Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wine-Pairing Dinner at the Top of the City

I am re-discovering Pan Pacific Hotel Manila .... and I am glad. The last time I was here was some years ago, when I used to book our corporate guests wanting to be in the middle of bustling Manila.  It was a good choice, then and now.

Upon the invitation of one of my favorite couples living in the Philippines, Mr. Bernard Flour and his lovely wife, Jorinda, owners of Le Cellier French Wines, it was a privilege for me to attend a by-invite only wine-pairing dinner at the elegant Gazebo Pacific Lounge, located at the top floor of the hotel.

Mr. Bernard Flour and Ms. Jorinda Flour, owners of Le Cellier French Wines Selection

This event happens twice a year, in partnership with Pan Pacific and Le Cellier.  The hotel's General Manager, Mr. Richard Masselin and Flour arrange this as a gathering of close friends and patrons alike.  The hotel provide the food, and the wine store provide the wine selection to partner each dish.  An intimate dinner of about fifty people, the evening was perfect from start to finish.

Mr. Richard Masselin - General Manager of Pan Pacific Hotel with Mr. Bernard Flour.

To welcome guests, apperitifs were served at the lovely outdoor garden over-looking the breathtaking Manila skyline.

Cremant de Bourgogne, Blanc de Blancs, Brut.
Ferraud & Fils

Passed around finger foods were:

Mini Chicken Liver and Pistachio Terrine with Figs Chutney on Crackers
Smoked Ham and Herbed Cream Cheese
Pan Fried Local Scallop with Pea Sprouts
Blackened Shrimp with Tomato Coulis

I made sure not to fill myself up with these delights, keeping in mind that a sumptuous five-course dinner was about to happen.

It was pleasant going around in the garden, meeting other guests.  Then it was time to go inside the main dining area, called the Pacific Lounge.  Even though it was indoor, the glass windows still gave us a commanding of the city lights, and the garden to one side, plus, the table set-up was really pretty.

Finally, dinner is served (with wine). Each dish was to die for.  Literally, I thought I was in heaven already.

"Salade Gourmande", partnered with Pouilly-Fume, Les Deux Cailloux, 2011

Seared Foie Gras and Preserved Squab on Selected Beans Salad, with Port Wine Vinaigrette (photo: Barbie Barbieto of


"Pampano Sur Epices", partnered with Pouilly-Fuisse, Domaine Du Chalet Pouilly, 2009 

Seared Pomfret Fillet in Saffron Broth, Baby Fennel, Fiddle Head Fern, Red Raddish, Marble Potato, Garlic Chips (photo: Barbie Barbieto of



Lemon Grass and Ginger Sorbet with a dash of Grey Goose Vodka 
(photo: Barbie Barbieto of


"Le Boeuf et L'Agneau... A New Tale", partnered with Chateau Derem Valentin, Margaux, 2007

Braised Beef on Spicy Cabernet Merlot Reduction
Lamb in Phyllodough on Herb Goat Cheese Sauce
Celeriac and Pomme Mousseline with Grilled Portabello Mushrooms
(photo: Barbie Barbieto of


"Fromages Fins", partnered with Chateauneuf du Pape, P. Ferraud Per et Fils, 2010

Goat Cheese on Toast
Brie de Meaux en Millefeuille
Roquefort en "Habit Vert"
(photo: Barbie Barbieto of


"Charisma" desserts, partnered with Cognac Maxime Trijol, Napoleon

Creme Brulee with Caramel Kahlua Sauce
Baileys Mousse au "Grand Marnier"
Dark Chocolate Cake


As if we haven't had enough food and desserts, and a dizzying array of great wines, here came another plate of sweets.  Best with coffee or tea.

Strawberry Macarons, Chocolate Mousse and Nougat

Of course, after having the most perfect dinner, we demanded to bring out Executive Chef Renato Guillera, and his all-Filipino culinary team.

These  skilled people from the kitchen are the unsung heroes behind best restaurants in the world.  They were the most lauded that evening.

Messieurs Flour and Masselin went around tables to chat with guests.  We wanted to know if they can organize the same wine-pairing dinner for our own gathering.  The answer was yes. and we were surprised that it was fairly priced starting from Php 3,000 per person including the wine.  The hotel will be able to accommodate from ten to fifty people at a time for this special five-course wine-pairing dinner.

I find this perfect for any occasion.  Bon appetit!

Pan Pacific Manila
Adriatico corner Gen. Malvar Streets
Malate, City of Manila
Tel. + 63 2 318 0705
Find Pan Pacific Manila on Facebook, here.

Le Cellier French Wine Selection
For orders, please call: + 63 2897 1840
Find Le Cellier on Facebook, here.