Flavors of the season

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THE PERFECT companion to 22 Prime’s Christmas menu, called The Nature of Christmas, is a lot of holiday cheer, beltless pants, and maybe a hefty winter coat.

We’re judging this based on the heft of the dishes served during a tasting last month at the Discovery Suites in Ortigas. The first course, after all, was a heavy Butternut Squash Soup, with salmon fritters. It had a comforting velvety texture, and the crisp salmon fritters served as an excellent counterpoint.

Next came a Foie Terrine with pear jam and watercress salad. It was very, very luxurious; an excellent present for yourself if you don’t already have what you want under the tree. A diner would feel so spoiled tasting it, for the foie gras was served in most of its intact glory. It was just there, without frills, on a small brioche square.

Guests at the dinner split amongst themselves portions of a Turkey Roulade, with roasted purple potato and beetroot puree. The turkey was perfectly tender and tasty. We smacked our lips, ready for dessert, forgetting that 22 Prime was known for its steak. Out came a Wagyu Center Cut Sirloin, with spring vegetables and purple potato puree. This reporter ordered his rare, and the center was as rosy as a Christmas sweater. It taste everything like a steak should be, and that is enough. The meal ended with a rich cheesecake, topped with cranberry compote.

“I based it [only] on the concept of the restaurant and the occasion,” said Executive Chef Gerwin Bailon on the dinner. One notices again the dinner’s heft, which perhaps alludes to some wintry night in another country. Sure, maybe; but only due to the seasonality of the menu: Mr. Bailon points out the excellent butternut squash harvest for the season. As for the weight (and the inevitable weight gain), “Your palate is ready,” he says, when you’re about to sit down for a four-course meal.

Meanwhile, the hotel’s Christmas efforts go beyond the establishment’s walls by its continued partnership with Waves for Water, a nonprofit devoted to providing clean water to far-off communities. The hotel’s General Manager Leeds Trompeta reports that as of this writing, they have already visited the community which their funding has helped. According to him, their charitable efforts raised P200,000 last year.




The Christmas menu at Discovery Suites is available at P2,500 nett starting Dec. 15. — J. L. Garcia