Buddha Bar-Manila: Where East and West Meet
By Alwin M. Ignacio
With its red, black and gold interiors, the imposing statue of Buddha as its centerpiece, blended with the airy, yet stimulating ambience, it remains amusing to any first timer, and still amazing to those who have experienced the warmth and hospitality of the people, aside from the gratifying food and drink being served.
When you enter Buddha Bar-Manila, one is instantly transported to a time when the word “oriental” might also mean exotic, delicious, succulent and yes, sinful, because it is always an assault to the senses.
This GlitterPH is no longer a Buddha Bar- Manila virgin, and being in it again for like the umpteenth time, one only expects the most flavorful and satisfying chow and its heady concoctions and mixed-drinks.
With its new Head of Operations, Vicente Antonio Rodrigo, the incarnation of the bar this side of the planet gives more reasons for people to troop and visit this melting pot where East seduces the West.
And in Buddha Bar-Manila, the Eastern seduction wins big time!
Just recently, Mr. Rodrigo and Chef Soc Santos (the woman responsible for all the gastronomic food inventions), teased, treated and satiated the food longings of a select number of media members and bloggers.
The food onslaught started with the crunchiest (not soggy and definitely not too oily) tempura Onion Rings, a vegan-friendly Papadam Burrito with Raita Sauce (my favorite appetizer), and the Pan-fried Chicken Jiaozi With Foie Gras (my friend Lili Marlene swears to its delicousness).
The salad creations were the Thai BBQ Chopped Salad with YuYu Caesar and the Buddha-Bar Salad. Loved the freshness and sweetness of the vegetables. Bring the fiber on!
The main entrees were Sea Bass with Coco Nantua Sauce and Forbidden Rice (truly succulent and tender fish); Lacquered Lamb Rack with Cantonese Spiced Eggplant and US Angus Tenderloin with Sambal Mash (two-thumbs up rating from my friend Lili Marlene) and Buddha-Bar Manila bestseller Angry Chicken (another winning entree) with Turmeric Pilaf, paired with yellow rice.
Other food offerings were the Club Maki, Tuna Sashimi with Rocket and Balsamic Glaze, and Crunchy Rainbow Maki Rolls. All these Japanese dishes were yummy and filling.
For desserts, we had Chocolate Fever (there’s a chilly kick to this cake) and super buttery and mouth watering cheesecakes.
That fine afternoon, we tasted their Kawai Ylang vanilla infused vodka drink with ylang ylang oil in honey and fresh watermelon (it gives you a heady spin) and Mojito (for the ultimate tease).
Aside from what was served to us, other dishes worth discovering in the Buddha-Bar Manila 2015 are the Pan-Asian Beef Salpicao, the Grilled Wagyu Beef (the melt in your mouth beef)with Udon, Broiled Tiger Prawns with Tomato Curry, and desserts like the Anmitsu and Classic Vanilla Creme Brulee.
Buddha Bar-Manila is in partnership with Security Bank which gives all card holders with a 50% premium on standard drinks by the glass up to November 30.
We suggest that gliiter.ph readers and viewers experience the new Buddha Bar-Manila dishes with its Three (3) Course Set Dinner (2 soups and a 4-main course to choose from) for only 1,200 pesos net.
Buddha Bar-Manila is located at Picar Place, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City. It is beside the Century Plaza Mall.