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Here’s Some of Our Favorite Items from Solaire Resort (by the way, Happy 2nd Anniversary!)

March 18, 2015

Since Solaire opened two years ago, the hotel has gone through many changes—the addition of a new Sky Tower, a theatre and VIP areas, the opening of several new restaurants. The resort and casino are famous for offering their own brand of luxury to customers especially when it comes down to their exceptional food, and two years on, Solaire has kept the quality of its establishments at a high standard. With so many places to choose from, we show you the best and most well-loved dishes that Solaire has to offer on their 2nd anniversary.

1. Waterside Restobar

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Waterside may have only been open for a few months, but it’s quickly becoming a popular choice, thanks to its beautiful location, and Mediterranean and Latin America-inspired menu. Any meal you have here picturesque, and the well-appointed dining room peering into a spotless open kitchen. Waterside has a menu that could rival any of Manila’s popular restaurants. It’s really the Surf and Turf that grabs the spotlight here, a platter that takes the traditional dish into bold, uncharted territory. It contains a big slab of barbecued ribs, salmon cooked at the exact right temperature, bloody, meaty hanger steak with chimichurri, and giant grilled prawns. The Co-stars it comes with (named aptly so because they are just as good as the main rather than being simple sides) are stellar too, with a potato carbonara and barbecued pork and beans stealing the show. Everyone loves their Paella Valenciana too: a colourful spread of prime meats with bomba rice all the way from Spain that creates the best toasted soccarat.

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2. Oasis Café

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If you’re looking for a quiet respite from the buzz of the casino, Oasis Café lives up to its name. Well-lit and airy, it’s much more than the usual café and patisserie found in hotel lobbies. Surrounded by lush greenery and an enviable skylight, a cup of coffee here can easily turn into a whole uninterrupted day. People may come here to look at their display of cakes, breads and viennoiserie, but there are tons more that the space has to offer. There’s BBQ pork buns, mini sliders, and prawn cocktail, but come here for their distinct takes on afternoon tea. Oasis offers a traditional English one, complete with all the trimmings. The mini sandwiches include cucumber, egg, roast beef, and brie, while strawberry tart, mango bread, and scones with pineapple jam round up the mini desserts. There’s a Filipino tea spread too, an inventive ode to merienda: sample bibingka, ensaymada, cassava, ube roll and more with a pot of Oasis’ special tea blends.

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3. Red Lantern

There’s a reason why Red Lantern is one of Solaire’s most grandiose restaurants: its high-end Cantonese cuisine is incredibly popular among its high rollers. Dressed in luxurious red and gold, Red Lantern’s private rooms are perfect for intimate gatherings and important meetings. Chef Jimmy Chaw stays true to Chinese staples and ingredients, however, he puts his own spin when necessary, to create the best version of certain dishes. Take for example, their signature salted egg yolk prawn with curry leaf, which has distinct Singaporean influence. Although salted egg yolk is incredibly Chinese, the addition of curry leaf in the batter is not, but it adds a fragrance that only enhances the prawns. It’s topped with crispy leaf too, adding a slightly spicy, aromatic heat to every bite.

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4. Yakumi

Yakumi is well-known in Manila for having some of the best, and freshest, Japanese produce in town. Flown-in Hokkaido crab, toro, cod milt, and fresh wasabi have all made Manila’s elite clamor for a taste of Yakumi’s cuisine, but sometimes, it is their regular menu that creates all the buzz. Their maki and sushi has made fans into regulars; Golden Dragon, with prawn tempura, cucumber, avocado and tobiko, is topped with grilled eel to make for a wholly satisfying, incredibly umami bite. But it’s the San Francisco roll that distinguishes them from others—the rice-less roll with lettuce, cream cheese, prawn tempura, crab, and salmon, is rolled with soy paper, and is an on-trend and delicious morsel of seafood.

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5. Finestra

As a native of Italy, Chef Salvatore de Vincentis has won accolades for his storied take on the cuisine of his country. Finestra is a collection of some of his finest work, with a menu that addresses everything from handmade pasta to traditional desserts. Because of the Filipino affinity for decadence, it is his Carbonara Cremosa and Branzino Acqua Pazza that have become Finestra’s most celebrated dishes. The carbonara uses only the finest calamarata pasta from Gragnano, which is then tossed with pancetta, cream, egg yolk, and Pecorino cheese. The branzino is cooked the way all seafood should be cooked, and comes roasted, with cherry tomato sauce and cerignola olives.

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6. Strip

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With a towering wine wall at the entrance, and a dark and moody dining room, Strip Steakhouse is definitely one of Solaire’s most impressive spaces. The food matches its atmosphere as well, delivering casual fine dining, with a menu that emphasizes on some of the finest beef available, from American Black Angus to Australian Wagyu. For Solaire’s anniversary, Chef Eric Turgeon has created a dish that will woo one into submission. A pastrami-spiced Black Angus beef short rib is more than just fork tender; it impressively falls apart in one’s mouth, thanks to the sous-vide method. But let’s not forget Strip’s pan-seared foie gras with Morello cherry reduction, which comes with the ingenious use of ube puree.

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If you’re looking to celebrate an occasion of sorts, or just need some good ol’ food, any of Solaire’s restaurants will do the trick. Almost all cuisines are covered in the expanse of the complex; maybe it’s time to pay them a visit, especially when their anniversary dishes are pretty delicious.

Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

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