Friday, June 29, 2018

Celebrating Filipino Culinary Pride at Corniche, Diamond Hotel

When two of the country's well-respected chefs come together to serve you their best creations, then you know that this is one buffet that you can never pass up. Happening now up until Sunday, July 1, 2018, enjoy the best dishes made by Chefs Sau del Rosario and Miko Aspiras at Diamond Hotel's Corniche for both lunch and dinner.

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June, as we all know, is the month when we celebrate our Independence Day so it's just fitting to celebrate this with an impressive, mouth-watering spread of the best Filipino dishes in the country. You don't even have to take a plane to enjoy the freshest Oyster Ceviche from Aklan or Chef Sau's signature Crispy Pork Kare Kare Macadamia with Truffle Oil, Salted Eggyolk Prawn Rebosado more so, the show-stopping Lechon Trio with filling from Luzon (Buru), Visayas (Chili Mango) or Mindanao (Malagos Chevre and Cocoa).

Paul and I were lucky to try this delicious spread last week, on the first day it opened to the public. I didn't know where to start as everything seems to be calling out to me. Of course, I allowed my eyes to feast first then I decided to start with some salad and ceviche.

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Maya Maya Mayonesa
It's like Chef's take on the classy caviar pie, a beautiful round masterpiece with minced fillet snapper with aioli sauce, capers, black olives, eggs and spices. It's very light and yummy.



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Tamales Pampanguena
Paul's family hails from Pampanga and I'm ashamed to say that I never got around to trying tamales as I wasn't sure how it will taste like. I was so surprised! This was my favorite starter that day. It was so good and creamy. I wanted to go back for seconds only if there wasn't a lot more dishes to try.

Moving on to the main dishes, I love that despite Chef Sau who specializes in Capampangan cuisine, still manage to add some dishes from other parts of the country. For instance, there's the Boneless Chicken Inasal which is very Ilonggo as well as the Bangus Relleno from Dagupan. Of course, I focused on what he does best and so I went to try his Capampangan specialties.

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Salted Eggyolk Prawn Rebosado
I've always loved prawn rebosado even as a kid as it's the Pinoy version of the Ebi Tempura. Chef Sau brought this a notch higher by adding the ever popular salted eggyolk into the batter. While I find it quite mild, I still love this comforting dish so much.

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Crispy Pork Kare Kare Macadamia
For a minute there I had to do a double take. Kare kare with Macadamia. That's very interesting. But wait, there's more! Chef Sau has also added in...Truffle Oil! Seeing that, I got more than my usual dainty scoop as I know this will be a winner and I was right. I love the mild nutty sauce with a nice truffle punch. Add a bit of bagoong if you must but if you ask me, all I had with this was rice. Lots and lots of rice. So so so good! This was actually one of my favorite dishes in the buffet line-up.

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Sisig Paella
I got to say that while I loved the Kare Kare, it was the Sisig that made Paul's heart skip a beat. Given that he loves loves loves Sisig (yes, he's a true blue Capampangan), have this on top of paella is like the best gastronomical treat for him. He said that the sisig was very good and it went so well with the rice. Don't forget to try this!

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Bringhe
However, if you want the classic. Then the Bringhe with Native Chicken and Longanisa was worth trying too. Have a bit first as the sticky rice can easily fill you up though.

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Here's another blockbuster in the buffet: the Lechon
I love how Chef Sau has made three types of lechon flavors which symbolizes the 3 main islands of the country. Lechon from Luzon was stuffed with Buru (salted/fermented rice), the Visayas pig head Chili Mango and Mindanao's version was the most interesting with Malagos Chevre and Cocoa.

I was too stuffed though that I just had the Luzon Lechon and I love the salty kick in between the tender pork slices.

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I was very careful not to fill myself up too quickly as I was ready to hit the dessert station. How can I not? Chef Miko created a very enticing spread and if only my tummy can take it, I'd try them all!

Here's what I was able to try and truly loved!

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Mansanas
I'm pretty sure if this was the apple presented to Snow White, she wouldn't also think twice in taking a bite. It was so good, if I were Snow White, I'd finish the entire thing as well. caramel cinnamon mousse and granny smith apple compote dipped in red glaze finished with chocolate leaf and twigs decor. Chef Miko is totally a dessert genius! This was so good and definitely worth saving space in your tummy for.

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Mandarin Cheesecake
For those who wants it citrusy and simple, the mandarin cheesecake that's topped with fresh orange segments is the way to go.

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Zero Waste Ice Cream
In buffets, food wastage is a common problem and Chef Miko is doing his part by creating a unique ice cream flavor that changes every day depending on the remaining ingredient that he has left. That day I tried one that has mangoes and passionfruit which were probably leftovers from his Mangga cake which I sadly wasn't able to try as it ran out even before I was ready for dessert. This was a brilliant idea and one movement that all restaurants should consider doing.

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Ensaymada Live Station
Of course, what's a Filipino pastry buffet without ensaymada. This one is a giant ube ensaymada served with flambeed morada and rosella.

Aside from Chef Miko's creation I also loved Diamond Hotel's Ube Mousse and Chocolate Cake. Dessert is always a good idea and Corniche surely didn't disappoint in satisfying ones sweet tooth.

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Kilig to have this photo op with Chef Miko
This is hands down one of the best Filipino buffets that I've ever had. With two of the country's best chefs (and whom I really look up to), I'm glad that we had the opportunity to try their specialties despite the short time period available.

You got two days left to book your table. Visit this link to purchase your vouchers and secure your slot today. Order online and enjoy 40% off (Php. 1,668 nett)

Regular buffet rate: Php. 2,780

*photos by Paul Ang

To make a reservation, call Corniche at 528-3000 loc 1121. Diamond Hotel is located at Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos street, Manila. 

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