Tasty Treats and Awesome Views at the Firefly Deck, City Garden Grand Hotel

Hidden amidst the Makati bustle is a relaxing rooftop bar and restaurant that offers tasty treats, legit cocktails, and astounding city views. Firefly Deck, situated at the 32nd floor of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati, is the four-star hotel’s offering to the exhausted city crowd looking for an urban hideaway—a quick respite.

We all know how crazy the traffic along Makati Avenue can get—whatever time of day—so it was with slight trepidation that I scooted off to the carmageddon area one Thursday night. But Firefly was celebrating Cocido de España—the restaurant’s theme for the month—which was inspired from the La Tomatina festival, an annual celebration in Eastern Spain where people throw tomatoes at each other. I wanted to try their rendition of my Spanish favorites and watch some flamenco and salsa. Of course, I wanted to grab a drink and take in the beautiful city lights too. (Plus I was itching to hurl tomatoes onto approaching people. LOL! Kidding.)

Cocido de España is available for the whole month of August—not just in Firefly Deck but also in the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, Spice Café. Firefly, alongside its regular bar chow and drink selections, is serving up some Spanish specialties a la carte as well as a Spanish-Mongolian buffet spread every dinner. Think of cozy dining, leisurely drinking, and delicious barbecue “under the stars”. Up in one of the nicest hotels in the business district—and far away from the maddening chaos.

A Spanish meal, of course, is not complete without paella, and the restaurant served 2 types during my visit—the Paella Negra and the more popular Valenciana. The former came topped with fresh ocean bounties like prawns, mussels, and calamari, whereas the latter delighted diners with chicken, veggies, and a variety of seafood. I preferred the Valenciana out of the two.

An array of Spanish viands is also offered, such as the Grilled Salmon with Romesco Sauce, as well as pasta dishes with chorizo and a selection of starters like albondigas, croquetas and mixed vegetables.

There’s a make-your-own Mongolian bowl section where you can choose from an assortment of vegetables, meats, seafood, and sauces and have the chef stir-fry them all together. Jordan, the hotel’s F&B manager, helped me select the ingredients, and I was happy with his choices which include shrimps, corn, and pineapples (to name some)—a combination of sweet, salty, and spice (from the sauces). For the Mongolian food alone, Firefly is definitely deserving of a repeat visit.

And then there are the barbecued meats and veggies which are guaranteed to make you come back for seconds. Choose from pork, chicken, or beef—mix them with your Mongolian bowl or eat them as is. Make sure you order an ice cold beer, the only perfect companion for this.

While enjoying the view and the live music (a band plays every weekend), it’s best to indulge in a cocktail or two. Firefly Deck makes a legit Amaretto Sour that has the right blend of sour and sweet. Their signature glow-in-the-dark concoction, the Blue Lagoon (PhP190), stands pretty amidst the stunning city-on-fire backdrop; what looks like an innocent drink will satiate your thirst for a night cap with its potent combo of vodka, gin, white rum, tequila, lemonade, and sweet-and-sour mix. Silent killer, huh?

Aside from the unparalleled ambience, what I like about Firefly Deck is the service. Staff members are casual yet incredibly professional. They know what they do and are knowledgeable of the restaurant offerings—thus, able to make sensible recommendations as well.

There are times when I go out to dance and socialize, and then there are moods that require laid-back venues and calming atmospheres. Firefly Deck is exactly that: a quick escape. An oasis right within the city that mutes out Makati’s noise and cloaks the urban rumble into a sea of colorful lights and a medley of sumptuous treats.

Cocido de  España buffet rate is PhP795 nett and is available for the whole month of August!

Firefly Deck
32/F City Garden Grand Hotel, 8008 Makati Ave. cor. Kalayaan Ave., Makati City
Weekdays: 10:00AM - 1:00AM; Fri/Sat/Sun: 10:00AM - 3:00AM
Budget: around PhP500/head

Have you been to Firefly Deck? What do you think about it?

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