just a bit of what you can eat at HEAT
HEAT, Edsa Shangri-la’s newest restaurant, stands for Healthy Eating, Amazing Tastes. ”˜Healthy Eating’ is represented by the restaurant’s antipasto, sushi, salads, sashimi, and tapas. ”˜Amazing Tastes’ stands for the extensive variety of food to match each diner’s personal preferences. Diners here are quite literally, spoilt for choice. I’ve already been here three times, one visit for each of the three menu cycles, and I’ve yet to try everything to be offered.
At HEAT, there are over 20 (!) live food stations, or theater kitchens, as they’re more commonly known. Gone are the days of chafing dishes with their stain-splattered nametags. Hotel restaurants now cook food a little at a time or to order. With this set-up, it’s also easier to “customize” your dish or ask the chef for suggestions.
In asking what they have at HEAT, it’s probably more appropriate to ask what they don’t have. The stars that burn brightly here include: the ever-popular carvery; fresh, cold seafood; a wood-burning oven out of which come the rustic Italian pizzas; a Cebu lechon is the highlight of a kitchen devoted to Filipino cuisine; there’s an entire Chinese BBQ set-up which entices with its roasts, dimsum, and its orange, red, and yellow chopsticks representing the restaurant’s colors; Indian specialties are cooked in the tandoori oven; and a noodle station offering three types of soup stocks and four different kinds of noodles produces tom yum, laksa, and the plain but comforting wonton noodle soup.
It took six months to transform the former Garden Café into what is now HEAT. Blazing since Dec 23, 2005, the dining room is packed everyday, which speaks volumes about its popularity. It’s the largest of the hotel restaurants, seating 420 at one time. Surprisingly, I’ve never gotten the feeling that it’s chaotic or noisy here, since there are several seating clusters.
HEAT’s design centers on mellow earth elements lashed with bold strokes of fire in reds, oranges, and yellows. The centerpiece is a dazzling golden chandelier, representative of the sun, the ultimate form of heat. Part of HEAT’s style is fusing interior decoration with visual merchandising. Original components of dishes such as beans and oils are repackaged in clear vases and crystal fruits contained in abaca balls ”“ all maintaining the sense of heat in red, orange, vermilion, yellow, and rust.
While I’m more of an iced water person, Filipinos love their iced tea. Indulge in HEAT’s extensive list of iced teas, 15 in all. (P160 ”“ glass/P580 ”“ jug) Start with the basic HEAT iced lemon tea, or go for the more native green tea with honey and calamansi juice, or flirt with the exotic roibosh and lemon. Fruitier types will opt for the fresh vitality with wild berries.
Of course I head straight for the dessert station, a veritable candyland where all my dreams come true. Colors of the rainbow glint and glisten, tempting the eye and seducing with promises of the sweet. I’m encouraged to try the ice cream “teppanyaki,” a Cold Rock clone where upon recommendation of the chef, I discover a stellar flavor: ube ice cream mixed in pistachios and sliced almonds.
I surrender willingly to the two chocolate fountains ”“ dark and white, which is sometimes flavored, into which I dip lollipops of marshmallows and dried and fresh fruit. There’s a crepes station which beckons to me, but then again, so does the make- your-own halo-halo. I get to scoop my own taho, and of course I shouldn’t miss the bread pudding, which is a favorite of the hotel’s PR manager.
Impossible to forget are the collection of cakes, majestic and tall, with names like gianduja, pistachio opera, and baba au rhum. I create my own dessert tasting with mousses, tarts, and truffles in miniature, and declare that no other restaurant can beat the HEAT. Burp.
Edsa Shangri-la Manila
1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong
reservations are strongly advised
Breakfast (880++): 6:00 am- 10:30 am
Lunch (980++): 12 noon-2:00 pm
Dinner (1080++): 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm
A la carte served in between
Another big buffet post: