Those in the know about the in’s and out’s of the city would surely proclaim the Manila Diamond Hotel’s Kohikan pastry shop as having the best ensaimada this side of town. Ensaimada or ensaymada is a popular Filipino Spanish-influenced bread coated with butter, sugar and cheese. Aside from the gooey goodness of the finest cheese melting in the fluffy bread, the Diamond bakers have upped the ante further by inserting tasty bits of ube (purple yam) in the center, making it one of the truly filling and satisying Filipino delicacies indeed.
Two years ago, we fondly remember how this to-have for ensaimada cost only P45 but supply must have caught up with demand and the price has already doubled. Still, there’s no reason for other foodies not to scoop up a bunch of these ensaimadas with hot chocolate or coffee in this hotel which has the best garden and sweeping bay views of Manila.
However, this post is not about ensaimada alone; this is actually about our participation in the Diamond’s food fest slash taste test yesterday to launch its $2000 Wagyu beef meal, a truly decadent package which entitles interested diners to….
an overnight at the Manila Diamond Hotel Presidential Suite, with bubble bath set-up
a full-course menu of Beluga Caviar on Timbale of Salmon Tartare with warm broiled potato,
Mousseline of avocado with lemon, served with taittinger comtes de Champagne 1995
Black truffle soup Elysee,
Melon Sorbet with dry sherry
the highlight of the meal: Matsusaka beef tenderloin, morel mushrooms stuffed with goose liver, old port wine reduction and golden leaves asparagus, roasted garlic and sweet potato hash,
Served with a bottle of Chateau Margaux 1999 or Chateau Latour 1999 or Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1997
Mango and creme brulee Napoleon
Green tea Creme Anglaise Mango Coulis
….. and after all the rituals of being made full and pampered like a Wagyu cow, breakfast in bed with your beloved the following day!
Overall, the meal costs $1,200 considering that a stay in the presidential suite costs $800 already. Still, the whole thing qualifies as a meal fit for a king or a meal for one’s last day on earth. Being the inveterate foodie, of course I’d spend my money on this indulgence rather than lose it gambling or experience the fate of this Chinese trader who lost two Rolex watches and $800 in cash to his househelp yesterday.
Having immersed ourselves with the pleasures of the Wagyu beef sukiyaki, the Wagyu Black Cheek Beef broth, Wagyu beef burger, the tartare of Wagyu beef, the pan-fried Wagyu black steak and all things Wagyu at yesterday’s tasting, we can already believe that Wagyu is indeed … the king of beef!
” Chewing is almost redundant. Rich and smooth, Wagyu beef leaves you with a lingering, velvety taste that is unsurpassable. Its distinctive marbled appearance is attributed to its high saturated fat. This lends to the marked sensation that can only be described as melting in the mouth – contributing not only to the beef’s flavor but supposedly helping lower your cholesterol as well by virtue of its healthy fatty acid profile.”
Bloggers partaking of the Wagyu wagon at yesterday’s launch (from left) Jayvee Fernandez, tech editor of B5 Media, Awesome Planeteer Anton, Ajay and Noemi of Pinoy Food Photo Blog. Not in photo is Dessert Queen Lori Baltazar and the event’s emcee Carlos Celdran.