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Discovering Chris Tiu's hidden desires

Ready for some serious downtime, Chris Tiu throws in his jersey for a sumptuous steak dinner and night out with friends.

MANILA, Philippines - We know he loves basketball. We know him as a role model who is passionate about inspiring values among the youth and supporting numerous advocacies, particularly poverty alleviation and better standards of public education. We know he loves co-hosting with the pambansang kamao, Manny Pacquiao on GMA 7’s Pinoy Records. We know of his countless endorsements, which he carefully considers for their integrity. We probably think we know Chris Tiu pretty well, especially if we follow his blogs, which he updates despite his hectic schedule. But at the end of the day, what does he obsess over? What drives him all the way to Discovery Suites in Ortigas Center no matter the traffic situation? What does he fixate on all day — aside from basketball?

Chris Tiu reveals a great passion, one that compels him to forego countless invitations for lunch or dinner. Chris Tiu is crazy about steak. Not just any steak, but after a tedious day of training and workout, he rewards himself with succulent USDA-certified prime beef steak at The Discovery Suites 22 Prime. Selected as “Best Steakhouse” in the First Gold Spots Awards by on-line metro dining guide SPOT.ph, the lineup of specialty steaks is a selection of prime cuts grilled to juicy perfection, from a chunky filet mignon, succulent rib eye, flavorful New York striploin, Wagyu beef medallions, Australian veal chops, grilled double pork chops, and tender baby back ribs. These dishes are served with two gourmet steak sauces of choice. The sommelier’s world-class selection of wines includes top-of-the-line French and Californian vintages.

The no-nonsense Ateneo Blue Eagles star player, consistent mythical Fiver and Smart Gilas National Team shooting guard and team captain, former Barangay Urdaneta Makati councilor who earnestly organized and led sports, even art and cooking clinics, entrepreneur and Ateneo Management Engineering graduate reveals his favorite not-so-secret dining place and, yes, his greatest weakness.

When at 22 Prime, his choice for the best-tasting, succulent steaks, he usually starts off his meal with the baked Oysters Rockefeller, paired with a fine glass of red wine, followed by the decadent Chef Rick’s cheese bread, a 22 Prime original by Discovery Suites’ executive chef Rick Abasta, an unapologetic broiled four-cheese starter. Tiu goes for the rib-eye steak (medium rare) with his choice of two sauces — forest mushrooms and tarragon béarnaise.

A true sportsman who diligently follows a healthy diet he describes as “avoiding unnecessary and unwanted calories, particularly carbohydrates in the evening,” Tiu doesn’t hesitate to answer when asked what’s wrong with a high-protein steak after a strenuous day? “Absolutely nothing,” the athlete says. He admits his rule of thumb for eating right is simple: “Eat good food. I’m a regular guy who likes to hang out with my friends and share a good meal, to catch up on our daily lives, and sneak in a game of golf or a good movie, before catching a good night’s rest.”

Chris Tiu confesses to another addiction — a nagging sweet tooth! At 22 Prime, it’s sheer heaven for the ultra-fit, 5’11”, 170-pound 24-year-old heartthrob. Their sweet endings include the chocolate marquise (soft chocolate mouse with vanilla English cream and pistachio bits), apple tart tatin, chocolate and peanut butter cake, Bouchon’s crème caramel (vanilla custard with a sinful caramel sauce) and the cappuccino crème brûlée (light, sweet and deadly!). The menu lists an array of culinary chefs-d’oeuvre, revealing corporate chef David Pardo de Ayala’s culinary excellence.

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22 Prime is located on the 22nd floor of Discovery Suites, where diners can luxuriate in the cozy, romantic ambience. Tiu considers it “the most romantic date place,” offering a panoramic view of the metro’s dramatic evening skyline, while its exclusivity allows him the luxury of a private escape and warm setting to chill out with his buddies or perhaps go on a special date. In fact, another big reveal is Tiu’s talent at the piano. At 22 Prime, he is able to express his soft side by playing pop ballads at the grand piano for his lucky date. A hopeless romantic, Tiu admires certain attributes in a woman, such as patience, selflessness, spirituality and affection. Although these traits seem to mirror his own, she need not be athletic nor does she have to love basketball! That’s where the boys come in.

Tiu unwinds with best buddies Sammy Young and Bon Syiaco. Teammates during their high school days in Xavier, they share more than the thrill of the game. When they’re not at the court, they share good food and a few games of pool at 22 Prime. Tiu admits that although they share the thrill of competition — be it in basketball, golf, billiards or the occasional karaoke outing, he and his friends spend time just doing regular things like dining out to catch up on each other’s lives, hanging out at the mall or at home, or occasionally kicking back at one of Discovery Suites’ well-appointed suites.

Chris Tiu believes that sleeping is an art and admits, “I love sleeping in. Despite all the mental preparation and physical conditioning as an athlete, one needs time to recover and get quality sleep, and Discovery hotels and resorts are the best places to catch up on much-needed zzzs.” 

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 Check out 22 Prime’s T.G.I.P.R.F. (Thank God It’s Prime Rib Friday), serving US Angus prime rib every Friday night at P1,100+ inclusive of the chef’s soup of the day and salad bar. 22 Prime is open daily for lunch (12 noon to 2:30 p.m.) and dinner (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.). For inquiries and reservations, call 683-8222 local 3722 or visit their website at www.discoverysuites.com.

Discovery Suites, Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay and Discovery Shores Boracay are developed and owned by The Discovery Leisure Company, Inc.  The Discovery Group is operated and managed by HSAI Raintree Hospitality Management.

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