Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Happy Chinese New Year!

The Yee Sang Salad at Diamond Hotel Philippines

CHINESE New Year. It’s the most anticipated event after welcoming 2021, which is the New Year under the Western or Gregorian Calendar. The Chinese New Year, which follows the Lunar Calendar, falls on February 12 this year. So it is celebration time!

Here are some of the things you can do to welcome the Year of the Metal Ox—and some of the auspicious food that you can enjoy while doing so.

CHINESE CULINARY TREASURES

Over at Diamond Hotel Philippines, the year of the diligent, honest and dependable Ox calls for a feast of Chinese culinary treasures at the lunch and dinner buffet of Corniche Restaurant from February 10 to 12, 2021.

Diamond Hotel’s Chinese Chef Yang Yong

For Php3,180 nett per person, you can indulge in traditional Chinese New Year favorites and other celebration dishes, as prepared by Chinese Chef Yang Yong. Consider this list: Roasted Suckling Pig, Steamed Crab with Garlic Butter Sauce, Roast Duck, Double Boiled Black Chicken Soup, Chinese New Year Pan Cai (an all-in-one dish), Sliced Pig Knuckle Aspic, and Assorted Dimsum. Add to that a host of sweet treats such as Almond Jelly and Tikoy (glutinous rice cake).

Crab Beehon of Diamond Hotel

What’s more: Every Php5,000 nett (minimum) spent at the Corniche during this period entitles you to “pick-a-prize” from the Prosperity Tree. And if you spend Php5,000 nett (minimum) at the Corniche Lunch Buffet or Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant on February 12, 2021, which is Chinese New Year itself, you get to have a 10-minute Online Feng Shui Consultation with Ms. Angel Macalino between 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m.

Chinese Grazing Box

But if you wish to celebrate the grand occasion at home instead of at the hotel, Diamond Hotel’s online shopping site, onlineshopping.diamondhotel.com, offers various Chinese Set Menus and the Chinese Grazing Box. Select from four Premium Set Menus and three Luxury Set Menus exclusively created by Chef Yang Yong.

As for the Chinese Grazing Box, which is good for four, it contains a selection of cold cuts, appetizers, Chinese New Year Tikoy, and wine.

For reservations, call 8528-3000 extension 1121 or mobile number 0975-7921473 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

(Diamond Hotel Philippines is located at Roxas Blvd. corner Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila.)

LUCKY CHOCOLATE TREES

Say hello to the Year of the Metal Ox with The Peninsula Manila’s limited-edition line of Chinese New Year edible fine chocolate trees, which are available at The Peninsula Boutiques at Php3,888 until February 15, 2021.

Senior Sous Chef Annalyn Solano and her team have created two Chinese New Year-themed trees—one is a Mandarin Orange Tree, and the other one is a Golden Fortune Money Tree—both using Auro Single Origin Chocolate. Edible to the core, both the Mandarin Orange Tree and the Golden Fortune Money Tree are painstakingly molded and finished by hand, even the “soil,” trunk, branches, leaves and fruit of the Mandarin Orange Tree and the goldfish-embossed gold coins of the Golden Fortune Money Tree. All chocolate!

The Peninsula Manila’s Mandarin Orange Tree and Golden Fortune Money Tree in chocolate

Orange sounds like the Chinese word for “wealth.” Through the play of words, the Chinese have traditionally associated the gift of oranges as the abundance of happiness and prosperity.
The fruit’s bright orange color also symbolizes “gold.” This is an auspicious symbol of good luck and wealth, an important factor for the Chinese New Year celebration. Goldfish, on the other hand are believed to bring about prosperity amid adversity.

With every purchase of either the Mandarin Orange Tree and Golden Fortune Money Tree at The Peninsula Boutique, patrons will additionally get eight red lai see envelopes, which are customarily passed to children and elders stuffed with money. The number eight is believed to be an auspicious number because in Mandarin it sounds like the word for “creating riches.” Also, the figure “8” is known as the symbol of infinity. Therefore, putting these two together, we have the symbolic meaning of “endlessly creating riches.”

Chinese New Year Chocolate Pralines

Also available at The Peninsula Boutique are Chinese New Year Lychee-Strawberry Macarons for P125 each, Chinese New Year Chocolate Pralines for P75 each, and Chinese New Year-themed Cakeaway Afternoon Tea Set for P2,950.

The Lobby will be also be serving a Chinese New Year-themed Afternoon Tea Set for P875 and P1,490 (with a glass of Champagne). This will be available throughout the month of February.

(The Peninsula Manila is located at Ayala Ave. corner Makati Ave., Makati City; with telephone number +63(2) 8887-2888.)

WELL-CURATED FEASTS

Conrad Manila welcomes the auspicious Chinese New Year with well-curated feasts, traditional Yee Sang Prosperity Toss and colorful Nian Gao Treasures at China Blue by Jereme Leung.

China Blue by Jereme Leung

“We are delighted to welcome the Chinese New Year, and we wish everyone good health, prosperity, peace, and rebuilding in this Year of the Metal Ox.” says Linda Pecoraro, general manager of Conrad Manila.

Executive Chinese Chef Eng Yew Khor has come up with a diverse selection of epicurean feasts at the award-winning restaurant hailed for its modern interpretation of authentic Chinese cuisine. Highlights include Golden Roast U.S. Duck with BBQ Sauce; Braised Abalone, Sea Cucumber and Dried Oyster in a Superior Shredded Mushroom and Dried Scallop Sauce; and Simmered Pork Belly, Money Bag and Fried Fish Maw with Whole Garlic. These are available in a la carte selections or in a set menu for 10 persons or more with set menu prices starting at Php 33,988++. China Blue by Jereme Leung also offers specially curated Yee Sang Salad for a Chinese New Year prosperity toss, Suckling Pig, and Peking Duck, all available for pre-order and takeaway.

Golden Roast U.S. Duck

BBQ Whole Roasted Suckling Pig Hong Kong Style

Hotel guests may also wish to purchase and bring home a box of Nian Gao (Tikoy) Treasures, available until February 13, 2021. They come in the following must-try flavors: Traditional Brown Sugar, Coconut, Orange and Red Date with Ginger. Each Nian Gao treasure is beautifully presented in koi fish or mini gold bar shapes to represent good fortune and success. The Nian Gao Treasures are available in either the collector’s edition Christy Ng designer bag at Php 2,888 nett or the Conrad Manila box at Php 1,888 nett.

For reservations and inquiries, please call +632 8833 9999 or email conradmanila@conradhotels.com.

(Conrad Manila is located at Seaside Blvd., Coral Way, Pasay City.)

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Auspicious ‘Tikoy’ to Welcome
the Year of the Metal Ox

The signature Nian Gao of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s authentic Cantonese restaurant Lung Hin comes in gold bar and round shapes

CHINESE New Year, which follows the Lunar calendar, is not too far away. This 2021, it falls on February 12, which is just two days before yet another red-lettered day, Valentine’s Day on February 14. So tikoy time comes before chocolate day.

Over at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, an auspicious celebration eagerly awaits as Chinese communities around the world gear up to welcome the Lunar New Year, which is the Year of the Metal Rat. The hotel’s signature Nian Gao (tikoy) series makes a comeback, thus making Nian Gao available for advanced and large-volume orders.

The Nian Gao, which is more popularly known as tikoy in the Philippines, is a traditional symbol of prosperity and good luck at the beginning of the Lunar New Year. Marco Polo Ortigas’ award-winning authentic Cantonese restaurant Lung Hin annually prepares these signature delights to signify optimism and well wishes for the New Year. These glutinous rice cakes represent a strong sense of community and personal financial growth, and are best enjoyed with friends and loved ones as part of an abundant feast.

For 2021, Lung Hin’s signature Nian Gao is available in the following variants—the Double Gold Bar Nian Gao in Red Dates Sugar flavor (800 grams), priced at Php2,118; the Red Dates Sugar Round Tikoy, and the Fortune Orange Round Tikoy, both at 600 grams and priced at Php1,558. All prices are inclusive of local taxes and applicable charges.

For inquiries or orders, visit Lung Hin on Level 44 of the hotel, call (+632) 7720-7777, send an email to restaurant.mnl@marcopolohotels.com, or reserve via https://bit.ly/LungHinBlissfulBlessings.

(Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is located at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City.)

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Doña Elena Olive Oil
Now in a New, Functional Bottle

All three Doña Elena Olive Oil variants now come in a new bottle design that is both elegant and functional

I MAKE my husband Raff’s tube feeding food in two batches every day—one batch in the morning for his morning and afternoon feedings; and another batch at around 6:00 p.m. for his evening and wee-hours-of-the-morning feedings. In each batch, I use two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for the fat in his diet. I use the ‘extra virgin’ variant because it is pure, fresh and healthy. It is the kind that you use raw, drizzled on pasta as a finishing touch, whisked in a refreshing oil-based salad dressing, or made into a bread dip with herbs and cheeses.

Doña Elena Olive Oil is made from a blend of high-quality Hojiblanca and Picual olives

When it is time to replenish Raff’s extra virgin olive oil, I often grab Doña Elena off the supermarket shelf. Why? Because it is of good quality, tastes good, and is reasonably priced. Celebrated for its perfect combination of premium quality olives—Hojiblanca and Picual olives—directly sourced and harvested from the farms of Andalucia in Spain, Doña Elena Olive Oil is dominating the olive oil market and is the preferred brand for preparing home-cooked, restaurant-quality meals that are at the same time healthy and yummy.

This elegant wooden box arrived in the house with my name etched on it…

It contained a complete set of Doña Elena Olive Oil variants

Doña Elena Extra Virgin Olive Oil for salad dressings and dips, Pure Olive Oil for pasta and everyday cooking, and Pomace for roasting and frying

BENEFITS OF OLIVE OIL

Extracted from the fruit of olive trees, olive oil defines the Mediterranean diet. It forms an intrinsic part of Spanish and Greek cuisines, which are considered as among the world’s healthiest. Doña Elena Olive Oil, in particular, is rich in good fats and oxidants through the combination of two types of olives, Hojiblanca and Picual olives. Each bottle contains 80% monounsaturated oleic acids, which is capable of regulating insulin and supporting weight management. The heart-friendly fat is also known to support heart health and enhance brain function. Studies show that the heart and the brain could be hit by Covid-19, so at this time of pandemic, olive oil should be a good weapon to have.

Doña Elena Olive Oil also comes loaded with high levels of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, and is packed with Vitamins A, E and K that are known to help lower bad cholesterol.

THREE VARIANTS

Doña Elena Olive Oil comes in three variations: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pure Olive Oil, and Pomace.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the first extract and is so pure and clean that it is used raw, mainly for salad dressings and dips.

Pure Olive Oil is used for light cooking, especially for pasta and sautéing.

Pomace is used for frying and roasting.

All three variants come in 250ml., 500ml., 1 liter, and 5-liter bottles.

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW

Just recently, Doña Elena Olive Oil took on a new bottle design. The new bottle, which is befitting the premium quality product, was made by a renowned French designer. It has successfully created a strengthened brand identity that is at the same time recognizable to regular users and attractive to first-time users.

The new packaging includes two significant fine engravings on the bottle that are exclusive to the brand—the Doña Elena insignia near the top and the olive fruit near the base of the bottle. Another detail that customers can truly benefit for is the usage recommendation per variant that is printed on the label to make it easier to choose the proper variant of olive oil to buy for customers’ specific purposes.

All three variants of Doña Elena Olive Oil are available in groceries and supermarkets nationwide. They can also be bought online at www.AceMarket.ph.

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Marks & Spencer Food
Is Now in MetroMart

IF you still prefer to stay home and have your essentials and other needs, including food for special celebrations or no occasion at all, delivered, no problem. The choices are endless, and they keep growing.

Just recently, Marks & Spencer added MetroMart, one of the top online groceries in the metro, to its growing list of online channels. So now you can have your favorite M&S food and drinks delivered right to your doorstep within two hours. This will save you from the burden of having to go out and gives you more time with your loved ones as you bond while waiting for your order to arrive.

Orders can be coursed through the MetroMart website or the mobile app to receive a contactless delivery. Simply register a free account and purchase a minimum order of Php1,000. Even a customer abroad with an active MetroMart account can order for their loved ones in the Philippines as long as the recipient is within MetroMart’s allowable delivery area, which is a distance radius of 7 kilometers per store.

The partnership between Marks & Spencer and MetroMart allows you to order from Marks & Spencer branches at Alabang Town Center, BGC Central Square, SM City North EDSA, Eastwood, SM Megamall, Rockwell Center-Powerplant Mall, Glorietta 4, and Robinsons Place.

Prices in the app are updated live. If an item you ordered has sold out during transit, MetroMart’s Personal Shopper will contact you to make replacement suggestions that you may approve or reject.

For the latest updates, follow Marks & Spencer at facebook.com/MarksandSpencerPH and Instagram @marksandspencerph.

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Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Loaf
(The Maya Kitchen)

The Maya Kitchen’s Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Loaf

BANANA Bread. A very versatile baked product, it can be a cake, a bread, a muffin, or even a bar cookie. Several variations can also be made with it, depending on what ingredients it is combined with, and it goes well with chocolate, carrots, pineapple, and different types of nuts.

Here’s a recipe that pairs banana perfectly with chocolate chips and chopped walnuts, as baked and shared by The Maya Kitchen—Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Loaf. It is easy to make because it makes use of a prepared mix, Maya Oven Toaster Banana Cake Mix, and, as its name suggests, can be baked in an oven toaster.

3 Tbsps. oil
1 egg
1/4 cup water
2 pcs. ripe bananas, mashed
1 pack Maya Oven Toaster Banana Cake Mix, 230 grams
1/4 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F or 177˚C. Grease an 8×3-inch baking baking pan or muffin pan with oil.
2. Mix together oil, egg, water, mashed bananas and Maya Oven Toaster Banana Cake Mix until well-blended.
3. Pour banana cake batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until done. Remove from oven, and allow to cool down. Slice and serve.

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