July 3, 2020

Dine-In Review: Sage Bar & Grill, Makati Shangri-La Manila



As hotel restaurants in Metro Manila reopen for dine-in, we will be visiting some of our favorite restaurants to personally experience the safety protocols they have put in place to ensure food safety and hygiene. One of the first restaurants we visited was Sage Bar & Grill at Makati Shangri-La Makati. We dined at the restaurant yesterday, 02 July 2020, one day after they reopened for dine-in.



Arrival Experience

When we arrived, we had to fill-out a physical health declaration form at the porte-cochere. There was a contactless hand sanitizer dispenser placed next to the desk. We then had to step on a disinfectant floor mat before having our temperatures checked. Once cleared, we were then allowed to enter the lobby.

PROS

  • Minimum health protocols set by the DTI were implemented.
  • There were separate containers provided for sanitized pens (unused) and used pens.

CONS

  • Placing the health declaration desk at the port-cochere is a potential chokepoint making social distancing more challenging to be implemented. I propose to move the health declaration desk at the entrance of the restaurant instead.
  • No staff was manning the health declaration desk which made me doubt if the sanitized pens were indeed unused.
  • The desk itself is very shakey to write on.
  • Needless to say, it is quite hot at the porte-cochere.
  • Only physical health declaration forms are available. Please consider providing an electronic form submission (via QR code) option.




Restaurant Experience

Dining tables were well-spaced and social distancing was strictly observed. Guests are not allowed to seat face-to-face so a table that used to accommodate four persons can now only seat two persons. An electronic menu is available via a QR code. A sleeve was provided to safe-keep your mask. All restaurant servers wear a mask and a face shield. The restaurant only accepts cash or card payment.

PROS

  • Social distancing and wearing of a mask were observed.
  • Tables were decluttered to minimize cross-contamination.
  • Glasses and utensils were properly covered.
  • Mask sleeves were provided.

CONS

  • Plates were already set-up on the table prior to our arrival, exposing them to contaminants.
  • No hand sanitizing station conveniently located in the dining area. Handwashing will mean having to hold the doorknob of the washroom.
  • A Contactless (electronic/QR code) payment option was not made available.




Food Experience

The menu has fewer but fairly good variety of dishes. Unfortunately, there was no soup dish offered on the menu. Dishes were served on a hot plate, they were however not covered.

PROS

  • The food quality was excellent as always. 
  • The price was proportionate to the serving size and quality.

CONS

  • Dishes were served uncovered, exposing the food to contamination from the moment it left the kitchen, passing through other dining tables, finally being served on our table. Although this is not a requirement set by the DTI, this is one of the health and safety commitments of Shangri-La.




Verdict

While I remain a fan of the food at Sage Bar & Grill, food safety and hygiene are now major points of consideration to win my trust that it is safe to dine here again. I am confident that Makati Shangri-La Manila can swiftly address the points I listed above and effectively close the gaps in its health and safety commitments.