Ice Castle (Banawe): A First Impressions Review

A few days ago, I attended an event which finished pretty late in the afternoon. I sent my parents an SMS on my way home and asked them to wait for me so that we could eat dinner together. When I reached the house, my parents said they’ve decided on trying one of the places found at the 238 Banawe Center. I gladly agreed.

Ice Castle storefront

Located at the topmost floor of the 238 Banawe Center, Ice Castle Cafe and Ice Cream House exudes cheerfulness and looks like a perfect place for families and friends. They first opened their doors to the public October of this year.

interiors

I wouldn’t say that the place itself is very big, but it is spacious. Ice Castle accepts group reservations and are willing to close the entire store for you and your event. Their interiors reminded me of the old ice cream places my parents used to take us to when we were much younger. If there’s a downside to their interiors, it’s that the sound can easily bounce off the walls, making it a very noisy place to be in when you happen to be dining with loud customers.

activities to keep kids busy

One other thing I really liked about Ice Castle was this area where you can borrow stuff for kids to use while waiting for their food to arrive. I used to enjoy these when I was younger, and I still enjoy playing with them today. I think the crayons and jigsaw puzzles are great ways to keep kids occupied, all the while honing their creative and problem solving skills.

red berries iced tea

My Mom and I ordered two different types of iced teas for ourselves.  I tried their Red Berries Iced Tea (Php80.00, single serve), which I found to be very good. Nothing too sweet. Their iced teas were served in the mason jars which are so popular nowadays, amping up the cuteness factor.

watermelon iced tea

My Mom went with a serving of their Watermelon Iced Tea (Php80.00), which she thought was good too. I gave it a sip and immediately thought of the bubble gum tapes that was so popular in the 90’s.

complimentary bread rolls

Our meal started when the servers gave us a basket of complimentary dinner rolls. They were all warm and made extra delicious by the pimiento butter served alongside.

spinach and artichoke dip

Since we weren’t aware that they were going to serve dinner rolls, we have placed an order for their Spinach and Artichoke Dip (Php190.00). Several pieces of crunchy toast arrived with the dip.

spinach and artichoke dip 1

It wasn’t along the same lines as the one you get from Cyma, but it was good despite the small serving size. My parents ended up really liking this one and could only wish that more toasts were available. :p

bbq ribs with mashed potatoes

For our mains, each of us chose something different from Ice Castle’s menu. My Mom immediately chose the BBQ Ribs (Php260.00), which was accompanied by mashed potatoes and some vegetables on the side. The pork ribs were nice and tender, with the barbecue sauce bringing in just the right amount of smokiness and sweetness. My Mom really enjoyed this one and I found it to be one of the nicer BBQ Ribs I’ve tasted as of late.

aglio olio

Dad saw that they had Aglio Olio (Php180.00) on the menu and ordered a serving in a heartbeat. Once the pasta was placed in front of Dad, we could all smell the lovely garlicky scent wafting through the air. It was a sign of good things to come, as Dad thoroughly enjoyed his aglio olio. He was even tempted to order another serving! He was very pleased on how light and subtle the flavors were; he thought that it was a version which reached the perfect balance of flavors.

chicken florentine

I decided to try one of their bestsellers: the Chicken Florentine (Php220.00). Similar to Mom’s BBQ Ribs, the chicken was served with some mashed potatoes and vegetables on the side. The battered chicken fillet was tender and moist inside. The creamy sauce that was placed on top of it was also very good. I let my parents try it out and both approved of the Chicken Florentine as well.

brewed coffee

After we’ve finished off everything on our plates, the parents and I decided to linger a bit and ordered something else as we conversed about the day’s events. My Dad had a cup of Ice Castle’s Brewed Coffee (Php80.00), which he found to be okay.

banana split

Mom and I decided to share a serving of what our server recommended to us, their Banana Split (Php200.00). The classic ice cream concoction didn’t blow us away, but I did enjoy the chocolate and vanilla ice cream, the crushed walnuts and the banana. I think I should try some of their other desserts next time and see if I find a gem hiding somewhere. 🙂

Apart from their food, one thing I have to highlight about Ice Castle was how friendly the servers we interacted with were during our visit. They didn’t interrupt us unless very necessary, were very happy to entertain our questions and were readily available if we needed something. This was despite the fact that they had several tables to wait on. It was a nice experience and something I wish all restaurant owners would train their staff to be. 🙂

*This is NOT a sponsored post. 

**Interested to try Ice Castle? They’re located at the 2nd floor of 238 Banawe Center, Banawe corner Panalturan St. in Quezon City. I would suggest giving them a call at 351-3562 / 697-5189 / 0922-8189031 before heading to their restaurant to check if someone has booked their entire place. You wouldn’t want to travel all the way there just to find out that they don’t have space for walk-in customers. 🙂

 

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