Manila Life Cafe: A slice of Manila by Marriott

Let’s say you have an awkward amount of time on your hands either departing or arriving from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) – Terminal 3. Let’s say you’re feeling peckish, in the mood for something that will remind you of Manila. Let’s say you want options of light to heavy meals.

That’s where Manila Life by Marriott comes in. Tucked at the top floor of the airport terminal, unassumingly hiding gems of food choices, is where you can locate this mini-hub of Manila favorites crafted only by the best Marriott Manila can offer. In case you’re not going or coming from a flight, the cafe is also accessible through Runway Manila that connects NAIA Terminal 3 to Newport CIty.

Sockets are aplenty all over the cafe that allows you to plug-in to either catch-up on work or that you just need to recharge your phone to book your Uber ride somewhere in the metro.

The entire cafe is set with mood lighting adorned by photos from experts that do walks of Manila to capture moments. It’s a melody of wood, steel, and copper with some glass for accents.

There’s also a VIP area for those that stayed in Marriott Manila and have spare time before their next flight.

The spotlight, however, is trained on the selection of local favorites honed by the same chefs that provide meals from Cru Steakhouse and Man Ho to name two.

Highlights came in the form of this sisig nachos that was surprisingly fresh without the oily aftermath of making the topping. Creme Frais is generously paired to contrast the protein as well as the herbs and spices that went with it; Share this with a friend together with locally brewed beer and you’re all set for your next trip.

Another appetizer came in the form of Manila Street Food Platter filled with (real) fishballs (and none of those flat white versions on the street) mini kikiam, and quek-quek (deep fried battered quail eggs). Same as the nachos, share this with beer while socializing or trying to catch up to the emails, will be worth the stay.

In case you’re still looking to fill your tummy, options from pacit luglug (specialty noodles from Pampanga) and this prizes Bam-i are available. (Ask the staff about the story behind the Bam-i. You’ll be in for a treat.) Pair this with three different kinds of soft tacos, all fresh, all very light despite the size, all great for your mid-afternoon comfort food.

Breakfast options are also available like this Tapdelog (Tapa, pandesal, itlog (egg)) and this Manila Sunrise Plate that will surely be more than enough to charge you for the day ahead.

I would highly suggest the Manila Life Bacon and Mushroom Burger to get you through a hangover. No seriously, it will work wonders.

Dessert came in two jars one with a Purple Yam Roll, and the other in Mango Sago. Both refreshing after that meal you just had. Coffee, breads, and pastries are also available.

Drew Uy

I do words, food, coffee, and photos. Hit me up on Twitter @ginuhit

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