Food & Drink

5 Things You Need to Know About the Reopening of Spiral Today

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IMAGE Sofitel Philippine Plaza
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Spiral is reopening to customers today. Arguably the country’s biggest and most luxurious buffet restaurant, Spiral has been closed since the start of the lockdown period in mid-March.

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We’re a long way off from anything remotely resembling what we used to call “normal,” but it’s at least comforting to know that an old favorite—and a culinary insitution—is coming back. 

Photo by Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
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There are a few things you need to know before you head on over to the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, though.

1| There’s a new executive chef

The country’s premier buffet restaurant is now run by newly-appointed executive chef Bettina Arguelles. Sofitel says she’s the first-ever Filipina executive chef in a five-star international branded hotel in the Philippines. A graduate of the At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy in Singapore, Chef Bettina has worked in a number of establishments in the Lion City, including The Fullerton Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa, and Marina Bay Sands (she was part of the pre-opening team for Daniel Boulud’s restaurant).

After 16 years abroad she flew back home to Manila and joined the Sofitel Philippine Plaza team, where she started out as a French sous chef and eventually became Restaurant Operations Chef. We have no doubt Chef Bettina will continue and improve upon the legacy of Spiral.

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2| There’s a new hub called Central Market

Spiral still has 21 ateliers, but because of the effects of the health crisis, Sofitel has added a new hub. Central Market featres fresh ingredients and prepared à la minute (made to order) in various styles, like “moules marinière, fritto misto, or seafood al forno at the French Stove; mala hotpot or wok stir-fried at the Chinese station; customized teppanyaki at the Hot Japanese station; or a special chef’s recommendation prepared from a secret menu.”

Photo by Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
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3| Customers can enjoy their food however they please

Spiral has made the dining experience more flexible. Customers can enjoy more unlimited freedom in customizing their dishes—whether it’s in food preparation or ingredient combinations—based on their personal preference. Just let any of the servers know how you want your food done and they’ll take care of the rest. 

4| Sofitel is ensuring everybody’s safety

Like most establishments reopening while there’s still the threat of COVID-19, Sofitel and Accor have put health and safety protocols in place. The hotel has launched the ALL SAFE Cleanliness and Prevention Label, a signature set of global cleanliness and prevention criteria developed with and vetted by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspections, and certification.

Photo by Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
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“Integrating its benchmarks with national and local government guidelines, Sofitel goes beyond its norm of stringent safety and hygiene measures towards a newstandard in the world of hospitality,” the hotel said.

Some of the safety measures:

- Seating capacity is currently limited to 30 percent with one-meter spacing between guests. 

- There are transparent dividers installed on reception desks and culinary ateliers while private dining rooms are available for more exclusivity.

- Staff members are equipped with safety apparel while queues are managed with floor signages for demarcation.

- There will be a strict one-way route for all guests as they make their way around the restaurant.

- To maintain minimal exposure, each plate shall only be in contact with the guest, apart from the chef safely serving the dish from their respective atelier.

Photo by Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
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- A one-dish-per-plate policy shall be implemented to avoid cross-contamination. 

- For made-to-order dishes, order numbers shall be provided to the guest for claiming.

- An online beverage menu is accessible through a QR code on each table

- Contactless payment solutions via GCash, Alipay, WeChatPay, and GrabPay are available.

Photo by Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
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- In accordance with government protocols, guests below theage of 21 years old and above 60 years old are not permitted to dine in the restaurant during GeneralCommunity Quarantine (GCQ).

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5| Spiral’s schedule and price

Spiral is operational during the first three weekends of October during the following meal periods: Thursday dinner, Friday lunch and dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner, and Sunday brunch. Rates are set at P2,850 for lunch, P3,500 for dinner, and P4,350 for brunch.

 

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About The Author
Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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