Nowadays, people associate the “Champagne Room” with the private room in Gentlemen’s clubs. This is an unfortunate association because one of Manila’s exclusive restaurants is called the Champagne Room. It is the fine dining restaurant that can be found at the Manila hotel – the oldest premiere hotel in the capital city of the Philippines.
Today, the Manila Hotel is on its way to being revitalized. This of course includes re-establishing the Champagne Room as a the premiere fine dining restaurant for the City. My friends can remember being served club sandwich and dimsum in the restaurant when they were young. This has recently changed. It is now back to serving French cuisine. However, since it has very strong ties with history, the new Chef - Christine Zarandin tries to inject some of the favorite dishes of its popular patrons like General Douglas Macarthur and President Manuel L. Quezon. The menu is not alone in experiencing revitalization, even the furnishings have been refurbished including the Crystal palm trees ( which is actually made out of melted Coca Cola glass bottles ).
For the My Manila weekend experience, the Chef prepared a Five Course meal. We were excited over the dishes but were equally distracted by the charming surroundings. Unlike other fine dining restaurants, Champagne is well lit, which is how it should be – to highlight the intricate designs of the room. Filipino musicians play in the background ready to play requests of the patrons. Like any fine dining restaurants, they would offer Gentlemen dinner jackets to preserve the air of refinement it deserves. For men who want a romantic date – this is the perfect restaurant – especially since they have preserved the old practice of removing the prices from the ladies’ menu.
Those who are looking for a fresh culinary experience, should definitely visit. Our whole meal – like any good meal – was a good symphony of flavors. For me, it doesn’t matter how good individual dishes are – if the chef is unable to tie them together to provide a cohesive experience the restaurant fails to deliver.
For the My Manila weekend, the meal is comprised of the following dishes:
Duck Foie Gras Two Ways served with Seafood Mousse in Crisp Barquillo
Smoked Tomato Puree with Crisp Cheddar Souffle and Basil Pesto
Heart of Palm Salad
Main Entree Choice of General Macarthur’s Steamed Lapu Lapu
Main Entree choice of President Quezon’s Stuffed Oven Baked Young Chicken
Dessert: Mangoes Jubilee with Lemongrass Ice Cream and Orange Liqueur Sauce
Post Meal Chocolate Truffles
I ordered the house White and Red wine with the meal. Unfortunately – I’ve once again failed to ask what they were. Just goes to show you that I’m not a Sommelier – far from it. But I must say that the wine did compliment the flavors of the dishes. For me, dining without wine will always just be a casual meal --- so wine is an important component of a fine dining experience.
it was definitely an enchanting meal which takes you to the times when Manila Hotel was the premiere dining location of the city. Note – in terms of service – they had good service but I do think they can improve on it. I think I’m just used to having very attentive waiters who only requires very subtle movements from its patrons to understand that you need them. However – this expectation may just be me . The service is really alright – I just had high expectations.
I am looking forward to my next dining experience. Next time – I will definitely try the Degustation menu.
For reservations, please call Manila Hotel at (632) 527 9463 to 65