Monday, November 22, 2021

Filipino Flavors Reimagined with a Contemporary Spin at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine of City of Dreams Manila

City of Dreams Manila embarks on a new and exciting culinary journey with the newest dining destination in the metro...

All the familiar flavors you love, reinterpreted. City of Dreams Manila pushes the culinary envelope with comforting local dishes recreated with a fresh, vibrant and contemporary spin at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine for a lavish rediscovery of traditional flavors. Chef de Cuisine Edmundo San Jose weaves well over 24 years of culinary experience from abroad in an impressive homage to local cuisine with over twenty sumptuous dishes reimagined with a fresh perspective at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine. Step inside for a closer look and taste at the newest dining concept from City of Dreams Manila... 

Located at the Ground Floor of Nuwa Manila, Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine is City of Dreams Manila's newest stage for a memorable dining experience. The spacious forty-seater restaurant includes all the protective layers including adequate social distancing for your peace of mind in the new normal.  

Inspired and named after the warrior goddess of the moonlight from Bicolano mythology, the elegant space of Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine becomes an immersive sensory feast with an opulent refinement you can expect from a Forbes Five-Star rated hotel. Stunning murals by local artist Yana Ofracio recreates the richness of Filipino cuisine and culture with its vibrant splashes of colors washed by the warm glow of the interiors. This is Chef Ed's gallery, with each plate as his blank canvas for his culinary masterpieces. 

"With Chef Ed helming the kitchen, Haliya plays homage to classic Filipino dishes with fresh, creative interpretations and surprising elements that redefine the Filipino dining experience to a new level," says City of Dreams Manila Property President Geoff Andres. "With Haliya, we offer something that excites the imagination of diners towards Filipino cuisine with its fresh take on some of the most loved Filipino dishes, experienced in a refined setting that evokes the country's elegant heritage and vibrant culture," adds Mr. Andres.

A tipple before dinner? Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine has that covered too with their well-stocked bar. 

Something sweet to start? The bar also offers some playfully inventive Mocktails... the aptly named Feed Me Pancake (P 270), an indulgent blend of maple syrup, peach puree, lime, cranberry, apple and watermelon. 

Open up your palate with a fresh burst of bold notes... 

...with the Blame It On Red (P 270), a zesty concoction with yuzu, pineapple, ginger syrup, lime, soda water and raspberry puree. Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine offers more refreshing mocktails with names like Pop My Peach and Let's Beet It to tease the palate before a sumptuous Filipino feast with a modern take. Rooted in tradition for its flavorful base and enhanced with global culinary techniques, the dishes at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine are refreshingly different yet comfortingly familiar making your dining experience quite interesting. And surprising as well. 

"I take inspiration from staple Filipino homecooked meals, with an intent to enhance the basic flavors that we all love and grew up with. In combining the traditional way of cooking Filipino dishes with the creative techniques I've learned in my two decades of exposure to Asian and international cuisine, I am delighted to offer new interpretations of Filipino classical dishes in Haliya that will appeal to both local and international palate," shared Chef Ed. We start with the fresh Caticlan Talaba (P 500), plump and succulent local oysters with a dab of avocado crema drizzled with lemon and lime and served with local pinakurat na suka

The fresh briny sweetness of the oysters come through followed by its silky smooth finish kicked up by the sharp and mildly sour notes of the local vinegar. Pure, clean flavors, you'll want another. The avocado crema is a nice touch, adding a creamy finish to the palate.

Chef Ed then presented the Lumpia Dinagat (P 980), a creative and elegant interpretation of fresh local spring rolls loaded to the brim with lobster and crab meat topped with delicately crisp malungay chips and red chili floss drizzled with tart kalamansi aioli and served with rich aligue dip. The creative presentation already tells you this is different, and the use of the finest and freshest ingredients like lobster and crab meat just seals the deal with that first bite.   

The play on distinct textural contrasts and flavors teases the palate for an elegant version of the local fresh spring roll. The blend of lobster and crab draped in creamy aioli, the crispness of the malungay chip and the soothing heat from the red chili floss all come together in one bite. And this is just the first of many innovative and creative dishes by Chef Ed at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine.

The Binalot na Cochi (P 500) combines savory shredded strips of tender and juicy roast suckling pig with red onions, crisp adobo flakes and jalapeño on garden fresh and crisp butterhead lettuce for a refreshing and local inspired wrap. Served with pork liver salsa with contrasting tartness and bite from the chopped tomatoes and onions, each bite delivers fresh, clean and bold flavors to the palate.   

The use of the freshest ingredients combine for unrestrained yet uncomplicated flavors. A winner of the prestigious Horeca Kuwait Culinary Live Cooking Competition from 2013 to 2015 as well as leading the City of Dreams Manila's very own dream team to the gold medal at the 2016 Philippine Culinary Cup, Chef Ed clearly has quite a number of ideas on local cuisine. And you'll see them all showcased at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine.

The Kilawing Tanigue (P 650) with a fresh fillet of local Spanish Mackerel, sea urchin, lato or sea grapes, cucumber and water cress cured in vinegar brings even more familiar flavors to the palate, but its the addition of sea urchin roe that adds an indulgent richness to the local staple. It's inventive touches like this that differentiates Chef Ed's modern take on Filipino cuisine from the usual options. Elegantly plated, Chef Ed transforms the familiar into something new feeding first the eyes before the palate. In true Filipino tradition, all dishes at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine are served family style and meant for sharing from appetizers or pampagana to savory mains.  

Back at the bar, more of Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine's specialty handcrafted cocktails were prepared... the Smoked Whiskey Sour (P 1,026) infused with the deep smoky hints from apple wood chips.

And just in time too, with its deep and bold notes pairing well with the Caticlan Talaba. And the Kilawing Tanigue. Might as well have a another round as it works quite well too with the Binalot na Cochi and Lumpia Dinagat.

The bright hues of the Guisantes at Malungay (P 300) becomes a visual clue on the richness of the thick and hearty soup made with green peas, local moringa and sunflower oil topped with crisp lechon skin. The sweetness of the green peas and subtle salty and unctuous notes of the lechon skin drapes the palate with a lingering richness. 

The combination of green peas and malungay with pork crackling is totally unexpected, and it works with the lechon skin adding that layer of savory notes to the thick soup for one more flavorful surprise from Chef Ed. And that's just for starters...

Chef Ed then served the main courses at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine starting with the Kare-Kare (P 1,500) made with 24 hour slow-cooked US Angus Beef Brisket with fresh asparagus, baby Baguio petchay, crispy fried talong and roasted crushed peanuts served with bagoong alamang. The thick, sweet and nutty sauce with its velvety smooth finish packs solid flavors followed by the beefy notes of the premium fork-tender US Angus Beef Brisket. The beef brisket brings a more refined savory punch to the classic dish, and the peanut-based sauce reminds us all why we love kare-kare with that first bite. The medley of fresh vegetables complete the dish.  

Chef Ed then focuses on the ubiquitous adobo with his own lavish and elegant version, the Haliya Adobo (P 1,250) with juicy twice-cooked chicken, decadent foie gras, grilled pineapple, shallot confit, baby bok choy, marble potato, golden crispy garlic chips and rich adobo glaze. The addition of foie gras and grilled pineapple transforms the dish with its buttery finish tempered by the tart sweetness of the pineapple. Chef Ed's flavor combinations just hits all the right notes. 

The popular southern dish is given the creative makeover by Chef Ed with his all-seafood version for Bicol Express (P 850) with plump mussels, succulent shrimps, lapu-lapu or local grouper, clams, squid and sigarilyas or winged beans slathered in spicy bagoong sa gata or coconut cream infused with shrimp paste. Like all the specialties at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine, the freshness and quality of the ingredients just elevates the dish.

The creamy richness of the broth is perfectly tempered by the fresh red and green chili adding that layer of soothing heat. Richer, creamier than the usual, this Bicol Express by Chef Ed is one more must-try dish at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine. 

Chef Ed recreates all the flavorful sourness we love with the Paksiw Apahap (P 1,880), his own inventive interpretation of the popular local dish. The delicately pan seared local sea bass is the star of the plate, supported by a cast of fresh ingredients including charred Baguio petchay, pickled ampalaya and soft and fluffy adlai rice finished with paksiw glaze. Cooked like a risotto, the large grain adlai absorbs all the flavors from the different ingredients of the dish, releasing the bright sour and vinegar notes of a traditional paksiw with each spoonful. The plating of Chef Ed's specialty dishes takes local flavors to the world stage, and it's amazing to see the usual staples presented in a modern and contemporary style while retaining the authenticity of the flavors.

Extra rice? The Sinangag (P 400) with crispy golden garlic is the perfect pairing with any of the savory mains at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine with its varied repertoire of classic flavors like Afritada (P 900) enriched with kasoy puree, Bistek Tagalog (P 1,800) with slow roasted Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, Caldereta (P 900) with slow-braised Angus Beef Short Ribs, Sugba Liempo (P 750) and Pakbet Ilokano (P 590). More rice options? The Alimango Arroz Caldo (P 700), Binakol Rice (P 650) with pulled chicken inasal and coconut meat and Tinapa Rice (P 500) with aligue or crab fat should do the trick,

But no Filipino feast is complete without Crispy Pata (P 1,500), juicy and crisp pork knuckle sliced and chopped and served with Chef Ed's Lutong Bahay Liver Sauce, Atchara, Soy-Vinegar Dipping Sauce and Bawang at Kinchay Salsa.

You don't need to get messy to enjoy your favorite Crispy Pata, after all you're in a Forbes Five-Star rated property. But it doesn't take away the experience nor the flavors. It's a perfectly good Crispy Pata down to the juicy pork and that layer of crisp crackling. The variety of sauces served with the dish allows you to change up the flavors and that means you'll be having more tasty bites with this dish. 

Change the pace with the Players Negroni (P 810), the classic gin, vermouth and Campari in between bites handcrafted fresh from the bar... 

...garnished with an orange peel and olives. One more sip and you're just about ready to make quick work on the Crispy Pata. Or what's left of it. From starters to mains, Chef Ed opened our eyes and palate to classic local flavors reimagined with a modern spin. And the flavors are spot on. That calls for a toast. And another round. 

Chef Ed's inventive culinary style also comes through with the decadent desserts at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine like the Moron (P 180) with cashew chocolate moron served with sweet dulce de leche...

...and Mangga Suman (P 280) served with thick coconut créme. Presentation, plating and flavors combine for a refined execution of familiar dishes.  

With the holidays just around the corner, why not indulge with Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine's wittingly named Chichingka (P 400)...

...combining cheesecake and bibingka in one elegant dessert. The dense and moist texture and lavish cheese and butter topping brings a nostalgic vibe to your dining experience. Clever, inventive and imaginative, Chef Ed San Jose elevates local flavors redefining how Filipino cuisine can be presented to a fickle and changing modern palate. 

A last bite of indulgence from the kitchens of Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine ends our unique dining experience at City of Dreams Manila's newest dining destination. Redefining any cuisine is no easy task...

...but Chef Ed pulls it off with flying colors with his specialty dishes at Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine. He just nails it. Bravo, Chef Ed. You too can enjoy and experience traditional Filipino flavors reimagined at Haliya, now open for dinner from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm daily. Reservations are recommended due to limited seating and restricted capacities for indoor dining so book your table by calling 8800 8080 or email and rediscover Filipino cuisine with a fresh new perspective.

Haliya Modern Filipino Cuisine is located at the Ground Floor of Nuwa Manila, City of Dreams, Entertainment City, Aseana Avenue corner Macapagal Avenue, Roxas Boulevard, Parañaque, Metro Manila or call 8800 8080 for inquiries.

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