Ahlan Wa Sahlan!
The grand opening of Huma Mediterranean Cuisine recently spiced up the posh S Maison Mall in MOA Complex. Following the successful opening of its first restaurant Al Fairuz Lebanese Cuisine in SM City Clark earlier this year, Huma Island Resort & Spa – Palawan pulled out all the stops to make sure their guests have a grand authentic Mediterranean experience.
With a vision of having simple, fresh and natural dishes, doctor and businessman Hamad Al Tuwaijri and his wife Louisa El Chaer, decided to invest and open a series of Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurants around the Philippines.
Over a hundred guests from various sectors of society graced the much-awaited event and were welcomed with Lebanese cocktails like wine and special Huma drink paired with delectable appetizers such as Falafel, Hummus, Fatayer Sabanek and Mussakan Chicken amidst a well-designed façade including Shisha pipes, custom-made glass lanterns highlighting the colorful interiors reflecting the rich culture of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
The festivities then opened with a lively number from lovely belly dancers led by certified belly dance instructor Lala Ilao-Dinglasan together with her talented squad Joam Medina, Kat Fonacier-Garcia, and Aksana Kalinich. The feat was followed by the welcome remarks of inspiring force and heart of Huma Mediterranean Cuisine, Madame Louisa El Chaer. Master of Ceremonies was former basketball coach-turned-businessman Rafa Dinglasan who is of Lebanese descent as well.
Leading the ceremonial ribbon cutting was owner Louisa El Chaer of Nouda Mediterranean Cuisine Inc. joined by her brother, Executive Chef Elias El Chaer, Honorary Consul of Lebanon to the Philippines Joseph Assad, and DOT-CAR Regional Director Marie Venus Tan.
Guests were treated to a versatile Mediterranean spread believed by the Ancient Egypt civilization to be the “Food of the Gods” complete with belly dancing entertainment. For Starters, Moutabal (Grilled eggplant, sesame seeds paste, tahini, lemon and olive oil), Batata Harra (potatoes, red peppers, coriander, chili, and garlic fried in olive oil),Warah Inab (rice mixed with vegetables, rolled, wrapped in vine leaves boiled in water, salt, spices, lemon and olive oil), Moussakkah (fried eggplant with chickpeas), Sawdet Dajaj (fried chicken liver with pomegranate or lemon sauce in garlic olive oil) and Musakhan Chicken (Mixture of minced chicken meat, in tomato sauce, and béchamel sauce). For main course, guests were served with Ouzi Dajaj (Baked chicken, basmati rice, pine nuts, Mediterranean spices) and Fish Trabulsiye (Grilled fish, Mediterranean spices).
Among the guests who attended the grand opening were Mariane Vicente, whose roots are from Bais, Negros Oriental but who now resides in Spain; veteran actress Chanda Romero with husband Jose Mari Alejandrino; Ormoc-based Manuel and Julie Torres, parents of Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez;former actor Lito Gruet; Romulo Café owners Enjo and Sandee Romulo- Squillantini; interior designer Tessa Alindogan, Metro Home editor-in-chief Anton Barretto; and former model-turned-entrepreneur Judith Zapanta Berenguer-Testa.
ABS – CBN ’s Philip Cu-Unjieng; international jewelry-designer Stephen Lloyd; newly-appointed managing director and resident representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Angelito Banayo; Cebuano businessman Mike Diño and restaurateur and businessman Chito Clavano were present as well.