Episode 94: Setting up base at Coreon Gate

To be honest, I depend on coffices to do most of my writing. Finding a coffice with good food, an environment conducive for working, and a reliable internet connection is quite a chore. Luckily, I found a good place in Manila where I could somehow settle down.

Coreon Gate is an internet café located along Adriatico Street, just near the Remedios Circle in Malate, Manila. It’s quite easy to spot; it’s at the second floor, one floor above a Thai massage parlor.

Not surprisingly, Koreans frequent the place, most of which play online games, watch movies, or download shows. A good number of students and professionals, however, come over to study and work even up to the wee hours of the morning (like me).

The café has about fourteen tables and dozens of chairs, which shows how many groups it can accommodate. The area is cozy and comfortable to work in even with the ambient noise such as the conversations or the K-pop music playing in the background. There’s a smoking area, where most of the computers are incidentally found. (That’s also where all the gamers are hanging out. Don’t worry, minors are off-limits.)


Customers can buy an assortment of snacks, chocolates, and meals such as noodles, sandwiches, and kimbab. The place also have a wide selection of hot and iced drinks.

What’s impressive about Coreon Gate is the internet connection itself. The place boasts of a 200Mbps internet speed, optimal for gaming, downloading, and online multitasking. Each customer is given a WiFi voucher, which lets them avail of up to 5Gb worth of internet bandwidth, consumable within six hours.

Coreon Gate is a nice place this side of Manila to hang out in while working, playing online, or just staying connected.



Episode 93: Starting over with something Spanish! All-you-can-eat Paella at Black Olive!

To jumpstart my brain back to its old food-blogging self, I decided to go on an all-you-can-eat mission just like I always did way back. And what better way but to take on a dish I’ve gained interest in lately – paella.

Let’s have a recap. Paella is a Valencian rice dish regarded by many as a national dish of Spain. Paella gets its name from the pan it is cooked in. There are a variety of ways to cook paella, the most typical of which is topping rice cooked over an open fire with an assortment of meats, sausage, seafood, vegetables, or all of the above.

Black Olive Cerveceria is serving all-you-can-eat servings of Paella del Mar, a creation by award winning Chef Carlo Miguel. This variety is a delightful mash of squid, shrimps, clams, mussels, chicken and pork, all prepared over fragrant, saucy rice with tomatoes, saffron and green peppers. The paella is served on a small platter, along with some crusty bread and olive oil.

I decided to try one of Black Olive’s popular bar chows, the Boneless Chicken Wings, along with the paella. To wash down the meal, I ordered along with it a glass of Paulaner Hefe-Weißbier Naturtrüb. Craft and foreign beer happens to be one of Black Olive’s specialties.

The Paella del Mar was light to the palate but filling, and you can taste much of the seafood flavor in the rice. It’s not too oily, and there are crunchy bits here and there as expected of paella. Incidentally, the bread works as a great side dish. The chicken wings were savory, and tasted better with its bleu cheese salsa. The beer had hints of fruity flavors, which tones down the flavors of the paella and chicken.

In the middle of my meal, a couple sat near my table and inquired about the paella promo. When they asked if it was good, the waitress pointed to my table. Yeah, I guess I’ve eaten so much of it to prove how enjoyable the paella is. In the end, though, I believe I finished off seven servings of the Paella del Mar. Not bad for P250.

Which now leads to an interesting query: Why was I interested in paella in the first place?

I guess it all started when I got immersed into writing “Odoriko”, my ongoing romance story on Wattpad. I had to learn as much as I can about flamenco that I ended up checking out bits and pieces of Spanish cuisine. I haven’t thought about whether I should include an extra scene where the characters are eating paella, since the story itself is about to end, though.

The extra research proved helpful when a co-author asked me for a recommendation for Spanish dishes to be used in another story. Speaking of which, there should be a bunch of nice Spanish restaurants and tapas bars that I could check out now that I have begun to sate my craving for Spanish cuisine, but I digress.

Black Olive’s Paella del Mar promo is available every day, 12-3pm and 6-9pm. Incidentally, they’re offering an all-day, all-night beer buffet where you can drink all the premium beers you want within three hours, all for P999. Not sure if my kidneys can handle that, though.

Black Olive Cerveceria
Unit R3A & B, Camino Verde Ave, Capitol Commons, Pasig City
For table reservations, dial 0917-5073512