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Eat, play and shop at Nuvali |

Food and Leisure

Eat, play and shop at Nuvali

Julie Cabatit-Alegre - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - When Charlemagne Lim was thinking of opening a new restaurant in Sta. Rosa not too long ago, it was a friend who told him about Nuvali, Ayala Land’s flagship eco-community development south of Manila.

“Nuvali is a master-planned, mixed-use development spanning the cities of Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao and Calamba in Laguna,” says Jen Chua of Nuvali’s marketing department. “From 1,800 hectares in 2009, Nuvali has expanded to 2,290 hectares, making it Ayala Land’s largest estate development to date.”

Solenad, Nuvali’s premier shopping mall, opened its second and third wings with over 40,000 square meters of space for an extensive array of shopping and dining options. At present there are 14 stores in the retail area by the iconic four-hectare man-made lake, with its koi attraction and popular fish-feeding activity.

Where before, Nuvali served simply as a stopover for travelers to Tagaytay, which is 30 minutes south, with this exciting development, Nuvali has now become a destination in its own right. Not only travelers but also residents of Laguna, Tagaytay, Batangas and Muntinlupa have made Nuvali their go-to place for leisure and entertainment.

“When I saw this place, I thought it was so nice. I said I’m going to open my new restaurant here, no matter what,” says Charlemagne Lim. Before he opened Bistro Charlemagne at Solenad 3 in Nuvali, he had Little Asia on Tomas Morato in Quezon City, which he opened in 2001. It gained popularity for its Asian fusion cuisine, and three other branches later opened in Greenhills, McKinley Hill, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Early in 2015, Lim developed his new Asian-European fusion concept and opened the first Bistro Charlemagne in Nuvali.

“Our logo says, ‘Charlemagne, concept by Little Asia.’ I want people to know that Little Asia did not close.  My cooks, my waiters, my captain waiter, even the owner, are all from Little Asia. This is the new version of Little Asia,” Lim explains. “Thirty five percent of our menu is from Little Asia, while 65 percent is new, among them our green pea with truffle oil soup, tuna tataki, pork belly in peanut sauce, lengua in white sauce, and beef tenderloin with teriyaki sauce.”

Other new items include the Bistro sisig, bagoong rice, and hubad na lumpia. Of course, they kept the Crispy Chicken, for which Little Asia was well known, in the menu.

“My grandfather was the founder of Savory chicken,” says

Lim, who is the third-generation restaurateur in his family.

A management graduate from the College of St. Benilde, he never thought he’d open a restaurant, “otherwise I would have gone to a culinary school. Since I was a little boy, all I wanted was to be rich. But when I opened my first restaurant and until now, after 14 years, I realize it’s really my passion. I’m happiest when my restaurant is doing good and my customers come to me and tell me how good my food is.”

He knows many of his regular customers by name. He is happy to get lots of families who come to his restaurant, and foreigners as well. This is the profile of his target market: transients as well as people who live or work in the nearby towns or in Nuvali itself.

“Nuvali’s residential portfolio covers a wide range of lot-only, house-and-lot, and mid-rise condominium unit configurations spread in 21 living spaces across the estate,”

Chua says. “To date, we’ve sold about 12,000 residential units. Currently, the estate carries a workforce population of about 4,000 and this number is expected to double in the next three to five years with the completion of additional office buildings. The opening of two prestigious private schools, Xavier School and Miriam College, has enhanced its appeal, especially for young families with kids.”

The Ayala development promotes a healthy active lifestyle, with its numerous outdoor spaces, an activity park in an 800-sq.m. atrium, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, walkways, bike lanes, hiking trails and camping grounds as well as a wildlife and bird sanctuary.

For those nostalgic for US-style bulk shopping and imported goodies, S & R membership shopping has opened a 12,000 sq.m. center at Nuvali. Also newly opened are state-of-the-art cinemas in the mall.

An integral part of the eco-city development is the newly opened 150-room hotel, Seda. It’s the perfect venue for weekend staycations. The guest rooms offer supreme comfort, with a lovely view of the boats on the lake and the surrounding natural landscape — mountains in the distance and sunset in the afternoon. It has all-day dining at Miso, a gym, a swimming pool and game room, as well as meeting and function rooms for business and social gatherings.

The opening of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) directly links Nuvali to major CBDs in Makati, Manila and Cavite via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Nuvali is accessible through five SLEX exits: Mamplasan, Sta. Rosa,

Eton-Greenfield, Silangan and Canlubang. The completion of CALAX will open a direct transport channel from SLEX via the Mamplasan exit, which is just eight kilometers from the development.

All these developments have not failed to impress Lim. He has decided, even now, that when he opens more branches of his restaurant, he would like them all to be in Ayala developments. “I want to be wherever Ayala opens,” he says.

“Ayala Land is at the forefront among local developers in master-planning sustainable communities that incorporate the vital balance between work and living.” Chua says. “This is manifested in the fundamental design of Nuvali.”



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