Your Weekend Guide (November 21, 2019)

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The Empress Dining Palace opens

THE EMPRESS Dining Palace recently opened its doors in the heart of Bonifacio Global City, to serve the authentic, flavorful Chinese cuisine. With its commitment to serve real Chinese food, it tapped master chef Lam Pui Hung, who hails from Hong Kong. The restaurant serves an extensive menu of classic Cantonese cuisine and selected dishes from the Northern region. It also offers a special Celebrations Menu, an eight-course meal created by Chef Lam for milestone such as a birthday, reunion, and more. The main dining hall can accommodate 108 guests, while there are VIP rooms that can hold up to 48 guests, and a conference room for up to 18 guests. The Empress Dining Palace is located at 7th Ave., Bonifacio High Street, BGC, Taguig City. It is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and dinner from 5:30 to 11 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays and Sundays, it is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For details visit its Facebook page or call 09155431862.

Christmas at Shangri-La at The Fort

EAT, DRINK and be merry at Shangri-La at the Fort’s High Street Lounge, where guests can enjoy a Christmas themed afternoon tea set created by Executive Pastry Chef Anthony Collar. The tea set is available from Nov. 29 to Dec. 26 for P1,650 inclusive of coffee or tea for two people. Savories and sweets are also available for purchase from Nov. 28 to Jan. 2 including honey roasted boneless ham, roasted turkey with traditional siding, beef Chuletón, fruit cake, stollen bread, homemade Glühwein, chocolate truffles, pralines, gingerbread houses, assorted winter jams, cookies, and hampers. For restaurant reservations and information, as well as orders for Christmas hampers, savories and pastries, call 8820-0888, drop by the Festive Counter in the hotel lobby at Level 2, facing the entrance of High Street Cafe or visit

The holidays at Sheraton Manila

THE culinary elves of the Sheraton Manila are whipping up delightful treats to make gift-giving easier. For simple sweet nothings, there are flavored Pastillas in ube (purple yam) and mango (P200), boxes of pralines (P900 for 12 pieces), and packs of Santa Cookies (P300 for six pieces). Score a smile from anyone with goodies in Christmas designs like Gingerbread Nipa Hut (P450) and Chocolate Santa (P500). There are also freshly baked breads like Choco-Banana Raisin (P525), Carrot Pineapple (P525), and Fruit Cake (P450). Available are the Classic Hamper filled with Filipino made and flavored items such as Christmas cookies, fruit cake, pralines, guava tea, Benguet Arabica coffee, melba toast and dulong oil pairing, honey, and a bottle of red or white wine. For a teaser from the hotel’s soon-to-open Korean restaurant, there is the Oori Deluxe Hamper (P5,200) which includes items like Australian Mulwarra Wagyu (300g), Duroc Pork Belly (300g), bottles of homemade sauces like baechu kimchi, gochujang, ssamjang and yangpa jjangachi, Korean yuzu tea, and bottle of bokbunja (raspberry) wine. Meanwhile, the buffet of S Kitchen will be filled with holiday foods — glazed ham, leg of lamb, roasted turkey, steak, and all other appetizing trimmings — for special festive buffets including Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 28 (6 to 10:30 p.m.) for P2,300. Drop by the life-sized gingerbread nipa hut by the S Kitchen to purchase the treats and gift tags, and call 7902-1800 for buffet reservations.

McDonald’s Happy Meal toys comeback

MCDONALD’S has revealed the 14 Happy Meal toys that are making a comeback in its Surprise Happy Meal! Starting Nov. 21, Filipinos can get their hands on some of the most well-loved Happy Meal toys from the past four decades, in celebration of Happy Meal’s 40th global anniversary. The following Happy Meal toys will be available: (1988) McNugget buddies Cowboy, Mail Carrier, and Fireman are TV commercial buddies with interchangeable accessories; (1989, 1991) McDonald’s Hamburger and Dino Happy Meal Box Changeables; (1990) McDonaldland Toys Grimace; (1993) McDonald’s Hot Wheels Thunderbird; (1995) McDonaldland Toys Hamburglar; (1996) Space Jam Bugs Bunny; (1997) Patti the Platypus of the Teenie Beanie Babies; (1998) My Little Pony; (1998) Tamagotchi; (1999) Furby; and (2013) Hello Kitty. The limited-edition McDonald’s Surprise Happy Meal is available in participating branches from Nov. 21 to 24 only. Each toy in the Surprise Happy Meal is packed in a blind bag so you never know what you are going to get.

Okada’s two-storey gingerbread house

SINCE 2017, Okada Manila has celebrated Christmas by building a gingerbread house. This year, the gingerbread house has two storeys and is adorned with Christmas treats and candies. Created by Okada Manila’s pastry chefs led by Executive Pastry Chef Joseph Teuschler, chefs and artisans from Paete, Laguna, are also an integral part of the team. The gingerbread house is 3.2 meters deep, 4.2 meters wide, and 7 meters high, and was made with Palawan honey, sugar, cinnamon, flour, ginger, and eggs.