World flavors at Manila Hotel's Cafe Ilang-Ilang

By Caroline J. Howard, ANC

Posted at Mar 03 2011 11:31 AM | Updated as of Mar 04 2011 12:27 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Manila Hotel, known for its colonial charm, prepares to mark its centennial next year with improved amenities and a newly renovated restaurant.

Cafe Ilang-Ilang, previously a Spanish-themed café, has been turned into a modern events buffet restaurant. It now boasts of several live kitchen stations and interactive chefs, giving a fresh twist to personalized food service.

Once we cook the food, the chefs will deliver it to your table," said Sous Chef Chef Albert Sia.

The restaurant features varied cultures and flavors, from Filipino and Pan-Asian to Indian, Arabian and European. The buffet concept changes every week, giving way to new and exciting food ideas.

Cafe Ilang-Ilang seats 300 guests, with a special deck containing tatami mats for authentic Japanese dining.

Chef Sia demonstrated 2 dishes served in the restaurant: a hand-tossed rustic style pizza with mozzarella and freshly sliced prosciutto, topped with rocket lettuce and arugula; and, a gambas tres fungi with risoni pasta, a dish from Napoli that uses prawns, 3 mushroom varieties, and Pernod (an anise-based spirit).