As if my list of go-to dining places is not yet long enough, Manila has added new places to try for food lovers out there as we enter through the uncertain depths of 2017. And recently, I got the chance to visit two of these newly opened eateries and experience its food and place before people start flocking inside its walls. One of these and for diet-conscious people out there is the month-old Bliss Bowls.
Dubbed as the first smoothie bowl bar in Manila, Bliss Bowls just recently opened last January and is trying to make a name in the local food scene as a place that creates –yes, you guessed it right–smoothie bowls. I have been looking forward to try this place ever since I learned about it and here’s what I have to say during my first experience.
The good thing about a newly-opened place is that there is less people in it when you visit since it is still establishing its name to the public. So when I tried Bliss Bowls for the first time, I did not had an experience of waiting in a queue just to order my food. On the other hand, it took a little time before my smoothie was served.
For my first visit, I decided to order their Berry Bliss (P199).
While the food was being prepared, I got the chance to observe the place itself. Contrary to what I expected (due to the reason of not checking the photos online before visiting the place), Bliss Bowls is a small space inside this mall with a counter serving both a kitchen to the staff and a cashier for the diners. The menu is displayed above this counter with another set of menu written in paper available in front of the cashier for those who prefer choosing what to order in their seats. It has several chairs and tables in its façade to complete the whole bar. I really don’t have much to say about the design of the place since it is not that big and the design was pretty basic but I liked the idea of choosing plain white tables since this made flat lay photos of the food more instagram-able.
Several minutes after, my smoothie finally arrived in a wooden bowl and I immediately took a snap of it not just because for documentation but because I am a fan of the presentation too and one of the reasons that made me want to try Bliss Bowls at the first place. When I was satisfied with my shots, I finally devoured and tasted the bowl that I have been craving to try for weeks.
Frankly, before eating the smoothie, I really don’t have an idea on what it would taste like mainly because I am not a health-conscious person yet and is more likely to be seen eating pizza and fries rather than eating something healthy. So when I tasted the smoothie in my mouth, I realized that it resembled a very similar taste to that of a yogurt minus its sourness. One can easily and actually taste the strawberries in this thick pink smoothie and is probably going to be a heaven for someone who haven’t eaten fruits for a while (which was my case during that time). In addition, you wouldn’t feel any bit of ice in the smoothie as I have learned that the owner of Bliss Bowls prefers not to use it so there’s no need to worry to catch a sore throat after finishing the dish. The granola that comes with the bowl was a perfect partner for this smoothie as it balances the taste if you are starting to have the umay feeling since the bowl is a large serving.
However, probably due to the bowl holding it, there were times when the smoothie tasted like wood which made my initial liking of the food decrease. I also found the strawberries overly frozen because it felt like crushed ice in my mouth and made the taste of the fruit disappear which would have been better if it was the other way around.
Nevertheless, my overall experience at Bliss Bowls was good in terms of food and service. The smoothie satisfied my grumbling stomach when I first stepped in front of the counter plus the absence of ice and its not too sweet taste are the things that made the “good” in my rating. The service was fine but it would have been better if the staff was more communicative to diners to create rapport. The biggest downside of the place for me was the price of the food which is a little expensive for a smoothie.
Now the question is, am I going to come back? Probably, if I’m craving for something healthy again and want to skip the usual fast food chains but not in a way wherein the place will become an alternative go-to dining place.
If you want to visit and try the other smoothies and food available in their menu, you can find Bliss Bowls at the 4/F SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. Tip: They are located right beside DAD’S Saisaki-Kamayan. Bliss Bowls also caters take away orders if you are in a hurry or want to bring their smoothies at home.