The Duck is Flambéed with Premium Whisky at This Chinese Restaurant
Many Chinese restaurants offer roasted duck on the menu, but how many offer duck flambéed in premium whisky?
When guests order the fowl at Man Ho at the Marriott Hotel Manila, servers will wheel it out on a flambé dish and drizzle it with a shot of The Dalmore 12-year-old whisky. The server will carve the duck tableside and serve the skin in a Chinese pancake (like lumpia wrapper) with some greens and hoisin sauce. The alcohol adds a slight kick to the crispy duck skin, and certainly a unique twist to an old Chinese restaurant favorite.
The use of that particular brand of whisky also represents a synergy of sorts for Marriott and its affiliate companies. The hotel is located in the sprawling Resorts World Manila complex, which is owned and managed by Travellers International Hotel Group, which, in turn, is a joint venture by Genting Hong Kong and taipan Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Inc. Tan also owns Whyte and Mackay, the Glasgow-based company that offers the premium scotch whisky The Dalmore under its portfolio.
The Roasted Flambéed Peking Duck (P3288) is only one of the range of new dishes offered at the Marriott Hotel Manila’s upscale Chinese fine dining outlet. After the old head chef left to accept a new posting elsewhere, the hotel welcomed new executive chef Chan Chi Fai, who set out to update the restaurant’s menu.
Start with Wok Fried French Beans with Salted Egg Yolk (P380), its take on the salted egg craze that seems to be showing no signs of slowing down. Tender haricot verde (French beans) is drenched in the salted egg mixture, giving it a flavorful, almost addictive quality.
The chef’s Slow-Braised Australian Beef Shank (P480) is given a surprising twist with the addition of Palawan Honey. Executive chef Meik Brammer explains it is an attempt to source and use local ingredients to highlight their offerings.
Wok-Fried Pork Parcels with Szechuan Chilies (P360) will satisfy those with a hankering for spicy fare, while Shredded Chicken with Jellyfish (P980 small, P1,600 large) answers the question, “What if that jellyfish that’s almost always a side on most dishes is highlighted on its own as a standalone dish?”
A special new concoction is the Double-Boiled Abalone with Red Dates and Coconut Broth (P680). Served in a coconut shell, the soothing clear soup will remind you of the stuff your mom used to make when you were sick.
Marriott Hotel Manila is well-known for Cru Steakhouse, arguably one of the best steakhouses in the city. Brammer says they have received inquiries from loyal patrons asking them to use the premium beef used at Cru for some new dishes at Man Ho. Chef Chan delivered with Pan Fried US Tenderloin in Black Pepper Sauce (P1,500). The Stir Fried Shrimps and Porcini Mushrooms and Broccoli, meanwhile, is the restaurant's version of the beef with broccoli that is all-too-common in most Chinese restaurants.
Finally, Chef Chan’s fish dish is Pan Fried Australian Barramundi in Black Bean Sauce (P980). Brammer notes that it is a more affordable but just as tasty alternative to much pricier fish dishes.
For dessert, Brammer professes to loving the Sticky Glutinous Rice with Coconut a.k.a. mochi balls with a custard filling. It’s a winning finish to an inventive but still strangely familiar array of dishes at one of the city’s most reliable spots for Chinese cuisine.
Man Ho is located at Marriott Hotel Manila’s West Wing.