s world wide standards, Gourmet Bar, an informal friendly eating and drinking space of Novotel offers trendy beverages, simple to thematic meals, creating a perfect socializing space in the lobby.

Spear indulgence: Caldareta Sliders and Tomato and Mozzarella Sliders                              Photograph: Raymond Braganza

Giving it a spin, we were orchestrated for a surprise. The hors d’oeuvre got me at Caldareta Sliders (Php 350) and a lush of greens, Tomato and Mozzarella Sliders (Php 450). Each carefully toasted pandesal cut into half, sauce spread evenly on each cheek topped with fresh leaves, tomatoes, capers and soft slightly spiced marinated stewed beef  paired with side-salad to cleanse your palate to prep you up for a pre-meal.

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Gambas Al Jillo  |  Photograph: Raymond Braganza


If you haven’t had enough of your starters, go for a taste of Gambas Al Jillo (Php500) and it’ll give you a lasting kick with the fresh Prawns harvested from Roxas, sautéed in generous garlic, olive oil, chili and sweet paprika. It was a battle of sweet, spicy and everything nice.

The main courses are substantial platefuls, with more attention to detail with the generosity in showcasing only fresh meats and organic produce. Service is deft.

Standing firm on sourcing ingredients from our local farmers, Gourmet Bar’s are supplied with all the fresh greens (cherry, tomato and lettuce) from San Mateo, Rizal. Produced organically to be served, everything on the menu are all made in-house by the efficient, internationally trained, skilled and talented kitchen staff.

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Fresh from the oven: Pizza Lungag Parma Ham Con Rucola E Grana                                   Photograph: Raymond Braganza

Not to overwhelm carbs eaters and those who may be in a restrictive diet without shortchanging, the Pizza selection are made into perfection. A generous amount of Mozzarella cheese, parma ham, rocket leaves and parmesan flakes gave life to the Pizza Lungga Parma Ham Con Rucola E Grana (Php 380). Best of all, there’s no need to add a dash of salt and pepper to adjust your taste.

Consistent to its presentation, the plates are clean and modern. The food was styled neatly without those ritzy glitz.  Straightforwardly plated yet photo worthy.

Fresh all the way: Black Linguine with Talangka Paste  | Photograph: Raymond Braganza

Known for everything light and delicious, Gourmet Bar boasts influences from around the world creating dishes from fresh produce and local ingredients. Flavors are evident yet innovative. For the adventurous, Black Linguine with Talangka Pasta (Php 480) bit the curiosity; discernible fresh hand-made pasta and local farmed rocket greens made this dish even special with a dash of crispy Maya-maya cubes.

Tandoore of The Day (Php 530) |  Photograph: Raymond Braganza

If you haven’t known just yet, Novotel Araneta invested on having their own Indian Chef’s specializing in Punjab cuisine from the Northern region, exceeding on bold textures and hearty ingredients. Bringing in the authentic Tandoori’s (marinated in masalas, oil, chutney and curd); Tandoori for the Day (Php 530), recommended grilled meat great for vegetarians will be presented and served with freshly made roti and generous dips made out of indian spices. Nothing pretentious, it tastes close to its roots.

Albeit the service size may not be as huge for a binge, the taste speaks volumes for the quality of everything else that I’d encourage you to take small bites of everything you would want to try before you indulge all the way.

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Brain Freeze: Le Mont Gourmand (Php 999)

However, the dessert is something else. Le Mont Gourmand (Php 999) owns the throne in the department. 15 portions of homemade artisan ice cream and sherbets served with macaroons, nuts, mixed berries coulis, chocolate and carmale sauce garnished with whipped cream and everything else that you want to top it all would make a family of 4-5 happy as a bee or if you just fancy a cup, you won’t regret the Coffee Espresso Flavor – to die for!

If you think Novotel is too far your enjoyment and enthusiasm, I suggest you bring in the troupe and descend your way to Gourmet Bar for a celebration. You wouldn’t want to miss a possible gastronomic affair.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center
General Aquinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
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