Celebrations & Occasions Food & Dining My Kids

Happy Birthday Ate: Cafe Ilang Ilang

For ate‘s birthday celebration with the family, she requested for CHAMPAGNE ROOM at The Manila Hotel because it was so darn pretty. BUT. She didn’t want french food. Dilemma, what to do. It’s so funny that they think Mommy can fix everything even though things are more often than not beyond my capacity & control.

champgne room

The beautiful Champagne Room of The Manila Hotel.

We looked over the menu and there wasn’t a single french thing she was “feeling”. Le Frick. So I had a clever idea of booking at Cafe Ilang Ilang for a buffet dinner so they can eat whatever they want without me popping a vein stressing on what to feed my lovely but very particular children, then we can just transfer to the Champagne Room for drinks.

Problem was, The Champagne Room was booked for an event the night we went. Okay, I didn’t factor that in. Doesn’t make me a good fairy godmother, does it. So I owe my firstborn a date at Champagne Room. I can live with that.

Cafe Ilang Ilang, Manila Hotel

One Rizal Park, Roxas Blvd. Ermita, Manila (02) 527-0011
Dinner: Adult P3,014 | Child: P1,507
Lunch: Adult P2,645 | Child P1,322
I’m almost sure the last time we stepped foot in Manila Hotel, Kap & I weren’t hitched yet, or even making plans to. Yes, it’s been THAT long. I don’t know why but it never did leave a lasting impression on us. Maybe because it looked really old then, and being young, we were more attracted to the new hotels. What I do know is, it’s such a beautiful sight to behold now. Everything is old-world charming in our eyes. I guess our taste grew with age. :P


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In line with its old world elegance, a uniformed doorman in a gentleman’s hat & top coat greeted us, as well a pretty lady in a long blue gown.


My ate’s classic beauty was perfect for the hotel’s elegant setting.


I was floored upon getting inside. I did say it’s been ages since we stepped foot. Has it always been THIS nice???


I love each nook & cranny. <3


Because we got there late (as usual), I didn’t bother taking pictures of the buffet set-up anymore kasi bungi-bungi na. And as expected, the kids attacked the Japanese station first. This is why I take them to buffets whenever possible. So they can have plenty of choices.. hindi stress sa chest!


In the Japanese station were, aside from the usual sushi & sashimi assortments, teppanyaki grilled fish & meats, and yakisoba..


as well as tempura assortments & pork tonkatsu.


My happy plate. <3 Their spicy tuna sashimi (rightmost) is a killer. I LOVE IT!


All other stations are just additions. Their main go-to place is really the Japanese buffet. But they do enjoy the others after they’ve had their fill of their favorite dishes. I’m happiest when my kids are all smiles & happy. <3


I liked Cafe Ilang Ilang’s korean station but I wanted to leave space in my tummy for the more unusual buffet items. So I just gave it a brief wave & went on my way in search of another station that will catch my fancy.



I also skipped the Chinese station but had a forkful of siomai from Kap’s plate. :P That’s what husbands are for, after all.


As well a taste of this jellyfish & century egg. You can never take way the chinese in me I guess. ;)


DIY soup station which Kap enjoyed..


Tada! Kap’s bowl of soup. He mixed in everything which made for a most wonderful flavor.


This lechon was begging to be eaten, but I had to constrain myself. I still haven’t seen what I was looking for.




Normally, I go for the roast beef. But I didn’t want to overstretch my tummy and end up not enjoying my night because of a tummy ache. The hickory rib I forked from Ate’s plate was too salty though & it just didn’t taste right so we just set it aside.


And finally my heart started beating wildly! PERSIAN FOOD. NOMS! <3



I wnet crazy with these prawn kababs! <3 So plump! So juicy! So very tasty! <3 It was love at first sight AND bite!



My 2nd happy plate. <3 So very happy plate!



I was going to call it a day, I promise. But then this HUGE cheese wheel called out to me. No one, and absolutely NO ONE, says no to a cheese wheel!


O. M. G. LUST!




Fine. I had a 3rd happy plate. @_@


But I did ignore the freshest catch to balance things out.




In fact I even said no to the dessert station. BUT…


Th dessert gods were smiling at me! SUGAR-FREE!!! <3


With shame, I present to you my 4th plate. Please don’t judge me. :'(


My love for food.. is the reason why my (face & body) remains so very rotund. Huhuhu! I’m cursed!


My wish for you is: that you can eat & eat & eat and NEVER GET FAT. Ever! <3


One of ate’s birthday wishes was a BAKED BY ANITA‘s BERRIES & CHOCOLATE CAKE. So even though it was soooooo out of the way, I made sure I got this one thing right at least!

CHOCOLATE & BERRIES: Chocolate cake with a layer of cream cheese frosting & 2nd layer of Chocolate mousse topped off with dark Chocolate ganache & fresh berries.

7″ single layer P1300, extra Berries add P200. (Serves 6-8)
7″ double layer P1700, extra Berries add P200. (Serves 8-10). SIZE ABOVE.

9″ single layer P1850, extra berries add P300 (Serves 10-12).
9″ double layer P2300, extra berries add P300 (Serves 12-16).
9″ triple layer w/ extra berries P3500 (Serves 18-22).

8×8 Single layer P1800, extra Berries add P250 (Serves 8-10).
8×8 Double layer P2500, extra Berries add P250 (Serves 12-14).

Baked by Anita. (02) 7362877 or Pick up at 340A Smuth drive Maytunas San Juan City. (On Wilson from Unimart, pass P. Guevarra intersection, stay on Wilson, at approx the 7th corner, M Marcos, turn left. When road splits, take right side (Smuth Drive) BBA is on the corner blue & grey duplex, across Palaise Royale Townhouses)


Happy 20th Birthday, my gorgeous Ate! <3


Our firstborn.. our first everything as parents. Thank you for teaching us. We love you oh so very much! <3


I insisted on 20 candles. Kahit na hirap na hirap silang ilawan. It’s more fun in the Philippines! ;))


No shortcuts, Ate. You deserve all the extra miles coming your way. Remember that. You are special.


My beautiful family. God’s ultimate gift to me. Love & Happiness! <3

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I wish you a path untroubled. Happiness everlasting, and love forevermore. <3


20 years. 20 years that you have made my life amazing. Thank you! I love you. Happy birthday my perfect child! <3

Happy 20th Birthday Ate! :-*

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  • Reply Joy

    I sooo love your family celebrations!

    November 18, 2014 at 8:23 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Thank you Joy. Me toooo! Sana pwedeng araw araw diba hahaha. Sakit lang sa bulsa! :P

      November 18, 2014 at 8:24 am
  • Reply med

    Beautiful family! Beautiful Ate! Lahat kayo beautiful!!!!!!

    Yes, I agree with you, sarap Japanese nila.
    Next time I will try that Persian-persian something.
    BTW I hope you partnered your sugar-free desserts with their affogato! Heavenly, LOL

    That Champagne room is LHAV! Baka naman they have afternoon high tea?!? Let’s gooooo!!!

    November 18, 2014 at 8:31 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Oh my!!! Oo nag noh Champagne Room would be so perfect for high tea. Matanong nga! Thank you my beautiful friendship Meding with an equally beautiful family! <3

      November 18, 2014 at 9:01 am
  • Reply cherx

    Sigh..what a beautiful almost perfect family. My ideal family. Belated Ate, you are truly special!

    November 18, 2014 at 9:03 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Awwwww what a nice compliment. Thank you so much! :-*

      November 18, 2014 at 9:12 am
  • Reply mr_jeng

    OH MY!!! ANG GANDA GANDA NI JANA! mana sa mommy! Hehehe HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear girl!
    Belated I mean…

    I so love your wish mama bear! !!!
    Eating and never getting big. like us……. hay..

    You should have went to their grill section :D and have some grilled meat!!! . :D Sometimes you could ask them if you have something on your mind and they can make it happen. :D like sugar free ice cream with a shot of espresso… or oysters and have them into shots and maybe backed with cheese on top! YUMMY! ..

    I am glad that JANA is growing up into a beautiful girl and with the guidance of awesome parents.

    God Bless mama bear and as also see you soon.. (later pala wink wink :D )

    November 18, 2014 at 10:10 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Hi bbbear! <3 Thank you for your well wishes. I hope ok na ang iyong lovelife para happy happy lahat haha. Yeah sayang sana pala I asked you a day or 2 before kung ano stations kasi hindi kami familiar. First time, but certainly not the last. See you mwah! :-*

      November 18, 2014 at 11:47 am
  • Reply january

    happy birthday to the lovely daughter!

    jane, i love that you’re back with your old post about the family :)

    November 18, 2014 at 11:39 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Thank you Elna! :-* Hope I have kwento natitira hahaha.

      November 18, 2014 at 11:47 am
  • Reply kei aclaro

    Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter, Ms. Jane! She is really gorgeous… Wishing her and your whole family, as well, more blessings… Kudos to you for raising such good and gorgeous kids!

    November 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm
    • Reply sugargospice

      Thank you Kei! <3 I'm really so blessed with my kids. :)

      November 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm
  • Reply rochkirstin

    Wow! This celebration has been a blast in every sense of the word! The food looked OMG-delicious; and the ambiance in the Champagne Room, lovely, grand and sophisticated. :) I would also want to spend dinner there next time with my family for a special occasion. You’re a great mom to have all things in control. Your family is super lucky to have you! Happy birthday to Jana. :)

    November 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm
    • Reply sugargospice

      Thank you Roch! <3 Your family is super lucky to have you too! I read how you put your sister through school. Good job! :-* Miss you hope to see you soon!

      November 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm
  • Reply Noel Q.

    happy birthday ulit Jana! God bless!

    November 19, 2014 at 6:29 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Thank you Niel. Grabe you don’t have to make an effort na to comment i know you’re in pain. Pls pls let me know when I can visit you. Huhuhu you’re so kawawa I hope this ordeal will be over soon! :-*

      November 19, 2014 at 7:02 am
      • Reply Noel Q.

        ganyan kita kamahal =)

        November 19, 2014 at 8:42 am
        • Reply sugargospice

          I know niel huhuhu! Please take care! Nagte-text ka siguro while going down the stairs kaya ka nagkaganyan!

          November 19, 2014 at 10:00 am
          • Noel Q.

            nah, I was calling the attention of the driver para makita niya kme, didn’t realize I was already on the edge of the stone staircase sa edsa side ng mega fashion hall. fell down two flights,. buti na lang no head damage. three fractures sa left arm, though, na kailangan i-operate. plus black and blue ako sa chest, right arm, and legs, and extensive lacerations sa face. =)

            November 19, 2014 at 10:44 am
          • sugargospice

            My gosh Niel!!! @_@ I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. Praying for your fast recovery my dearest friend!

            November 19, 2014 at 10:57 am
  • Reply michconstantino

    Happy to see you had the same experience as me in Cafe Ilang-Ilang… went there for the birthdays of my mom and best friend… and that cake is certainly worth going out of the way :D

    Hope Jana’s preparing well for the exams and ace the finals :)

    November 19, 2014 at 8:48 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Thank you Mich! Yes she is going alpha mode this week and studying like crazy haha.

      November 19, 2014 at 10:01 am
      • Reply michconstantino

        I wonder what’s her definition of studying like crazy.. I may learn from it, it took me a year after college before I went to graduate school. =)

        November 19, 2014 at 12:57 pm
        • Reply sugargospice

          I’m sure you also studied like crazy to get where you are now haha! :-* We are lucky parents to have good kids like you!

          November 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm
          • michconstantino

            Thank you *im so kiliiiigggg* we’re lucky to have parents that are supportive as you are.. I’m sure Jana’s studying like crazy and preparing well for that ;)

            November 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm
  • Reply MrsMartinez

    Time flies so fast! I remember reading your entry about ate’s debit preparation and now she is 20! Dalaga na talaga and she has grown into a very beautiful lady.


    November 20, 2014 at 10:41 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Oo nga Michelle. Pretty soon debut naman na ng favorite mong si Lovey hahaha! :-*

      November 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Cath


    November 22, 2014 at 8:48 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Wow thank you that really means a lot mwah mwah!! :-*

      November 22, 2014 at 9:01 am
  • Reply Trish

    magka-age po pala kami! :D hihi. i also appreciate your sharing po of family experiences here, certainly makes me feel blessed as a reader :) and yep, there’s nothing like having good company around along with the food!

    November 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm
    • Reply sugargospice

      Thank you Trish! <3

      November 24, 2014 at 9:43 pm

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