It's been a long time since I actually made a full blog post about a restaurant or cafe. Whenever I go to different cafes around Maginhawa either for our thesis or just a place to stay or there is a newly opened one, the pictures and reviews just land on my Instagram so you could check out and follow me for updates! * (haha smooth) *
This time I was able to bring my SLR camera during my friendly date with Gelai at BGC and it was our first time to try PUZZLES Board Game Lounge located at The Fort Strip.
As I said earlier, I visited cafes, specifically themed cafes for our thesis last sem. One of those we have to analyze was a board game cafe around QC area. Nevertheless, I encountered a lot of board game cafe names during my research stage and PUZZLES is definitely one of the relatively new and known board game cafes.
*Disclaimer!!* I liked board games when I was a kid but I was one of those who got immersed to the virtual games.I know very little about how board games survived then. But my interest went back when board game cafes started sprouting everywhere.I even did a research paper about board game cafes and a thesis about themed cafes.
Going inside this board game lounge wasn't intimidating at all for someone who only knows how to play scrabble and chess. Even if we were welcomed by like 20 people playing Jenga on that long table. We came just an hour after their opening time, and probably those yuppies are there to have lunch and spend a good time. I like how loud they were because why not, it's a board game lounge and you are supposed to have fun with friends!
The colorful chairs, the hanging shape lights, and the quote wall add bits of contrasts. While on the other side is the floor-to-wall board game shelf!
Also on this side, there are bean bags on the carpeted, elevated area so you can sit on the floor!
They serve finger foods, pasta, sandwiches, rice meal, drinks, and desserts. The average check is around Php300-Php400 for food ONLY, as they also have a Php100 PLAYING FEE, plus service charge.
As you can see, they also have a room upstairs, probably for large groups who really likes to have fun playing.
I ordered Shepherd's Pie (Php230) while Gelai ordered Baked Chicken Parmigiana (Php290), Oreo Afraid of the Dark (Php150) and Coke (Php50).
There was only one main server that day, the rest of the staff are in the counter, and I told you earlier that there were a large group of people so we waited for our food. Gelai scanned the board game shelf for games to play. Since it was just the two of us, it's hard to find a game good for 2 players.
On the table is the game cards and tokens of Splendor.
Gelai isn't anti-social in this picture, in fact, she's reading the game instructions of Splendor we downloaded online because the wasn't any game manual inside the box. We initially took Monopoly but some pieces are missing too and some pieces from other games are mixed in.
So we ended up taking these, and figured out that Cards Against Humanity is definitely not for two players.
So we played Timeline instead! It was like a history test where you have to guess the right order of the historical events by putting your face down card to the timeline and flipping it out to reveal the date. Every wrong position of card, you have put it in discard pile (it won't be included in the timeline) and you have to get one from the stack pile. The first player with no card left on-hand will be the winner!
Here's our food!
Baked Chicken Parmigiana
It was okay. Although she noticed that the chicken is a bit dry (probably because it was baked?). The pasta has the right flavors but I hope that they will add more sauce to complement with (dryness of) the chicken.
Shepherd's PieI got high expectations for this since I want flavorful foods.
But it was really disappointing in terms of flavor. It's bland. Like they forgot to put whatever flavorings you should put in here. I tasted just a mash of potato with bits of meat and veggies.
I asked for salt and pepper because I can't really take the taste of bland veggies (try to eat bland zucchini).
And behold, after I put salt and pepper, it finally had a taste!
OREO Afraid of the Dark
Deep fried battered oreos with vanilla ice cream!!!
This belongs to one of the"heaven sent comfort foods"!
Thankfully, the dessert is really yummy I forgot about the tastelessness of my Shepherd's Pie for a while.
AMBIANCE (Rating:4.5/5) : The feeling is fun and vibrant! It's not overly-decorated, comical place and I didn't feel the board game exclusivity. We had a good time sitting on the floor. I even removed my wedges so I can sit like we're in a play area. We are jokingly telling each other that "we were left by our parents in a day care center"! It felt so kiddie like but instead of toys, they have board games.
Every corner is instagram worthy, thanks to the large window pane on one side.
FOOD (Rating: 2.5/5) : The serving is good enough to satisfy lunch and to last in between playing rounds. I hope they could adjust their recipe because like what I said, for me the serving is too much to gobble in one go so I prefer to eat while playing, so the dish might get too dry. I don't know what happened to Shepherd's Pie but I hope they won't forget to season the dishes again!
SERVICE (Rating: 2/5): We think that the place was understaffed that day. I went to the counter twice to follow up our water and my salt and pepper. Not to mention the lack of assistance in finding a board game for us and teaching the mechanics.
OVER-ALL VALUE FOR MONEY (Rating:2.5/5):
I spent around Php400 (inclusive of my food, playing fee and service charge), and I think it's not really that worth it considering my bland food, inefficient service, and a Php100 playing fee for limited choices of board games (some are mixed up, lost its pieces, and not well-maintained too).
So what do we do when something like that happens? Just take a lot of picture and take advantage of the ambiance! Haha! Somehow I can prove to you that I really enjoyed our playing area.
Awesome shot by Gelai!
How about you? Have you tried PUZZLES in BGC before? Did you have same experience? Comment below! I want to hear from you!