Culinary Superlatives

Plantation Bay offers an astonishing range of food items that various guests have judged the best, or comparable to the best, they’ve ever had:

Wheat Pancakes – Full-bodied but not heavy, smooth but not insipid. Didn’t come from a carton.
Danish Pastries – Crisp, not too sweet, with a perfect custard lining and a selection of fruity toppings.
Dwarf pineapples – Crunchy instead of pulpy, and naturally sweet. Even the pith is delicious. Without any question the best pineapple on earth, and available only in Cebu and nearby islands (certainly not Manila).
Mangoes – Tart, firm, with hardly any fibrousness, Cebu mangoes are quite unlike their poor relations from Mexico or Africa, and are considered the world standard by connoisseurs.
Pan de Sal – Possibly the last remaining properly-made Philippine breakfast bun – chewy, stretchy, with a subtle wheat flavor. Some of our Filipino guests order it by the dozen to take home.
Eggs any style – Cooked precisely to your preference in front of you, anything from fluffy-soft scrambleds to impeccable sunny-side ups. Few hotels (and fewer resorts) can claim as much.
Longganiza – Philippine breakfast sausage of the highest order. Made in our own pantry, slightly on the lean side, with just a hint of sweetness and a smattering of spice. Nobody does it better, we humbly inform you.
Croissants – Light, flaky, buttery but not oily. You’d have a hard time finding a better one in Paris. (As a matter of fact, we never have.) From our own pâtissièr (as are all the breads, pastries, and desserts served in the resort).

 

Available at Kilimanjaro Kafé

Prawns Tempura at Fiji – Tiger prawns almost as big as chicken drumsticks, coated in rice-flour batter and deep-fried. Certainly the best in the country, our tempura would hold its own in Tokyo, or anywhere.
Roast Pig (Lechon) at Themed Dinner Buffet – Cebu’s lechon is prized as the finest in the Philippines, and we do it better than anyone else. Slow roasting, herb stuffing, and a secret dressing process yield crunchy skin and delectable flesh so tender and juicy you can cut it with a fork.
Batchoy at Kilimanjaro – If it’s absolutely authentic native cuisine you’re after, look no further. We borrowed the recipe for this quintessential Philippine onion-and-noodle soup from our very own staff cafeteria after it was discovered that some enterprising (and obviously discriminating) guests were eating there on the sly.
Barbecued Polynesian Spareribs at Fiji – What is this obsession with baby-back ribs, we ask. Baby-back just means the pig was small and skinny. Our ribs come from meatier and – yes, we admit it – fatter pigs, and our special Polynesian barbecue sauce would make even Kansas City gourmands sit up and take notice.
Kare-Kare at Kilimanjaro– Philippine oxtail stew with banana flowers in peanut sauce, served with shrimp paste on the side. There’s nothing quite like this dish anywhere else in the world, and ours is about as good as it gets. Messy and fun: eat with a spoon, and leave the Hermes ties and scarves at home.
US Angus Prime Rib Steak at Kilimanjaro and Savannah– US cornbelt restaurants undeniably have better meat to work with, but we try harder. Our proprietary marinade combines Midwestern and other ingredients, and we wait two days for the flavors to ripen. The results are sublime – tastier, smokier, juicier than anything out of Chicago. Don’t believe us? Try it, and decide for yourself.
Caesar Salad at Kilimanjaro – Nothing like American Caesar Salad, the Philippine version (some would say, original) is thick, creamy, garlicky, lemony, and piquant. This dressing doesn’t keep at all, and so must be prepared from scratch each time it is ordered. When our waiters are having a good day, our Caesar outshines the best from Manila; on a bad day, it’s still better than anything east of the Pacific.
Spaghetti Pepperoncino at Kilimanjaro – This classic spaghetti dish also known as ‘Spaghetti al Aglio, Olio e Pepperoncino’, is made only of simple ingredients, fresh sliced garlic sautéed in fine olive oil though not browned, chopped mild green chilis, and crushed black pepper. It is usually finished with shaved Pecorino cheese. We put more ingredients into our dish than Italians normally do, giving it a stronger, “in your face” flavor, that you absolutely won’t find a match to in Italy. So, it’s not “authentic”, but it’s better.
Chile con Carne – Our meat is diced, not ground, and we use just the right amount of chili powder and other condiments, kidney beans, and fresh bell peppers (“chile” means pepper as in bell pepper, or is a shorthand way of referring to the whole dish; “chili” is a spice). Then we mix in yesterday’s leftovers and simmer for hours. Trust us, this is the way to do it. South-of-the-border purists might not be impressed by our “moderately spicy” chile, but if your standards are based on what’s generally available in Los Angeles or in cans, this is as good as it gets.
Hot Dogs – Really! We didn’t make them, but we searched high and low for the world’s best, and came up with a tie: Hebrew National Jumbo (all-beef), and Armor Kielbasa (beef, pork, and turkey). Then we went through a heck of a lot of trouble importing them. Plantation Bay is the only place in Asia (and probably the US, too, for all we know) which serves the two best hot dogs in the world.
Char-broiled Hamburger – Our patties are made in-house with a precise blend of different cuts of beef, and go through a multi-stage grinding process to assure the right texture and cohesion. Then they’re seared over a real fire, with the flames licking all around. In all our travels in America, we haven’t found any burger, anywhere, at any price, as outright delicious as ours. And you can quote us on that.

Available at Savannah Grill

Banana Toffee Tart at Palermo – Fresh banana, chocolate, and whipped cream. Undeniably the greatest way to end your dinner!
Homemade Ice Cream available in all restaurants – Extra rich and extra creamy Homemade Ice Cream (Peanut Butter Chocolate, Vanilla, Mango, Strawberry and Jackfruit).
Crepes Samurai at Fiji – Fresh mangoes, of course. Really thin crepes. Rum. Creamy vanilla sabayon with a flame-kissed fringe. Most plates go back to our kitchen looking like they were licked clean.
Halo-Halo at Kilimanjaro – A Filipino’s idea of a refreshing afternoon snack, a colorful mixture of candied fruits, jellies and custard, collated with shaved ice and native ube ice cream. Don’t leave the country without having sampled this.
Three Chocolate Fascination at Palermo and Fiji – Know what Guy Lian Fruits de Mer Belgian chocolates are? Our mousse cake is built on a similar concept, layering white, milk, and dark chocolate flavors in a single chocolate-lovers’ delight.
Cheesecake at Kilimanjaro and Palermo – We realize we’re treading on thin ice here, but our semi-New York-style cheesecake, modified for Asian tastes (meaning slightly heavier, slightly sweeter, and with a moist, dense, butter-packed Graham-cracker crust), has a lot of devoted followers. Including some New Yorkers.