INTERCONTINENTAL hotels around the world have their signature dishes. These are dishes that are so unique and good that diners keep going back for more. Now until January 31, 2013, diners in Manila will get to taste these signature dishes of different InterContinental properties at InterContinental Manila’s Prince Albert Rotisserie, as the restaurant takes Philippine diners on a gastronomic tour of InterContinental kitchens with a special a la carte menu featuring signature dishes and desserts from its sister hotels.
Available for dinner from Monday to Saturday, the food promotion opens the year 2013 with a blast with culinary masterpieces from InterContinental Phoenicia, Lebanon; InterContinental Bucharest, Romania; InterContinental Bora-Bora, French Polynesia; InterContinental Perth, Australia; InterContinental London, United Kingdom; and InterContinental Yorkville, Toronto, Canada.
The signature dishes that made it to the menu include InterContinental Phoenicia’s Pan-fried Duck Foie Gras with Rosemary-infused Duck Jus and Cepe Couscous, InterContinental Bucharest’s Jellied Pork Knuckle Terrine on Herbed Sour Cream, InterContinental Bora-Bora’s Fillet of Red Mullet with Candied Vegetable Lasagna and Sauce Vierge, InterContinental Perth’s Seared Prawn and Scallop Skewer on Marinated Angus Tenderloin with Carrot Puree and Asian Spices, InterContinental London’s Strawberry Mille Feuille with Vanilla Goat Cheese Mousse and Strawberry Jelly, and InterContinental Yorkville Toronto’s Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding.
A special sit-down menu was put together for members of the local food press for lunch at Prince Albert Rotisserie today to give everyone a taste of the culinary masterpieces of InterContinental properties. Representing FLAVORS Magazine, Raff and I were in the company of Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Norma Chikiamco and Micky Fenix, BusinessWorld’s Camille Sarte, and the InterContinental Manila’s amiable team – PR consultant Jennifer Peña, PR assistant Nikki Duque and marketing communications manager Joy Meneses, and we all shared lively conversation over an exquisite lunch of Pan-fried Duck Foie Gras with Rosemary Infused Duck Jus and Cepe Couscous (InterContinental Phoenicia, Lebanon); Pumpkin and Ginger Soup with Seared Scallops and Sesame (InterContinental Berlin, Germany); Mediterranean Style Tilapia Fillet with Pig’s Caul, Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Spinach, Tomatoes and Saffron Potatoes (InterContinental Paphos, Cyprus); and Strawberry Mille Feuille with Vanilla Goat Cheese Mousse and Strawberry Jelly (InterContinental London).
The foie gras, a gourmet indulgence, goes very well with the fine grains of the cepe couscous with just the right amount of rosemary-infused duck jus to round out the taste. With its melt-in-the-mouth goodness, it gets the palate so worked up that you’d finish the generous serving (two pieces) in no time at all. Go easy on this one, though, those of you who have a cholesterol problem…
The Pumpkin and Ginger Soup with Seared Scallops and Sesame that came after the foie gras happens to be my personal favorite. I don’t like eating pumpkin when it’s in chunks, but I love it in pureed form. I love pumpkin soup, so I like trying out the pumpkin soup in restaurants whenever it’s available. This one has a hint of ginger and the seared scallops, topped with white and black sesame seeds for just the right texture, gives it a unique flavor profile.
For a fish and seafood lover like me, having Mediterranean Style Tilapia Fillet with Pig’s Caul, Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Spinach, Tomatoes and Saffron Potatoes for my main course turned out to be such a pleasurable experience. Sandwiched between fillets of tilapia (also known as St. Peter’s Fish) is a thin layer of olive tapenade and spinach leaves, and then the entire fish is wrapped in pig’s caul to hold everything in place. The tomato-based sauce comes with saffron potato balls. I cleaned my plate down to the potato balls.
The dessert of Strawberry Mille Feuille is three layers of puff pastry layered with strawberry jelly, topped with vanilla goat cheese mousse and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint leaves. It comes with a shot glass of extra strawberry jelly, so you can eat your mille feuille as a mille feuille or one layer of pastry at a time with a small dollop of the vanilla goat cheese mousse and extra strawberry jelly.
Then came coffee or tea. I asked for my favorite Cappuccino.
Everyone got excited when a small ‘tray’ of chocolate pralines was served with the coffee and tea. The pralines came in the form of red lips, hearts, double hearts, ‘eye balls’ and lipsticks. Lipsticks? Yes, lipsticks! Now, this was what got everyone really excited. The chocolate lipsticks were a hit! They looked like regular lipsticks that could twist at the bottom after removing the cover – except that, unlike real lipsticks, these ones you could bite into. They’re pralines as well! Turns out the ‘tray’ is also made of chocolate, and the floral decor on one side of it is creamy white chocolate.
The exquisite chocolate pralines are a preview of what InterContinental Manila is cooking up for Valentine. So, you know where to get your edible lipsticks come February!
(InterContinental Manila is located at No. 1 Ayala Ave., Makati City, with telephone number 793-7000; and Prince Albert Rotisserie is its fine dining restaurant located near the poolside of the hotel on the ground floor.)