Intercon’s Prince Albert Rotisserie is one of the good ol’ places to get the five-star steak experience in Manila. This is notwithstanding the fact that top hotels seem to be the favorite gathering ground of anyone who has a serious ax to grind against the government these days… just think about the Oakwood caper and more recently, the Manila Pen siege. What are the chances that an armored personal carrier is going to ram through the door as you cut on that wonderful piece of prime rib? Probably nil.
It’s just that people like Trillanes want to have their steak and eat it too.
The renovated Prince Albert is more airy and brighter to the eyes. It has a couple of private salons for exclusive meetings, and an open kitchen in the main dining area. Open kitchens have become a standard in most hotels nowadays… have foodies become voyeurs or are chefs just being defensive about being accused of picking their nose away from the prying eyes of diners? But I prefer the dark interiors of the old Prince Albert, thank you.. though the food is still great and the prices remain ideal for those with expense accounts 😀
We began our meal with this appetizer of asparagus salad on a bed of Australian blue crab. Perfect. The crab meat was plump and the hint of cheese dressing made it even more irresistible. Modern Australian cuisine is best described as a fusion of different culinary influences, due to the wave of migration in Australia. But the common denominator is that the ingredients must be fresh, to take advantage of the continent’s abundant produce from land and sea.
The good thing with attending food festivals like this is that you get ideas for when you want to replicate the recipes in your kitchen. Like this curried mussel soup. Mussels are abundant not just in Oz but in the Philippines, and it would be good if you don’t just saute the mussels but add some cream – as the chef has done with this.
Main course was this roasted Australian Orange Fillet with grapefruit, capers and fresh herb dressing. I have no argument with the fish..it was the freshest, most luscious I’ve tasted in recent memory. Its whiteness melted in my mouth and made me think being a pesco vegetarian isn’t so bad after all, if only the purity of fish like this wasn’t so expensive.
We just have a note about the yellow-colored side dish though. I was arguing myself whether it was egg or mashed potato, until the waiter said it was polenta. Corn meal, if you may, though I sure didn’t trace a hint of corn. We all agreed that the polenta tasted sour because of the grapefruit mix. The roasted fish was so excellent that it would have stood by itself, sans the sidings and all that mush.
Desserts to end the meal: assorted pralines and pavlova with creme brulee center, berries and kiwi. Plus a steaming hot of brewed coffee my way!
Guest chef for Prince Albert’s Wizard of Oz promotion is Kenneth Thomas Hines , a British, not an Australian. 😛 He’s co-owner of the outstanding Lemon Cafe in Boracay and a businessman behind the Sensa skin whitening line. My seatmate, another noted chef Myrna Segismundo cryptically said , ‘don’t trust chefs who are slim and thin!”…which probably translates to: “they never eat what they cook.” But the girls in the table agreed that Chef Hines was damn attractive and were probably wondering if (to paraphrase Marie Antoinette) … we can eat his food and also take him home too. LOL.
The Wizard of Oz Australian food promotion runs at the Prince Albert, Intercontinental Manila until Thursday, December 6. Call 815 97 11 for reservations.