When in Manila and you’re ultimately craving for some authentic Malaysian food, head over to Diamond Hotel as they showcase Malaysia’s exquisite cuisine with Makanan Lazat: A Malaysian Food Festival.
This 12-day culinary affair began last September 5 and will have its run until September 16 at the Corniche Restaurant located at the lobby of the Diamond Hotel in Manila. The gastronomic spread of Malay fares was prepared by the guest Malaysian chef, Chef Cheong Yan See of Enderun Colleges. Chef See, who studied in Switzerland, United States, and France, has 2 decades’ worth of international experience in various luxurious hotels, all cramped under his chef’s hat! Aside from being a kitchen kingpin, Chef See is likewise fluent in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, and Filipino. He actually spoke to me in Filipino and I replied with a stuttering, “salamat po!” because I was genuinely surprised! I was struggling with a lamb shank, puzzling over how I’ll put it on my plate, when he came over and assisted me.
Malaysia: Truly Asia!
During the Malaysian food festival, there would be 3 menu cycles, each cycle with a wide variety of lip-smacking appetizers, sumptuous main courses, belly-warming soups, and irresistible desserts. This Epicurean feast is available during the lunch and dinner buffets at the Corniche Restaurant for only Php 1,600 (nett per person) or for Php 1,888 (nett) should you choose to notch up your Malaysian food experience with free-flowing tropical juices (warm, cold, shakes, name it and hopefully, they got it!).
Since this is my first time to try Malaysian food, I went with my favorite seafood: the shrimp. The Udang Masak Sambal Pedas (translated as My Mother’s Style of Chili Prawns) is sweet and spicy that blended well with the succulent prawns. These babies are best eaten on their own but since we’re rice lovers, this fare would go well with a scoopful of Nasi Lemak (Steamed Coconut Rice).
Udang Masak Sambal Pedas should translate to finger-lickin’ goodness!
My misadventure with the lamb shank led me to try Dalca Kambing or Lamb Shank and Chickpea Stew. For the uninitiated (like me), lamb meat tastes a lot like beef, only chewier and has a darker shade. This main course is best shared with someone because of its size. You can bet that before you finish this shank, you’ll be meeh-meeh-ing your way to the other buffet spreads.
That monstrous slab of lamb called Dalca Kambing!
Aside from the scrumptious Malaysian feast, you can also sample the other spreads available during the buffet such as the Western spread and the tasty Asian cuisine. There is also a salad bar to beat, and meat delights to choose from! If one is a cheese afficionado, try also Corniche’s cheese spread along with the baked goodness of breads. Likewise, do save (a very, very big) room in your tummy for the assortment desserts that’s sure to tickle one’s taste buds. To cap off a heavyweight meal, try some coffee or tea for a more relaxing denouement on a well-fought battle (on your plates!).
The chi-chi atmosphere at the Corniche Restaurant goes well with the cozy seats and ambiance of the place.
Ah! I got myself some rolls to appease my tummy. Mmmm. Rolls. *drools*
Fresh off the ice for your salad and seafood cravings!
Some salad and Indian fare are also offered in the buffet. Choices, choices, choices!
Although the buffet is self-service, the staff of Corniche Restaurant are more than willing to serve you. Fine service, my lads! Kudos to you!
A girl can never have too much dessert. Never!
To further spice up one’s Malaysian dining experience, there will be a live demonstration by Chef Francis Loh on the making of Teh Tarik, an Indian milk tea beverage, to showcase his tea-pouring skills. Sadly, we weren’t able to watch the said demonstration during our visit. Maybe next time, eh?
So when you’re in Manila and you’ve got that serious hungriness for some popular Malay fare, head over to the Corniche Restaurant of the Diamond Hotel as they showcase Makanan Lazat: A Malaysian Food Festival. But, you better hurry! This Malaysian food festival is until September 16 only so don’t let this chance pass to sample authentic Malaysian cuisine as prepared by the world-class chef, Chef See.
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Malaysian Misadventure with Makanan Lazat: A Malaysian Food Festival