After all that is said and done, traveling and exploring beyond the borders of the Philippines, Filipinos eventually go back to what they are familiar with---their very own Filipino cuisine. It's always a safe choice to have a Filipino Buffet when you are having a party in the Philippines. What can I say, Filipinos love their dishes even if it may not be considered a fine class cuisine in other countries. Give to Ceasar, what is Ceasar's and give to the Filipinos their own food. This month of April, The Heritage Hotel Manila is doing just that---serving the best of Filipino food to whoever want to try native dishes other than Pinoys.
What makes this Filipino Fiesta Buffet special, especially for a Filipno like me, is that they serve not only the classics, but hard-to-find dishes and street food enhanced. The moment I dug in, I went for the classic lechon (like who wouldn't) and Arroz Valenciana, grilled pusit with a special sauce. Then I just had to try the crispy chicharon bulaklak, ukoy, dried pusit which I kept coming back for more. I tried their cheeses and Filipino rolls. I knew I wouldn't be able to try everything, so I kept getting two spoonfuls of whatever I wanted to try. Even then, I wasn't able to try all. I would've wanted to make my own mami with the raw ingredient selection, but alas, I was full. I did have a chance to sample the desserts of "kakanin" or rice cakes as well as the pilipit, which I wanted to get more of if there was still space in the tummy. I had to skip the halo-halo stand unfortunately, as I very well knew I have had more than enough as it is. I was very pleased with my selection and I didn't hesitate to tell Head Chef Domingo Madridono so.
"What makes us different from other Filipino buffets, we serve our soups and grills hot and freshly-made right after you make your requests. We vary our dishes daily so you get to try dishes from different regions of the Philippines," shares Chef Domingo. He also shares tentative upcoming buffets for the following months based on their client's preference such as Sea Food Festival for May and Mother's Day; "International Festival" for June, and Malaysian Cuisine for July and August.
The location and accessibility of the hotel is definitely a plus factor for their Riviera Cafe buffets, whether Filipno or International. According to Doer Escoto, F & B Manager, that the hotel is renovating and updating their services to glorify our Philippine Heritage through their food outlets, accommodations, and function rooms. He also shares that all meat dishes are halal-certified and their herbs are home-grown.
As former OFW working for more than 18 years abroad, he believes that hotels are portals of Tourism for the country so hotel staff should behave properly, with integrity and concern for their guests. He also shared that OFWs are the unofficial Philippine Ambassadors with their recommendations taken seriously by their foreign friends, even their personal FB photo posts weigh more credibility than the usual tourism promotions. So take note of that, PH Tourism officials. There is more to learn from our OFWs and their insights that may help promote Tourism in the country.
"Wow Philippines campaing was a big hit, as former Tourism head, Dick Gordon focused his attention on OFWs and their untapped Tourism potential. Pouring resources on expensive advertising campaigns may not be the most effective way to go, rather educate the frontliners, such as the Travel Agencies,Hotel Receptionist and Guest Relations Officer, to be honest and not find a way to make extra money from the guests. That small negative "dishonest" experience may spell the difference between not ever coming back here and bad mouthing the country to their friends, OR remembering their happy experience and inviting others to come visit," shares Escoto.
The Heritage Hotel Manila is a witness to the daily glory of the famed Manila Bay. A four-star deluxe hotel, with 450 rooms, 12 function rooms, a Riviera Cafe and Lobby lounge--- offering famed pastries and one of the best buffets in Manila. The hotel is located along Roxas Boulevard corner EDSA, Pasay City, minutes away from the international and domestic airports, Manila Bay Yacht Club, SM Mall of Asia, SMX Convention Center, PICC and World Trade Center.
For more information, visit their website at www.heritagehotelmanila.com.