Where To Dine This Holy Week: These 5 Hotel Restaurants Offer New Dishes Worth Checking Out
If you’re staying in the city this long Easter weekend and want to dine out during the 5-day break, you’ll have limited options since the malls and most stand-alone restaurants are closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and sometimes longer. Good thing the hotels stay open 365 days a year. So, take advantage of the expected lighter traffic and check out what’s new and deliciously noteworthy among 5 of Manila’s top hotel restaurants.
1. Man Ho: Flambéed Peking Duck and other Cantonese dishes
Manila Marriott Hotel, 2 Resorts Drive, Newport City, Pasay City, (02) 988-9999
This 136-seater Cantonese restaurant located inside the hotel’s newer West Wing has a new chef, Chan Chi Fai, who boasts over 30 years of Chinese cooking experience that brought him to Tokyo, Shanghai, and most recently Hong Kong, before transferring to Manila.
Man Ho at the hotel’s West Wing
While it was my first time to try Man Ho (so I am not in the position to say if the new menu is better compared to the old one), I was pleasantly surprised with a lot of the new dishes that I got to try. The star of Chef Chan’s new menu is the Roasted Flambéed Peking Duck that is flambéed (cooked in flaming ignited liquor or spirits) using Dalmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky before being sliced tableside, then served the usual way—loosely rolled in thin Chinese pancakes with Japanese cucumber, spring onions, and hoisin sauce.
Roasted Flambéed Peking Duck
Another must-try dish is Double-Boiled Abalone with Red Dates and Coconut Broth Soup, served in individual portions inside a whole coconut shell with coconut meat. This light and comforting soup tastes like a lighter and elegant Chinese version of the popular Filipino binakol.
Pan-fried US Beef Tenderloin in Black Pepper Sauce
Those not into duck can try the Stir-Fried Shrimps with Porcini Mushrooms and Broccoli or the Pan-Fried US Beef Tenderloin in Black Pepper Sauce. Dangerously addicting are the Wok-Fried French Beans or haricot verts cooked in salted egg yolk sauce. It’s a dish that may just make you eat more than your usual share of vegetables. You can then finish your meal with sticky Glutinous Coconut Rice Balls or Man Ho’s lighter take on the classic HK-style Egg Tart.
2. Spices: Indian specialties and bespoke cocktails
The Peninsula Manila, Corner of Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue, Makati City, (02) 887-2988
The Peninsula Manila recently hosted a media dinner at Spices Pavilion to introduce this Asian restaurant’s new Indian Specialty Chef, Radhey Shayam, together with its new Beverage Manager Federico Daeng. At the dinner, we got to try the new Indian dishes added to the Spices menu, together with some bespoke gin and tonic cocktails created by Daeng to complement the evening’s Indian feast.
The crowd favorite was one of Chef Shayam’s signature dishes, Murgh Makhani or butter chicken in a spiced, tomato-based creamy sauce. This aromatic chicken dish is relatively milder compared to other Indian curries, making it very popular for those not really into spicy or chili hot food.
Murgh Makhani or butter chicken
Other dishes I found most interesting include Indian-Chinese inspired Chili Paneer made with paneer cheese, stir-fried capsicum, onions, and chili glaze; Chef Shayam’s vegetarian take on Malai Kofta, substituting grated paneer cheese for the minced meat; and Tandoori-grilled Jumbo Prawns. These dishes are best eaten with crispy papadums or tandoor-baked thin, crisp seasoned flatbread as well as piping hot Matar Pulao, Chef Shayam’s vegetarian rice pilaf using basmati rice, onions, English peas, cashews, and spices.
A refreshing cocktail of Iron Balls Gin from Thailand and soda (in lieu of tonic water), infused with slivers of pineapple and kaffir lime and served on the rocks, was the perfect match to the meal.
3. Summer Palace: 18 new Cantonese dishes
Edsa Shangri-La Manila, 1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, (02) 633-8888
Edsa Shangri-La’s Cantonese restaurant recently added new dishes to complement its well-loved 8 Treasures and Signature Classics menu. Among the handful of dishes that I tried out of a total of 18 new dishes, these are the dishes that I am most likely to order again: the umani-packed Wok-Fried Fragrant Rice with Glazed Eel, Bitter Gourd and Black Beans served in a stoneware bowl; the very tender Stewed Baby Duck with Brown Sauce; the rich Double-Boiled Foie Gras Wanton in Superior Consommé; and Braised Angel Hair Noodles with Tiger Prawns in Black Pepper Sauce.
Wok-Fried Fragrant Rice with Glazed Eel
Braised Angel Hair Noodles with Tiger Prawns in Black Pepper Sauce
4. 22 Prime: All-You-Can-Eat USDA Easter Prime Rib
Discovery Suites, 25 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, (02) 719-6822
For meat lovers and those who abstained from meat during Lent, you may want to check out 22 Prime’s first AYCE Prime Rib Fest for the year to be held this Easter Sunday. Only P1,950 net per person, you can avail of unlimited prime rib steaks, salads, sides, and dessert. This promo is available during lunch (buffet from 11 am to 2:30 pm) and dinner (buffet from 6 pm to 9:30 pm) only.
USDA Prime Rib
5. Mirèio: Luxe Sunday Brunch
Raffles Makati, 1 Raffles Drive, Makati City, (02) 555-9777
You can celebrate the end of Lent with this well-curated Sunday brunch buffet at Mirèio that features a luscious spread of mostly French savories and sweets.
A curated selection at the buffet
The highlight is a live carving station featuring tender Wagyu Beef, Roasted Porchetta, Lamb, and a fresh seafood tower filled with crustaceans like lobster, tiger prawns, and crabs, plus clams and mussels. There is also a cheese and charcuterie station together with assorted breads, homemade terrines, and antipasti. Plus, an assortment of sweet offerings awaits those who still have room for dessert.
A fresh seafood feast
The Sunday brunch buffet goes for P2,750+, with an upgrade of P4,200 per head to avail of endless pours of Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne, select wines, cocktails, and other beverages.