Sisig Sandwiches and Tuna Kinilaw Are on the Menu at this Leveled-Up Merienda Cena
Typical merienda items in Filipino culture includes things like banana-q, goto or lugaw, and hot pandesal with palaman with perhaps sago’t gulaman. But if you’re in the mood for fancier fare, a hotel in Taguig is serving its leveled-up version of afternoon tea.
Merienda Cena at the Grand Hyatt indulges the Filipino penchant to munch on something pre-supper and combines it with the grand English tradition of high tea. The savory sandwiches are inspired by local flavors but there are delicate pastries and scones with a selection of spreads.
Grand Hyatt’s executive chef Mark Hagan acknowledged that the idea is inspired by the British staple.
“It’s high tea with a bit more thought and class,” he said during the launch.
“It’s really for Filipinos, especially the ladies. But the men can come along if they want,” he added with a grin.
On the menu are open-faced sandwiches that includes the Grand Hyatt’s version of sisig, beef salpicao with garlic puree, and pickled bangus or milkfish. There’s also a tuna ceviche with a spicy kick, and locally sourced prawns for a traditional shrimp cocktail.
Slather clotted cream or strawberry jam on the well-made scones baked in-house and pair it with loose leaf or blended teas for a taste of elegant British-ness. But what really elevates this version of merienda cena is the hotel’s offer of free-flowing rose wine to go with everything on the menu.
When you’re ready for dessert, you can choose among a dizzying selection of pastries and sugary concoctions: strawberry cheesecake, a mocha hazelnut cake, passionfruit mango tart and almond Florentine cake. There’s also a live cooking station where you can order a bananas foster served with a splash of Don Papa rum; and a mango sans rival espuma that Chef Mark highly recommends.
Because the set-up is buffet style, guests can get their food at the correct temperature: they get their hot food hot and their cold food cold. Guests can come back for seconds, thirds, fourths or until they get their fill of everything.
Merienda Cena at the Grand Hyatt happens Fridays to Sundays from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. or until the last guest leaves. It’s P1,500 net, but P1,950 if you prefer to have it with free-flowing rosé. For reservations, phone 8838-1234, or send them an email [email protected].