MANILA -- As if Peking duck isn't fancy enough, this restaurant flambes it using an expensive 12-year-old whisky.
Man Ho, the Chinese outlet of Manila Marriott Hotel in Pasay City, recently introduced a new menu including the flambeed roasted Peking duck. And the restaurant doesn't use just any other whisky but a 12-year-old Dalmore, one of the most expensive whisky brands in the world.
“There are many hotels with good Chinese restaurants, everybody has duck on the menu. I'm lucky that the owner [of the hotel] also owns Dalmore. So I decided to put the whisky on the flambeed duck,” explained Manila Marriott Hotel executive chef Meik Brammer.
The roast duck is flambeed at the table and served two ways: wrapped in thin Chinese pancakes with hoisin sauce and cucumber; and stir-fried with garlic and other spices.
This is just one dish on the new menu of the two-year-old restaurant. With a new executive chef at the helm, chef Chan Chi Fai from Hong Kong, the new menu offers something different to its loyal customers.
“Man Ho is already two years old, so for the two years I have many customers come and go. Our main purpose to why revise the menu, we took also a lot of feedback from our customers. Therefore, some changes happened to our menu, the feedback is not only from our new chef but also feedback I got for the last two years,” Brammer said.
The new menu is a play on traditional and modern Chinese cuisine. While the restaurant mainly serves Cantonese fare, it also put various Chinese flavors on the menu like the use of Szechuan peppers. Chef Brammer said that its new chef is also adept in Szechuan cuisine.
Chef Fai's previous post was at Dorsett Wanchai Hong Kong's Dining House restaurant.
One of Man Ho's simpler and more modern dishes on the new menu is the wok-fried French beans with salted egg. French beans from Baguio are coated with a salted egg batter and fried to a crisp. According to Brammer, this was inspired the by the salted egg chips craze in Asia.
Then there's the slow braised Australian beef shanks with Palawan honey, which is a must-try. The tender beef is served with the thick flavorful braise sauce. The honey is sourced from a small family in Palawan.
“We try to work with products like the Palawan honey and support livelihood programs. This family in Palawan, we buy four to five bottles only because they can only produce 10 bottles a month,” Brammer shared.
This time, the restaurant focuses on what's traditionally not the star of a meal. The shredded chicken and jellyfish salad is served with a spicy Szechuan sauce and crispy wonton wrappers.
There's also the double boiled abalone with red dates and coconut broth served in a coconut shell.
“On a barbecue platter you always get a little bit jellyfish and the jellyfish is never really a main attraction, it's always beeing put on the side. Some like it, some not. I love jellyfish myself so I created this dish salad with shredded chicken with Szechuan sauce and crispy wonton and I think it's very refreshing, very cool dish to share and gives jellyfish some justice,” he said.
Since Manila Marriott Hotel has a sustainable seafood program, Man Ho also serves seafood signatures like the stir-fried shrimps and porcini mushrooms and broccoli and the pan-fried Australian baramundi with black bean sauce.
The shrimps are sustainably sourced from a mangrove farm in Vietnam and the baramundi from Australia.
Other notable dishes include the wok-fried parcels with Szechuan chilis and the pan-fried US beef tenderloin in black pepper sauce.
EMBED PHOTO 8 : Pan-fried US beef tenderloin in black pepper sauce. Photo by author