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Love is in full bloom at The Manila Hotel

Love, Exclusively at The Grande Dame

 

Woo her with fine wine, Ecuadorian flowers and a helicopter ride over Manila bay before sunset

Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal for his third wife 300 years ago. In 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the English throne to prove his love for two-time divorcee, American socialite Wallis Simpson. In Indecent Proposal, David Murphy (Woody Harrelson) agreed to his wife Diana (Demi Moore) spending a night with business mogul John Gage (Robert Redford) in exchange for one million dollars only to give it all up for a save-the-hippos charity fund in the end. In real or reel life, men have done the noble and the foolish in the name of love. What about you? What have you planned for your special someone in this month of hearts?

All That Romance

The Manila Hotel has everything planned out for you! This February, you can surprise your fiancée, wife or family with packages all tailor made to fit your budget. If you’re a Prestige member, your party can stay in the Grande Dame’s Sunset, Sunrise, Tower, Veranda or Intramuros suites (Php14,500 nett) and avail of the hotel’s “Nostalgia with Love” promotion. This includes breakfast for two at Café Ilang-Ilang, massage for one at the Spa, a bouquet of  flowers and pralines. The  “Grande Dame’s Heart” package (Php20,000 nett) offers, in addition, an evening of love songs with David Pomeranz as you enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the Tent City. Thereafter relax in a Superior Deluxe room and enjoy the hotel’s various amenities.

Love is in full bloom at The Manila Hotel

Love is in full bloom at The Manila Hotel

 

The Ultimate Valentine’s Gift

 For that “wow” factor, you can choose from two high end room packages. The gentleman who avails of the “Say I Do” package (Php500,000 nett) opts for class and an enthusiastic display of affection. Imagine an overnight stay in the newly refurbished Mac Arthur suite complete with his and hers butlers to wait on you while you enjoy your three-course private in-room dining as you converse over a harpist’s strings or a flutists’ notes. Surprise her with Ecuadorian roses at dinner’s end and a water color portrait,too! Romantic turn down amenities from the hotel’s skilled chocolatiers and personalized wine glasses are also available. Arrive and leave the hotel in style on board a chauffeur-driven luxury car for that extra “oomph” and you’ll surely get a resounding “yes” to your proposal.

Saccharine Surprises! Decadent chocolates and cuddly bears are available at the lobby.

Saccharine Surprises! Decadent chocolates and cuddly bears are available at the lobby.

 

Serenade your special someone with sweet music from a harpist.

Serenade your special someone with sweet music from a harpist.

 

 What would you give in the name of love? A box of chocolates, a piece of jewelry, a love letter, perhaps? For some these gestures will suffice but for a select few, there is no limit. Aptly called “Sky’s the Limit”, Manila Hotel’s ultimate romantic package includes a piece of heaven and then some. Whether it’s for a proposal, a romantic stay or a renewal of vows, this is the perfect package for you. An overnight stay at the luxuriously appointed Presidential Suite awaits the special guests who will have his and hers butlers on 24 hour duty. Amaze her with a 15-minute romantic helicopter ride over Manila Bay before sunset while your five-course dinner is being set up in the room. Drink champagne in your personalized wine glasses by Calligraffi as a harpist plays sweet music. Receive his and hers cufflinks and stud earrings from Jewelmer, a floral bouquet arrangement by renowned florist Rachy Cuna, bespoke perfume from Dior, made-to-measure modern barong from Jo Rubio, Ecuadorian roses, a valentine gift from Victoria’s secret, his and hers massage and a host of other extravagantly beautiful things including a Rolls Royce ride. A priest and pastor will also be present for a renewal of vows ceremony, should you wish. The price? A cool million.

Enjoy a ride over Manila Bay on board this copter provided by Air Taxi Ph.

Enjoy a ride over Manila Bay on board this copter provided by Air Taxi Ph.

If you’ve got literary or musical inclinations, you may want to join the hotel’s love letter and song writing competitions. Know more about the mechanics and the prizes in http://bit.ly/TMHLoveInPenAndPaper  and http://bit.ly/TMHLoveAndRhythm .

No matter the cost or lack thereof, the most important thing is to have love that is pure and true. Have a meaningful Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

Experience a one-of-a-kind month of hearts only at The Manila Hotel. Stay period is from February 1 to 28, 2017. For more information call +632 527 0011 or visit www.manila-hotel.com.ph

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Mouthwatering dishes you should not miss

A Feast of the Islands’ Flavors

 

If there’s one thing that majority of Pinoys can’t live without –it’s Filipino food.  It’s a common practice for our kababayans to stuff their luggage with tuyo (dried fish), bagoong (shrimp paste) and taba ng talangka (crab fat) when they visit their relatives abroad.  Some hand carry polvoron, chocnut, dried mangoes and other delicacies which have been specifically ordered by (again) relatives and friends who pray that their all-time favorite goodies from home won’t be confiscated by immigration authorities.  Similarly, balikbayans look forward to returning to the country to eat Filipino food.  And no celebration or reunion is ever complete without the main fare — the mighty lechon!

Every year, we are treated by The Manila Hotel to a culinary showcase of the best of the Philippine Islands. This month at Café Ilang-ilang, the spread at the Filipino station (there are seven other stations serving  different international cuisines which are open to be enjoyed by guests) takes center stage.  From August 25 to September 16, 2016, the Café will host the much anticipated Filipino Food Festival.  Those who were able to experience last year’s sumptuous offerings will be glad to know that Dedet Dela Fuente Santos, more popularly known as “Lechon Diva”,  is once again at the helm of the festivities. True to her moniker, kitchen sensation Dedet brings to the forefront her unparalleled lechon truffle along with her modern and unexpected rendition of local dishes.

MH-w Dedet

Lechon Diva with The Busy Queen P

Mouthwatering dishes you should not miss

Top right (clockwise) – Enjoy these mouthwatering dishes at the Filipino Food Festival in Café Ilang-ilang! HIPLOG, a shrimp dish with salted egg sauce, LECHON stuffed with truffle rice, PEPITA’s FILIPINO PAELLA, a Spanish specialty done with a Pinoy twist, CRAB CLAWS with GULONG- GULONG SAUCE.

 

At the media launch last August 2, guests were treated to a feast of sights, sounds and, of course, Filipino food!  The Manila Hotel’s Resident Manager Gerhard Doll was present to welcome the select crowd.  To the delight of everyone, Mr. Doll gamely hit the palayok (clay pot) to signal the start of the festival.  Philippine flags adorned the dining tables alongside a serving of local appetizers which consisted of manggang hilaw, singkamas and bagoong dip (green mangoes, turnip and shrimp paste dip).  The San Sebastian Manila Rondalla provided the music for the afternoon affair while various folk and ethnic dances were performed by the Children of Mother Earth dance troupe.

MH- FilFood Fest

(L-R) Gerhard Doll, Resident Manager, Dedet Dele Fuente Santos, Nian Rigor, AVP for PR and Corporate Communications, Christoph Kuch, Food and Beverage Director

“The positive response from our diners last year made us decide to invite the “Lechon Diva” again as our featured culinary personality.   Her dishes  are familiar but innovative.  Rich but tempered with flavors.  Our mouthwatering spread is guaranteed to satisfy,”  said Nian Liwanag-Rigor, AVP for Public Relations and Corporate Communications.  For her part, Dedet shared, “I always try to bring something new to the table. An unexpected twist to the old recipes.  You should try the adobo or palabok pizza. However, I can’t do without the winning staples which people have come to love.  The bestseller truffle rice stuffed lechon must be the star of the show.  There’s also the hiplog (shrimp swimming in salted egg sauce) and the super suman (a heapful serving of sticky rice combined with different local treats).”

Having tried the lechon truffle before, I made it my business to be one of the first to line up for it.  Think of melt-in-your-mouth crispy skin.  Only those who have tasted  this sinful delight will understand  my oxymoron.  It’s simply the best I’ve ever tasted.  The dessert table also never fails to impress.  The hotel’s french macarons are simply divine! For the Filipino Festival, however, I tried the various servings of local sweets.  I love the sapin-sapin (multilayer, multicolored rice delicacy)! Ang sarap (It’s delicious) !

Calorie counting is strictly not allowed.  An openness to taste the wonderful local flavors is all you need to enjoy this season’s Filipino Food Festival.  See you all at Café Ilang-ilang!

 

For more information, call The Manila Hotel’s Food and Beverage Team at 527 0011 local1260 and 1261

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Must-try mini burgers

Novel Delights at Mabuhay Palace

In search of  new flavors to try?  Mabuhay Palace at the Grande Dame currently has a month long offering of novel gustatory delights that are guaranteed to  whet your appetite.  Sharing their culinary innovations, the people behind the famous Chefs Gallery of Sydney are now in town as  Manila Hotel’s featured guest chefs.  Gourmet masters Executive Chef Wing who specializes in Szechuan, Yangtse and Shandong cuisine and Head Chef Sam Du, known for his native Chinese and Pan-Asian dishes will head the team.

 

At the media launch,  select diners were treated to a masterful display of noodle making.  I’ve seen noodles made from scratch and pasta guitars (known as chitarra in Italy) from random cooking shows at the Lifestyle Network.  It was, however, the first time I’ve watched dough transformed by the chef’s bare hands to thin pasta strings.  The whole process took barely  five minutes!  He even  set fire to a few strands to prove how thin they really were.  Patrons of the Mabuhay Palace should expect just a bit of waiting time when they order the handmade noodles from the promotional menu.  “Our noodles are à la minute.  All noodles are freshly prepared, being twisted, pulled, split, and folded in minute and cooked specifically to your order.  The flour dough is transformed to the finished twists of delicate noodles, in a blur of ambidextrous hand movements by the master noodle chef”  shared  Nian Liwanag-Rigor, Asst. Vice President for PR & Corporate Communication.

Chef Wing demonstrates how to make noodles.

Chef Wing demonstrates how to make noodles.

 

In my previous dining reviews and recommendations, I always give points to places where I can bring the whole family.  The minute I sank my teeth into the juicy Macanese style mini burgers, I knew my kids would love it!  The mini buns had a creamy crunchy taste to it that reminded me of  slightly overdone french toasts.  Filled with  pork fillet, pork floss, lettuce and a sweet chili mayo dressing, these burgers are delicious!  I also liked the Tataki Wagyu Beef with Sichuan style spicy dressing, Prawn and Pork wonton and the Shredded Pecking Duck served with cucumber, hoisin sauce rolled inside  flu-y Chinese Roti. Moutwatering! You have to park your diet-obsessed twin self by the door before partaking of the sumptuous fare.  Enjoy the spread as you appreciate the imperial Neo-classical interior and handcrafted panels made of jade and precious stones.

Must-try mini burgers

Must-try mini burgers

 

Spinach Seafood Pasta

Spinach Seafood Pasta

Shredded Peking duck that tastes even better than it looks.

Shredded Peking duck that tastes even better than it looks.

 

There’s always something new to try at the good ole Grande Dame.

This promotion will run  at the Mabuhay Palace until April 17, 2016. For more information, please call the Food and Beverage Team at  527 0011 local 1260 to 1261.

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Luck and Love at the Grande Dame

 

Happy February!  This month is extra special this year as it contains two big celebrations – Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day.  Both are red letter days for everyone.  Families, friends , couples, both the young and old are now beginning to make plans on how to best spend these memorable dates.

 

Celebrate the Year of the Fire Monkey

Do you believe in predictions?  Well, there’s no harm in knowing what the year forbodes.  Based on the Chinese Calendar, 2016 will turn out to be a lucky year for those born under the Monkey sign –especially those whose births fall under the element of fire.

On February 7, the eve of the New Year,  chinese lanterns and red flowers will adorn the halls of the Grande Dame.  Guests are invited to take part in the revelry of the Draogn’s Eye Dotting Ceremony complete with a special lion and dragon dance.  In addition, world-renowned feng shui expert Master Joseph Kam Shing together with his son  Master Vittorio Chau will share their fortune predictions.

Know your fortune as told by Master Joseph Chau

Know your fortune as told by Master Joseph Chau

 

Of course,  this event would not be complete without the traditional “Niangao” or tikoy.  This traditional treat is made from glutinous rice flour which symbolizes longevity, progress and a better life.  Beautifully packaged in oriental gift boxes, these famous and well loved delicacies are available for purchase at the Hotel’s prosperity booth at the Grand Lobby.  Head on to the Mabuhay Palace for mouth-watering dishes with their special Chinese spread.   Families of  four and couples can choose from set menus for only PhP2,288.00  Net.

 

Big Love

 There’s no need to fuss over Valentine’s Day preparations.  Manila Hotel has everything covered and prepared just for its special guests.  Honeymoon Suites. Romantic dinner for two. Flowers. Chocolates and fine wine. Signature Massages at the Spa. Even  Valentango ( a romantic spectacle of  live tango music  and dance performances by professional tango dancers).   These are but a few of their  delightful surprises.  “Make your loved one fall in love with you again on this special day.  Celebrate love and happiness over a lavish Cantonese Dinner prepared by Executive Chef Sun Bing  at the Mabuhay Palace,  enjoy the 8 stations-buffet at Café Ilang-ilang or  share a special  6-course dinner by  Executive Chef Kinrad Walter under crystal palms at the Champagne  Room,” says Dr. Enrique Y. Yap Jr., the hotel’s Executive Vice President .

A romantic dinner for two while watching Valentango is something you shouldn't miss!

A romantic dinner for two while watching Valentango is something you shouldn’t miss!

 

Sweet treats at the Valentine's booth.

Sweet treats at the Valentine’s booth.

 

So whether you are looking to spend these events with your families and friends or escape to an urban sanctuary  with just your special someone,  make your choice the Manila Hotel.

Happy Hearts' Day!

Happy Hearts’ Day!

 

For room reservations and room promotions , please call 527-0011 local 1175 to 1178.

 

Follow me on Twitter, IG and Facebook.   Visit http://thebusyqueenp.com/ for more interesting reads!

 

 

Holiday toys from Hamley's.

Come Visit the Colonial Christmas Village

A different kind of Christmas awaits those who visit Manila Hotel this December.   Travel backwards to an era  where people receive posts and gifts through mail and cooking and baking hearty meals are as much a part of everyday life as well as holiday tradition.  Can you imagine a time and where books and storytelling kept kids entertained for hours?  These scenes are brought to life in a modern and updated Colonial Christmas Village at the Grande Dame.

 

Walk this way! There's something special for everybody at the Colonial Christmas Village.

Walk this way! There’s something special for everybody at the Colonial Christmas Village.

For the Kids and the Kids-at-heart

Get you cameras ready as every single nook and cranny  of the village is Instagram worthy!  Through  a partmership with Hamley’s London Limited (the oldest toy shop in the world) , Adarna  House ( a publishing company known for its story telling sessions) and Epson (which provided the decorative wallpapers that made the display come to life),  Manila Hotel offers a magical holiday experience for the entire family.

Streetlamps light your way as you stroll down Parsons Street.  Make your first stop at the Mayor’s office to get your passes.  Christmas  village golden tickets cost P1,500  and entitles you to visit all the shops, get a free stuffed bear and a movie ticket.  Companion tickets , on the other hand are at P800.    Don’t forget to exchange your money with the Christmas village paper currency so you can do all the shopping you want.

The Town Mayor

Manila Hotel’s General Manager Gerhard Doll is dressed up as the Town Mayor.

 

The children will love Willy’s Emporium where they can get dolls,  trains and other unique items from the UK based toy store.  Not to be missed is  the Patisserie Bakeshop and Tea Hall.   White tables decked with festive decors and white wooden chairs provide the children an authentic colonial dining experience.   Servers who are appropriately dressed to fit the colonial theme will help the little guests fill up their tin canisters with all kind of treats like cookies, bars and delicious french macarons. YUM!  You can also enjoy a kiddie meal prepared by the hotel’s esteemed chefs.  Meanwhile,  Santa could just be the the storyteller of the day at  Page, Turner and Company.  Storytelling activities are held every Saturday and Sunday of December.

Dainty furnishings and Delicious deights await visitors at the Bakery.

Dainty furnishings and Delicious deights await visitors at the Bakery.  Guests get to fill up their own tin can with sweets and treats!

 

Santa serves up the treats!

Santa serves up the treats!

To cap your modern-day colonial experience, relax , unwind and watch Christmas movies at the Grand View Cinema with your own popcorn bucket, cotton candy swirl and ice cream bar.  How’s that for major fun?

Movie time!

Movie time!

 

Holiday Packages

The Christmas village is open until January2, 2016 from 1pm to 9pm.  Stay in one of the Suites and enjoy the hotel’s Christmas Village Room Package for only P13,845.00 NET.  Get one bear, one regular Christmas village ticket, a complimentary bibingka at the Lobby Lounge for two and a 20% discount at The Manila Hotel Spa.  For inquiries and reservations please call 527-0011 local 1175 to 1179.

Holiday toys from Hamley's.

Holiday toys from Hamley’s.

 

Follow me on Twitter, IG and Facebook.   Visit http://thebusyqueenp.com/ for more interesting reads!

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Take your photos with these "cool" penguins!

A Polar Christmas at Manila Hotel

 

“P is for penguins, poinsettia and look Mom…. A giant polar bear!”  My daughter’s eyes lit up as she took in the festive decors of the Manila Hotel.  I brought  both my children to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting  Ceremony of the historic Grande Dame and both had big smiles on their faces as a multitude of lights turned on simultaneously at exactly  6:00 pm to herald the start of  the night’s festivities.

Meet Willy the Giant Polar Bear

Meet Willy the Giant Polar Bear

 

Take your photos with these "cool" penguins!

Take your photos with these “cool” penguins!

Minutes before,  the sight of a lifesize gingerbread house greeted us as we entered the Grand lobby.   Seated on a plush red armchair was the jolly old man himself.    A line of children from the House of Refuge , the hotel’s chosen beneficiary, made their way one by one to  Santa’s lap as each asked for a special Yuletide wish.   I saw my little one’s furtive glances to  the man in the red suit as she decided silently if she too wanted to make her own wish.  “Sweetie, why don’t we see what’s on the other side of the room and then come back when the line is shorter?  I’m sure Santa Claus will be waiting for you,” I told her reassuringly.

Kids from the chosen beneficiary get gifts from Santa.

Kids from the chosen beneficiary get gifts from Santa.

 

The  Las Piñas Boys Choir, San Sebastian  Chamber and Harmonia Pilipinas provided the evening’s entertainment.   Christmas carols filled the air as three hundred guests milled around and  took photos by the twenty foot Christmas tree as well as with “Willy the Polar Bear.”  The host told us that his year’s  huge Christmas mascot was actually named after the hotel’s landscape architect William Parsons.   “Do polar bears and penguins live in the same place,” I heard  R asking her older brother.  “Polar bears live in Antartica and most penguins can be found in the Arctic region,” M replied .  Hmmm… ok now both of us know.

The Grand Lobby was filled with Yuletide carols .

The Grand Lobby was filled with Yuletide carols .

 

Soon  it was time to partake of the sumptuous spread  prepared by the famed chefs of the Grande Dame.  Shrimp dumplings, turkey croquettes, chinese noodles and trays of dedadent pastries were all part of the menu.   Of course, a Filipino Christmas celebration would not be complete without lechon.  People lined up until the last morsel of the delicious crispy lechon truffle was served.  I particularly enjoyed the puto bumbomg and bibingka which were served for dessert.

 

Holiday Packages

 

“We pride ourselves in giving unforgettable memories to our guests.  This year is no different.  Both the kids and the kids at heart will surely enjoy the holiday marvels that we have prepared this season,” said Nian Rigor AVP for PR and Corporate Communcations.  “We invite everyone to visit and experience the Manila Hotel Christmas with our holiday promotions and exciting surprises.   Make the Grande Dame your ultimate Yuletide destination and I assure you that it will be one you’ll remember,” added Dr. Enrique Yap, EVP of Manila Hotel.

 

My little girl with Santa at the Christmas Village.

My little girl with Santa at the Christmas Village.

 

Seasonal specialty hampers which include wines, authentic french macarons, christmas cookies and pralines are available at the Christmas village.  Family room packages for the entre month of December start at P7,999 NET per room.  In addition, you may also avail special set dinners at the different hotel restaurants .  For more inquiries please call 527-0011.

 

As the night ended, we made our final stop at the pastry counter.  We are massive fans of Chef Jerome Benda’s French macarons and ube ensyamadas.  With those packed in the hotel’s eponymous yuletide packages, the kids and I said our momentary adieu to our favorite hotel destination.  Christmas has indeed come to the great halls of the Grande Dame.

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A Celebration of Filipino Flavors at Café Ilang-Ilang

 

My family is always in  constant search for new dining places to try out.  We each have our own preferences.  On numerous occasions, we have had  to vote on where to dine for the day.  Last Friday evening, though, our big appetites pointed us to one destination, our favorite buffet – Café Ilang- Ilang at the Manila Hotel.  It didn’t matter that we had to travel all the way from the south.  The famed Grande Dame’s french macarons alone  by Chef Jerome would be worth the trip!

Manila Hotel Macarons

 

Colorful dried leaves made into chandelier-like décor adorned the ceiling inside the hall.  My quizzical look was answered by the gracious host who led us to our table.  “Today is the first day of the Filipino Food Festival, Ma’am.  You have to try the lechon.  Enjoy the feast! ,” she said.  We had every intention of following her recommendation

Cafe Ilang Ilang Filipino Festival

 

Before filling up my plate, I scouted the Filipino spread for the night.  Although, Café Ilang-Ilang had all of its 8 live stations operational (Asian, Mediterranean, European, Western, Pan- Asian, Churrasco Grill Station, Italian and the dessert bar), I decided to zero in on the Filipino Cuisine.  The spread included everything from the familiar (fishballs, adobo and menudo) to the not-your-everyday fare (balut salpicao , hiplog-shrimp with salted egg sauce and pizza palabok).  I soon learned that culinary personality Dedet  “Lechon Diva” Dela Fuente Santos had been invited to showcase her Filipino specialties throughout the two-week run of the festival.  Along with timeless classics as prepared by Manila Hotel’s Executive Chef Walter Konrad, guests can partake of the exciting and award winning flavors of the guest chef.

MHFilFest- Balut Salpicao

Balut like you’ve never tasted before!

 

It was good that we arrived just before 6pm. Shortly, thereafter, the lechon truffle was brought out.  The framed description alongside the chopping board read – FRENCH LECHON – stuffed with truffle rice. Awarded tastiest Asian dish in  London by the Chowtzer group.  A line immediately formed at the lechon counter and guests had varying requests — “Can I have the belly portion?  Please give more crispy skin!  More laman and less truffle rice for me.”

So worth all the calories! But remember --everything in moderation.

So worth all the calories! But remember –everything in moderation.

 

Back at our table,  everyone was enjoying dinner. The lechon was sinfully delicious!  Both my 12  year old son and 4 year old daughter finished off their crispy, tasteful portions quickly. My boy then asked me to try the adobo pizza he had gotten from the Italian station.   The soy and vinegar marinated meat on  the crispy quick-fire cooked dough tasted really good.  I personally liked the crab cooked in crab fat and coconut cream.  I would have preferred for this dish to have more of the rich sauce though. Perfect for smothering the succulent crab meat in!

My favorite dish in the festival.

My favorite dish in the festival.

 

After two more gulit-free trips back to the roasted pig section, it was time for dessert.  I highly recommend the Mango Trifle from Pepita’s Kitchen.  Light, sweet and bursting with local flavors, this confection is made from mango mousse with rosquillos, broas, puto seko, fresh mango slices and leche flan.  Not to be missed also are the hotel’s special bibingka and puto bumbong at the alfresco area.

MHFilFest- Mango Trifle

End your meal with this delightful dessert!

The Filipino Food Festival runs from Sept 11 to Sept 27.  For more information, please call The Manila Hotel’s Food and Beverage Team via 527 0011.

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Manila Hotel Macarons

Manila Hotel – The House of French Macarons

  

Executive Pastry Chef Jerome Benda is responsible for the queue at the confectionary section of  Café Ilang Ilang at The Manila Hotel.   His baked creations are luring diners like bees to the honeypot.   Think of chocolate eclairs, scones,  assorted cookies,  cakes , strawberry panna cotta and  crème brulee .  Just to sweeten the deal  a little bit more,  there’s also  a chocolate fondue to dip your favorite fruits into.  And  for the piece de résistance , every guest MUST taste the star of the dessert bar — the french macarons.

Dessert Station

Café Ilang-ilang’s dessert station boasts of luscious pastries, custom made cakes and a variety of delectable sweets.

 

Manila Hotel Macarons

These delightful melt-in-your mouth macarons are baked using a perfect combination of almond powder, egg whites and icing sugar .

 

THE BQP ASKS THE CHEF

Have you always wanted to be a baker?

In school, I was very good in Mathematics.  There were only two choices for me – to be an accountant or to be a baker.  I got to do both.  In the army, I was an accountant and now I’ve been all over the world doing what I do best – creating  my signature pastries.

Manila hotel Chef Jerome BAnda

“I want my joy in baking to result in the pleasure of eating.” Chef Jerome earned his certificate in Professional Qualification in Pastry, Chocolate and Ice Cream Making in Vincenne, Paris. Prior to his stint in Manila Hotel, he was the head pastry cook of the King of Morocco.

 

They say baking is a science as well as an art.  Is that true for you?

C’est vrai!  In creating my macarons, for example,  exact measurements must be followed.  After that, the mixture has to stay inside the refrigerator for a number of hours to get the right bite and flavor.  Keeping it in the cold for too long or too short a time will result in disaster!

 

So it seems that the French Macaron is not only everyone’s favorite dessert but yours as well.

Yes, the macarons and the cheesecakes.  I try to infuse local flavors in whatever country I work in.  When I arrived in Manila, I immediately asked what  the Filipinos love to eat and they said “ube!”  We tried it in the kitchen and voila!  The ube macaron is the most popular out of the eight flavors that we serve now at Café Ilang –Ilang.

 

How many macarons do you bake in a day?

Easily 600 during the weekdays.  On weekends, when we have over 200 guests, my  chefs make over a thousand!  People line up and I see them putting five or six macarons on their plate.  That puts a smile on my face. Truly, Manila Hotel is the house of  french macarons!

What can the dessert lovers expect next?

Well, I’m adding three or more flavors to the french macarons line as well as the mille-feuille (custard cream slices).  I like to surprise the guests with my creations.  So just come on over and enjoy the treats!

 

Manila Hotel - Get your sugar fix!

S-U-G-A-R FIX!

Manila Hotel - Kids with Chef Jerome

Chef Jerome with M and R. My kids love the chocolate fountain and the macarons!

 

With that, I decided to try the blueberry cheesecake that Chef Jerome recommended.  DELICIOUS! I had already consumed all the flavors of the multi-colored macarons and decided that mango was my favorite.  So many desserts, so little time!  I’m already planning my next visit !

 

Manila hotel - Blueberry cheesecake

Baked cheesecake topped with blueberry compote.

Satisfy your sweet cravings and visit Café Ilang ilang at The Manila Hotel.  Call 527-0011 or visit www.manila-hotel.com.ph for more information.

 

With a pocketful of glitter,

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