Chef’s Table at Sofitel Philippine Plaza promises to be the intimate birthday celebration you have always wanted.
POSTED BY JENNIE
In Manila, the gold standard for hotel buffets is still Spiral at The Sofitel Philippine Plaza, and they have kept this distinction for more than a decade. The spread is huge, everything from salads to a sushi bar, a temperature controlled charcuterie and cheese room (the only one of its kind in Manila) to various cooking stations representing almost all major cuisines. Indian, French, Italian, Japanese, Indian, Korean. Two things that make the Spiral buffet a cut above the rest – one, dishes are cooked a la minute and two, each station has a dedicated chef that specialises in the cuisine of his or her station. Customers who have enjoyed Spiral through the years often approach these chefs and ask them how a certain dish is cooked. Many dishes offered at the buffet have become so popular that the hotel even came up with a Spiral cookbook. This is how the idea of Chef’s Table came about.
Chef’s Table leverages on the expertise of their chefs to give the customer a unique dining experience. The beauty of Chef’s Table is that you can choose from a dozen cuisines and you can be sure there will be a Sofitel chef that can prepare an authentic dinner of your chosen cuisine for you.
For my Chef’s Table experience, we had the pleasure of conversing and enjoying a 4 course meal prepared by distinguished French Chef Patrick Terrien of Le Cordon Bleu. Chef Patrick was invited by Sofitel to take part in several activities to celebrate Bastille Day.
The hotel has a show kitchen and this is where all Chef’s Table events are held. There were 10 of us who were guests of Sofitel. We had a perfect view of what was happening in the kitchen as we were seated right in front of where all the action was taking place. Each course was prepared right before us and Chef Patrick would tell us a little bit about the ingredients, how the dish is prepared. and some anecdotes of his experiences as a chef.
Our first course was Pan Seared Scallops in Ginger Orange Sauce. It had slices of mango and a squid ink crisp. The dish was light and refreshing. The scallops perfectly cooked. Chef Patrick told us he spent time in Japan and likes to use Asian flavours.
Our second course was a ceviche. I’m big on ceviche and I loved his interpretation. He prepared a Sea Bream Ceviche with Fennel, Panna Cotta and Beetroot Foam. The fish was fresh and the flavours came together perfectly. Each mouthful was a delight.
Our third dish was a pork dish. Chef Patrick chose a lean cut of pork and explained to us that pork must not be over nor undercooked and it’s difficult to get it right. He seasoned the pork with nothing more than salt & pepper, seared it in olive oil on both sides and that was it. It was served with a broccoli puree, carrots, green peas and a classic sauce au poivre. I wasn’t expecting the pork to be as moist and tender as it was, it was delicious and went really well with the sauce au poivre.
For dessert we were served Raspberry Shortbread with Lemon Mascarpone Cream. The tartness of the raspberry and lemon was exactly what the palate needed.
An elegant set-up, a well thought of menu and a team of chefs preparing an intimate dinner just for you and your guests. I think this is how I would like to celebrate my next birthday!