Escolta has a very special place in my heart for toe-curlingly embarrassing reasons. A couple of birthdays ago, my girlfriends took me out to champagne brunch there to celebrate (so sweet!) and it was a fabulous time with amazing food but then we started hoarding the champagne. Things got a little rowdy and before I knew it, I was on the floor with my goddaughter Asha. At the Peninsula Manila lobby. Or so they tell me.
I cringe at the thought even now but it also cracks me up! It’s a blessing that it’s all pretty fuzzy because if I remembered it all, I think I would just curl up and die.
What I do remember is having the second worst hangover of my life the next day. A little word of caution in case you’re planning to indulge. (Worst hangover ever in the history of ever goes to…Irish Car Bomb. RUN.)
So it was with a funny feeling and a naughty inner grin that I walked in to Escolta again a week ago to check out their buffet. Place looked great but that was to be expected.
I’ve never tried their lunch and dinner buffet so this was really exciting. Do you know that, on top of their staples, Escolta changes their theme throughout the week?
Monday happened to be all about the Americas. Tuesday features Korea and Japan. On Wednesday, they handpick the best of Asia for you. Swing by on a Thursday if you’re craving for pasta and pizza and everything else Italian. If a seafood celebration is more your thing, Friday and Saturday are your days. And then super fun champagne brunch on Sunday hahaha! That mortifying episode aside, I’ll always recall my cheese plate with grapes and dried figs very fondly.
Take a look at my favorites from Monday night buffet:
I tried making peri-peri chicken once and came away from that experience thinking I should just go to a restaurant and order it next time. A restaurant like Escolta. I absolutely love the heat level on this dish, it is proper.
And then came rolling in this thing of beauty.
SHORT RIB PORN, GAIZ. I would’ve been a happy camper, er, diner eating just these juicy, smokey, tasty ribs with the sides. But then I met the beef churrasco with chimichurri and I knew I had found The One.
Perfectly barbecued tender beef with robust and bright chimichurri – thank you for causing a spike in the quality of my life.
For dessert, I had churros made fresh on site. Happy happy joy joy.
Ray (or was it Love Lynne, the wifey??) of the blog En Route had the genius idea of grabbing some fresh strawberries at the fruit station and dipping them in the dessert station’s chocolate fountain to serve as side to these crunchy-pillowy rods of deliciousness and I did the same.
The drinks I had with this meal were also lovely:
To the left is a mocktail called Turning Thai with buco pandan and lychee and then a cocktail called Loi Krathong (like the festival!), a potent little number with dark rum and orange bitters. Both were a nod to the special Thai offerings The Manila Peninsula will have until June 30.
My heartfelt thanks go out to TV5’s Interaskyon.com food critic Cyrene dela Rosa for inviting me to make new, delicious, cringe-free memories at Escolta. If you’d like to experience the world on your plate, Escolta is located on the ground floor of the Makati Tower of The Peninsula Manila. You can call 887 2888 extension 6694 to inquire.