Promo Alert: Chef Bruce Lim for Diamond Hotel, Manila

Foreign fare takes a local makeover at Cocina Filipina.

Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos Street
Tel. No. 528-3000
Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.


( Celebrity Chef Bruce Lim is shaking up Pinoy fare with his renditions of international dishes reinvented for the Filipino palate. Cocina Filipina, a 10-day-long festival heralding local cuisine, takes those ingenius combinations and integrates it in Corniche Restaurant’s existing buffet until May 25.

Beet root soup with scallops

The arrangement might be a tad confusing to those who aren’t accustomed to Corniche’s layout. There’s no glistening lechon or overwhelming whiff of kare-kare. There’s not even a separate table  to carry all of Chef Bruce’s delicious treats. Instead, make your way through the rows of chafing dishes and pick out the ones that are mestizo-sounding. Or, try the ones we’ve picked out for you:



Tuyo Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes

Bits of tuyo give the pizza that local flavor. Paired with the customary tomato-this time sun-dried cherry sliced in half-caramelized onions cut the salt and tang presenting an evened-out recipe in manageable three-inch slices. A perfect example of the balance that qualifies most of these fusion dishes. It was, however, a tad disappointing that the smokiness of grilled pork belly (a.k.a. liempo) smother the required acidity of sinigang. Though nonetheless lipsmacking, the pork sinigang is still a good makeover of a Pinoy classic. We just wish they churned the tanginess up a notch.

Tuna Tartare with Paco Salad Aratilis

Another item you shouldn’t miss is the Oyster Rockefeller Pinoy Style which pretty much means steamed oysters are wrapped in sauteed kangkong. The effect is chewy with a moist, muffled crunch that’s a shade salty. For a contrast in texture, try the Kalderetang Itik. The rich savory sauce takes away the gaminess of duck (only the legs are served) which just falls off the bone without too much effort.

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Their iconic cheesecake is spun with a queso de bola twist

Desserts are, of course, the highlight at Diamond Hotel and while you can overlook all the aforementioned dishes (don’t though), you just can’t sidestep the Mango Sago Timbals: a double shot glass with sticky rice under and mango cream with tapioca which, when mixed, creates a not-so-sweet, not-so-tangy confection that wins in both texture and flavor. The buko-laced creme brulee, on the other hand, is elevated with nutty notes of young coconut.

Cocina Filipina costs P1,680 or P1,888 with free-flowing tropical juices. For reservations, contact 528-3000 local 1121.

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