New Restaurant Alert: Spice Cafe at City Garden Grand Hotel, Makati City
This lunch buffet features one-of-a-kind dishes.
7/F City Garden Grand Hotel, 8008 Makati Avenue corner Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City
Contact: 888-8181, 0999-888-8181
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) Located on the seventh floor of the City Garden Grand Hotel along Makati Avenue, the buffet at Spice Cafe may be small compared to the mega eat-all-you-cans that dot the metro, but this also means that the dishes featured have to be more cohesive and well-thought out.
"We offer flavors of the world," says Executive Chef Dennis Peralta. As the restaurant's name says, Chef Dennis is big on spice. "We use spices like cloves, ginger, galangal, and cinnamon."
Chef Dennis also advocates fusion, be it in the merging of cuisines, or of cooking techniques. Their laing lasagna, for example, uses laing and goat cheese in the pasta dish. "I want to encourage Filipinos to come up with ideas that showcase our talents by inventing dishes," he says. Another example is the Braised Beef Caldereta, which is cooked sous vide at a constant 56 degrees so that the beef stays at a medium.
The buffet is composed of 10 different stations from cheese to Chinese to Japanese to Italian to Filipino, with 42 different dishes that change on a daily and weekly basis.
Though the buffet contains mainstays like roast beef ("Filipinos love roast beef"), some dishes stand out because of their uniqueness. The Chicken Mulligatawny, for example, is the chef's spin on an Indian-English soup. Containing curry, rice, carrots, and raisins, the soup is fragrant with spice.
Another popular dish not often found in buffets is the Prawn Kataifi, one of Chef Dennis' signature dishes. "I wrap the prawn, season it with lemon, salt, and pepper, wrap it with kataifi noodles and fry it. And then [add] homemade chili sauce made with fresh chili and sugar, and lots of coriander and ginger," he says.
Before taking the helm at City Garden Grand Hotel, Chef Dennis was Director of Culinary at Maxims in Resort's World, where he also served as the coach of the establishment’s team at the National Food Showdown in 2012 to 2013, leading them to win the Presidential Award both years.
A treat for the taste buds and budget, Chef Dennis has high hopes for Spice Cafe. "We plan to come up with more variety (in our dishes)," he says. "What we’re after is flavor; we want to please our guests’ palates."
Spice Cafe also offers breakfast and merienda buffets. Dinner is served at the Firefly Roofdeck on the 32nd Floor.
A lunch buffet at Spice Cafe is priced at P998 net per head.