Cafe RIZAL at the Rizal Park Hotel
“Preserve your memories, keep them well, what you forget you can never retell.” ~Louisa May Alcott~
I have been awed by people’s creativity and talent especially when they achieve beauty in mixing the old with the new.
The first time I heard of The Army and Navy Club being restored last July 2017, and named it as Rizal Park Hotel, I thought of inviting Jen to see it immediately.
We were on the look-out for the next holiday (s) so we can visit it. Apart from its’ location, it is out of our way, it would take us more than 3 hours to get there if we’re coming from Laguna.
And finally, we’re able to make it. On a holiday. =)
It is still a dignified white structure for me, they were able to document how since 1911, the building graced Manila, until it was declared as condemned, and then, restored. You’ll be amazed that instead of replacing those that are deteriorated already, they opted to repair them. While for those that really requires replacement, they made sure that it matched (if not exact) the original design.
There is a special feeling being in a place where you visualized that it has been there at a time that you’re not living yet.
Photos courtesy of: http://www.rizalparkhotel.com.ph/history
I felt it first time, when I was still a college student. It has always been nostalgic for me.
Said restoration has been very impressive and inspiring. How they painstakingly did it just so to preserved something very significant to this country’s history.
After wandering around and marveling how it was restored, it is now time to eat according to Jen.
We were cheerfully ushered by two attendants and guided us to the dining hall.
It was good to know that they have our usual favorites. I had my pasta with shrimps and Jen had her burger: the Army and Navy Burger served with truffle potato wedges.
Initially, we ordered for a green salad too and Oolong iced tea.
I requested for a simple syrup for my tea, I wondered why it took long for the attendant to go back. Then I saw someone else approaching, he introduced himself with that infectious smile, that he is the Shift Manager and handed me a tray of these sugar packets. He apologized that they do not have the syrup at the moment, but assured me to make it readily available, should it be requested in the future. which I found thoughtful and sweet.
I think, for transparency purposes, the kitchen or working area is visible to the guest and is very orderly. Look at those spices in vintage glass canisters.
We really enjoyed our food so much, we haven’t consumed our complimentary breads yet when they arrived.
Were excited like kids as to how our food tastes, more so how it’ll be ingeniously presented. There’s a little spiciness that I’ve felt from my shrimps but then the over-all taste is very gratifying. I donated one to Jen. =)
I asked Jen how’s her burger and she just offered me to have a bite as I can describe it better according to her. It was really tasteful and distinctive.
After which, we lingered for a while at the Courtyard. Jen commented that we stayed there longer than how long we finished our lunch because the place is so relaxing, it has transported us from the ordinary.
It was a good decision to restore the place and preserved a portion of history, its like a priceless gift to the new generations.
I would have to end this by convincing you to pay visit, I’m sure you’ll be inspired too.
Rizal Park Hotel is located at: South road drive, T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila, Philippines. They accept reservations through:
I wonder why Jen and I didn’t have our photo together? And I forgot to capture the famous dome. And the beckoning stairs. Maybe next time. =)