Quantcast
Latest Stories

Bigger, better, and more disaster-prepared Spiral

It will have a glass veranda, ‘ateliers’ showcasing star chefs in action–and no more chafing dishes

By

ASSORTED sweet treatswith chocolate and fruit fillings.

After over a year of restoration work, the Spiral, which has been damaged by Typhoon “Pedring,” is finally reopening on Nov. 8.

The flagship restaurant of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is not taking any chances as far as disaster-preparedness is concerned. Measures have been mapped out to prevent a repeat of the Sept. 26, 2011, incident when a storm surge off Manila Bay flooded the restaurant.

“As you all know, we faced our adversity in September 2011,” said Chanelle Garvey, Sofitel’s director for sales and marketing, during a sneak preview-cum-press conference last week for Spiral. “But, as the saying goes, with adversity comes great opportunity. And the opportunity that we’ve had is to recreate the most awe-inspiring dining destination not just in Manila but in Asia-Pacific and eventually in the world.”

Since the luxurious bay front spot has been Sofitel’s most priceless feature, it must stand strong against the harsh elements. The hotel management has contracted foreign engineering experts to reinforce its climate-change defenses and prevent another flooding.

SPIRAL’S new look includes lustrous whitemarbles and glowing glass counters where diners can see actual food preparations.

“We’ve put up additional walls around the area to protect the property perimeter,” said Goran Aleks, Sofitel’s general manager. “We’ve also ensured the drainage is open and clear.  We constructed a trench canal to enable the water coming in the hotel to be diverted back to Manila Bay. What happened last time was that the water that got in had nowhere to escape.”

Now, in case of strong typhoons, 10 submersible pumps are ready to redirect overflowing water to Manila Bay. An onsite weather station has also been set up to measure wind speed, direction and rainfall intensity, which provides hotel management sufficient information to determine the necessary level of action during bad weather.

Dining inspiration

A sneak peek into the new Spiral showed us a brighter, fresher dining experience. The refurbished Spiral, of course, still has the magnificent Manila Bay as backdrop.

The renovated look also has Spiral drawing attention to its grand spiral staircase leading to the vast dining area that seats up to 452 people, including those in private dining rooms.

THE ICONIC staircase leading to the vast dining area has been the symbol of Spiral.

There are a lot to take in visually: the marvelous 21-ft high metal sculpture, “Rhythmic Movements,” by Ed Castrillo, is still there, behind the iconic Spiral staircase; and two more 7-ft high brass sculptures of the sculptor at La Veranda; the four giant capiz chandeliers that illuminate the entire space; the lustrous white marbles as buffet tables, glowing glass counters, frosted glass doors; and the stylish men and women servers whose beige-black-and-white tinted uniforms were designed by Rajo Laurel.

The new design was conceived by Spin Design Studio of Japan, the team responsible for the original Spiral and other world-class projects, such as the new restaurants of Ritz Carlton Hong Kong.

Highlight of the new Spiral is La Veranda, an indoor trendy lounge that opens to an outdoor terrace with four gazebos leading to the iconic lagoon-shaped pool the hotel is famous for. One can unwind, sit back and literally watch the sky from the comfort of a glass-enclosed lounge while sitting in the Parisian-style bar.

“To create the new Spiral, we felt we needed an inspiration,” said Aleks, who also revealed the P500-million budget for the renovation. “So, the team traveled around Asia and Europe in search of the best dining concepts and came up with 21 different dining ateliers. The idea was to bring the authenticity and warmth of the traditional French markets and Asian hawker stalls into a five-star hotel setting.”

Below, La Boulangerie presentswarm and freshly baked pretzels, baguettes, croissants.

He added: “We also like to bring the back of the kitchen in front of the restaurant. We bring the chocolate room in the midst of the dining area, including the ham and cheese room and baking room to show how croissants are actually prepared. It’s a fun open area, much like a bistro in Paris in the 1930s.”

The new concept presents more elaborate open kitchens and cooking stations that treat diners to actual food preparation. Spiral brings the kitchen to the forefront where guests can witness the chefs in action.  This encourages interaction between diners and chefs.

Diners can interact with the friendly staff behind the buffet counters and actually ask them how they want their food done. After cooking, the food goes straight to the diners’ plates.

Yes, you won’t see any chafing dishes in the room anymore.

Atelier

The new Spiral is divided into 21 dining ateliers. In France, an atelier is an artist’s special workshop, and in Spiral it is where secret recipes are masterfully prepared right before diners’ eyes. The range of cuisines is expansive and the attention to detail for each dish is like the focus of an artisan on his craft.

SPIRAL chefs cook up a storm with a stellar international cast. From left, Thai chef Romeo Malate, executive Chinese chef CheeWah Mok, Japanese chef de cuisine Hiroaki Yamaguchi,Western chef de cuisine Anne Cecile Melle Degenne, Sofitel executive chef Eric Costille, Indian chef Halim Ali Khan, executive pastry chef Guillaume Bonnety, executive sous chef ArnoldGuevarra and Korean chef Kyeongho Lee

The Atelier is headed by executive chef Eric Costille, who will work alongside other award-winning chefs from all over the world, some of them with over 20 years of culinary experience and who have won medals in different competitions around the world. These chefs include executive sous chef Arnold Guevarra, executive pastry chef Guillaume Bonnety, executive Chinese chef Chee Wah Mok, Western chef de cuisine Anne Cecile Melle Degenne (the only woman in a brigade of six male chefs), Indian chef  Halim Ali Khan, Thai chef Romeo Malate, Japanese chef de cuisine Hiroaki Yamaguchi and Korean chef Kyeongho Lee.

The 21 Ateliers are within the buffet lineup. They include Salad and Appetizer (fresh locally grown produce and organic veggies will be tossed for you by the chefs with your choice of home-made salad dressings); L’Écailler (fresh seafood sourced from all over the world); L’Epicerie (a variety of premium aged hams, smoked fish and artisanal cheese from France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland); Hot Japanese (traditional grilled seafood, meat and vegetables cooked at the robata or at the teppanyaki); French Stove (homemade seared foie gras, roasted meat and carving); Rotisserie (roasted meats); Wood-Fired Oven (freshly cooked pizzas); Churrasco (skewered steaks and seafood); North Indian (fiery and spicy treats of northern and southern India); Asian Noodles (hand-pulled Asian noodles).

There are also Chinese Wok (Cantonese, Hunan and Sichuan specialties); Filipino (Pinoy favorites such as beef tapa, adobo and kare-kare); Thai (fiery flavors infused with lime, kaffir and basil); Korean (kimchi, bulgogi, beef short ribs barbecue); La Boulangerie (selection of freshly baked baguettes, pain au chocolat, croissants); La Patisserie (freshly baked French pastries of all shapes, fillings, textures and sizes); Chocolaterie (artisanal chocolates, truffles and pralines intricately designed whether dark, white or milk chocolate); and Creamery (all types of ice cream, with special toppings).

Spiral buffet price: Monday-Saturday lunch, P2,431.94; Sunday brunch at P3,046.06; Sunday-Thursday dinner, P2,800.41; Friday-Saturday dinner, P3,046.06.

E-mail the author at vbaga@inquirer.com.ph

PHOTOS BY EDWIN BELLOSILLO


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: dining , Hotels , Lifestyle , Restaurants , Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila , Spiral

  • PorLaTele

    I’ve been looking forward to this. Finally it reopened

  • WeAry_Bat

    The price is way beyond what I thought after the good feedback from a few colleagues.

    It would be interesting how the defenses fare over a strong typhoon.  They might as well pioneer a hotel on ‘stilts’ illusion by opening the 1st two floors.

  • facq2

    this place is only for million-air, not even for middle rich families unless ikaw lang ang kakain, pero kung kasama mo family mo sabog ang bulsa mo, pero kung politico ang tatay mo no problem yakang-yaka barya lang yan!



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. How to enjoy Buntod
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  7. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  8. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Love it or hate it? Kris Aquino’s new hairstyle
  • A brand for life
  • Wear a rainbow on your wrist
  • Wearing Kate Moss
  • Sail into summer
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Foreign funds flowed out in Q1, says BSP
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
    Marketplace