From Monday, April 3 until April 9, Diamond Hotel Philippines’ Corniche restaurant becomes home to an epicurean extravaganza, the “Exquisita Comida Española,” dedicated to authentic Spanish food. Everything from seafood-y dishes like the gambas al ajillo or succulent prawns in garlic with chilli, to the festival's specialty dish, paella negra, to tortillas, asparagus blanca de Navarra, deliciously soft croquetas de jamon, the classic Spanish dessert, churros con chocolate, and the crowd pleaser, cochinillo or roast suckling pig.
Making sure everything was perfect at today's festival launch was the hotel's newest Spanish executive chef Francisco Javier Coque, who has worked for Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels in Spain, London, and the US.
OPENING FANFARE. The festival's ceremonial opening was headed by (from left) Embassy of Spain Economic and Commercial Counsellor Pedro Pascual, Instituto Cervantes director Carlos Madrid, Chef Coque, Diamond Hotel Philippines general manager Vanessa Suatengco, and His Excellency, Myanmar Ambassador Win Naing.
On the buffet menu is an all-Spanish assortment of cold cuts and cheeses like queso Manchego.
The popular chorizo and jamon Iberico.
The crowd pleaser, cochinillo with liver sauce.
Heavenly churros con chocolate are Spain’s answer to doughnuts. Choux pastry are deep-fried, drizzled with sugar and eaten dipped in thick hot chocolate. Also on the dessert menu is arroz con leche (rice pudding). For drinks, there's sangria, and the usual coffee and tea.
Guests enjoyed dance performances from the Fundacion Centro Flamenco, and a cooking demo from the man of the hour – Chef Coque himself.
The Spanish Food Festival will run from April 3 to April 9 at Corniche at the ground floor level of Diamond Hotel Philippines, Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos Street, Malate, Manila. Lunch and dinner buffet are at P2,380 (US$48) per person. There will also be unlimited sangria paired with all-you-can eat Pinxtos during the seven-day fest at the hotel’s Bar 27 for P1,380 per person. Tel: +632/ 528 3000 extension 1121, email [email protected].
By Monica De Leon. Photos by Jocas See
Published April 3, 2017