Cowrie Grill at the Manila Hotel holds a great deal of memories for many people that experienced its heyday. Manila’s dining scene was still in it’s infancy, with most fine dining establishments only to be found in the hotels and Cowrie Grill was one of the best. A place that was both golden and dark and proper with touches of the local by way of the astounding shell decor. I had many dinners at the old location, dressed in proper attire and packing my best behavior. I was happy to experience the return of the classic when I received an invite to attend to opening launch.
Opulent curtains, cozy private booths, big chairs and marbled tabletops are some of the touches you will see at the new Cowrie Grill. They’ve brought back some of the original cowrie shells from the old location, all spruced up. The one piece I miss is the giant cowrie shell, something they are planning to add if it fits, since the place is not that big.
A vessel containing different flavored butters, the herb and sun dried tomatoes are a must. Slather it on to their home baked breads.
Fresh Mushroom Cappuccino (P250), earthy mushroom soup that was not marred by any drizzling of truffle oil.
Cowrie Grill was known for their table side food preparations, an event wide eyed children like me never miss.
Maitre’D Caesar Salad (P290/green, P460/shrimp). Crisp greens nicely coated in the freshly prepared sauce with lots of bacon bits, and big slices of bread (wish they were croutons). A classic that is well prepared, I’d still give the one at 100 Revolving Restaurant the edge.
The open kitchen, partially hidden behind the wine display gives you a glimpse of the busy chefs.
The main entree was the bone in Roast US Angus Bee Prime Rib, that comes in the classic trolley. There are 2 available portions, the 14oz. New York Cut (P1,800) and the 10oz. English Cut (P1400). Each plate comes with potato gratin, vegetables and a trio of sauces (Bearnaise, mushroom gravy and chili peppercorn sauce).
This plate above is the 10oz. English Cut prime rib, quite a substantial portion of tender and flavorful beef. A classic trip down memory lane with each bite.
Dessert was Baked Alaska (P420), finished tableside with a ladle of hot, flaming brandy. Cut open the delicate honeycomb like dessert and you’ll encounter the soft chiffon cake that yields a mix of vanilla and strawberry ice cream. Other tableside desserts are crepes suzette and mango jubilee.
The food and ambiance are spot on, classics that bring back memories of Cowrie Grill. My only gripe is with the glazed earthen serving plates that seems a mismatch with the sophisticated elegance of Cowrie Grill.
Cowrie Grill by Manila HotelG/F Promenade Expansion Missouri St., Greenhills Shopping Center Greenhills, San Juan City Telephone No.: 527-0011
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