The HEAT Rises, EDSA Shangri-la Hotel in Manila

Truth to be told, I'm not really much of a TV person. In fact, I can really count in my hands the number of times I've actually sat down and watched an entire TV show this year alone. Paul, on the other hand, cannot live without television. He has a list of weekly TV shows that he religiously follows and the remote is the first thing he looks for the moment he gets home from work. You can say that the secret to a happy marriage is not having to fight over the remote. Haha!  The only time I get to watch TV is during meal time. For instance, we would put Masterchef Asia on in the background while enjoying our meal. That's one of the few shows that I really enjoy as you all know, to me, chefs are like celebrity!

good vibes gang
Happy to share our first meal in Manila with our favorite food bloggers! #goodvibes
So, when my favorite hotel buffet outlet, HEAT, invited Paul and I over to try their new signature dishes which were specially created by 8 chefs, we were beyond ecstatic! HEAT has been one of our families' go-to place for special occasions as we frequent EDSA Shangri-la Hotel a lot most especially as we were growing up. Recently, HEAT had a revamp where some sections were changed while the others got a nice refresh. I love the open-kitchen set-up now where you get to see the kitchen action up close and you can interact with the kitchen crew and the chefs too.

We were really thanking our lucky stars that day as we got to meet Executive Chef Tobias Unger and his pretty Executive Sous Chef Roxanne Castillo. Together, they shared 8 star dishes that's new to the buffet line-up and I'm here ready to present them all to you!

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Our lunch began with a variety of Signature Hand-rolled Maki and the special Magic Cube Roll by Japanese Chef Yusuke Hino. All are filled with a thick cut of tuna sashimi and tamago which I both love sooooo much! Donn't underestimate the size of these masterpieces as they were pretty huge! I had 4 pieces and I had to stop halfway as it was really filling. Nonetheless, it was one of my favorite dishes that day.

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Aside from sushi, I also love dimsum. I think I've mentioned that a number of times before that these two are definitely my most favorite dishes in the world! So, imagine how happy I was when out came a couple of big steaming baskets which contained these delicate looking Curry Seafood Dimsum by Chinese Chef Andy Liew. It seems like Chef has a very strong Singaporean/Malaysian background as the flavor of the curry was spot-on. With a bit of fiery kick, I love the creamy texture which brings so much life to this dimsum. In Singlish, I'd say it's really shiok!

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From Asian flavors, we took our taste buds to the other side of the world -- Germany. Executive Chef Tobias' specialty was the Cheese Spatzle. Oh man, this was soooo good! Honestly, if only I didn't had to be really conscious about fitting into my gown for Pan's wedding, I would have probably asked for seconds. It was really yummy that I've been daydreaming about it to this very day. *sigh*

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Of course, what's German food without sausages right? Chef Tobias prepared his own interpretation of the Currywurst which had a very strong flavor. It perfectly complemented the creamy Cheese Spatzle as the best way to enjoy it is to have it together.

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Italian Chef Marco Ghezzi wasn't able to join us for lunch that day but nonetheless, we were served with his Spaghetti alle Vongole. Unfortunately, I have to sit out on this one as I can't take clams. However, all my dining companions were raving about it so it was much really good!

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From the Curry Seafood Dimsum, we were served with another Singaporean-inspired dish -- the Coffee Spareribs by Chef Tony Sum. This is one foodie secret that not a lot of people know of.

Perhaps, during your last visit to Singapore, you came to search for the famous Chicken Rice, a bowl of Laksa or some wok-fried Char Kuey Teow. What most people won't tell you is that we're also known for our Coffee Spareribs which can be very very very addicting. I've tried Chef Tony's version and I must say that it's close to the real thing. The meat was fall-of-the-bone tender and the coating had just the right amount of sweetness with strong, full-bodied coffee notes too. Extra rice, please!

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Next to Singaporean food, I love Indian food too! It's one of the things that I've always been fond of even before moving to the Lion City. Even my Indian friends know how crazy I am over briyanis, papadums and paneer. So, when Chef Fanishwar Nath prepared some Chicken Tandoori, I knew I have to give it a try. It truly didn't disappoint. While I love my tandoori with a small bowl of Raita (yes, I'm weird that way), the chicken was juicy enough that no additional dips or sauces were needed.

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After letting our taste buds travel all over the world, we brought it all back home where Executive Sour Chef Roxanne presented her Adobo Marinated Prime Rib with Garlic Yorkshire Pudding. Perhaps, if there should be a Filipino-version of the Thanksgiving Dinner, then this would definitely be the perfect choice for it. The prime rib was so juicy and tender as she told us that it took her hours to cook this to ensure that it's up to her standards of tenderness. I really love adobo and Chef Roxanne has indeed raised the bar soooo high that it'll be hard for me to settle for "just any other adobo" out there. The Garlic Yorkshire Pudding was just a-okay though. I found it to be too tough and I normally love having this with gravy which was missing that day.

Has that been 8 dishes already? At this point, I was quite positive that my sister's gown designer had to add an inch or two to my gown but I just couldn't help it as everything was really yummy!

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Of course, the best way to end a good meal is with a plate of equally good dessert. Pastry Chef Martin Frowd wowed everyone on the table with his beautiful creation called the *wait of it..wait of it!* Raspberry Molted Brownie Double-Shot Vodka Cheesecake with centered Raspberry Sauce *phew!*. Such long name has brought high expectations. Well, I'm happy to share that it has surpassed our expectations as we just love the moist and creamy cheesecake! The decadent chocolate flavor was given more life by the tangy raspberry sauce which was "injected" into the cake. How creative.

It was definitely an amazing lunch and one that's so worth the extra inches and pounds that we both gained afterwards. If even another chance, I'd definitely go back and eat my heart out again..and again.

These are just some of the dishes you have to watch out for at HEAT. In addition to this, they have more than 11 stations to visit and more specialties to try. I personally love the sushi, charcuterie & cheese, 'Wok' and dessert stations. The holiday season is coming, I highly recommend for you to visit HEAT to celebrate this festive season! Ho ho ho!

Buffet Rates:
Lunch: Php. 1890 (Mon-Sat) / Php. 2500 (Sun)
Dinner: Php. 2205 (Sun-Thurs) / Php. 2415 (Fri-Sat)

Visit HEAT at the Lobby Level, Tower Wing, EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, 1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. Call them at 633-8888 loc. 2740 to make reservations 

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