Monday, July 4, 2016

What's New at The Fireplace...

There's always something new to discover and rediscover in old Manila by the bay, and when it comes to iconic culinary favorites, it remains high on the list. 

And there's one place that evokes memories of classic steak dinners, skillfully prepared in an open kitchen with its classic wood-fired oven. The Fireplace at New World Manila Bay Hotel fires up once again with new dishes, re-establishing it as a top culinary destination this side of the metro...

Arriving early, a stop at The Lounge for a hot and comforting cup of Cappuccino seemed like a good idea to pass the time before the much anticipated dinner with the new dishes at The Fireplace

The Lounge offers a variety of light snacks and beverages (more on The Lounge at New World Manila Bay Hotel on my previous post, Meet Me at The Lounge), including some soothing cocktails. The cozy interiors make it ideal for quick and casual meetings, and a cool first stop before dinner at The Fireplace.

Located at Level 5 of New World Manila Bay Hotel, the elegant interiors of The Fireplace, with its formal brass-accented interiors, exudes a graceful old world warmth, the perfect setting for premium steaks and fresh seafood prepared in an open kitchen highlighted by the rustic wood-fired oven in full view of guests for an interactive and memorable dining experience. Matched with an extensive selection of fine European and New World wines and excellent service, that's more than enough reasons to revisit an old favorite and discover what's new...

New World Manila Bay Hotel's Executive Chef James Williams preserves the classic cuisine at The Fireplace, adding his own creative spin, transforming the comfortingly familiar with refreshingly new and vibrant flavors. With a wealth of experience gained from prestigious assignments around the world, Executive Chef James Williams shares unique flavor pairings with the use of the freshest and finest ingredients seen and experienced in all the new dishes at The Fireplace.

Our dining experience began with the refreshing Chilean Sea Bass Ceviche (L) with its fresh and clean notes punctuated by a tart citrus hint, followed by the Porcini Mushroom Brioche (R), soft freshly baked brioche with the nutty flavor of Porcini mushroom, layered by the distinct notes of bacon.  

A round of refreshing Kalamancello, a frozen cocktail, with the tart notes of the local lime cleansing the palate, just in time for the next round of dishes...

Executive Chef James Williams shared The Fireplace's signature soups, starting with the Lobster Bisque (P 450), a thick, hearty and comforting broth infused with Cognac, served with salt cod brandade beignet, a classic dish recreated and updated with the soft and lightly crisp beignet for texture with the broth poured separetely... 

...and the equally comforting Cream of Corn (P 450), served with creamy uni, crisp chicken skin, and basil oil. The Lobster Bisque's infusion with Cognac gives it a mild whisper of smoky and sweet notes complementing the flavors of the broth, while the sea urchin roe adds yet another layer of creamy richness capped by the crisp chicken skin.

After the duo of classic soup dishes, The Fireplace's signature Tomato & Burata Salad (P 680) was served, with fresh and tart heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil and "la latteria" handmade burata. Simple, uncomplicated and uncluttered, with only the fresh and clean notes from the finest ingredients providing all the rich flavors, the vibrant colors of the refreshing salad are a visual cue on the equally vibrant flavors. 

Executive Chef James Williams then served The Fireplace's signature entrees, elegantly plated dishes with rich yet refined and balanced flavors, like the Hot Smoked Salmon (P 520), with squid ink mayonnaise and grilled calamari. The buttery flavors of the hot smoked salmon come through with every bite, while the side of microgreens with squid ink mayonnaise offers its own complimentary notes to the dish, capped by the soft and tender grilled calamari. 

The Confit Belly Pork (P 950), with seared scallops, lemon curd, and baby herbs, combines the juicy flavors of pork belly and plump scallops in one dish, punctuated by the tart notes of the lemon curd to temper the richness. The pairing of flavors is an experience in itself, with Executive Chef James Williams showcasing his mastery in creating dishes with distinct flavors, combining in a seamless blend.

And if you just can't wait for the main course of premium steaks, whet your appetite and satisfy your beef craving with The Fireplace's Signature Beef Tartare (P 800), with smoked garlic aioli and confit egg yolk. The finely chopped and minced premium raw beef melts in your mouth, releasing layers of flavors from the spice blend, including hints of freshly ground pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and the soothing heat of Tabasco, perfectly finished by the confit egg yolk.

Premium, local ingredients take centerstage in the next dish, with the Ifugao Rice (P 795), topped with tender octopus, crisp calamari, and puffed black rice cooked with squid ink. The local rice absorbs the rich flavors of the squid ink, as the octopus and calamari complete the flavors for another hearty entree, a meal in itself.

The delicate notes of Spring Chicken (P 600), with creamed corn and baby carrots laid on mashed potatoes, delivers rustic flavors for those with lighter appetites.

Other tasty options include The Fireplace's Signature Burger (P 850), a thick premium patty stuffed with foie gras, onion jam, truffle mayonnaise, topped with fried quail egg and served with a side of crisp fries. The savory beefy flavors are kicked up even more with the indulgent foie gras and truffle mayonnaise, and the quail eggs round out the flavors. Enjoy your burger with a bottle of craft beer from Pedro Brewcrafters...perfect. The Elementary English Ale, with its malty finish and caramel notes, pairs very well with the bold beefy flavors of The Fireplace's Signature Burger.

The Fireplace's premium steaks were then served, fresh from the grill. Pair your signature steaks from The Fireplace with their "To Surf" dishes, including Prawns (P 350-200g), Scallops (P 550), Fried Calamari (P 280), and Baby Lobsters (P 380) for a classic Surf and Turf pairing. 

The rich flavors of premium beef are given a unique Asian twist, with the flavorful Beef Cheeks (P 680), delicately marinated in Asian spices served with pumpkin puree, bok choi, and chili jam. The fork-tender beef cheeks releases savory notes along with the sweet and tart Asian-inspired marinade for bold flavors.

A Tasting Plate with three different signature steaks is an excellent way to sample the The Fireplace's selection of premium beef, with the Flatiron, Hanging Tender, and Ribeye, combining for an all-beef trifecta with roasted Bone Marrow to complete the dish. The lean Flatiron and Hanging Tender offer comforting beefy flavors, while the Ribeye, with its delicate marbling, delivers a richness that coats your mouth, lingering long after the first bite.

But there's more. The massive Tomahawk, with a marble score of 5, was then served. The 1.2 kg slab of premium beef, topped with Cafe de Paris Butter and Foie Gras, is an impressive sight.

And there's nothing quite like a premium slab of beef to bring out your long dormant primordial craving. Each slice of tender and juicy beef, draped in Cafe de Paris Butter and Foie Gras reminds you once again why The Fireplace has always been on top of its game. Perfectly grilled with a juicy pink center, The Fireplace's Tomahawk is one of those reasons to return to old Manila by the bay.

And at The Fireplace, desserts are equally impressive, like the Lemon Candy with Calamansi, Yuzu, Thyme Sponge (L) and the White Chocolate, Meringue, and Strawberries (R), elegantly laid on a stone slate. All desserts are priced at P 370, with eight indulgent desserts to choose from, including cheese, gelato, and sorbets. 

Cap your feast with The Fireplace's indulgent and elegantly plated Vanilla Panna Cotta with Macerated Fruit...

...or the Passionfruit Brulee, Chocolate, and Shortbread, for another memorable dining experience at The Fireplace.

With the friendly chefs and staff of The Fireplace ready to serve you, it's time to revisit an iconic culinary favorite in old Manila by the bay. And find out why The Fireplace is all fired up...again.

The Fireplace is located at Level 5 of New World Manila Bay Hotel, 1588 Pedro Gil corner M. H. Del Pilar, Manila or call +632-252-6888 or visit their website at for more information.

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