Chef Jessie Sincioco feels ecstatic every time she witnesses wedding proposals made at her famed 100 Revolving Restaurant, said to be one of the most ideal and dreamy places to pop the question.
Sincioco once hid a ring inside her famous Princess Carmen Sans Rival, a multilayer meringue cloaked with buttercream and crunchy pistachio nuts. It was the girl’s favorite dessert in the house.
Sincioco tied the ring to a string that stuck out on one side of the cake. The girl saw the string and pulled it.
“When she saw the ring she started crying,” recalls Sincioco. “She was speechless. Then she kept on hitting the guy lovingly with her hand.”
Another time, a guy made a reservation at the restaurant and told the chef to write the words “Will You Marry Me?” on the dessert plate.
When the plate, with words written directly at the center in chocolate syrup, was brought to the table, the girl cried a bucket.
She could hardly speak. Then there was a long pause and silence.
“I told myself, ‘poor guy, he didn’t know what her answer was,’” Sincioco says. “We were watching them intently.”
Sincioco simply couldn’t bear the long wait. She approached the couple and asked the girl: “So, is the answer yes?”
The girl nodded in approval. The entire restaurant erupted in applause.
“We were all happy especially for the guy,” says Sincioco. “Of course, it’s always nice to be part of the history of their life and their relationship.”
Apart from wedding proposals, many customers celebrate their anniversaries in the restaurant. And if guests inform the place
beforehand of their celebration, the tables will be dressed beautifully with flowers, red cloth and romantic candles.
Sincioco’s 100 Revolving Restaurant, which opened July last year, continues to astound people with its breathtaking 360-degree view of the metropolis, enough to thrill the senses and excite the appetite. The view includes Mt. Banahaw, Manila Bay, Laguna de Bay, Sierra Madre Mountains, Montalban and Antipolo. At night, you can see the Ortigas skyline, Eastwood nightlife and even C5 traffic.
It takes about an hour and 40 minutes for the resto to complete a full turn.
Sincioco (also of Chef Jessie Rockwell Club and Top of the Citi) has been sort of expecting the success of her newest baby.
“I know the restaurant has its own special feature which is the revolving aspect. Because it’s the only revolving restaurant in the Philippines, that alone is enough to draw people to it,” she says.
It offers international cuisine, although Sincioco is keeping her classic French dishes and other personally created fare, such as Pasta à la Jessie, steaks, alugbati salad, goose liver salad, soufflés and pastas.
The restaurant also offers pizzas, sushi, ramen, burgers. And Sincioco offers a number of dishes that guests can find only in 100.
There’s Escargot Bourguignonne, a classic French dish cooked in butter and garlic. The Seared Tuna Salad, with roasted garlic, peanuts, sesame seeds, pistachios and nori strips, is deliciously seasoned with a wasabi vinaigrette dressing. The crusted fresh tuna is served on a bed of lettuce with pickled carrots and radish.
Vegetable Maki comes with bits of carrots, asparagus, tofu and rolled sesame seed crust; while the Asparagus-Blue Cheese Soufflé offers a very savory bite with the subtle vegetable tempering the strong taste of blue cheese. As you dig into the soufflé, you get to chew more on the asparagus.
Tournedos Rossini, two medallions of beef tenderloin topped with pan-fried goose liver, simply melts in the mouth. The juicy, fork-tender steak and the silky, buttery foie gras make for a winning combination. It’s served with potato gratin on the side.
Another dish worth trying is the Grilled Lamb Chops with vegetable roulade with goat cheese on a bed of greens. The slow-baked lamb offers real depth and a more pronounced flavor. The meat is crusted with garlic, rosemary and parsley then covered with rosemary jus.
A healthier alternative is Grilled Ostrich Steak with wild rice vegetable risotto. The medium-rare meat is cut like beef tenderloin
and drizzled with sun-dried tomato sauce.
For dessert, nothing beats Revolving Torta, a butter cake-like dessert served with vanilla sauce. The torta also comes with a choice of langka, macapuno, mango, pineapple and banana.
Sincioco has been to different revolving restaurants in the world, including those in the United States, Singapore, Japan, Canada and Australia. When the offer came for her to open one, she initially said no.
“When it was first offered to me a few years ago, I instantly declined,” says Sincioco. “Because when they approached me, it was not the best time to open a new one. I had just closed an outlet.”
But what she didn’t know was, when the family of Mariano Que of Mercury Drug Store was planning the construction of its first high-rise building, Sincioco was already part of the plan all along.
“They wanted a revolving restaurant and they wanted me to run it. They spoke to me in January (last year) and I said yes in December. They’re very good people. They’ve been my loyal clients in almost all of my restaurants,” Sincioco says.
The revolving restaurant, which can seat 250 people, gets full especially at night.
In the open kitchen, Sincioco is assisted by her niece Abie Mateo (head chef), nephew Matt Sincioco (sauté), brother Reo Sincioco (hot dish and sauce) and niece Noreen de Guzman (pastry), and a team of cooks.
“I love it here. Who would not love something like this? This is a very special place. I’ve been to other revolving restaurants in the world, but you never find or enjoy a view as vast as this. This is where I realized that our country is so beautiful. Imagine, while you are enjoying your food the restaurant tours you 360 degrees.”
Chef Jessie’s 100 Revolving Restaurant is at 33/F, MDC 100 Bldg., C5 corner Eastwood Drive, Quezon City; tel. 9625654, 9621016.
E-mail the author at vbaga@ inquirer.com.ph
PHOTOS BY PJ ENRIQUEZ