Feel like royalty at Tivoli’s Royal Lounge

When you’re starving, you want to wolf down on great food. You crave the familiar, the basic but lip-smacking delicious. You naturally pick your comfort food and wish to be satisfied, happy and full.

country burger.


Pot roast beef braised in red wine.


BBQ Pork Ribs.

That’s the idea behind the Royal Lounge, Tivoli Royale Country Club’s banner restaurant located on Yakal Street, Tivoli Royale Subdivision, Quezon City. It understands the concept of great food in a way that it does not need to impress. It just wants to make you happy.

The al fresco poolside restaurant is unpretentious. Right next to a glistening turquoise pool, aesthetically pleasant dining tables and chairs are invitingly open to the hungry, or to big families with little kids, or to corporate yuppies for a hearty lunch meeting.

The atmosphere at Royal Lounge is chill and friendly. The menu consists of familiar Filipino favorites but upgraded to an edgy hotel experience. Their chicken pork adobo, for example, has boiled egg and pickled papaya. They have pancit canton, beef nilaga, sinigang na sampaloc (pork or salmon, your choice) and even beef and ox tripe kare-kare.

Their free-range chicken inasal with java rice is finger-licking good. At P580, it can serve up to three people. This popular Visayan dish of marinated chicken grilled over hot coals is mouthwatering, perfect for lunch after a dip in the pool.

For shrimp enthusiasts, I highly recommend the Po’Boy — Louisiana-inspired crispy chunks of deep-fried freshwater shrimp sandwiched between Pistolet buns (all their yummy bread is baked in-house!), but made even more deliriously good with the Cajun spice blend, topped with pickle relish and remoulade sauce.

Sous chef Jomhar Marcial’s Nasi Goreng is perhaps the ultimate breakfast meal. Inspired by Indonesia’s national dish, the rich and flavorful fried rice is cooked in a wok and served like a surprise underneath a perfectly concocted omelet and served with a side of chicken satay.

Just opened a little over a year ago, the restaurant revamped its menu. Since then it has become quite popular not only among the country club members, but a favorite venue for social and corporate events for its pleasant and spacious area — and the scrumptious food.

Thanks to executive chef Emmanuel “Jonnel” Roxas who specializes in Mediterranean cuisine and backed by experience in both hotel dining (the Sheraton Manila Bay, Pan Pacific Hotel Manila) and casual American dining (TGI Friday’s), the restaurant experience at Royal Lounge has elevated ever since his arrival.

Chef Jonnel shared that he is collaborative, allowing his chefs in the kitchen to be creative and imaginative in putting their signature twist to already well-known dishes. But chef Jonnel says that he still makes sure that the food served to the members and guests is still familiar, because familiarity brings comfort.

“Siyempre po, sa country club, normally, the families would want to have a place where they can relax and unwind, to bond,” he said. “Yung tema kasi dito is: ‘I want to eat something I can eat, and my family can eat’. The concept is familiarity.”

“The guests are not going to spend a lot of time thinking what to eat, so they will get a burger, club sandwich, pizza — the familiar, humble and simple everyday favorites,” he further explained.

But chef Jonnel’s creativity in these “simple” dishes is notable. His European taste, for example, is evident in his pot roast beef, braised in red wine sauce, as if you are tasting Julia Child’s recipe of Beef Bourguignon — designed for family dining. It is a savory delight, the beef melts in the mouth and you are suddenly transported to east-central France, in Burgundy.

For young kids, the menu does not disappoint with a wide selection of meals that will keep them coming back: beef and bacon sliders, cheesy macaroni, mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders and fries, spaghetti and a lot more.

The country club burger, meanwhile, is a sight to behold. Towering and crammed with cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, bacon and a fat, juicy patty in the center of it all, which is so thick it’s like meatloaf. I had to break it down just so I can fit every single layer in my mouth.

The BBQ pork ribs with a side of corn is another memorable experience — fall-off-the-bone tender.

But what truly made an impact on me was the new experience: Chef Jonnel’s Tapa Don Galo, a recipe close to his heart as he grew up in the coastal town of Don Galo in Paranaque, where tapas are the specialty.

One spoonful of the Tapa Don Galo is like eating the complete tapsilog experience with fried garlic sprinkled on top. It is heavenly. It comes with four kinds of dipping sauces: banana ketchup, white vinegar, chopped chili and rock salt. Mix, match, ignore, you can customize your dipping sauce. But, personally, the tapa alone is a winner. Believe me, you will dream about it for days.

If you are on the hunt for a five-star hotel dining experience of your all-time favorites and more, the Royal Lounge is the ideal place. Sure, you can get a burger anywhere, or a gising-gising, or a country-fried chicken, but what the Royal Lounge does is that it adds a magic sprinkle of specialness to every dish, making it still comfortable but deliciously unique.