Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ocean's Harvest at Marriott Hotel Manila

There’s nothing more delightful to see than hauling a net and see it brimming with the freshest catch of seafood! This experience is mirrored in a seafood station and has become a perennial favorite in restaurant buffets at hotels.

Marriot Café, a fast-rising choice of metropolis diners because of its ingenuity in offering modern all-day dining that successfully marries the best of local and continental cuisine, magnifies this delightful experience through an engaging seafood buffet held every Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Aptly named Ocean’s Harvest, diners can choose from its numerous fresh seafood, request the chefs to have it cooked the way they want it, and indulge in the glorious taste of the bounty of the sea for only P2,300

Perusing the Ocean Surf Market Style Buffet Menu, one discovers the “Catch of the Day” which includes fresh salmon, tuna loin, local tanigue, pompano, talakitok, lapu-lapu, maya-maya, shellfish, jumbo prawns, half shell local scallop, local clams, jumbo squid, suahe shrimps, blue marlin, and local gindara―all proudly displayed on ice. Likewise, the slippers lobster, local blue sea crab, curacha crab, prawns, mussels, and white shells are chilled seafood that are ready to be had.

Cooked seafood on ice

Fish selections

Chef preparing grilled lapu lapu

raising the glasses and huge fishes for the
ceremonial toast: Marriott Hotel Manager Anna Vergara, 

Sous Chef Bryan Salarzon, Executive Chef Meik Brammer<
Sous Chef Elmer Fabella, Banquet Chef Kiko Santiago,
F&B Director Brendan Mahoney

saute station

Of course, as vast as the seafood variety are the endless ways of cooking it.

One can have piping hot soups like the Shrimp Gumbo Soup or Local Clam Soup in Lemon Grass cooked Tinola-style. There’s also a Steaming Hot Pot of Sinigang either in local miso or tamarind fruits alongside talakitok, maya–maya, head prawn local clams, salmon fillet, or lapu–lapu cutlet. Each goes perfectly well with mustasa leaves, kangkong leaves, eggplant, okra, stringbeans, fresh tomatoes, and finger chili. Make it more Filipino by drizzling it with well-loved condiments like fish sauce, calamasi, soy sauce, and fresh chili. Another way of enjoying the steamed seafood is ordering the Wok-fried Shrimp with Cashew Nuts and Celery or the Steamed Maya-Maya with Spicy Garlic Sauce. On the other hand, those who want it fried can have the Fried Whole Lapu-Lapu with Black Beans Sauce or Sweet & Sour Sauce, or, the Crispy Fried Baby Shrimp marinated in rum. 
While a lavish seafood buffet is enthralling, a sweet experience in the dessert station is another must try especially when it’s paired with a tea or coffee. Featuring samba mousse, chocolate pistachio mousse, blueberry cheesecake, sugar free cheesecake, assorted homemade gelato ice cream and sorbet bar that are worth saving up the space for.

Ana Amigo, William Antonio, Kian Kazemi, Sean Anthony

Tina Jacinto and Rupert Jacinto

Marriot's Director of Engineering Mark Creencia,
Phoemola Barranda and 

Marriott's Director of Finance Rosanna Lee

Joy Fong and Donnie Ramirez

Phil Star health Columnist Mayenne Carmona,
Jamie Lao, Bulletin Columnist Tina Jacinto and
Air France/KLM Director for Marketing Tess Zulueta

Tedrick Yau, Michelle Garcia and Gma 7 Nelson Canlas 

Ruffa Guttierrez and 
Anna Vergara of Marriott Manila

Jessica Tan, 
Marriott's Director of Communications Michelle Garcia,
Wilson Llamas and Jaime Lao

Marriott's sales Mangaer TJ Tingson,
Charina Villaflores, 

Singapore Airlines Station Mangaer Kelvin Kwan
and Marriot Sales Manager Ferdie de Leon

resort's World VP for Casino Marketing Jeff Evora,
Marriott's Michelle Garcia,
Resorts World VP for Marketing Martin Paz

Get ready to be captivated by this five-star seafood buffet experience only at Marriott Hotel Manila’s Marriott Café. For inquiries or reservations, call (02) 988-9999.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Highlight : A Gourmet Experience with Manny O @ Movenpick Resorts & Spa

My enjoyable stay at world class Movenpick Resorts and Spa was an exciting 3- day- prequel to a quiet, solemn Holy week that I intended to spend with my parents in Manila.

Last year, I received a phone call from good friend Manny Osmena, a man I admire not only for his successful foray in the competitive world of high-end wines (among his other business endeavors ) but most notably for his deep Christian principles and spirituality. He walks his talk and one instantly gets this vibe during a first  time meeting with the man.  This call was all about his plans to renovate his hotel, formerly, the Hilton Resort and Spa in Mactan.  The planned renovation would turn his resort into a world class resort to reckon with.

Wine connoisseur and owner of Manny O Wines
and Movenpick Resorts and Spa, Manny Osmena
(always impeccably dressed in his trademark
crisp white linen and fashionista loafers ) showed us
his award winning wines in his private wine cellar. 
True to his word, Movenpick Resort and Spa in Mactan is out to outdo many other resorts in the world.  With his hardworking team of experts, (notably GM Knuth Kiefer & F&B Director, Daniel Trumpfheller, Fatima Catindig, Resident Manager,  ) Osmena stands at the helm of his empire and is steering Movenpick  to meet 5- Star expectations.

GM Knuth Kiefer
and F&B Director Daniel Trumpfkeller
The red carpet hospitality was felt the minute my companions  and I stepped out of the airport.  A Porsche Cayenne collected us to bring us to Movenpick which was only a fifteen minute ride away. 

VIP treatment from start to finish: A Porsche Cayenne was
sent to transport us to Movenpick Resort & Spa and back. 
The entrance to the Resort is marked by their gigantic logo .

The lobby took my breath away.   The pristine white interior was easy on the eyes.  It was along modern and minimalistic lines, without seeming sparse.   Dashes of turquoise and yellow colors on chairs and pillows brighten the place.

Resident Manager Fatima Catindig and her staff welcomed us with fresh cold towels and fruit juices.   We were escorted to our plush modern suite and after we settled in, we rushed down to the Ibiza Beach Club for a Mediterranean dinner and to catch the Earth Hour program.

Fire dancers entertained
the Earth Hour diners
The party place, Ibiza beach Club,
al fresco and  indoor dining
Outdoor bar and deck of  Ibiza Beach Club,
with a view of the hotel and the Movenpick Residences.
Some units with sea views are still available.
Interested parties may call 63-32-5850037

The succeeding two days were spent in utmost relaxation.  We needed this break to de-stress from our exacting jobs and hectic schedule in Manila.

 I spent time lounging by the pool side,
breathing fresh air and just meditating on
God’s numerous blessings
A well deserved massage at the Spa del Mar was a real treat!

the magical hands of  Jessa, Evelyn and Tess
soothed our aching muscles after a tough workout in their
well equipped gym.
my private trainer Hargie Quillope made me do
effective moves to stretch my aching back.
Francis de Leon tries out the top of the line treadmill
with built-in TV screen

On Palm Sunday, these iconic Movenpick jeeps
brought us to the Sto. Nino Church in Mactan.
The highlight of our stay was the Churrascos dinner Manny O hosted for us and some of our mutual friends from Cebu at the Ibiza Beach Club.  The different dishes were paired off with his multi awarded Manny O Wines.

Francis de Leon, Cora  Arceo Schweimler,
Renee Heinen, Mariquita Yeung, myself,
Manny O, Ryan Jago
Meats and Seafoods
on skewers are part and
parcel of a Churrascos dinner.
The dishes were paired off with
Manny O award winning wines

We sighted  friendly and attractive movie
star/singer Vina Morales among the diners,
and asked to pose with her.
DJ Tony who flew in from Ibiza, Spain,
provided us with House music
A million thanks to Manny Osmena for his over- the -top hospitality and showing us why Movenpick is at par with the world's best Resorts and Spas.

A big Thank you to Ryan Jago for his photographs!