AT THE FOOD HALL
BOHOL—I found it. Yes indeed, dear reader, the search for the finest food in the Philippines is over!
My personal search for the perfect blend of Filipino, Chinese and Korean cuisine was on display at the BE Grand Resort
during the debut of their new Asian Bistro, aptly named …The Food Hall.
And under a magnificent presentation from the duo of Executive Sous Chef Michael Mandirigma and Sous Chef Clifford Lee, the Asian Bistro, the new signature restaurant of BE Grand Resort is open to cater to the distinctive South Asian palates of their guests and worldwide hotel friends.
“We started the revamping of the previous ‘Western’ cuisine offerings last December,” explained Joel Salvador, Food and Beverage Manager, who took the leadership role in spearheading this new Asian fusion restaurant outlet.
Where most restaurants will take one full year of more to fully launch a new restaurant concept, Salvador said his restaurant staff
of more than 30 “moved a mountain” in doing it in less than five months.
Catering to their growing intermingling of Chinese and Korean customers, “is what BE Grand Resort is all about. We really took the time to listen to what they were telling us about our food services and acted upon it,” said Salvador, adding that with the growing mix of guests coming from Asia, the new Asian fusion restaurant, “blends the rich flavors and culinary themes that makes South Asia stand out.”
First up is a full range of new starters including King Prawns with Chili-Mango Salsa, offering locally, Bohol-caught king prawns in crisp wonton cups with herb spices, then filled with a chilled chili-mango salsa.
This is complemented by one of the Asian Bistro’s new signature dishes—Ngohiong Rolls —marinated pork, slavered in five spices, wrapped with bean curd sheets, then deep fried to a crispy perfection and served with a house-made ngohiong sauce.
Nothing is better than following with a dish full of lush green vegetables in the Asian Bistro’s Taste of the Orient, an Asian fusion of crispy greens, mandarin orange and pomelo, topped with a generous portions of sliced boneless chicken … all tossed in an orange-sesame dressing.
The dishes then continue almost endlessly.
There a fabulous Chicken Binakol soup, served within a massive coconut, hand carved to serve as the serving bowl, offering amble space for large slices of ginger-stewed chicken sautéed in fresh coconut water, accompanied by slabs of coconut meat … then accented by fresh lemongrass with papaya and chicken leaves.
The accent to this new Asian Bistro is … “fresh.”
And it doesn’t get any fresher when Chef Mandirigma and Chef Lee can walk outside to their own private herb garden where staff is constantly cultivating a litany of fresh spices, including tarragon and basil, which are used daily in each of the fabulous offerings.
The only thing these intrepid chefs pledge not to do is have a barnyard somewhere in the back of this massive resort property for cattle, ducks, chicken and pigs.
”We do draw the line there,” said Chef Mandirigma with a wide smile.
Local fish however are sourced by the restaurant staff at Bohol’s fish market several times a week
so patrons will truly have the absolute finest seafood available.
“The Asian Bistro is a complete culinary experience,” said Merrill Yu, a managing consultant the
hotel brought in for the new restaurant launch. He added, “I’ve personally worked at some of
the best restaurant in Las Vegas and the highest standards of
quality and attention to detail at our new Asian Bistro is even better than Vegas.”
Not to be outdone, The Asian Bistro also offers a twist of local Filipino favorites, including Humba, with slow-cooked pork belly, marinated with salted black bean sauce with carrots, whole young corn, shiitake mushrooms and bockchoy … served with steamed rice.
Yum! Yum! Yum!
So on your next visit to Bohol, do make it part of your vacation and travel schedule to make a stopover at BE Grand Resort and savor the culinary delights of the new Asian Bistro!
Questions, comments or travel suggestions, write me at [email protected]