Written by: Micky Fenix
The name may be unfamiliar to those who live outside Pampanga or haven’t visited Clark Freeport Zone since or even before the pandemic. But for people who enjoy casinos, staycations, and restaurants serving the best cuisine this side of town has to offer, Hann Resorts is the place to go, whether it’s for all those experiences or just one or two.
Hann Resorts is known as the first fully integrated resort north of Manila. It is home to Central Luzon’s first five-star hotel, Clark Marriott, and the first Swissotel in the Philippines, collectively operating 15 food and beverage outlets. They dominate TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Best Restaurants in Clark.
The esteemed property elevates Clark’s dining scene with international flavors, including Korean, Japanese, Chinese, American and Italian cuisine, catering to both authentic and Filipino-inspired tastes.
Hann Resorts is undeniably the new culinary destination in Pampanga.
During my first day, the promise of Peking duck was enough to make me hurry towards WU XING Chinese Restaurant. This restaurant is renowned to both locals and tourists for its authentic Peking duck, which is marinated and roasted using locally sourced star-apple firewood, resulting in tender and flavorful meat with crispy skin.
There, I met chef Lucas Zhou, who expertly cut the crisp skin while servers wrapped it in sheer pancakes. The remaining meat was fried to be eaten wrapped in lettuce. We would have been satisfied with just that, but the specialties kept filling our table— dim sum pieces, rice colored an unusual shade of green, and vegetables to ease our guilt from indulging.
When dessert arrived, we were quite grateful because we had already eaten so much. The Macau-style baked egg tart was creamy and crisp, and the bun filled with milky egg cream provided a light and satisfying conclusion, complemented by the restaurant’s excellent tea.
For dinner, we went to SMOKI MOTO, where an upscale grill and dining experience awaits us. While the restaurant name evokes something smoked, perhaps one can describe it as a steak place yet leaning towards Korean and Japanese cuisine for its other offerings.
To set the mood, cocktails were served on the verandah looking out to a view of the Zambales mountain range. Guests just had to have the mountains as background of their souvenir photo of the place. And then we were called for the main event.
We had a thick Black Angus marbled steak, cooked to a perfect medium rare the way I like it. But before that, we were given the Korean style group of appetizers, then Japanese sushi, then a salad. Those would have been enough for the night but when the steak arrived, the smoky aroma got to us right away and we finished our steak with a flourish. And so, the other tables must have done the same though some were able to finish a Tomahawk steak which weighs 1.6 kg, some decided to cook their own steak on the table grill, while others preferred lighter Korean fare like bibim magguksu, a cold noodle salad dish.
To have dessert didn’t seem possible at first but we were convinced to try the Pinatubo molten lava cake. A perfect name, wouldn’t you say, for the volcano slept for centuries then vented its full fury to Pampanga and beyond, a good story to tell guests who may not be aware. But whatever they called it, the cake was so good, gooey, glorious.
Before going to my well-deserved rest, we were told not to eat too much for breakfast because we would have brunch. It was difficult not to give in to temptation at MARKT where my breakfast provided so many choices. The name looks like it’s missing an “e” because the buffet place evokes a European marketplace.
A long strip by the wall is where food can be cooked on order though there is cooked food lining the counter as well. A short walk leads to the circular buffet with more choices and where one can have a lighter meal as we were asked to do. So, my breakfast had the choices of fruit, yogurt, and a bit of bread concoctions. Markt is open for lunch and dinner as well, offering cuisines to satisfy individual preferences.
Our weekend stay made it possible to experience Sunday Brunch at RISTORANTE DI VERONA starting at 11:30 am. It’s a different vibe as one enters because there is a DJ who dishes modern dancing music though not intrusive to conversation. You can do chair dancing or stand up and burn those calories.
Cocktails were offered by the bartender to your liking.
There were choices of olive oil, some infused with herbs and aged, for instance, to dip your bread into, but be warned that too much fun with it will make you too full to enjoy the rest of the brunch offerings.
Oysters for starters, for us, especially when told that these are the famous fine de claire from France done three ways—fresh, Rockefeller, baked.
Next was charcuterie choices of salami and prosciutto, cheese choices that included Padano and gorgonzola.
I just had to have Gnocchi Tartufo, my favorite, potato dumpling with a creamy sauce spiked with truffles. Thankfully the pizzas were small in size.
For those who like a bit more to their brunch, the buffet offers meatier choices like porchetta, Wagyu burgers, steaks like tenderloin, roasted chicken, and fish like salmon fillet and codfish.
Who could ask for more? Oh, yes, something from a wide collection of wines visible to diners and part of the décor. And yes, of course, the Italian desserts like mascarpone cheesecake, fruit tarts, and candied banana mille fuille.
It is advisable to request for late checkout for those slated to leave that day to fully enjoy the tummy-filling taste experience of this Sunday brunch.
There are more choices of restaurants at Hann Resorts and will need more than a two-day stay, weekend or not. For instance, GOJI KITCHEN + BAR offers a buffet of international cuisines under the expert guidance of chef Robert Czeschka.
But here also is a specialized Kapampangan station that gives a taste of the local Kapampangan cooking in-house where one can savor the already renowned sisig and the buro or fermented shrimp for both the seasoned Kapampangan food lover and the adventurous eater.
Included in its offering is the Noodle Bar where one can get an assortment of Asian noodle specialties. And the menu changes often so the next visit will offer an entirely new selection.
And to take a respite either from gaming or the heavier offerings of the other food places, try SPICE. It’s where to enjoy Asian street food amidst an infinitely better setting of a clean, relaxed, cool environment. And yet Spice gives the vibe of street food cooking such as high flames during wok exercises of creating stir-fried noodles such as pad Thai or the many varieties of fried rice. Plus, drink all that down with Asian beverages like branded beers and Philippine craft beers, spiced iced tea, coffee, and sodas.
Whether you’re seeking a casual snack or a lavish dining experience, Spice consistently delivers. With its outstanding service and flavorful offerings, Spice has rightfully claimed its position among Clark’s premier dining establishments.
Ready to experience a world of culinary excellence? On your next visit up north, make sure you don’t miss a trip to Hann Resorts, where you can indulge your palate with a diverse selection of offerings conveniently located within Clark Marriott and Swissotel Clark.
For reservations, contact Swissotel Clark: HB6N4@swissotel.com | (045) 306 2000 | @swissotelclark and Clark Marriott email@example.com | (045) 598 5000 | @clarkmarriott. Follow Hann Resorts on Facebook and @hannresorts_ on Instagram for the latest news on their restaurants and bars.