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Sunday Lifestyle

Al Fresco dining in a not-so-secret garden

SLICE OF LIFE - Ching M. Alano - The Philippine Star
Al Fresco dining in a not-so-secret garden
Hot hangout spot: Jardin at Holiday Inn Express Manila boasts an outdoor garden setting that’s ideal for casual and safer socializing.

There’s something about outdoor dining that warms the soul and delights the senses. On the patio on a balmy day, friends and families can gather to share endless stories and laughter. Here, they can relax, enjoy the view, have a drink, perhaps listen to the birds chirping or the wind humming, and make lovely memories. I’ve just discovered (or rediscovered) a cool al fresco dining spot where you can do all that and more. Tucked away in the not-so-secret, lush garden of Holiday Inn Express Manila, Jardin recently reopened at Resorts World Manila in Newport City, Pasay. Surely, outdoor dining in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic has never been this refreshingly heartwarming!

Welcome to Jardin: Here, you can do a lot of eating, talking, and chilling.

Reimagining public space

With the pandemic still lurking on every proverbial corner, dining outdoors has become a trend in the new normal in most parts of the world. Because most COVID-19 outbreaks happen in enclosed spaces, urban designers, city planners and architects are coming up with innovative designs that focus on outdoor spaces. Outdoor dining may well be a COVID blessing and some people hope it will stay even after the pandemic vanishes into thin air.

Located at the ground floor of Holiday Inn Express Manila, Jardin offers an option for casual dining where the air quality is better (than inside a cramped, stuffy resto) and the ventilation is more natural.

Jardin has actually been around since 2016, as an alternative al fresco dining spot in what was then the Remington Hotel. Jazzing up Manila’s nightlife, Jardin was designed to be a casual resto-bar for nightouts and happy hours, where drinks were served with live entertainment like acoustic sessions, DJs, and comedy acts.

“The pandemic has delayed the reopening of Jardin as the hotel transitioned to Holiday Inn Express Manila,” says Kristine Mae Bernardo of Resorts World Manila’s corporate communications. “But with the easing of health and safety restrictions, and as Resorts World Manila was given the Safety Seal certification by the Pasay LGU (local government unit), Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Interior and Local Government, the Resorts World management decided to push through with the operations of Jardin.”

Rest assured that Holiday Inn Express Manila is continuously committed to complying with the minimum public health standards and safety protocols set by the government. The hotel has also implemented the global Intercontinental Hotels Group guideline for preventing COVID-19, in partnership with Ecolab (a global leader in water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services) and Diversey (a pioneer in cleaning and hygiene technologies).

Walking into Jardin is like being lost in a tropical garden and finding an oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle. The whole area was designed and styled by Resorts World Manila’s in-house environmental services team.

Pizza be with you: Enjoy your favorite pizza flavors at Jardin.

Open-air, safer socializing

Aside from its refreshing, postcard-pretty greenery, what are the main features of Jardin? Probably its best feature is that it’s outdoors, making it an ideal place for casual and safer socializing, especially amid the pandemic. Its open-air setting exudes a comfortable and relaxing vibe for guests who want to kick up their heels and wash away the dust of a long, hard day.

So, what’s on the menu? The current menu features a variety of bar chow items, pizzas, and beverages.

In keeping with its casual ambience, Jardin offers easy-to-eat Pinoy classic street food like ihaw-ihaw (pork barbecue) and isaw (barbecued pork or chicken intestines). There’s lotsa pizza, too! There’s the kids’ favorite pepperoni loaded with salami or the four-cheese pizza smothered with four kinds of cheese. But of course, there’s the ultimate Pizza Margherita, named after Queen Margherita who was supposedly so bored with French gourmet food that she summoned the best pizza maker in Naples to create different pizzas for her.

Jardin can accommodate up to 30 diners. Prior reservation is encouraged. Intimate events can be booked as long as IATF’s (Inter-Agency Task Force) minimum health protocols are observed.

Welcome to Jardin, where life is breezy and easy!

* * *

Jardin is open Thursday to Saturday, 4-10 p.m. For more information on Jardin, visithttp://www.rwmanila.com and follow @rwmanila and @newportmall on Facebook and Twitter, and resortsworldmanila Instagram.

AL FRESCO
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