November 04, 2012

The New Diamond Hotel Lobby Lounge

Sometimes a fine food extravaganza in a quiet corner by the bay is an option - or well maybe one of the best solutions - to de-stress and unwind from the countless things that bothers one's mind.

Diamond Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Manila. If I'm not mistaken, Diamond Hotel is the only five star hotel in the metro with a female general manager, the wonderful Vanessa Suatengco. Located along Roxas Boulevard, it's perfectly situated for a view of the romantic sunset of the Manila Bay. I used to love looking at the facade of the hotel when I was younger - driving pass it everytime my family and I would go to Baclaran Church during Wednesdays. 

I was invited to take a glimpse of the new Lobby Lounge and sample their new menu. I immediately felt how cozy the ambience was. Every detail was well thought of, adding touches of orange and blue to subtly brighten the room. The paisley design and texture of the chairs' upholstery and the menu cover match. The natural light peeking through the windows made the room feel casual yet classy. 

Off to the dessert display, I fell in love with cakes more that day. Small cute, colorful, and enticing cakes were placed in rows, tempting every passer to take a second look and maybe order a piece. Well, ordering the big-sized cakes wouldn't be so bad either. Having some of the most interesting ice cream flavors, I enjoyed reading through what concoctions they have created. Everything was simply delectable.

As in most food tasting I was invited to, I would always request for the host to decide on what I should have. While waiting for the food, I had the crazy idea to try to be a food photographer, taking photos of the hotel's Iced Winner Caramel and Strawberry Orange Smoothie to make it look like it was taken from a page in a magazine. I think I did just ok. hahahaha!

I liked it that the Iced Winner Caramel wasn't too sweet. My first fear was that the caramel might overpower the taste of the coffee but it actually blended nicely. The serving of the cream was just the right amount. I've experienced cases before where there were too much whipped cream and the drink became to thick and frothy after mixing.

The first course was the Smoked Salmon Caesar. I have to be very honest with this one. I felt that the salad became more of a sandwich with the layers of toasted bread. I had a hard time slicing through and eating each piece. Still, the light dressing was divine and the smoked salmon was very tender and fresh.

The Zucchini Cream was served next and it immediately became a favorite. I sliced small pieces of the toasted parmesan cheese on top and had a fun time munching it. Halfway through, I dipped what's left of the cheese in the soup and started to drink. The presentation was really enticing and the soup was smooth on the palette.

I was in for a little surprise with the Fresh Tomato Pappardelle Pasta. The Italian sausage made the pasta mildly spicy. I personally try to avoid spicy food as I have little tolerance to it. Still, the sweetness of the tomatoes and goat cheese, blended with the Italian sausage, made an interesting taste that extended my tolerance. 

The Lamb Pot Pie was served last and it was a different take on the usual pot pie. If you are a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, this is a good order. The meat was sliced in small dices and every bite of it was very juicy.

I thought I haven't had enough but I had to make room for their famous desserts. I was first served the Le Royale Ice Cream - which coincidentally was inspired from their Le Royale cake. The rich sweetness of the chocolate was so good. The texture was pretty smooth and the rich chocolate taste was sweet (literally and figuratively)! It melts easy though so finish immediately while it's cold.

My new love was the Salted Caramel ice cream since I was reminded of the small caramel candies that I used to eat a lot!

Anyway, if you're at the Lobby Lounge, don't forget to try their famous Diamond Ensaymada! It's the biggest ensaymada I've ever seen. Inside the ensaymada are layers lined with ube. I got home some and I paired it perfectly with my morning coffee!

Diamond Hotel Lobby Lounge
Roxas Boulevard cor. Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila

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