Sofitel Philippine Plaza kicks off the Year of the Horse with two important festivities that many Filipinos look forward to—the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day.
A preview of Sofitel’s celebrations and offerings for the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day was held last Wednesday at Spiral’s Epicure Private Dining Room. Three huge round tables were beautifully set up in the room, each laden with a sumptuous spread of dishes for each occasion.
The dishes for Chinese New Year included Braised Pork Knuckle with Iceberg Lettuce and Oyster Sauce, Steamed King Prawn with Fresh Garlic, Braised Sea Cucumber with Minced Chicken Szechuan Sauce; and for Valentine’s Day, Caviar Pie, Green Salad with Cheese and Edible Flowers and dark and white chocolates in all sizes, shapes and flavors.
The middle table was meant for the ceremony of Yusheng to bring good luck to the whole year. Yusheng is a prosperity toss raw-fish salad consisting of strips of raw fish (tuna and
salmon) mixed with shredded vegetables (carrots and green radish) and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients.
The Chinese ceremonial toss was participated in by Sofitel’s Chinese executive chef Mok Chee Wah, food and beverage director Damien Marchenay, sales and marketing director Chanelle Garvey, general manager Adam Laker, resident manager Carl Gagnon and regional executive chef for Asia Pacific Eric Costille.
“Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day have been two of the most celebrated occasions in the Philippines,” said Laker. “And, Sofitel has lined up fabulous ways to observe these momentous events. We’ve prepared an extensive spread for the Lunar feast and the most romantic dinner for Love Day.”
For Chinese New Year, chef Mok Chee Wah has prepared a special 18 treasures-themed menu, ongoing until Feb. 2 at Spiral, from different regions of China (Cantonese, Szechuan, Shanghainese and Peking-style).
In Chinese numerology and phonetics, the number 18 is associated with prosperity. The 18-treasures menu features 18 types of steamed and fried Hong Kong dim sum, 18 main courses, several live cooking stations, including Mongolian with fresh meat, seafood, and 18 kinds of sauces, lobster laksa with 18 kinds of condiments, and 18 desserts.
Dishes include Braised Sea Cucumber with Szechuan-style minced chicken, Shanghai-style fried spicy chicken, Cantonese-style wok-fried pork chop, and Peking-style wok-fried long bean and minced beef. There are more dishes to feast on, such as Spiral’s signature chili crabs, various Hong Kong roast meats, and foie gras siomai.
On Jan. 29, Spiral will hold a 15-piece fashion show with the Shanghai Nights Collection featuring the look and feel of Shanghai as interpreted by renowned designer Albert Andrada.
On Jan. 30, Chinese New Year’s Eve, there’ll be dragon and lion dance performance at 7:30 p.m. plus fireworks display. A Chinese cultural dance will cap the celebrations at 10 p.m.
For the love month, Spiral French chef Bettina Arguellas will sprinkle flowers on dishes from main courses to desserts to cocktail drinks on Feb. 13-16.
The floral feast starts with barley salad with basil flowers and broccoli, lavender and couscous salad, and glazed spring vegetables with squash flowers. The romantic rendezvous blossoms with peppered lavender beef tenderloin and honey pork loin with plum and lavender relish, deep-fried courgette flowers with basil dip and seared prawns with chamomile beurre blanc.
The French culinary touch is highlighted in other dishes such as Foie Gras and Duck Prosciutto with Compote of Strawberry and Roses and Glazed Iberian Pork Belly with Swiss Chard, Lavender Poached Apples and Grape Mustard Vinaigrette.
On Feb. 14, guests can have a private dinner for two at Sunset Bar. They can indulge in a six-course set menu prepared by Arguellas while being served by a personal butler. The experience will be made even more special with live entertainment by a romantic duo, a bottle of champagne, a box of heart-shaped chocolates, a bouquet of roses and a special gift from Jewelmer.
Singles are not left out on Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s Black Valentines at Le Bar with no romantic intonations but rather live entertainment and guaranteed lots of fun to help them forget it’s Valentine’s Day.
For reservations and inquiries on Sofitel’s Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day treats, call 8326988, 5515555; or e-mail [email protected]