Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Diamond Hotel's The Lobby Lounge: A Sweet-tooth's Paradise

Here in TSS, I've been pretty much open with my love for anything sweet and that I think I have the worst case of having a sweet tooth. I really have an immense affinity to desserts, especially to cakes that are too beautiful to be devoured. Speaking of these eye candies, another great thing about the Diamond Hotel's Lobby Lounge is that they offer a variety of cakes and pastries that will truly capture not just your meticulous eyes but also your sweet appetite - just like exactly what happened to me - I went gaga and overly excited after seeing and trying out their wide selection of pastries and ice creams. Join me in this amazing experience, check out these pretty pastries and let me know what's your favorite. As for mine, better read between the lines...

First on our list of these dainty pastries from The Diamond Hotel and The Cake Club is the Ispahan, Diamond Hotel's homage to dessert God Pirerre Herme. This pink pastry, almost like a big macaron de Paris, is made with fresh raspberries, lychees and rose essence. I definitely love the combination of the fruity flavors in it, the raspberries and lychees really go very well together making this pastry so refreshing. Dig in til you reach the center and indulge into a lychee cream that will undoubtedly satisfy and cleanse your palette.

Ispahan, 280 Php

The rose essence also jives well to the already fragrant berries and lychee aroma. Its essence is very inviting and will surely tickle and excite your tastebuds. The cream balances out the acidity from the fruits, giving out a subtle sweet and fruity freshness and everyone will surely adore. A perfect cake to show someone how much you love them and how special they are.

Ispahan, 280 Php

This next cake, as for me, is a relative of Ispahan, almost having the same structure but varies in hues and taste. I am talking about the lovely, Vanessa. It's bright green color depicts the presence of pistachio as the flavor for its macaron base and filling. You'll love how these flavors marries very well with the strawberries - such a feat that truly made this pastry unique and very special.

Vanessa, 250 Php

What I also noticed the most about this cake is that the sweetness of the strawberry center cuts through the pistachio flavors of the filling and the macaron giving your tastebuds an interesting twist. Vanessa is actually considered as the GM's favorite among their pastry selection. No wonder, with its beauty and amazingly exquisite taste, this pastry can easily find its way into one's heart. 

Vanessa, 250 Php

The only rectangular cake among the group, Le Royale exudes with great elegance and delicious chocolate taste. Imagine layers of Valrhona dark chocolate mousse, almond meringue and hazelnut mousse and crips, this cake is truly a chocholic delight. I personally love the subtle sweetness in it, highlighting more into its chocolaty goodness. The mousse knocked me off my feet, it was smooth and creamy, the most perfect dark chocolate mousse I've tasted. 

 Le Royale, 250 Php

The dark chocolate and hazelnut mousse combined with the almond meringue and crisps is stellar! It was very good that one try is not enough and that I can eat the whole cake (they actually have it in a square size, . It was like having my favorite Ferrero-Rocher in a whole cake, soo heavenly that I actually had a hard time putting its goodness into words. True to its name, the quality and taste of this cake suites those of the royalties, even the gods.

Le Royale, 250 Php

Another chocoholic delight is the Supermoist Chocolate Cake. The name actually says it all - superb chocolate experience up to the last bite. I really got excited seeing this cake, the pretty details and designs into it hides a rich and awesome chocolaty goodness! Aside from that you'll fall into how moist this cake is, another feat that you could not miss when trying this cake out. Just amazing.

Supermoist Chocolate Cake, 250 php

If you're looking for something that is different and has an interesting taste, then the Mont Blanc is a must try. Being a pastry shop staple in Paris and Tokyo, this cake is famous for its uniqueness and distinct taste. Made with fresh chestnut paste, chantilly cream and prunes soaked in dark rum in almond tart, this cake truly has a defined taste that everyone will be curious about.

Mont Blanc, 250 Php

The combined flavors of its ingredients including the subtle sweetness of its chantilly cream (sweetened whipped cream with vanilla or brandy) is very much well rounded that you'll love it even at first bite. The prunes seemed to give it a Moroccan twist which as for me made it more like a fusion-cuisine-inspired cake. I also liked how they used the cream to make the cake look even more interesting.

Mont Blanc, 250 Php

Moving on with our list is the hotel's most luscious cheesecakes, Guia and the Baked Cheesecake. What makes these two cheesecakes different? Well, the Guia is actually made with a touch of maple syrup and some walnuts. The taste of the maple syrup greatly complements the flavors of the walnuts and the cheesecake itself.

 Guia, 250 Php

Apart from its usual cheesecake counterparts, Guia exhibits an amazing smooth and creamy texture and at the same time combining the bite and crunch from the walnuts. You'll love how these flavors and textures tickle your palette giving you such a wonderful, mind blowing and rich cheesecake.

Guia, 250 Php

The Baked Cheesecake on the other hand is simple yet very astonishing. Reputed as the cheesiest and richest cheesecake in the metro, this is one basic cake that one shouldn't miss. So to all cheesecake lovers out there, this one is a must try!

 Baked Cheesecake, 250 Php

These cakes are even more perfect when paired with a good cup of coffee. Whether you want it hot or cold, The Lobby Lounge can whip you up the best brew you've could ever try. Their Sumibi Coffee, a premium Kohikan product has a superior, full-bodied taste and an unforgettable aroma.

Sumibi Coffee, 190 Php

For those who prefer cold or iced coffees, you can try their Iced Winner Caramel. You'll love its strong coffee flavor sweetened with a kiss of caramel. The cream also makes this drink more subtle. Surely a drink that will win your heart! 

Iced Winner Caramel, 230 Php

Another coffee-based creation that will entice you (well it did for me, soo much!) is their Kohi Jelly. A combination of premium Kohikan coffee jelly, coffee-flavored ice cream and whipped cream - a heavenly mix that will surely sweep you off your feet. The moment I actually had a spoonful of this, I   was delighted and unstoppable until I finished it. It was really, really good.

Kohi Jelly, 250 Php

Aside from cakes and coffee, The Lobby Lounge also has an array of ice cream selections - my favorite would be the Salted Caramel and Black Sesame. I love how the sea salt accentuates the deep flavors and sweetness that the caramel have. The two flavors really go along together making a harmonious mixture of creamy ice cream. 

Salted Caramel

The Black Sesame is something new that I've tried and though it was the first time, I really liked it. The texture of the sesame seeds combined with the richness of the ice cream is very interesting, delicious enough for you to crave for more scoops.

Black Sesame

Other ice cream flavors are actually variations from the cakes like the Ispahan, Supermoist Chocolate Cake, Le Royale, Baked Cheesecake and Mont Blanc. Other exciting variants include Genmaicha (Green Tea with Roasted Brown Rice), Azuki  (Red Bean), Taro-Jackfruit, Melon and Apple Pie.

Ispahan and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Taro-Jackfruit, Apple Pie and Melon Ice Cream

Black Sesame and Supermoist Chocolate Cake Ice Cream

I believe that sweet things bring in joy and the experience that I've had is truly remarkable. The Lobby Lounge is indeed a sweet haven for someone like me. It doesn't only offer sophisticated and delicious meals but also rounds up the whole dining experience by giving out sweet endings that are not only pretty to look at but also of high quality and of good taste. The Diamond Hotel truly knows to offer not only excellent hotel service but also great tasting fares that customers will come back for. No wonder that they're one of the finest hotels here in the metro. Visit The Diamond Hotel Philippines one of these days and experience luxury, superb customer service and sumptuous meals like you've never had before.

The Diamond Hotel Philippines

Roxas Boulevard cor. Dr. J. Quintos Street,
Manila, Philippines 1000
Tel. Numbers: 528-3000 / 305-3000
Email: bizcenter@diamondhotel.com

Diamond Hotel's The Lobby Lounge: My Comeback

They say that the heart is where the home is and after being through a lot of things and putting blogging aside for quite a time, The Strolling Spoon is now back to share with you everyday adventures of gastronomical feasts and amazing dining experiences. Having a great passion for food and not being able to express it has been very frustrating. It made me feel as if a part of me is missing - a piece that actually rounds of my whole being; of my the things that I dream of - and though the entire process was not that easy, I am just glad now that I have found that very same enthusiasm to do what I really love.

And just in for my comeback, Diamond Hotel Philippines recently opened the Lobby Lounge, their latest dining attraction at the hotel's posh and opulent lobby. The Lobby Lounge exhibits great sophistication and luxury with its contemporary interiors that is very stylish and accommodating  add to that the great deal of culinary perfections that the hotel has to offer.

The Lobby Lounge's strikingly beautiful interiors at daytime
Photo credits: The Diamond Hotel

The Lobby Lounge's cozy and luxurious ambiance at night

I then decided to meet up with my foodie friends namely, Yedy of the Yedylicious Food Blog and B'ley of Blogalag, to catch up and and spend some time talking over the most amazing dishes that we have ever tried. Who wouldn't love to stay all day in this perfect place teeming with elegance and good food, I bet none. And so we started out with some appetizers, of course with the hotel specialty, the delicious Truffle Fries.

Truffle Fries, 200 Php

In its simplicity boasts exceptionally good aromatics and flavor. Upon its arrival to our table, we immediately got treated to the appetizing truffle aroma. Fried in truffle oil, this appetizer is truly the best way to start the luscious gastronomical treat ahead. You can also pair this with dips like the regular tomato ketchup, garlic mayonnaise or sea salt flakes. My little sister, who is a junkie for french fries of all sorts, will surely love and adore this one.

I am an avid eater of French Macarons. Those little darlings are actually one of my comfort food and so the moment I knew that they offer a one-of-a-kind version of this treat, I didn't argue getting some. In seconds I saw myself munching and smiling at the same time enjoying Diamond Hotel's Foie Gras Macarons.

Foie Gras Macarons, 150 Php

I can't help not to admire its simple yet very appealing look and taste. It's a perfect macaron that has a Mallomar-shaped cookie (remember those Nabisco Chocolate Mallows, that exact shape) with a crackly ringlet that surrounds the flat-side. Another quality that makes it the best is its egg-shell like outer crust and its soft, almost-meringue texture. The aroma and flavors of the foie gras filling combined with the sugar, egg whites and almonds are truly remarkable. One serving of this hor d'oeuvre is not enough and believe me, you'll really fall for its appetizingly good sweet-salty taste. An appetizer/dessert that exudes with elegance that you'll surely come back for.

Next to our menu are the hotel's best selling soups, which I was really excited about - The Zucchini Cream and French Onion Soup. The rich green color of the zucchinis are really imbibed in this yummy starter. Its plating is really a feast for the eyes and would really invite you to dig in and savor into that rich, creamy and delicious soup. Make sure to consume the crusty parmesan cheese lid along with the roasted tomatoes and fresh basil to get the full delish experience.

 Zucchini Cream, 250 Php

If you prefer the classic type, then the French Onion Soup (Soupe a l'oignion) is the best option to go for. Made with flavorful beef stock and caramelized onions, topped with croutons and baked with melting Emmentaler cheese, this traditional and very tasty dish will not only warm your heart but will surely excite your tastebuds too.

French Onion Soup, 250 Php

Starters will not be complete without a good, hefty serving of healthy salads and The Diamond Hotel has this very special dish that will truly be part of your cravings after giving it a try. I am talking about their most raved, Smoked Salmon Ceasar. Imagine delicious fillet cutlets of smoked salmon harmoniously tossed with fresh salad greens, prosciutto, soft boiled egg, Grana Padana cheese shavings and Ceasar dressing, this amazingly tasty salad will surely knock you off and crave for more. One of my personal favorites, this salad dish is stellar in its own and is definitely a must try. 

Smoked Salmon Ceasar, 620 Php

Sandwiches and burgers are also offered in the hotel's Lobby Lounge. Perfect for light yet complete and equally scrumtuous meals, you can choose from their classic Bocadillos, Spicy Pickled Sardines and the delicious Lamb Burger. A Spanish-inspired sandwich, Bocadillos is made of lengthwise-cut baguette, meaty Jamon Serrano, chorizo, black pudding and Manchego cheese.

 Bocadillos, 520 Php

Simple and healthy European delicacy, Spicy Pickled Sardines Sandwich boasts a great deal of flavor. Bismarck herrings that are soaked in water, vinegar, sugar, allspice and bay leaves are very well complemented with the fresh lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and pickled red onions.

 Spicy Pickled Sardines Sandwich, 390 Php

A burger full of flavor and meaty taste! This is Diamond Hotel's Lamb Burger. This is one heck of a burger that you just cannot help but notice with its yellow colored bun, thick and juicy lamb patty, generous amount of Feta cheese and fresh veggies.

Lamb Burger, 510 Php

Moving on with much more sumptuous dishes, The Diamond Hotel also boasts pastas that will truly satisfy your appetite. I am actually pertaining to their two well-loved pasta creations - the Fresh Tomato Pappardelle Pasta and Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli. With a rich, red sauce made with minced sausages, forest mushrooms, sage leaves, chunky fresh tomatoes and goat cheese, the Pappardelle Pasta dish is stunning both in my eyes and in my palette. I like the hint of spiciness in it that I think came from the sausages which gave this dish an extra kick and boost of flavor.

Fresh Tomato Pappardelle Pasta, 470 Php

The Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, on the other hand, is absolutely simple yet exquisitely delicious. The raviolis are cooked perfectly. I love how the brown butter sauce coated each of the beautifully stuffed raviolis. The nutty flavors of the butter and the walnuts clearly highlighted the goodness of the spinach combined with yummy ricotta cheese. 

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, 455 Php

As for their main entree, you will never be disappointed with the Lamb Pot Pie and Slow Roasted Beef Belly. Made with braised lamb shank, chick peas and other totally amazing ingredients, the Lamb Pot Pie is unbelievably superb and remarkable. The soft, juicy and tasty meat combined with the equally delicious sauce and side salad is awesome. Never had a pot pie this huge and exceptionally flavorful.

Lamb Pot Pie, 620 Php

The Slow Roasted Beef Belly is also something to be very much excited about. The lean and soft beef married with the tasty gravy sauce is enough for a meat lover like me to be floored and then crave for more. Devour this dish either with red rice or salad greens and caramelized baby carrots for more layers of flavor that will surely keep you delighted. What I can only say is that, beef should always be served this good!

Slow Roasted Beef Belly, 480 Php

Clearly, The Diamond Hotel Manila is not only a haven of sophistication and elegance but also a place where insanely delicious dishes and excellent service thrive. No wonder its one of the best hotels known in the country. Visit their Lobby Lounge today and indulge into their satisfyingly scrumptious meals, irresistible contemporary style and highly unmatched great customer service.

The Diamond Hotel Philippines

Roxas Boulevard cor. Dr. J. Quintos Street,
Manila, Philippines 1000
Tel. Numbers: 528-3000 / 305-3000
Website: www.diamondhotel.com
Email: bizcenter@diamondhotel.com

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Bistro Group's Premiere Card

Gastronomical trips and holidays would never be so amazing without this perfect treat from The Bistro Group - The Premiere Card - an expansion of the Bistro Circle Card. Imagine having additional perks and bigger discounts while savoring different cuisines from their 12 great restaurant concepts, it is indeed the most coveted privilege card a foodie can ever have.

As a Bistro Premiere Cardholder, you can enjoy the following freebies and discounts at their awesome restaurant concepts (TGI Friday's, Italianni's, Fish & Co., Krazy Garlik, The Stock Market, Ma Maison, The Village Tavern, Watami, Flapjacks, Pig Out and the Modern Shanghai)

  • 20% OFF your bill
  • 25% OFF your bill on your Birth Month
  • 30% OFF your bill every Monday
  • Two 40% OFF Dining Vouchers up to P3,000 spend
  • Six Appetizer Vouchers
  • Complimentary coffee or tea for every visit

All these perks all year round for only 2,500 Php, not bad for a year of crazy discounts and delicious meals.

So, if you're a foodie like me who loves to devour toothsome dishes at any of the restaurant concepts I've mentioned, then I suggest that you grab this opportunity and visit the nearest Bistro Group Restaurant at your place today. This card is truly a great way to be in the loop and enjoy life with the best tasting food here in the metro.

*** For inquiries, email marketing@bistro.com.ph or call (02)8367141.

The Bistro Group
of Restaurant Concepts

9727 Kamagong Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City, Philippines 
Website: http://www.mybistro.com.ph

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Max's Heartwarming Flavors for Lent

Lenten Season is fast approaching and Max’s Restaurant, being one of the most enduring global Filipino brands, is infusing classic Filipino flavors into its new and lighter fare for Lent. Filipinos are known for this annual tradition of "fasting" and not eating of meat during the holy week and with that, Max's launches their new heartwarming flavors for the coming Lent - Sizzling Seafood in Honey Bagoong Sauce, Adobong Kangkong Stuffed Tofu and Cauliflower Puffs.

Max’s Sizzling Seafood in Honey Bagoong Sauce is a harmony of breaded cream dory, shrimps and squid rings that are deep-fried until golden brown, topped with julienned red bell peppers and chopped spring onions. What makes this dish extra special is that it is splashed with a special sauce that brings together sweet honey and piquant bagoong. Served in a sizzling hot plate, this sensational dish is a guaranteed must-try for seafood aficionados.

Sizzling Seafood  in Honey Bagoong Sauce (265 Php)

Max’s Adobong Kangkong Stuffed Tofu is an inventive and mouthwatering twist to the quintessential  nad classic Filipino dish, adobo. Fresh kangkong leaves, shiitake and button mushrooms drizzled in sweet adobo sauce stuffed in deep-fried tofu blocks. The harmony of greens and earthy colors lend a refreshing vibe that appeals to both vegetable and non-vegetable eaters.

Adobong Kangkong Stuffed Tofu (150 Php)

Last but not the least, the Max’s Cauliflower Puffs is the perfect dish for very picky young diners and self-confessed meat-lovers. Crisp cauliflowers are dipped in a special batter, deep-fried and tossed in a special sauce. Fun and vibrant colors of finely sliced carrots and spring onions also brighten up the plate. Every crunchy bite of this palatable dish makes diners forget that they are actually eating cauliflowers - another creative and one-of-a-kind dish from the people who brought us the sarap-to-the-bones chicken!

Cauliflower Puffs (160 Php)

Max’s understands that Lent is a special time for Filipinos. This is what inspired them to create the lightest and the most scrumptious fare for Lent. These dishes, though light and very affordable, are bursting with flavors, married with the homegrown classic taste that Filipinos love – a certified gustatory experience that everyone will truly enjoy. Max’s will be serving up its Lenten offerings in all of its branches nationwide starting March 1, 2012. Discover the most awe-inspiring dishes from Max’s. Log on to www.maxschicken.com or visit www.facebook.com/maxsrestaurant to be a Max’s Restaurant Facebook fan.

Max's Restaurant

Main office: Max's Restaurant Marketing
11th Floor, EcoPlaza Building,
Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati, Philippines, 1231
Phone:dial 7-9000 for Max's Delivery (Metro Manila Philippines only)

Be part of the Max's Online community by reaching them through the following:
Order & Pay Online: www.maxschicken.com

Email customercare@maxschicken.com.ph


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Max's Sweet Valentine's Treat!

Yes, it is indeed the Love Month! People will surely be rushing again into flower shops and patisseries to get something special for their loved ones. Also, restaurants will all be fully booked with lovers and friends celebrating the season of hearts. And to make everyone's Valentine's Day celebration a breeze, Max's Restaurant, along with its in-house pastry shop, the Max's Corner Bakery is giving us a bunch of sweet treats that will truly melt one's heart!

Deeply inspired by the Filipino’s remarkably warm and thoughtful nature, Max’s Corner Bakery ingeniously launched its most romantic line of desserts, a wide variety of indulgent and heart-warming delights for the season of hearts - the Valentine Pastry Bites.

Valentine Pastry Bites

photo credits: Max's Restaurant

Who wouldn't fall for these treats? Imagine a boxful of luxurious and mouth-watering desserts in bite pieces, oozing with dark or milky chocolate, covered in toasted almond slivers or filled with caramels and chocolate-flavoured brownies. No one could ever resist this kind of sweet treat!

Also available for Valentine's Day is their Box of 3 Valentine's Cupcakes. Fall in love even more this season with these three mouth-watering variants all packed in one gift box - Black Forest Cupcake (my favorite!), Blueberry Cupcake and Choco Banana Cupcake.

Valentine Cupcakes: (clockwise) Choco Banana, Black Forest & Blueberry

photo credits: Max's Restaurant

The Black Forest Cupcake is every chocaholics’ dream. A mélange of rich, chocolate flavours - from the smooth chocolate ganache swirls, to the choco-coated cherry placed on top of the moist, chocolate base cupcake. Among the three, this is actually my favorite. I just cannot help but love its mild chocolaty sweetness that marries very well with the fruity cherry flavors. The Blueberry Cupcake, on the other hand, looks simple yet very romantic. I love that it has real blueberries and sweet streusel for a rich and crunchy bite. Lastly, the Choco Banana Cupcake remains to be a classic favorite, with its moist banana cupcake folded with crunchy choco cookies and topped with heart-shaped chocolate bits - a great gift to offer and captivate someone's heart.

To make the celebration even more memorable, Max’s Restaurant is inviting couples and family members to spend sweet, unforgettable moments with their loved ones on Heart’s Day. Sweet conversations can be best enjoyed while sharing their favorite meals, like Max’s sarap-to-the-bones Fried Chicken, and classic Filipino dishes Sinigang, Crispy Pata and Kare-Kare. As a heart-warming gift from Max’s, diners will receive a box of melt-in-your-mouth pastry bites by Max’s Corner Bakery for a minimum spend of PhP 1,500 from February 10 to 14. Taking the excitement to the hilt, Max’s Corner Bakery’s best-selling delights have also taken on a new form. All of its scrumptious cakes will be heart-shaped in time for the season! Customers can surprise their loved ones with any of Max’s Corner Bakery’s Heart-Shaped Cakes as a sweet token of their affection.

Heart-shaped Cakes

photo credits: Max's Restaurant

A special heart-shaped cake is also offered for this whole month of February, none other than the Valentine Chocolate Cake.

Valentine Chocolate Cake

photo credits: Max's Restaurant

Sink your teeth into this heart-shaped chocolate cake, coated with a sumptuous layer of chocolate ganache and garnished with melt-in-your-mouth chocolate curls, topped with cherry and sprinkled with powdered sugar - a perfect accompaniment in expressing your partner how much you love them!

Other sweet Valentine gift suggestions are available at selected Max’s Restaurants nationwide from February 1 – 29. Also, visit their website at www.maxschicken.com or like them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/maxsrestaurant

Hurry and troop to Max’s for a memorable Valentine celebration!

Poster and promo mechanics are as follows:

photo credits: Max's Restaurant


-For a minimum dinein/takeout/delivery/online order worth Php1,500 (single receipt transaction), customer gets a Free Max's Corner Bakery Valentine’s Assorted Pastry Bites (BOX OF 9).

-Promo not valid with any other ongoing promos or discounts.

-Promo item is not convertible to cash.

-Free Max's Corner Bakery Valentine’s Assorted Pastry Bites will be delivered/claimed together with your online order.

-This promo is valid from February 10 to 14, 2012 only (Max's stores within the Philippines only).
*For online transactions, this promo is valid only for transactions scheduled to be delivered/claimed on February 10 to 14 2012 only (Philippine local date and time).

-Customer can claim the said free item within 60 days after end of promo date. (Receipt must be presented when redeeming the free item)