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Raffaele at The Bayleaf Hotel

Last year around July, I got an email from a reader, MARICEL HIPOL, who worked at THE BAYLEAF HOTEL. She asked me to visit her when I find myself in the area, or after I took Ate to school. I promised her I would, but I never got the chance to simply because I don’t know how to get to Intramuros. :P

A couple of weeks ago, she once again emailed me asking me to come see her when I find the time. I was really touched that she genuinely wanted to meet me, so I said yes immediately & made plans with the family just so it would push through this time around. It was high time I paid her a visit & support her in any way I can as she has been supporting me for the longest time. I really try to make a way to meet my readers as I want to thank them personally, and also get to know them in a deeper level.

Last Saturday, the Goppets went to The Bayleaf Hotel for dinner, prepared to pay our way & happy to do so because it’s been ages since we set foot in Intramuros, and we were also curious what The Bayleaf Hotel looked like. Aside from the fact that I really wanted to pay Maricel an overdue visit. Imagine our delight when the tables were turned on us & we were the ones surprised as Maricel who is the Sous Chef, along with Carlo the executive Chef, and Diane their assistant treated us to a sumptuous dinner at the barely week-old restaurant.

 

The Bayleaf Hotel

The Bay Leaf, Muralla cor Victoria Street, Intramuros, Manila
+63 2 3185000  or +63 2 3283170
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Within the protective three mile-long circuit of massive stone walls rose a city of churches, palaces, museums, fine courtyards and finally, The Bayleaf Intramuros. Launched in November 2011, this boutique hotel promises a restful experience for its guests given its 5 star quality beddings, room amenities and a spacious bathroom.

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As soon as I stepped down from the car, a smiling MARICEL rushed to greet me & even had our car valeted for our utmost convenience. <3 Thank you so much Maricel for your kindness & warm hospitality! <3

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Another reader, DIANE JAMISOLA, who was on duty that day, also came to greet us & say HI. <3 It was a pleasure meeting you Diane! <3

 

I never felt so special in my life as Maricel gave us her whole attention the moment we set foot in Bayleaf. From the valet parking to the sparkling wine to dinner & then dessert, we were made to feel like royalties by everyone -including the restaurant manager RANDY who attended to us himself. Chef Carlo Santiago sent out dishes upon yummy dishes for us to enjoy, and even the very amiable General Manager ED VITUG who was off duty, sat with us to chat before leaving for home to be with his family.

 

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The 6-day old newly opened pizzeria was surprisingly busy that night, and they haven’t even formally opened its doors to the public yet! We were so blessed to be among the first patrons to sample Chef Carlo’s italian/Spanish take. <3

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Raffaele manager & sommelier RANDY gifted us with a wonderfully sweet muscat sparkling italian wine which all of us at the table enjoyed immensely. Papi Dolciato Gran Cuvee 750ML.1,250 php.

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The sparkling wine was so light & sweet that even my Lovey was able to enjoy it. <3

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Freshly baked bread with balsamic vinegar to start off our meal.

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Gamberetti 380 php. White shrimps, preserved lemons, garlic, chili & almonds. We loved that it was on the spicy side & even wiped the delightfully flavorful sauce off with bread. <3

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Polipo 390 php. Smoked Octopus, cannelline beans & garlic. The kids felt bad for the octopus so Kap & I had this yummy appetizer all to ourselves. ;)

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Uva 370 php. Seedless grapes, roasted almonds, ricotta, candied walnuts, greens & vinaigrette. Guess who was very happy to see this on our table! ;)

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Panzenella 400 php. Roasted vegetables, greens, croutons, goat cheese & red wine vinaigrette.

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Tartufo Funghi 390 php. Assorted mushrooms, brandy, truffle cream, picorino & Al dente penne. This was our favorite of the night. The pasta was firm & the sauce was bursting with so many wonderful flavors. LOVE at first bite! <3

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Margherita 450 php. Tomato, mozzarella, basil & olive oil.

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Porchetta Marsala 750 php. Roasted suckling pig roll, marsala & vegetables. This is a must try. I don’t know how chef Carlo did it but the skin was heavenly crunchy, and the meat so tender.

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Tiramisu 350 php. Lady fingers, espresso, mascarpone & chocolate. This was perfect for a table full of coffee lovers! (well except for Kap! :P) I loved that they used lady fingers instead of just all mousse so there was a cake-y texture under all that chocolate shaving! <3

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Fruta con Ricotta 360 php. Macerated fruits, ricotta, pistachio, citrus curs & honey combs. The honey combs added the perfect touch to the tangy-ness of the fruits. <3

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Cappuccino 130 php. The perfect meal ender. <3

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We have nothing but praise for Chef Carlo! <3 Everything that he sent to our table was perfection!

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Cheers & congratulations to the opening of Raffaele! May you have more customers than you can seat, and may your kitchen be ever so busy! :)

 

I mean who were we to be treated with so much love & lavished with attention! I was truly touched beyond belief that what started out as a trip for me to meet my reader turned out to be one of my most memorable nights! <3

But I noticed that attention & service was really what Bayleaf Hotel was all about. Being a boutique hotel, everything is personalized & executed with a smile. And it wasn’t limited just to the Goppets, I assure you.

During dinner, a toddler bumped her head on the doorway & fell because the parents were busy chatting with the table mates & weren’t paying any attention. I saw everyone who didn’t have dishes on their hand that very busy night attend to the child right away.

And on our way out, we saw the Bayleaf Staff carrying chafing dishes to a function room because it was raining at the Roof Deck where Bbq buffet dinner was served & they were worried for their guests. Thus the immediate transfer so they can still enjoy the night.

I also saw with my own eyes how Ed, the very driven general manager, along with Chefs Carlo & Maricar stayed well beyond their duty hours out of their own will & love for the hotel. Now that’s what you call passion & dedication to their jobs. If only all hotels employed the same kind of commitment! I was really very impressed how the entire staff treated one another as a family member.

Thank you so much General Manager Ed Vitug for the wonderful dinner on the house. Chef Carlo Santiago for cooking for us & letting us sample your culinary masterpieces. Chef Maricar Hipol for having us over, entertaining us the whole night & overfeeding us haha. Randy for your gift of service & attention, and Diane Jamisola for coming down & taking time off just to meet me. We really had a very enjoyable dinner & it was so lovely meeting all of you. Thank you for the warmest welcome. It was truly a night to remember! The honor was definitely ours. <3

Up tomorrow, CIOCCOLATA & more of The Bayleaf Hotel.

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