Showing posts with label Filipino dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Filipino dishes. Show all posts

Friday, April 7, 2017

Filipino Comfort Food Enhanced at The Heritage's Filipino Fiesta

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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Filipino Favorites Worth Dining For At Siklab

  If you are not familiar with Filipino dishes but want to try what makes the Filipino eat five times a
 day, then Siklab should be one of the first Filipino restaurants you should visit. If you are entertaining balikbayan friends or foreign guests, you won't regret bringing them to Siklab. Opening its doors at the 3rd level of Greenbelt 3, SIKLAB offers local comfort food with a twist and a burst of flavors.

With a restaurant name that literally means “to catch fire” or “burst into flames,” the dishes served here are in their best hot-off-the-grill goodness like the staple Filipino Chicken Barbecue which happens to be one of the restaurant’s “must-try” items on the menu.

At Siklab, the story doesn’t end with serving all-Filipino dishes but we present these dishes creatively, the Bistro way,” Chef Josh Boutwood says. “Both usual favorites and some unique Filipino dishes will be served with interesting twists. The taste, however, is still traditionally Filipino — but richer and more flavorful,” he further hints.

Chef Josh personally recommends the star of the menu, the Chicken Barbecue. Chicken pieces are smothered in Siklab’s marinade made of coconut soy sauce, citrus and other spices and the meat is grilled to exact temperature and tenderness. The smokey aroma and intense flavor of the chicken plus its juiciness and succulence, bite after bite, will delight even the most discerning palate.
Salads are prepared with fresh ingredients that are truly Filipino: salted eggs, green mangoes, pako, kesong puti and grated coconut. Greens are the leafy malunggay and kangkong as well as other vegetables that make up dishes like Pakbet, Pako Salad and Monggo Soup. For appetizer, Kuhol Sa Gata (local escargot drenched in coconut cream and spicy ingredients) is a winner.

For entrees, the barbequed Liempo, a slab of perfectly grilled juicy pork belly best eaten with piping hot steamed rice and condiments on the side, is a crowd favorite. The adventurous eater may order Grilled Pig’s Ears, a not-your-usual grilled fare but equally tasty and enjoyable. A healthier alternative is the Tuna Belly, a juicy and tender chunk of tuna sprinkled with chilis and garlic.
Of course, what’s Filipino cuisine without the usual highlights: Bulalo, Molo Soup and Sinigang na Baka. Perfect for any kind of weather, these flavorful stews complement the grilled items on the menu.

Meanwhile, skewered beef and pork specialties are not to be passed up if only for Siklab’s signature basting sauce. “Roasted seafood are dipped in blended soy sauce and lemongrass, while beef, pork and poultry are brushed with a tomato-based basting—all rich and homemade barbecue basting,” Chef Josh explains.

Desserts at Siklab are mostly childhood favorites prepared in a playful way. If you enjoy a slice of sweetened glutinous rice or sweetened banana in your younger years, then you will surely love Siklab’s versions of Caramelized Banana and Biko. Even the ordinary Turon 2.0 becomes fancier as it comes adorned with homemade sugar snap cones and topped with banana ice cream with banana compote.

As part of Bistro Group’s portfolio of restaurant concepts, Siklab carries the same brand of customer service, great food and friendly ambiance that the chain is known and loved for. In the local food scene, Siklab distinguishes itself as a blazing new venue where families, friends, expats, urban professionals and balikbayans can enjoy an authentic Pinoy dining experience – proof that Filipino dishes are definitely worth dining for.  For more information and reservations, please call 729-7431 and 32. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lorenzo’s Way: A Tribute to Larry J. Cruz

“Style” and “Taste” are the two words that come to mind when the name of Larry J. Cruz is mentioned. He is the man responsible for transforming the ho-hum Philippine dining scene into the classy, popular places-to-be-seen-in today. The many restaurants he opened during his illustrious career as a restaurateur epitomized the good life that he espoused.

When he opened Café Adriatico at Remedios Circle, Malate in 1979, Larry set in motion the country’s burgeoning café society. Manila’s bright minds, celebrities, politicians and socialites had a place where they can meet and dine in stylish comfort.

“A good meal is one that satisfies all the senses. Meals are about good food. More than just looking good, it has to taste good. Whether I’m emptying my wallet in an expensive restaurant, slumming in a coolie joint, or out on a picnic, I could have a really good meal. The food must match the setting. More important for me, it should be enjoyed with someone.”—Lorenzo J. Cruz, founder LJC Group of Restaurants

Larry was a journalist and publisher first, and a restaurateur second. He acquired his love for food and the good life from his father, the esteemed writer, editor, painter and bon vivant Emilio “Abé” Aguilar Cruz. Indeed, at all LJC restaurants, diners are assured of experiencing his legacy of good food, great service and old-world charm.

From that initial venture, he pressed on, opening one restaurant after another that offered his vision of the good life. Bistro Burgos, Bistro Lorenzo and Bistro Remedios offered local foodies a chance to experience the bistro way of life. Ang Hang introduced Oriental cookery with an emphasis on the spicy hot. Larry’s Bar gave Makati and Ortigas yuppies a venue where they can unwind with a drink at the end of the busy day. Camp Gourmet brought memories of the Forties and World War II with its menu of comfort food and staff dressed in khakis and camouflage. There were also ventures, which were considered ahead of their time: Prego was an Art Deco Italian restaurant, while Paper Moon was revamped into In The Mood Dance Bar when the disco fad ended. Today, the LJC Group includes Café Adriatico, Bistro Remedios, Café Havana, Larry’s Bar & Café, Mojito Bay, Abé, and Fely J’s Kitchen.

Throughout the years, the LJC restaurants concocted numerous signature dishes that became popular. Café Adriatico became known for its chocolate eh, offering diners a chance to savor chocolate, a favorite of Spanish friars, as described in Rizal’s “Noli.” Bistro Burgos became known for its Kare-Kare Klab, oxtail and tripe stewed in a rich peanut sauce, as well as its Stewed Oxtails Akuw’a, a Yemeni-style dish of oxtails cooked with Middle Eastern spices.

Now, you can enjoy la bon vivant the way Larry experienced it at Lorenzo’s Way at Bonifacio High Street Central at the Bonifacio Global City. The new outlet opens two years after the first Lorenzo’s Way was started in Greenbelt 5 to bring diners the best of the LJC Group of Restaurants.

Conceptualized to honor Larry’s memory, Lorenzo’s Way serves the dishes that have become known in such popular LJC restaurants as Café Adriatico, Bistro Remedios, Abé, and Fely J’s Kitchen. Other dishes come from LJC restaurants of old, such as Bistro Burgos, Camp Gourmet, and Ang Hang.

Lorenzo’s Way at Bonifacio High Street Central is an enhanced version of its Greenbelt 5 counterpart .with its a spacious dining area that can seat 80 guests. It has three function rooms, each good for 10 guests; but when taken together, the function rooms can accommodate as many as 36 guests.

Guests who prefer to dine al fresco may do so at the terrace dining area, which can seat 64 guests. The terrace overlooks a central garden amphitheater that has a dancing fountain illuminated by colored lights at night.

Some of the dishes foodies young and old could try at Lorenzo’s Way include Costillas de Ternera Guisada, braised beef short ribs in wine sauce; Spanish Garlic Chicken, deboned chicken baked with a marinade of garlic cloves and olive oil; Braised Lamb Shank with Cranberries, Honey and Onions, a whole lamb shank braised till tender in a wine sauce; and Seafood Couscous, couscous served with clams, mussels, squid and fish fillet cooked in a seafood saffron broth.

strawberry shortcake
The restaurant has become a popular destination among foodies, because it offered a chance to sample the best dishes from different LJC restaurants then and now. In fact, it has been nominated twice to the Miele Guide, which ranks the 20 best restaurants in Asia.

Gigil Tart

To date, LJC restaurants include Café Adriatico, Bistro Remedios, Café Havana, Larry’s Bar and Café, Abé, Fely J’s Kitchen, and Abé’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga. Lorenzo’s Way is at Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center and Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. For inquiries, please call 09274769460 or 5220403.
Baby Squid
clams malaguena
Beef Salpicao

King Prawn Creole Hollandaise


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