Luck and love feasts

Moist Red Velvet Cake.

Premier luxury resort hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila greets 2019 with three gastronomic feasts that celebrate cuisines from around the world.

Mediterranean Food Festival

First on its list is the recently concluded Mediterranean Food Festival that ran from 21 to 27 January. The week-long festival was prepared by Spiral master chef Julien Cossé and featured a daily themed menu from six Mediterranean countries and culminated with a Grand Sunday Brunch that served all the special dishes from these featured cuisines with free-flowing champagne and accompanied by Spiral’s live musical entertainment.

Opening the festival were national delicacies from Morocco such as chicken tajine, chicken pastilla, seafood couscous, tabbouleh and chebakia. Meanwhile, the rich flavors of Spain were highlighted by its signature dishes such as the paella, tortilla de patata with chorizo, chochinillo asado, gazpacho and a variety of tapas.

As a French hotel brand, Spiral also presented cuisines from Provence and Cotê d’Azur such as the classic bouillabaisse, pissaladiere, Provençal beef daube, anchoiade, salad Niçoise, tarte Tropezienne and lavender crème brulee. From the heart of Italy were classic dishes such as beef lasagna, italian grilled fish, caprese salad, veal saltimbocca, a wide antipasti selection and dessert favorites like tiramisu and panna cotta.

With a long history of culinary traditions, the Greek menu consisted of healthy yet tasty dishes such as moussaka, gyros, fasolada, tzatziki, Greek salad, galaktoboureko and amygdalota. Lastly, a wide range of savory specialties from Lebanon like lamb kofta, sayadiyah, tabbouleh, hummus beiruti with meat, baklava, umm ali, cheese kunafa and halawet el jibn summed up the Mediterranean food festival.

Braised abalone with mushroom, traditional Hong Kong steamed fish and braised oysters with spinach and sea moss.

Recipes for prosperity

February will be busy for Spiral as it celebrates two big occasions — the Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day.

Spiral welcomes the Year of the Earth Pig with a sumptuous treat, dubbed “Recipes for Prosperity,” masterfully created by its newest Chinese chef Yui So Chan who has 36 years of international culinary experience.

RECIPES for Prosperity features special dishes from different cuisines accompanied by Sofitel’s flowing champagne and live musical entertainment.

“Recipes for Prosperity” features 12 dishes that have significant meanings in Chinese gastronomy. First is the braised abalone with mushroom, where abalone is believed to bring good fortune and wealth. Next is the traditional Hong Kong steamed fish, where the Chinese word for fish (yu) has the same sound as the Chinese word for abundance.

There is braised oysters with spinach and sea moss because Chinese entrepreneurs believe that sea moss bring positivity in business and it literally translates to “strike rich” in English.
The half-shell scallop in XO sauce symbolizes fertility, life and new opportunities, while the traditional pork dumplings with spicy vinegar sauce represent togetherness, unity and harmony in the family.

The Buddha soup means “house filled with silver and gold” in Chinese and is known for its ingredients like mushrooms and bamboo shoots, which signify longevity. The cereal butter prawn is an important Chinese seafood dish because it represents liveliness and cheerfulness, whereas the creamy butter crab is a sign of higher achievements and greater possibilities.

Chinese celebrations are incomplete without long-life noodles. Since it’s the Year of the Pig, Spiral is serving steamed pig-shaped buns, pork floss buns, and cua pao filled with glazed pork belly.

The Lunar New Year promotion kicks off with a traditional dragon dance and fireworks display as the sun sets on 4 February. Lunch starts at P2,850 and dinner at P 3,450 net per person depending on the date of choice. Recipes for Prosperity is available until 8 February.

Make Me Melt

Finally, Spiral will make hearts melt as it embraces the month through chocolate-infused dishes prepared by different artisan chefs under this year’s Valentine theme, “Make Me Melt.” This promo is only available on 14 February with a lunch and dinner menu at P3,000 and P4,500 net per person, respectively.

BEEF prime ribs with dark chocolate infused balsamic syrup.
Beef Prime ribs with dark chocolate infused balsamic syrup

The Japanese Atelier has takoyaki balls served with chocolate mayonnaise sauce and a sweet sushi in the form of dragon roll avocado chocolate and mayonnaise sauce. The Filipino Atelier is giving the Filipino favorite adobo a sweet and savory fusion with Chicken Adobolate. The Korean Atelier is grilling its pork belly with a chocolate-infused marinate. The Thai Atelier is literally spicing things up with its seared beef fillet in chocolate chili sauce. The French Atelier is presenting a flavorful dish of pumpkin-filled chocolate ravioli with sage brown butter, pears and hazelnuts and a strawberry-banana-chocolate pizza. The North Indian Atelier is serving its roti pratha with chocolate and cheese.

There are also steamed chocolate pig-shaped buns at the Dim Sum Atelier and a beef prime rib with balsamic chocolate sauce at the Churrasco Atelier. More chocolate-fused dishes await at the La Patisserie with choco chili brownie tart, chocolate pavlova with strawberry cream, Bailey’s and coffee cheesecake, raspberry chocolate parfait, cherry dark chocolate cake and chocolate peanut butter pie with guava jelly.

SHRIMP with coarse-grained couscous.

Other promos include the l’amour pour toujours (love always) proposal at Sunset Bar’s Love by Design, which costs P20,000 net for two that is inclusive of a four-course dinner menu, a bottle of champagne, a bouquet of three roses, a box of pralines, accompanied by a live performance from a violinist. Interested diners are advised to reserve at least three days in advance.

Spiral also offers “Romance by the Bay,” where couples can enjoy a dinner buffet with a sunset view for P3,588 net per person and a special buffet dinner that includes unlimited servings of local beer, iced tea, cocktails and wine for P8,000 net per person at the Sunset Bar.

Moreover, Spiral’s Le Bar has a special set menu of sweet and savory chocolate-infused dishes such as seared scallops with white chocolate panna cotta and chorizo crumble, cocoa and herb-crusted lamb, sous vide duck breast in chili chocolate sauce and grilled prawns with white chocolate gnocchi for P3,500 net per person.

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is at the CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City. Log on to or

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