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Adobo With Foie Gras? Beloved Filipino Dishes Are Reimagined Here

Serving modern Filipino cuisine, City of Dreams Manila’s brand new Filipino restaurant is sure to be the go-to dining destination of the season

You can tell a great deal about a Filipino restaurant by the way it handles adobo. At Haliya, the new modern Filipino restaurant at City of Dreams, this is a signature dish called Haliya Adobo, and is twice-cooked chicken, foie gras, grilled pineapple, shallot confit, baby bok choy, marble potatoes, set in lush adobo glaze and enhanced with golden crispy garlic chips. In other words, a luxurious reinvention of a much loved classic that carefully respects the integrity of the dish.

Adobo reimagined | City of Dreams Manila

“I took inspiration from staple Filipino homecooked meals, with an intent to enhance the basic flavors that we all love and grow up with," explains chef de cuisine Edmundo San Jose, whose modern take on Filipino cuisine is showcased in over 20 well-loved dishes he has heartily reimagined  for Haliya's menu. They are crafted with subtle innovation, and using the freshest mix of local and imported ingredients, combining traditional ways of cooking with creative techniques he's learned in two decades of exposure to Asian and international cuisine. 

The chef uses premium quality ingredients and the best local produce sourced fresh from different parts of the country. Haliya's menu manifests City of Dreams' commitment towards sustainable dining experiences. Icons on the menu identify dishes that are vegetarian, plant-based alternative, and sustainable seafood. Akin to the Filipino spirit of sharing meals, Haliya’s dishes are good for sharing and are served family-style. From the appetizers to mains and desserts, many of the restaurant’s dishes are meant to be enjoyed by two to three persons. 

For Pampagana (starters), whet your appetite with such options as Kilawing Tanigue or Filipino-style ceviche of tangigue fillet with local sea urchin, fresh lato (sea grapes), cucumber and watercress; and Binalot na Cochi a medley of shredded cochinillo (roast suckling pig) and adobo flakes in a bed of butter lettuce topped with atsara (pickled green papaya), red onion and pork liver salsa. There are also salads, and soups like Guisantes at Malunggay  to warm up the palate.

Other must-try dishes include the restaurant’s mouthwatering take on Kare Kare with 24-hour slow cooked US Angus beef brisket, asparagus, baby Baguio pechay and fried eggplant sitting on top of a luscious roasted and crushed peanut sauce and paired with finely blended bagoong (shrimp paste); Paksiw Apahap, a mélange of pan-seared local sea bass, adlai rice, okra, charred  Baguio pechay, pickled ampalaya (bitter gourd) finished with paksiw glaze; and Bistek Tagalog, consisting of slow-roasted black Angus beef tenderloin, broccoli, crispy mushrooms, sweet potato fondant, crispy onion, king mushroom, moringa powder and calamansi soy jus.

24-hour Kare Kare, slow cooked to perfection | City of Dreams Manila
Fresh talaba from Aklan | City of Dreams Manila

Rice being a staple in Filipino dining, has its share of the limelight in Haliya:  Binakol rice with pulled chicken inasal (grilled chicken), chayote and coconut meat; Tinapa (smoked fish) rice with aligue (crab fat) and tinapa salsa; fried rice with crispy fried garlic, and steamed rice.

A modern Kaldereta | City of Dreams Manila

To complete the meal, Filipino sweets beckon with indulgent choices for Panghimagas (dessert), which  include another Haliya signature creation and  novelty, Chichingka (bibingka cheesecake served on the table in a burner pot; Haliya Leche Flan, which consists of leche flan, macapuno (coconut sport), kaong (sugar palm) and brandy snap; Strawberry Taho or soy pudding with strawberry consommé, strawberry compote and strawberry pearls; and Mangga Suman, which consists of coconut-mango suman with fresh mangoes and coconut crème. A wide range of specialty beverages infused with local flavors are also available and offered alongside an extensive selection of premium wines, liquor, cocktails, mocktails, fruit shakes, juices, and more.

Meet the Chichingka, cheesecake and bibingka combined | City of Dreams Manila

Situated at the ground floor of Nüwa Manila, Haliya is named after the warrior goddess of the moonlight who was considered as one of the most beautiful deities in Bicolano mythology. Befitting its name, the 40-seater restaurant complements the refinement that the Forbes Five-Star rated hotel is known for, in its menu and well-appointed interiors.

Reflecting the richness of Philippine cuisine and culture, two large festive murals by Filipino muralist and painter Yana Ofrasio catch the eyes of diners. Ofrasio’s murals incorporate patterns of colorful Vinta boats of Mindanao and other elements depicting the celebratory spirit of Filipino fiestas and the artist’s passion for colors. 

Haliya's gorgeous interiors | City of Dreams Manila

Chef Ed, 40, honed his 24-year culinary experience in banqueting and all-day dining restaurant operations in the Philippines and Middle East. While being exposed to various cuisines and techniques in international hotels, he was in several pre-opening teams of five-star hotels in the Philippines and abroad. During the 10 years he worked overseas, he mastered his craft and reaped awards, particularly in live cooking competitions at the Horeca Kuwait Culinary Show from 2013 to 2015. In his first year in 2016 as City of Dreams Manila’s Chef de Cuisine of banquets, the accomplished chef led a Dream Team to win the gold medal in that year’s Philippine Culinary Cup.  

“With Chef Ed helming the kitchen, Haliya pays homage to classic Filipino dishes with fresh, creative interpretations and surprising elements that redefine the Filipino dining experience to a new level,” says City of Dreams Manila Property President Geoff Andres. “With Haliya, we offer something that excites the imagination of diners towards Filipino cuisine with its fresh take on some of the most loved Filipino dishes, experienced in a refined setting that evokes the country’s elegant heritage and vibrant culture,” he adds.  

Edmundo San Jose, Chef de cuisine | City of Dreams Manila

Haliya is open daily for dinner from 5 pm to 11 pm. Reservations are encouraged due to limited seating and restricted capacities for indoor dining. Call (02) 8800-8080, e-mail, or visit the City of Dreams Manila website.