A glistening, sugary, bone-in ham is a celebratory dish served in many homes during the holidays. But for one businesswoman, it’s a staple whenever and wherever friends and families gather.
“It’s perfect for parties and the day after. Ham scraps, fried with rice and peas, is delicious for breakfast,” said Millie Reyes of The Plaza, which is known for its premium baked ham.
“Our ham is also very popular at wakes where it’s served as palaman (filling) for pandesal.”
Founded over 50 years ago by Reyes’ parents, Joe and Meldy Reyes, The Plaza Inc. was one of Manila’s well-known dining establishments of that era, a place to celebrate important milestones. It started out as a restaurant complex housing a convention hall, meeting rooms and several dining concepts including a Chinese restaurant, a steakhouse, a Parisian-style café, and a buffet-style restaurant.
The Plaza has since evolved into kiosks where customers can order the ham and other dishes, like its premium corned beef and Chicken à la Kiev to go. Reyes and her daughter Karla now maintain outlets at Rustan’s Makati, SM Megamall and Petron branches in Dasmariñas Village, and La Vista on Katipunan Avenue.
For a limited time only, customers can order and eat some of Reyes’ dishes on the fifth floor of Rustan’s Makati. A recent addition to its list of specialties is the truffle pasta, which is tossed in a parmesan wheel on the spot.
The pop-up restaurant features The Plaza classics—including premium baked ham, premium boiled corned beef, Chicken à la Kiev and cream cheeseburger.
These items are also available frozen and ready to cook.
Here’s a recipe from The Plaza to try at home:
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
4 patties of Plaza Burger, about 250 g
(approximately 6 pcs)
1 c grated mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tbsp red onions, diced
1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
4 pc fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp ketchup
½ c water
2 g basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
Saute garlic, onions, and chili flakes in olive oil for 1-2 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Add ketchup and water. Bring up to a boil and simmer until thick. Season with salt and pepper. Mix chopped basil.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet or tray.
Divide each burger patty into 2-3 pieces and shape them into meatballs. Place on the bottom part of the mushroom, arrange on the tray, and cook in the oven.
Top with grated mozzarella.
Spread the tomato sauce on a platter then transfer mushrooms.