Sofitel Manila, a dreamy place to go to when in the Philippines. I've recommended this to some of my foreign friends; and even local ones. They all say the same thing after the experience, with the luxurious accommodations and the gorgeous food from the new Spiral... they tell me Merci. They become french all of a sudden, but I'm not surprised! I've been here a couple of times and always looked forward to when and how I'd be able to return. The time is now!
The New Spiral!
Spiral has undoubtedly been able to hold that distinct title of being the premier buffet destination in Manila. Twas ravaged by a storm a couple of years ago but just like a phoenix out of the ashes, it spreads its wings and now opens as The New Spiral!
Easter is just around the corner and so is Valentines Day. These gorgeous works of art you see above are 100% edible because they are made of chocolate. The painstaking work put through each item is undeniably superb as Spiral's Artisans cum Pastry Chefs come out with some of the best concoctions the world has ever seen. The ganache is addicting, not to mention the truffles and other things on the table. Flowing champagne, sparkling wine, cuts of gammon ham... ahh you just want to savor everything.
The Sparkling Easter Weekend at Spiral is only available from March 29-31. Sunday brunch on the 31st costs only Php 2950+++ for adults and Php 1500+++ for kids under 11 years old. While on the 29th and 30th the rates go at Php 2750+++ and Php 1350+++ for kids under 11 also. You should definitely bring your family and friends and spend a great Easter celebration. If you're staying at the hotel, it will include 2 tickets to the event. Adding people won't be a problem, just shell out Php 1,000 for each person and you can join the festivities! Fabulous games and surprises await you on this one of a kind Easter Egg Hunt!
Speaking of Eggs...
Spiral's Chinese New Year Celebration!
I remember the Philippine Volcanoes, Melai and Jason in Bench Universe. Did you know who made these outfits for them? It's Albert Andrada, I met him in the flesh during the short program in Sofitel shown below.
The Dubai based fashion designer who always has been seen dressing up royalty in that part of the world is actually doing a fashion show in Spiral as part of their Chinese New Year celebrations. It will happen on the 10th of February on a Sunday brunch. You'll get to see his Orient Express collection which has been talked about during Philippine Fashion Week. You shouldn't miss it! A special lion and dragon dance will also commence from 7-8PM on February 9 then 11AM-12PM on the 10th. Brunch rates will be Php2950+++ for adults and Php1500 for kids under 11. You'll be seeing some world class talents on the floors of Spiral as you dine. Isn't that amazing?!
Dining on Valentines Day at Spiral
Twenty One might be just an ordinary number for you; but at Spiral this is the actual number of ateliers that they have just to make sure you get your worth when it comes to gustatory adventure. Imagine the choices you're going to have on these 21 sections... you and your loved ones would surely love this! Here's some of the things you might want to try when you are in Spiral!
The L'epicerie is a small room with tons of cheese, ham and condiments for tapas style eating. I was really looking forward to eat in this room because all the things I love are in one place. Just leave me here with a bottle of red wine and I'll have fun. Different kinds of cheeses mostly sourced internationally are on a spread while right beside it is a heavy duty slicer that you can tap together with their chef's standing by if you want a freshly cut prosciutto, hamon, or air dried ones hanging all around the room. The salty, creamy ones are my favorites. Research on it a bit so you can choose what you love. There are too many so if you are in the mood for a cheese and wine party, just make room for these.
Olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, preserved lemons, anchovies, the list goes on and on but you can choose what you need to accompany your cheese and meat on this counter. See what I mean by choices? =)
This actually is their La Boulangerie section. Pretty piles of crusty bread, crunchy sticks and freshly baked works of art. I wanted to eat almost everything but I had to sacrifice this to make space for other items on the menu. They have a LOT. I love their home made fruit preserves that were all in a row, wish I had more of that.
They also have separate Sushi/Sashimi and Hot Japanese Stations which is both genius and super clean. I love the soba noodles and the Sushi. All fresh of course!
Now who in the right mind could say no to this? Fresh Crabs, Giant Shrimps, Local "Pitik" Lobsters and Mussels. These guys have been steamed and put into ice. You can eat them right there or if you prefer just bring your plate to the French kitchen and they can customize it for you. I had mine roasted and buttered. It was my first time to eat seafood after a long while because of my allergy. But even if I do have it, it's worth it! If you see this blue kitchen counter above, it's the famous one that they imported from France. This costs a whopping 1 Million Pesos would you believe? :)
The Northern Indian section had on it's sides the pit fires, smoked meat and carving sections. I was surprised at how they went all the way to import these huge Tandoori ovens from India just to get that authentic flavor and cooking on the spot. Tandoori chicken is best when hot. I also love the pita bread that they also bake on the sides of these two huge pots seen center stage. The pita came out light, fluffy and a little chewy. It's not too oily at all. The choices of curry was something to be happy about too. They had beef, chicken, vegetable and fish wasn't too overpowering. You can dip the bread into the curry sauce and get to nirvana and back because it's not too spicy at all. You can tell them otherwise if you are more into chilies like I am. They would be glad to do it for you. How authentic it is you say? Let's end this by saying even the Chef is true blue Indian. Nuff said!
Varieties of leaves, dressings are all sourced from one place in the Philippines (approximately an hour or two away to their actual garden) in order to make sure you get them fresh everyday (as seen above) is a testament on how Sofitel wants your Spiral experience to be exquisite and only the best. They even individually bottle the dressing so you could easily grab and go to your table with it. There are prepared small servings; or if you wish, you can just get your greens from this shelf and ask them to toss one for you. Yes, they do that on a whim. Just look at how mouthwatering my green bean, mushroom and bacon salad is and you'll drool just thinking about it no? =)
Part of the 21 ateliers of Spiral is the Asian section. This place had the Chinese, Thai, Korean, Filipino and other Asian countries represented on each plate. I can't believe they even fit around 15 rice dishes just for the Korean alone. The Filipino dishes had Pinakbet and some fiesta staples that foreigners should try. For us Pinoys, I suggest you stick with the dimsum that's so good! You can even see them all steaming on the photo above. =) I loved their Asado Siopao and siu mai. Definitely worth going back for more.
For the sweet tooth, there are really some good things for you because their dessert tables are full of whimsical things you probably would remember as a child. I kept picking up some of these then pass by the Asian counter and get some savory ones like Peking Duck or Fried Tofu and I'd still be able to finish both plates.
If you pick up something raw or something from the seafood shelf, just ask the people on the French section to whip up something healthy for you and they can get veggies involved in the mix.
And I, like these guys over here was still looking for more. I went around and checked out something new in Spiral. I was definitely surprised.
Spiral had this new section called La Veranda. Their concept still bleeds that 1940's French Pub look (as with their other areas too), everything looks expensive coz they probably are. The waiting staff are all clad in Rajo Laurel designed uniforms which are quite classy and nice. Since it's also quite near Valentines day, they made us try first hand what they are serving on those dates. =) Luck just happened to be coming my way.
Tons of mixed strawberries, raspberries, various wild flower and rose petals, poached beets and a couple of sprigs of dill just spells NICE on this plate which they say is also an aphrodisiac. You can't get more romantic than this on a plate. This salad is wonderful and a tad or two teaspoons of dark vinegar or balsamic vinegar is just perfect! Good conversation piece and something that you would want your partner to give you on a candle light dinner.
I did my best to stop eating this but I just couldn't. Warm bread was always available and this was just sitting there, with a spoonful of butter. My soup was also telling me she needs help, so I gave in. You can really notice how fresh bread just came out of the oven.
As part of their Chinese New Year Celebration, they will have this on the menu. The sweet and sour sauce on top of the scrumptious fish and the delectable balls of shrimp on the side, it was like a huge dragon on a plate. These specials are only available on Sunday brunch. Make sure you ask about their specials, isn't this pretty? =)
Aphrodisiacs galore. Yes you are seeing something gorgeous. This is a whole head of Brocolli with soy based sweet chili sauce that's got garlic chicken and sea cucumber cups. If you love Chinese food, this is one thing that you shouldn't miss. It is also said to increase sexual desire. If you want to see what happens next, take a bite for me will yah? =)
Another one that shouldn't be missed are these baked scallops topped with butter, cream and leeks. It was so soft and melts in the mouth. Please come back and thank me here if you get to experience it. It's also part of their Valentines menu.
Spicy but creamy these thick meat of lobsters on top of mussels was just too much for one sitting. This is definitely made to share. Although I think there should be something done with the presentation, under the stars this would really be a hit!
On the 13th and 14th the dinner rate is set at Php2950+++ for adults and 1500+++ for kids 11 below. You can also try the poolside Barbecue Dinner on the 14th plus a grand fireworks display on the hotel's bay side which includes the buffet, sparkling wine, roses for her and a box of chocolates per couple. It only costs Php2228+++ for adults and Php1144+++ for kids below 11yo.
Or if you prefer a more private romantic setting, just dine outside under the hotel's canopy. With a dreamy 5 course menu personally prepared by French Chef Anne Cecille Degenne, this is inclusive of a bottle of Champagne and a bouquet of roses. This romantic set is pegged on a rate of Php25,000+++ but it's totally worth it as you are served with your own personal butler saying Je suis enchanté!
Ask for more and they could tell you about the offers at Le Spa. If you prefer a serene, calm evening and get a relaxing massage this is the place to be. Call 5515555 extension 1588 or email them at LeSpa@sofitelmanila.com for bookings. If you also prefer to book a room and celebrate the evening, or the whole weekend there just call For room bookings and reservations, call 551-5555 extensions 1991-1994 or 6993 or shoot them an email at H6308@sofitel.com. For table reservations and inquiries, please call 832-6988 or 551-5555 ext 6988 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More things are coming up for you this year in Sofitel Manila and Spiral. Watch out for my feature of this French Luxury Hotel in the coming months. You just wait!
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