For some reason, the past year bore witness to the entry of a slew of new resto-bars and clubs in Manila, all of them hoping to usurp the throne once held by strongholds such as the now-defunct Embassy. While only time will tell which ones will win the loyalties of the fickle partying set, there are a couple that set themselves apart from the occasionally indistinguishable clubs.
One of these is Fever Luxe Lounge, which recently opened at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza. Done in black and red interiors that can only be described as boudoir-like (one is irrevocably reminded of “Moulin Rouge” with every beaded curtain and chandelier), the resto-bar is slowly starting to become one of the more popular destinations in the city, competing with places such as Republiq, Opus, Salon de Ning, and KYSS. It’s no surprise that Fever attracts the same beautiful people as the aforementioned places, because behind it are the usual kingpins of the Manila scene: Tim Yap, Stephen Ku, GP Reyes, and JM Rodriguez.
While there’s always a reason to party (house music, R&B, retro, funk, soul and disco are played on various days of the week), what sets Fever apart from the others is its focus on food. Serious foodies should find their way to Sofitel if only to sample the dishes by Chef Jose Luis Gonzalez, who was affiliated with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and El Bulli—only the greatest restaurant in the world. Degustation meals showcase the chef’s skill in both molecular gastronomy and classic comfort cuisine, leading to innovative dishes such as fresh oysters with champagne and lemon-infused ice, squash cream with Cerveza Negra ice cream, chocolate balls with tomato confit, lamb with pineapples, and foie gras with oranges and crispy carrot spaguetto. (Even the house-made bread is fit for kings).
“The dishes are done in such a way to make the natural flavors intensify,” says Chef Gonzalez. “Many of them are natural complements—like lamb and pineapple—but we also try to surprise guests with dishes that they don’t expect. I also like using vegetables in the desserts for an unusual flavor, not too sweet but pleasant nonetheless.”
Many guests come for the parties that start after supper service ends at 10:30, but the kitchen still offers various tapas to sustain partygoers throughout long nights of dancing. Mondays feature house lounge, Tuesdays have R&B mash-ups by Mike Bolante, Wednesdays are for retro nights with Karl Ty, more house with Edz Ferrer on Thursdays and JC Sandejas on Fridays, and mash-up pop on Saturdays. Still, if you’re going to Fever for a party anyway, be sure to drop by for dinner—it’s something that you won’t regret.
Fever Luxe Lounge is located at the Plaza Level of Sofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Pasay City. Call 832-6988 or e-mail [email protected]