Saturday, January 03, 2009


It was a pretty sedate New Year's Eve for me.  I was in bed by 12:01 am, stone cold sober, with only a belly full of beef.  But what a belly full of beef it was - medium rare and carved tableside at my favorite five-star restaurant in all of downtown Manila, The Rotisserie of The Manila Pavilion. Yeah, it seems that with all the major changes going this year, my wife Tesa, I and some close friends from the neighborhood decided to step into 2009 by stepping back in time. Done in rich wood, red carpeting, packed with Federico Alcuaz paintings on all the walls, the Rotisserie is the epitome of Philippine Cold War Chic. Still stuck in it's LBJ/Marcos era glory, the pedigree of the restaurant practically drips from the walls, it's ambience as distinguished today as it was back when it was "the" three martini lunch place for Ermita expat executives and the second home of UN president Carlos P. Romulo. And it's standards of service are definitely from another time as well.  The waiters still wear tuxedoes, the ladies menus don't have prices, nothing is "nouvelle" and everything seems to be on wheels (the desserts, cigars, Caesar salad, and Mangoes Jubilee are all done table side).  Just to give my age away, think "La Tasca" restaurant or the former "Champagne Room" of the Manila Hotel as a peg for your experience. 1967 never looked - or tasted - this good.  

The Rotisserie
The Manila Pavilion Hotel
United Nations Avenue, Ermita
632 526 1212