AS Christmas parties, gatherings, and reunions are in full swing this season, the focal part of every Filipino celebration remains to be the feast laid out on the table.
With delicious aromas filling the cool December air, The Sunday Times magazine takes you on a holiday food trip to serve as a guide for delectable choices and destinations to fit your sumptuous celebrations through Christmas and the New Year.
Verbena’s home cooking
TAKING advantage of the cool weather this December, Restaurant Verbena of the Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay added nine new dishes to its menu in time for the holiday season.
According to resident chef Anthony Raymond, the new look of the warm hotel inspired him for the new menu. “Since the restaurant is a charming manor home, we created local and western comfort dishes to evoke its relaxed country living,” chef Raymond shared.
Together with his sous chef Celmar Ambida, Raymond aimed to compliment the newly renovated space—now a little more stark, with sunlight coming in amidst a backdrop of cool, modern colors that illuminate the green landscape found in its view.
In a simple early Christmas lunch, the chefs prepared the best of their holiday menu, which included the Leek and Safron Risotto, with a twist of tasty Tinapa (smoked fish) that gives the European dish a Filipino flair. He also served his signature Brick Chicken, simply flavored with salt and lemon zest, before ending the lunch with dessert—the Sticky Date Bread Pudding, with vanilla ice cream and toasted almonds on top.
“We wanted to create that ‘homey’ feeling for our guests. For this menu, we veered away from the ‘fine dining’ style. We wanted to make the guests to taste the freshness of ingredients that could come from their grandmother’s garden, and to have dishes that anyone can cook in the kitchen,” he ended.
Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay’s holiday menu is available from December 1 to 30. For inquiries, call 529-8172 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Chinese jewels at Shang Palace
Makati Shangri-La’s iconic Chinese restaurant, the Shang Palace, finally introduces a new a la carte menu with 12 new signature dishes created by executive Chinese chef Richard Thong—in time for the holiday feasts.
Some of the new signature dishes include the Double-boiled chicken soup with conch and cordyceps, the Slow-cooked lamb with medicinal Chinese herbs, the Preserved Bean Curd in clay pot, and the Double-boiled Imperial Bird’s Nest and fresh milk with ginger for dessert—all of which are hearty yet healthy treats that can be enjoyed with less guilt.
Known for their fine quality Chinese cuisine, Shang Palace calls these new dishes their “jewels,” for their use of ingredients such as foie gras and truffle, while taking into consideration the health benefits of complimentary herbs and spices that the chef has used.
Besides the a la carte menu, also introduced was the Yum Cha set, available on Saturdays and Sundays for an endless variety of dim sum.
For families who crave for fine and authentic Cantonese cuisine, the Shang Palace also offers a spacious main dining area and 11 private dining rooms that could be venue for family gatherings and reunions especially this holiday season.
For inquiries, call 814-2580.
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22 Prime’s Christmas rib eye
For an unforgettable Christmas Eve dinner, Discover Suites, Ortigas inviting Filipinos to visit its signature, fine-dining restaurant, the 22 Prime. There, families can indulge in as many servings of mouthwatering USDA Angus Rib Eye Steak and Roasted Turkey. Besides the sumptuous holiday carvings, the special menu comes with a salad bar, a soup station and dessert on December 24 at 7 p.m.
On Christmas Day itself, the hotel’s Restaurant 5 then prepares a hearty “Fiesta Filipino” buffet lunch featuring fiesta favorites such as Pork Belly Lechon, Beef Kaldereta and Filipino Paella, among others.
For inquiries, call 719-8888 or log on to www.discoveryhotels-resorts.com.
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‘Turkey Nights’ at Acacia Hotel
Celebrate Christmas the American at the Acacia Hotel with Turkey Nights every Friday of December wherein guests can delight in their own version of US’s well-loved stuffed roast turkey and other delish Christmas staples. Moreover, the hotel’s buffet restaurant offers special holiday rates on December 24, 25 and 31, and January 1.
For inquiries, call 720-2000 or visit www.acaciahotelsmanila.com.
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Mixes and platters at Discovery Shores, Boracay
This festive season, Discovery Shores in Boracay goes all out in spreading the Christmas cheer beginning with its December Shindigs at the Sandbar Beach Bar. The food event offers holiday cocktail mixes and small delicious plates, served at the beachfront from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For the kids, Santa’s Beach Workshop from December 21 to 24 will keep them busy as they get to be Santa’s little helpers with fun and creative yuletide arts and crafts workshop. Lessons include Christmas Cookie Cottage Making, Christmas Card Making and Christmas Cookie Decorating, and Christmas Pizza Making, among many others.
Finally, the Sands Restaurant promises lavish dinner banquets for Noche Buena on December 24 and Christmas Day on December 25.
For inquiries, call 720-8888 or e-mail email@example.com.
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Flavors of the world at Dad’s
Dad’s World Buffet promises a satisfying journey around the world with its fine selection of international cuisines. From the delicious comfort of American flavors, to the goodness of European tastes, down to its exotic Asian offers, this buffet place offers new, premium items that can excite every discerning palate.
Make the carving station your first stop and sample the best meat with the roast beef, ham, turkey, and New Zealand leg of lamb. Revel in the goodness of American favorites such as the Oysters Rockefeller, Salisbury steak, and Cajun fried chicken.
Eat into the delights of Europe starting off with must-tries from Spain like the paella, lengua, and gambas al ajillo. Enjoy some Greek goodness with its beef, pork, or chicken souvlaki, and while you’re at it, also try Italy’s flavorful lasagna, and your pasta favorites.
Finally, unravel the richness of Asia: from China’s dimsum, fish fillet in Szechuan sauce, and pata tim to Thailand’s tod lad prik, Yam Pla Duk Foo, Kao Phad, and Tom Yam Goong. Fill up your tank with more delights with Singapore’s Hainanese chicken, Indonesia’s pork satay, Malaysia’s lamb curry, and Korea’s Kalbi chim.
Dad’s World Buffet is located at SM Megamall, Glorietta 3 Ayala Center, and Edsa-San Juan. Like their Facebook page www.facebook.com/DADSWorldBuffet.