Enjoying the Heat

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Tessa Mauricio-Arriola

Tessa Mauricio-Arriola

To be clear, I’m not a fan of the scorching temperatures that precede the dreadful downpour we’re all suffering these days. Lamentations of the sort are best discussed in our weekly “Green Revolution” page on Tuesdays.

With today obviously a delicious issue for Life & Times, I’m talking about the kind of “Heat” that pleases the palate, thus the curious title above.

On Tuesday, I visited an old time favorite of foodies in Metro Manila, which to be sure, is one of the pioneers of the overwhelming buffets that top hotels across the country have come to adopt through the years. I went to Heat at Edsa Shangri-La Manila, and was so happy to have done so.

For, besides my must-have Laksa at the all-day dining outlet of the only five-star hotel in the Ortigas area, I found brand new dishes that have made me enjoy Heat all the more.


Have you ever tried German Cheese Spätzle with Sausage Curry on the side? How about a meaty and literally bittersweet dish of Singaporean Coffee Spareribs?

Now if you can trump me on those two questions, I’m going to bet you can’t beat me on the next.

Edsa Shangri-La, Manila’s eight specialty chefs, led by Executive Sous Chef Roxanne Castillo (second from left)

Edsa Shangri-La, Manila’s eight specialty chefs, led by Executive Sous Chef Roxanne Castillo (second from left)

Have you ever—ever—tasted Adobo Marinated Prime Rib? Or for that matter, a side of Garlic Yorkshire Pudding drenched in adobo au jus to go with it. I’m talking about a beautifully hefty but tender round of beef marinated in the Filipino’s national concoction of sauces and cooked sous vide (in a vacuum) for eight painstaking hours before a final roast.

Hah!

This superbly innovative Filipino and Western fusion by Edsa Shangri-La Manila’s Executive Sous Chef Roxanne Castillo is just one of a series of signature dishes especially prepared by her talented team of chefs from around the world to celebrate Heat’s return to serious culinary innovation.

“If you will remember, Heat was recently relaunched as a farmer’s market, with a very rustic feel,” related the hotel’s Director of Food and Beverage Nicola Coccia over lunch. “Reassessing the situation, we realized we were spending too much time on the outlet’s look to achieve the farmer’s market concept rather than the food and beverage, so we decided to move away from it with this.”

Savour Chef Tobias Unger’s Cheese Spätzle

Savour Chef Tobias Unger’s Cheese Spätzle

By “this” the Italian executive meant the parade of inspired offerings developed by the hotel’s specialty chefs from their countries of origin laid out on the table. As previously mentioned, these include Executive Chef Tobias Unger’s his special cheese spätzle and curry sausage inspired from his German heritage; Executive Chinese Chef Tony Sum’s interpretation of Singapore’s favorite coffee spareribs; lone Filipino and lady chef Roxanne’s ingenius adobo roast; as well as Chef Andy Liu’s curry seafood dimsum with a hint of laksa; Indian Chef Fanishwar’s uber tender Tangdi Kabab; Japanese Chef Yusuke Hino’s artistic signature maki and magic cube roll; and Pastry Chef Martin Frowd’s indulgent raspberry molted brownie double shot vodka cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

“Many hotels have chefs from different countries but they concentrate on their own restaurant within the property,” continued Coccia as he introduced the chefs behind “The Heat Rises” food promotion. “What we’ve done here and what sets us apart is that we’ve tasked our executive chefs from Summer Palace (Chinese outlet), Paparazzi (Italian outlet), and Zenju (Japanese outlet) to commit to their signature dishes at Heat so that everyday, they will check on their respective buffets in the restaurant.”

In the process too, Heat is able to build up on its signature dishes since none of the chef’s creations will be available in their respective F&B outlets at the hotel.

“For example Chef Andy’s curry seafood dimsum will not be on the menu of Summer Palace so that we will have that signature dish while not stealing from the Chinese restaurant’s business,” Coccia continued.

Chef Roxanne Castillo puts a twist on a Filipino favorite with adobo marinated prime rib with garlic Yorkshire, roasted Tagaytay vegetables and adobo beef jus

Chef Roxanne Castillo puts a twist on a Filipino favorite with adobo marinated prime rib with garlic Yorkshire, roasted Tagaytay vegetables and adobo beef jus

For the hotel’s General Manager Amit Oberoi, the whole concept of “The Heat Rises” is beneficial all around.

“Besides ensuring our patrons they get the best from our culinary team, that little bit of competition among them also helps keep everyone on their toes,” he enthused.

For diners like me—and many others out there who have long kept a special place for Heat in their hearts and tummies—the outlet’s return to what truly matters is purely pleasurable news. Carefully crafted and prepared dishes that make grand buffets genuinely grand.

For inquiries call 633-8888 local 2740 or 2741, email heat.esl@shangri-la.com, or log on to www.shangri-la.com/manila/edsashangrila.

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