A Royal Dinner at Prince Albert

Every year, Metro Society celebrates Christmas with a big potluck party for the staff and close colleagues. In light of the tragedy of the recent typhoon, we all agreed to forgo the frivolous extra expense and donate our contributions to our chosen relief efforts. Having heard this, Janine Taylor, Intercontinental Manila’s head of food and beverage, invited our staff to sample Prince Albert’s Christmas menu, a big treat for all of us.

Opened in 1969, Prince Albert is one of the country’s most iconic dining establishments. Known to serve the most succulent roasts in town, the restaurant has maintained its extraordinarily high quality in food for almost 50 years. Restaurant director Francis Felipe has exceptionally trained staff; the elegance of the restaurant’s interiors has not diminished—the upkeep of chairs, tables and even the art hanging on the walls, belie the restaurant’s age. In an industry that has evolved greatly in the last decade alone, Prince Albert has kept with the times and is still a top contender in Manila’s fine dining scene.

It was an intimate dinner for 10 in the Romulo Salon, one of the restaurant’s private dining rooms. Upon arriving, we were all excited to see each other dressed for the occasion, a far cry from our usual office garb. The table, too, was set with the lushest hydrangeas and brightly lit Christmas ornaments. Rod Malabrigo, captain waiter who has been with Prince Albert for almost three decades, right away greeted us. His commitment to excellent service has kept regulars coming back; here, they know they will be taken care of.

Festive centerpieces by Anton Barretto

We took our seats at the table and soon settled into relaxed conversation. The running joke was that we should take our staff photo before the second course, to save our artists the pain of Photoshopping protruding midsections in post-production.  As the silly banter continued, the most delicious olive bread arrived with chilled butter, accompanied by our first course, vodka and beetroot cured Atlantic salmon with a salad of shaved fennel, green asparagus and oranges. The salmon was sweet, while the crisp vegetables were seasoned perfectly. Our second course was cepe mushroom and cognac cream with duck liver mousse crostini. The soup was hearty and the crostini was generously topped with pâté. A refreshing palette cleanser of lime granita with strawberry minestrone came next, before the main course, dukkah-crusted lamb cutlets on vegetable couscous with grilled artichoke hearts and Moroccan spiced jus. The lamb was succulent with a nice salted crust, while the artichokes added a hint of acidity to the dish.

Vodka and Beetroot Cured Atlantic Salmon and a Salad of Shaved Fennel, Asparagus and Orange

Cepe Mushroom and Cognac Cream with Duck Liver Mousse Crostini

Lime Granita with Strawberry Minestrone

Dukkah Crusted Lamb Cutlets on Vegetable Cous Cous

We ended on a sweet note, Bailey’s mascarpone and baked cocoa cream with expresso jelly and red velvet crumbs. It was a Christmas celebration different from the usual, but just as meaningful.

Bailey’s Mascarpone and Baked Cocoa Ice Cream with Expresso Jelly and Red Velvet Crumbs

Merry Christmas from the Metro Society team!

My lovely Metro Society family, Anton Barretto, Marichelle Ligon, Kat Ong, Rex Atienza, Jen Chan, Raul Manzano, Butchie Pena, Francezca Kwe and I

* Article seen in Metro Society’s December 2013 Issue

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