Seasons in Waterfront - Manila Pavilion Hotel Reinvents Menu

I read once in an article that innovation is the greatest challenge of hotels. As technology improves and people become savvier, the demands and expectations continue to rise and establishments need to be more competitive. However, this is true not only for hotel service and facilities—but also with their F&B. I recently went to Seasons restaurant in Waterfront Hotel - Manila Pavilion and I’m happy to say that the forty-six-year-old hotel has joined the bandwagon.

The hotel aims to up its game by bringing in Chef Giovanni Sais as their new Executive Chef—and together with this, introduce fresh flavors into the Manila Pavilion restaurants as well. The Italian-American chef, who trained extensively in Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and New York, is reinventing the hotel’s menus—starting with Seasons. I went to Seasons a few years back for their dinner buffet, which was humble and satisfying. Now, the restaurant starts serving a la carte international dishes to hotel guests and walk-ins alike—dishes that are made from fusions of innovation and tradition.

Chef Giovanni, who loves to write and to travel, is quite experimental with his cooking. “I cook what I feel,” he says. And this creativity shows in the 6-course dinner he prepared for us during the Seasons press launch.

We started with the Tuna Carpaccio served with zucchini salad, lemon, cherry tomatoes, and olive oil. I loved the refreshing taste of the simple yet delicious salad—however, the tuna could be fresher.

I enjoyed the second appetizer more: the Prosciutto rolled with goat cheese mousse and truffle apple mustard marmalade. I loved the contrasting sweet and salty flavors from the components of this dish—a dish you would definitely want to eat more of.

Next, Chef Giovanni brought in one of his favorites: the Homemade Potato Gnocchi. You’ve got to trust a real Italian chef to perfect this—gnocchi is probably served in every Italian home. The dish is simple and homey, with a creamy cheese sauce that was addicting and bits of fried prosciutto as toppings. The gnocchi is firm on the outside—quite chewy too but still melts in the mouth. I really enjoyed this dish!

For mains, we were served the Sautéed Red Snapper—a chunk of fish cooked in tomatoes and capers, served with buttered spaghetti. The fish was delicious; however, I think I would enjoy it more with a simpler garlic pasta.

The Grilled US Strip Loin was a different story. I loved this smoky, tender steak, served with demi-glace and shoestring potatoes. For food tasting purposes, we were served only a smaller portion, but even so, I enjoyed this dish so much! The side of potatoes made it more exciting than the usual mash paired with steaks. This is one dish I’ll go back for if I revisit Seasons.

Oftentimes, when I go out to eat and finish enjoying my entrée, the meal practically ends there. But not in Seasons—you have to try their dessert. Specifically, the Panna Cotta with strawberry consommé! I felt like I betrayed myself for multiple reasons upon trying this dessert because: (1) I don’t like strawberries in desserts and (2) I’m not a huge fan of dessert in general. But this creation by Chef Giovanni is an explosion of flavors: the sweetish-tangy strawberry sauce, the creamy panna cotta, the sliver of chocolate, the mint. Everything blends perfectly!

Based on this 6-course dinner, I would say that Seasons shows a lot of promise with regards to their aim to improve their food service. Today’s customers are more playful with their dining choices, and I think Chef Giovanni’s creativity and liveliness will be perfect for this kind of demand. Reinventing Seasons to provide more varied selections is a great start—a more colorful menu to match their logo and to stand up to their name too! I’m curious to see how the rest of the Manila Pavilion restaurants will follow suit.

G/F Waterfront Hotel – Manila Pavilion, U.N. Avenue cor. Ma. Orosa St., Malate, Manila
Fax: +632.526.2552
Breakfast buffet: 6:00AM – 10:30AM; lunch: 11:00AM – 3:00PM; dinner: 6:00PM – 10:30PM

Have you tried the new dishes at Seasons?

My meal was sponsored by Seasons. All opinions, however, are my own.

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