There are many restaurants that you can chose from, but The Manila Hotel will be one of the first in mind with the re-opening of one of its key restaurants in its new home—Cowrie Grill.
As you enter Cowrie Grill, you wouldn’t help but notice the beautiful shells that adorn the restaurant, which are also the reason behind its name. It has been said that way back in 1977 when The Manila Hotel, one of the country’s premier hotel, showcased Filipino artistry through the ingenious craftsmanship of the Philippine cowrie, the most coveted sea shell was found in the deep waters of Leyte.
The Manila Hotel used to house Cowrie Grill, but with the expansion of Café Illang–Illang. Cowrie Grill was moved to its new home at the sprawling Promenade Mall at Greenhills Shopping Center, still offering its signature creations of steaks and grilled entrees with the prime table-side service they are known for. Let me take you with me to my gastronomic experience with Cowrie Grill.
To start off, you will be offered some dinner rolls and butter to accompany it. They come in three flavors, French, Herbed, and Sun-dried. My personal favorite is Sun-dried; you might think that it has bacon in it due to its smoky flavor. Next on the menu was Lobster Bisque and it is prepared and flambéed with brandy at tableside. The soup is hearty and warm; you can really taste the flavor of the lobster clinging to your tongue along with its creamy soup.
After the soup, comes the signature Maitre D’Caesar Salad. What sets their Caesar salad from the typical ones is that the dressing is prepared fresh at table side. A mixture of fresh ingredients such as anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, eggs, and virgin coconut oil mixed together to let it emulsify manually until thick and ready. The salad is actually very simple with just romaine lettuce, bacon bits, croutons, and Parmesan cheese, but what makes it special is the dressing made fresh right in front of you.
Before getting to the main dish, we were served with their sherbet of the day which was watermelon. It served as a palette cleanser to help us appreciate better what will come next. The flavor of the sherbet was light and refreshing, which made us more excited for the main event.
So what is this main event that I am talking about? The U.S. Angus Prime Rib for which Cowrie Grill is famous for, cooked using a Montague steakhouse broiler that gives you the perfect flavor. The steak was tender that when cut, juice comes out. Served with baked potato topped with sour cream and vegetables, this dish can be shared by two due to its generous serving, but if you are like me who loves steaks, you can consider having it all to yourself.
Along with the steak, we were served with a few of their signature cocktails namely Cowrie Royale, Hennessy Martini, and a mixture of Lakan Lambanog & Lychee (a new selection that is yet to be named). My personal favorite is the Lambanog with Lychee wherein they used Lakan, a high-end brand of local Lambanog distilled six times giving the crisp clean flavor, paired with the refreshing flavor of Lychee.
To cap off our meal, we had the famous Baked Alaska, a sponge cake filled with strawberry and vanilla ice cream topped with meringue. The meringue is browned with brandy flambé at table side. The dessert gives a refreshing twist with the cold ice cream inside and the hot meringue outside, hence its name Baked Alaska, in reference to the igloos of the Eskimos of Alaska.
In the end, Cowrie Grill didn’t disappoint us with its finest selection of entrees and great customer service; it can be a great venue for intimate occasions and special dinners. With supervision of Executive Chef Michael So Chan, Cowrie Grill surely is a place to be. Though the selection can be a bit pricey, every penny you spend will be worth it. So When In Manila, the next time you think of a place to bring the family or that special someone, consider placing Cowrie Grill on top of the list.
Cowrie Grill By The Manila Hotel
Promenade Mall, Missouri St. Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
Daily: 11AM-3PM (Lunch)
For Inquiries and Reservations: 463-1993