When you hear about restaurants that require patrons to book a table months in advance, Filipino cuisine doesn’t usually come to mind. Allow us to change your mind — and prove to you — that Philippine gastronomy is, indeed, worth the wait.
Head over to the Holiday Inn & Suites Makati, where the sought after Chef Dennis Lim will lend his talent to the hotel’s buffet and dinner spreads at Flavors Restaurant from October 10 to 19. If that name does’t excite your tastebuds, now is the time to do some quick research!
Chef Dennis is the man behind Pampanga’s famed reservation-only, private dining restaurant, Den Lim’s Kitchen. What started out as a business operated by a family whose love affair with food spans generations has become a country-wide sensation for serious foodies and simply curious visitors alike. At present, it can take up to a year to wait for a table to become available. The self-taught chef prides himself in creating dishes based on prized family recipes and Filipino favorites — all of which he prepares in front of diners while explaining the ingredients and cooking methods that go into them.
“I keep it simple, as I like to bring out the true flavors in my dishes,” he explains.
As Chef Dennis exemplifies, Filipino food deserves its spot in the limelight next to the world’s other great cuisines. While it may be a while before diners get a chance to dine at his restaurant, they can certainly experience his cooking prowess at Flavors Restaurant very soon.
“We are always looking for interesting food ideas and collaborations to bring a great dining and travel experience to our guests and customers,” says Andy Belmonte, Hotel Manager of Holiday Inn & Suites Makati.
“Chef Den Lim is a good fit because his cooking style reflects Flavors Restaurant’s friendly, choiceful and unpretentious vibe,” he continues.
Now, onto the main course. When it comes to what diners can expect from this collaboration, here are a few items on Chef Dennis’ menu to get your stomach’s full attention:
Chef Dennis’ Oriental Cashew Salad: Great for a light start to a scrumptious meal ahead, this is his signature salad topped with a sweet and tangy dressing of pureed cashews topped with candied walnuts, roasted cashews and a sprinkling of chili pepper flakes for an added kick.
Pasta Corrito: Seafood lovers, rejoice! This dish is packed with shrimp, mussels and squid, cooked with seafood brine, capers, and extra virgin olive oil. Eaten with al dente noodles and a spritz of lemon, you have a satisfying meal ahead.
Crab Marlen: We’d love to recommend this to everyone, but those with sensitive diets can’t and shouldn’t get carried away. This ultra-indulgent dish is king of it all, with creamy and savory crab sautéed with basil and — wait for it — 30 salted egg yolks. Resist the temptation of feasting on this with unlimited servings of rice.
Caveman’s Shank: Take one look at it and you know that this dish of tender, smoked beef that practically falls of the bone will bring out a caveman’s primal appetite in anyone. This beef shank is braised for up to six hours, then smothered with a generous serving of mushroom gravy. Remember to use forks and knives, and not your hands, as you dig in!
Spanish Callos: Slow-cooked tripe and beef skin with Spanish chorizo — need we say more? But the secret to it all is how its cooked in white wine and smoked paprika. Try it yourself to believe how good it tastes.
Pugon Liempo Wrap: She’s the star of the show, the belle of the ball, and the reason Chef Dennis’ Pampanga restaurant is always fully booked. Help yourself to a serving or two of this succulent roasted pork belly wrapped in lettuce and arugula, topped with housemade pork buro and tomatoes.
Goodbye, diet. It was nice knowing you.
With Chef Dennis’ dishes’ debut at the Holiday Inn & Suites Makati right around the corner, why don’t you give them a call to ensure a seat for you and your friends and family? For reservations, call +63 909 0888.