From April 17 to 21, Pacific Lounge at Pan Pacific Manila in Malate offers the Cucina ni Lola lunch buffet for only P1,000 net per person. Sample the finest heirloom dishes conceptualized and executed to perfection by one of the Philippines’ finest chefs, Chef Myke Tatung Sarthou, known simply as Chef Tatung. All these amid great views of the Manila Bay and the city skyline from the hotel’s 21st floor.
We attended the media preview of the lunch promo and boy, it did make me miss the good ol’ home cooking that my mom and grandma exerted effort in preparing. In those days, there were no instant mixes…only slow, gentle cooking, braising, simmering. Some of the stuff were lovingly kneaded and molded by hand. I was reminded of the traditional methods when I saw the food line-up that Chef Tatung presented for Cucina ni Lola.
Morcon, the popular Filipino-style beef roll, isn’t really regarded as everyday food and is usually just served during fiestas and special occasions. It takes some kind of skill to perfectly roll the meat up with its stuffing of sausages, hard-boiled egg, pickles and vegetables. But it’s truly special eating this.
The ‘tinuktok’ was something I tasted (and liked!) for the first time but this dish is quite common in Bicol where it originated. Seafood like shrimps is mixed with young coconut meat before being rolled in taro leaves and simmered in coconut milk. A must-taste.
The colorful-looking bringhe is more widely known as Pampanga’s version of Spanish paella. Quite filling in itself.
But seriously, you must save room for the other culinary treats in the Cucina ni Lola buffet. Warm up your tummies with the warm soup from the bull and singing stations –
There are sinful treats that must be savored, simply because Filipino cuisine wouldn’t be what it is without them. Am referring of course to the lechon belly and crispy pata available at the buffet and, of course, the irresistible chicharon!
Opt for the Grilled section if you want healthier stuff. We really liked the selections here of BBQ pork and chicken as well as grilled stuffed squid, bangus, shrimps and tahong or mussels.
Completing the line-up are appetizers, salads and desserts. Aside from the tinuktok and bringhe, choices for the main course are oxtail Kare-kare, pinasingawan na isda or steamed fish, pinakbet and pansit palabok.
Our verdict: this is a highly-quality buffet from a top chef that should be worth the P1,000 you will spend. Plus, the views and ambiance are priceless.
The Pacific Lounge lunch buffet at Pan Pacific Manila is from Monday to Friday, from 12 noon to 1:30 pm. For inquiries and reservations, call 318-0788.