It started with a table—a gorgeous 12-seater at Conrad Manila’s C Lounge.
“It’s such a beautiful space, right, with that Manila Bay view?” said Conrad Manila’s general manager Laurent Boisdron. “When I joined the hotel 18 months ago, this table was basically unused. We needed to do something.”
The hotel introduced The Perfect Pair, a wine pairing degustation on Wednesday evenings. “It’s a communal table. The idea is to have people who don’t know each other—a couple, a party of six—mix together while they enjoy food and wine prepared by our chef and food and beverage director,” said Boisdron.
The Perfect Pair is also a chance for Conrad Manila to highlight #EatDrinkHilton’s seasonal produce. “Every month, we select one ingredient. And all over Asia, if you go to any Hilton property, you will find dishes using that ingredient,” said Emile Otte, Conrad Manila’s director of operations.
Last June, the featured ingredient was mint. For July, it’s chili. In August, it’s chocolate.
Our Perfect Pair experience began with a welcome drink: Chili, cocktail of the month, a refreshing concoction of strawberry, tequila and, of course, chili.
The first course was chilled raw papaya and tandoori chicken salad in a rice paper wrap served with sweet chili sauce and watermelon reduction. We enjoyed it with a glass of Mouton Cadet 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux.
The main course was blackened salmon with nam cham chili dressing and avocado mango micro salad. And instead of pairing it with white wine, it was served with Pinot Noir—Cadet d’Oc 2015, a bold and fitting choice.
For dessert, we had warm Prosecco Sabayon of wild berries which came with a butter cookie spoon. It was a playful end to a delightful degustation.
“The menu changes every week,” said Otte. The weekly three-course degustation is prepared by Daniel Patterson, Conrad Manila’s executive chef.
And if you aren’t able to grab a seat at the communal table, don’t worry, you can still enjoy The Perfect Pair. You can even order it at the bar.
“The Perfect Pair is perfect for people who love food and wine and good value… This is a three-course menu with wine and a welcome drink for P1,450. I think that’s very good value,” said Boisdron. “You have a beautiful view of the bay and great background music.”
C Lounge’s floor-to-ceiling windows are a huge draw—they offer a fantastic view of the sunset. The regular menu features cold cuts, cheese plates, salads, sandwiches and more.
There’s live music every night, with a different band each evening.
The Perfect Pair happens during that sweet spot between the sunset and just before the band starts playing.
“It’s great for people coming from their offices. They can come here with colleagues, have wine, enjoy the degustation menu and go home when the traffic is lighter. It makes for a nice evening,” said Otte.
Or you might end up staying to enjoy the music and have more drinks, like we did.
The Perfect Pair is available at C Lounge, Conrad Manila (Mall of Asia Complex), 6-8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Call 8339999 or [email protected]