Haliya's Take on Filipino Cuisine Will Really Give You Something to Dream About
There are quite a few things we’ve missed about fine dining. The smells, the sights, the memories of passing stories down the table. Add in Filipino cuisine and the fun experience of kamayan—yes, even in fancy restaurants—and you’re guaranteed a satisfying time.
This is what the NÜWA Hotel and City of Dreams Manila captures with the opening of the Haliya restaurant. With a festive mural by Yana Ofrasio as a backdrop, the new restaurant offers a rendition of Filipino cuisine that is both intimately familiar and refreshing.
Chef de Cuisine Edmundo San Jose (Chef Ed for short) took inspiration from the staple Filipino home-cooked meals we all grew up with to create his menu. With a selection of local and imported premium ingredients, he created dishes that, quite honestly, have stuck with me even a week after the first bite.
Haliya's Chef Ed
Built to bring people together, each dish on the menu is served family-style and can satisfy two to three people. For those with particular dietary restrictions, there are vegetarian and sustainable seafood options that provide a variety of choices for any diner.
The appetizers, or pampagana in Filipino, are a perfect icebreaker for anyone timid at the table. The lumpia dinagat and binalot na cochi are best eaten by hand, guaranteed to make a bit of a mess you can laugh about. They also serve Caticlan talaba that interestingly pairs fresh oysters with a dollop of avocado crema, finger limes, and pinakurat na suka.
Haliya's Binalot na Cochi
Aside from the taste, one can also find a conversation starter in how these dishes are served. For example, Haliya’s kilawing tanigue is served on top of a container that looks like it’s one-part fish bowl complete with corals inside, and one-part actual bowl for the tanigue, sea urchin, lato, and other vegetables.
The appetizers already feel like ulam enough, but Chef Ed has more tricks up his sleeves.
For the main course, he plays with the classic adobo. Every household has its own version of it, but under Haliya’s roof, the adobo is further elevated: Twice-cooked chicken is served with baby bok choy, grilled pineapples, marbled potatoes, shallot confit, crispy garlic chips, and adobo glaze. And if it isn’t creative enough, it also comes with foie gras that is sliced as smooth as butter. Alternative main courses to the Haliya adobo are kare-kare, paksiw apahap, Bicol Express, and many other dishes that are sure to satisfy anyone at the table.
And no matter how much you eat from the previous courses, make sure you leave space for the dessert selection or the panghimagas. The Chichinka, a classic bibingka reinvented with mascarpone cheese, is a salty-sweet cloud resting on a small palayok. The cashew chocolate muron and the mangga suman are also options if something decadent is what you crave.
The night doesn’t really end after the last dessert is served. In true Filipino fashion, there will be drinks to taste, group photos to take, and stories to catch up on. And when all of that’s been exhausted, then and only then, can you say your dinner at Haliya has finished.
Haliya is now open and located on the ground floor of the NÜWA Hotel Lobby, City of Dreams Manila. Call 02 8800 8080 for inquiries and reservations.