Malling can be a task, especially for the boyfriend(ehem ehem) that needs fuel to shadow his girlfriend around every shop in the mall. The good thing about the Philippines is that there’s never a shortage of stalls where they sell snacks. SM Bacoor as well as other malls have a new stand that just came out last year, Mini Egg Puff. Will it be enough to be the boost of energy we need to fill our hungry stomachs as we shop? Let’s find out.
There are quite a few choices to choose from. We went for the Original with Cheese add-ons. I must say, that out of all the ones we tried, this combination had to be the best. There’s something about pastries and cheese that just go hand in hand. We also tried the Original w/ Chocolate Chips on another occasion, it was alright, nothing really special for us as compared to the original with cheese.
They use a mini egg puff waffle iron to make the pastry. It does take some time for it to fully cook. If you have tried the Belgian Waffle stands at the mall, then you know what I mean. Once it’s done though, it’s quite hot so it’s best to let it stand for a minute. The paper baggie that they put it in has holes, I guess to help with releasing the hot air and preventing sogginess. I wouldn’t say that it compares to the mini egg puffs in HK, but it does hold its own. The little balls were filled with a little bit of cheese that melted right into the bread, so it’s not going to be cheesy. It’s a nice snack I have to say. There’s something oddly satisfying about pulling pockets of balls apart.
I’d give this snack a 3.5/5. I’ve talked to some friends who say that they don’t like it, but maybe it was because they got the chocolate puffs. It was fine for me though. It wasn’t expensive, it’s a snack that you can have walking around the mall, it’s different, fun, and the taste isn’t bad at all.
After a quick lunch at Sisig Society we arrived at check-in at 2pm. We were greeted by the friendly staff at the front desk who gave us the quickest check-in that we ever had. It felt like 3 minutes tops! Everything looked pristine, as it is less than a year old. With a quick 360 turn, you could see the path to the pool, their event hall, the elevator, and the main entrance which had a mini waterfall across the entrance. As we were walking towards our room, I couldn’t help but think that it looked like a fancy dormitory, in a good way. There were 6 floors of rooms where all the rooms faced a huge atrium towards the middle. Looking down you could see the dining area which was also the breakfast buffet area.
The room was decently spacious. The huge window was facing Lyceum of the Philippines University. Not much of a view as the hotel is nestled in a field area off the busy road in Gen. Trias. It didn’t bother me much because I was more focused on our room and hotel. The room has the basic, a flat screen television, split-type air-conditioning, clean bathroom with a glass shower, a small coffee table and 2 chairs. The beds were really soft, the linens felt like they were brand new, and I could just imagine myself falling asleep in a sound peaceful bliss. I had to bring work with me to the hotel, so I had my laptop.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a built in desk that had a compartment for sockets and LAN cables. The only setback for me was that there was no refrigerator. For those coming from Manila, or elsewhere, you usually buy fruits, snacks, drinks and would want to stow it away in a refrigerator while you’re staying at the hotel, our room didn’t have
one. I heard you had to request for that specific room, so be sure to request for a room with a refrigerator when booking or at the front desk.
Upon settling in, we decided to go straight to the pool. We were handed towels by one of the staff, they just simply ask how many towels we need and what room were staying in. The pool had a “summer-time” luau vibe. It seems like the music was specifically chosen to bring that vibe with some reggae, r&b under the sun fun. There were seating areas all over, there were lounge chairs, recliners, umbrellas. There’s even a gazebo like place where they serve alcohol. To our surprise, they didn’t have the fruit shakes available at the pool itself, they had to order it from the hotel restaurant to be brought out to us. I think it would be much better if they had the essentials at the pool for the guests. The pool was very clean, and didn’t have too many chemicals in the water which didn’t hurt our eyes. There’s no deep end, I’d say the deepest part of the pool was 4.5 to 5ft. There was also 2 small circular pools with seating(kind of like a big hot tub) right along the side of the main pool. It was probably for kids, but I could see myself having a cold brewsi while sitting in the pool.
As night dawned upon us, we decided to have our dinner at pool side. We were given a menu and everything looked delicious, it was a great selection. The prices weren’t that bad, I mean, it’s a hotel so expect prices to be a little higher. I got the chimichangas, Mike got the burger, and Daphne went for the clubhouse. The food arrived on cutting boards in a very presentable picturesque way. We’ll start with our most pickiest eater. Mike said that his burger was really good. He’s one of those kids that will spit out food if he doesn’t like it, so if the hotel can win him over, then the food must be good! Our second pickiest eater, Daphne, also liked hers as well, she did say that there was some kind of a taste to hers, I think it was the sauce that came in the sandwich. I liked it though! We have different palates so what’s good for me doesn’t always seem to be good for her. As for my chimichangas, they were really delectable. It came with 3 sauces, and everyone was using my sauce for their sandwich and fries. The drawback (once again) about having no basic essentials at the pool as that when we asked for ketchup they had to bring it from the hotel.
Later that evening we were informed that a new bar was recently opened on the 8th floor, and that all drinks were 50% off. Whelp, they had me at 50%! We went up leaving Mike in the room to play on the laptop and watch tv. The place was empty except for the staff. There was a stage but no band. Some of the seating were “bar-like” with sofas and table.
Other parts felt like a restaurant with seating around a table. Unfortunately, they don’t allow smoking inside the bar so we had to go outside for a smoke. The drinks were alright. The prices at half price seemed like something that I would pay at a hotel, I couldn’t imagine going there for drinks when it’s full price. You know how when you arrive early to a party? That’s how it felt. I think the place could of used dimmer lighting, better music, and allow smoking for those who smoke or at least have a smoking section. Who knows maybe it was just because we were the only ones there, maybe there’s more of an aura when there’s more people.
Breakfast and Check-out
The next morning we woke up for breakfast. Mike being under 12 yrs old was free to stay at the hotel, but we had to pay for his breakfast buffet at 50% off. I thought he would be free since the room is for 2 adults and 1 free child. Anyways, the breakfast spread was decent. There were different types of bread, cereal, cinnamon toast, an omelet station, and Filipino breakfast section with the usual viands that accompany a rice breakfast like tocino, tapas, and bangus to name a few. There was just one juice available, water, coffee/tea. It was a nice breakfast, an assortment of choices for different tastes and backgrounds.
Daphne in her morning glory
They had a variety of fruits
The atrium is HUGE. I’m surprised they could keep the whole area air-conditioned
Checking out was as simple as checking in. They were friendly enough at the front desk to make small conversation with me, asking if it was our first time and if we enjoyed our sta.
On a whole, TheBayleaf was a nice getaway. Everyone was very pleasant, the pool was relaxing, the food was delicious and there’s not much to complain about. There were some small issues, but those are issues that can be easily fixed with proper feedback to the hotel management and staff. For hotel that’s not even a year old yet, they’re doing a fine job. I would definitely go back again or even recommend it to anyone looking for a place to stay in Cavite.
Being one of my favorite restaurants, I took it upon myself to share the love with Daphne who has never been to Bistro Ravioli. I was a little worried because she has a picky palate. Nevertheless, my confidence was high for I knew she was in for a treat.
We dined at the Mall of Asia branch which sits quietly and quaint among a busy section of the mall. It’s not a huge restaurant, but can accommodate a small handful of diners. It has a charm about the place, a small modern Italian restaurant and a menu to match.
I ordered the Grilled Foccacia with Spinach for starters. One word of advice, be careful when eating the spinach dip, because it’s hot! The bread was toasted to perfection with that had a crunch when bitten. The cheese-spinach dip was delicious. Very cheesy, slightly herby (Daphne’s not too fond of aromatic foods), and spread nicely on the bread. Daphne really enjoyed this one, I think she knew I made a right choice when bringing her here.
As we were finishing up our appetizer, out came our raviolis. I ordered the Italian Sausage Ravioli in Romesco Sauce. Daphne ordered the Three-Cheese Ravioli. It came with bread as well (which we used to mop up the remaining spinach dip). One thing that I like about Bistro Ravioli is that their pasta is freshly made. We could definitely taste it. Everything just came together perfectly as every ingredient was fresh, hearty, and immersed in goodness. The serving size was not too much, nor too little even though Daphne said the servings were really big. Maybe my portion-size expectation has grown these past few years.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have any room left for their brick oven pizza that day, but we’ll be back again for it. For something different, fresh, and Italian, Bistro Ravioli should be on top of anyone’s list.