I recently learned that Old Manila, the Manila Peninsula’s flagship restaurant, was helmed by a young Filipino chef. I can’ even remember a time when the major dining outlet of a hotel here was headed by a Filipino, so I thought it would be good to investigate. I booked dinner for myself and Jocel and we had an outstanding meal at a not too extravagant price (for a 5 star hotel, that is).
Old Manila is now headed by Chef Allan Briones who worked for some years under the original Bad Boy Chef Marco Pierre White. Upon returning to the Philippines, Chef Allan first worked at the Peninsula’s Banqueting department until an opening at Old Manila gave him the opportunity to do his real passion which is fine dining. The reworked menu now has about half his creations while retaining half of the usual standards (mostly grilled items). He intends to expand his influence by putting more of his creations on the menu.
Since we wanted to get a sense of Chef Allan’s cooking, we went whole hog and ordered appetizer, soup, main course, and dessert.
To start us off, we had a mildly-flavored olive oil panna cotta.