What a pretty dish, don't you think? After all, we also eat with our eyes.
Seasons, the Manila Pavilion Hotel's flagship lifestyle restaurant, has just clicked the 'Refresh' button on its menu for a festive selection of international a la carte dishes starting at Php 280 nett. For a hotel restaurant, let alone a 4-star one, that certainly is a reasonable price to pay. Even the buffet breakfast will only cost you Php 600 nett!
The result is a streamlined menu that's not overwhelming, as it has just about the right number of options available to the diner yet still offering enough variety from appetizers, noodles, mains, desserts, and even a few select Filipino dishes. Think succulent carvings and grilled items, gourmet sandwiches, even burgers and pizza. Even the kids have their own corner in the menu, so diners young and old alike are in for a truly rewarding dining experience.
At the heart of this reinvigoration is the hotel's executive chef Giovanni Sias, who was given free rein to experiment with ingredients and fulfill his vision of a more innovative Italian cuisine and an integration of traditional recipes with contemporary flavors. A seasoned culinary master, the Italian-American Chef Giovanni was executive chef of the upscale Jolly Hotel Madison Towers in New York, and with the opening of Ristorante Cinqueterre has established himself as one of the city's leading chefs.
"Meat lovers and seafood fanatics can please their palates with a variety of feisty treats from parma ham, tuna, salmon, prawns, red snapper, beef tender or rack of lamb, and have it cooked just the way they want it," enthuses Chef Giovanni. He also says he's done away with all sorts of supermarket frozen stuff in the kitchen and is now using only fresh ingredients, even with herbs. He sources his veggies and greens from Tagaytay and Baguio.
Seasons executive chef Giovanni Sias.
Among other dishes, the new menu features tuna carpaccio, eggplant napoleon, and salads for appetizers; grilled 300g U.S. strip loin, braised lamb shank, pan roasted black cod fish, marinated grilled tiger prawns, and pan seared Norwegian salmon fillet as main courses; and panna cotta, tiramisu, chocolate cake with vanilla chantilly, and pistachio mousse berries compote for dessert.
Jim Hideyuki Boyles, Manila Pavilion Hotel's general manager, is just as enthusiastic over the new menu. He says: "A vibrant interplay of cultures and tastes epitomized by an extensive range of uniquely decadent recipes is something you would not want to miss. We invite everyone to sample Seasons's new gustatory masterpieces for that unforgettable dining experience."
We got to sample a few of Seasons's new offerings last Friday and overall, I was delighted. Here's a rundown of the special tasting menu Chef Giovanni prepared for us:
Served with zucchini salad, cherry tomatoes, lemon, olive oil, and topped with micro greens, I was amazed at how thin the tuna was sliced. Chef Giovanni told me he removes all the bones and ugly parts of the fish first, cleans them, rolls the meat in plastic, and flash-freezes it before subjecting it to the mandoline. I was hoping for a wee bit more acidity but otherwise I liked it.
Tuna Carpaccio with zucchini salad, lemon and olive oil.
Prosciutto (Parma Ham)
Fresh out of the chiller, the prosciutto is craftily rolled with goat cheese mousse and truffle scent apple mustard marmalade, then topped with walnuts and micro greens. The combination of the saltiness of the prosciutto, the richness of the cheese, and the sweetness of the marmalade works, balancing each other out to produce a gastronomic delight. This was my favorite dish of the night.
Both pretty and yummy: prosciutto rolled with goat cheese mousse and apple mustard marmalade.
Homemade Potato Gnocchi
The delightfully soft texture of the gnocchi is complemented well by the cheese sauce while the fried prosciutto on top provides a crunchy contrast to the richness of the dish. More, please.
Potato gnocchi in cheese sauce and fried prosciutto.
Sauteed Red Snapper
Served with cherry tomatoes and capers over buttered spaghetti, I liked how light this dish was. The fish and the combination of flavors was just perfect.
Sauteed Red Snapper with tomatoes and capers over buttered spaghetti.
Grilled U.S. Strip Loin
The steak was tender and uncomplicated. The demi-glace, which was lighter than I expected, also didn't overpower or mess with the steak's essence. The shoestring potatoes was a refreshing surprise, which proved to be as much an able side dish as its boiled or mashed cousins.
Grilled U.S. Strip Loin, with demi-glace and shoestring potatoes
No surprise here because the chef is Italian. Beautifully sitting on a bed of strawberry consommé, the panna cotta was rich with a nice consistency. The consommé wasn't too sweet and had a slight acidic kick that worked well with the richness of the panna cotta.
Panna Cotta with strawberry consommé.
You can check out the full Seasons Menu here.
Breakfast buffet aside, Seasons may be currently focused on a la carte dishes but Sales and Marketing Manager Katrina Pajarillo says they will soon operate a buffet. In the meantime they'll be offering on special occasions a Weekend Brunch buffet from 11:30am to 3pm at a special low rate, inclusive of free-flowing soda and juices.
Together with fellow bloggers and Chef Giovanni.
Seasons is located at the lobby of the Manila Pavilion Hotel and is open daily from 6-10:30am for breakfast, 11:30am to 3pm for lunch, and dinner from 6-10pm. The hotel is located at United Nations Avenue corner Maria Orosa Street in Manila.
For inquiries and reservations:
Tel. +632-526-1212 ext. 2345
Social media: @WaterfrontMNL