The Heat is on!
THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee () - January 31, 2006 - 12:00am
Edsa Shangri-La’s new restaurant, HEAT, was unveiled after a five-month renovation (amounting to $2 million) by design firm Hirsch- Bedner. "Human markers" (performers in bodysuits representing the colored logo bars of the restaurant) lined the hotel leading to the driveway. The hotel’s lobby lounge had a ceiling of aurora borealis, human torches and soaring lava lamps.

A live performance of four opera singers singing Georg Frideric Handel’s Sarabando welcomed guests as dancers performed to a different version of Carol of the Bells. The launch was attended by Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, Mandaluyong City Mayor Neptali Gonzales Jr., Shangri-La Hotel International Management VP for sales and marketing Peggy Angeles, Edsa Shangri-La GM John Rice and resident manager Vanessa Suatengco.

Heat has distinct open cooking theatres incorporating 20 interactive sections. The Oriental Station features all kinds of Chinese barbecue with a Hong Kong-trained chef. The Western Station features a carving alongside a Tandoori section offering grilled Indian specialities. There is a salad and sushi section and a Noodle Station which has Indonesian, Thai, Chinese, Filipino and Japanese noodle dishes. Freshly baked pizza straight out of the traditional wood-burning oven and risotto are found at the Italian Station. There is a lechon pit as well and two chocolate fountains (white and dark chocolates).

GM John Rice says, "The old Garden Café has been a landmark in Metro Manila as the most popular hotel coffee shop and meeting venue in the past decade. Edsa Shangri-La, Manila makes history once more as we unveil Heat to our guests. Its modern and contemporary dining style coupled with the superb service and warmth its predecessor was known for makes Heat an absolute success!"

Executive chef Timothy Stanhope adds, "Manila’s dining scene has tremendously developed in the past three to four years with innovations being introduced in such a fast pace. In our hotel, we have proudly renovated our specialty restaurants like Summer Palace, Senju and Paparazzi. We feel it’s high time that we gave our coffee shop the new look it truly deserves."

(Please call HEAT at 633-888 for reservations.)
Hot wind blows in Manila
Trendy Shanghai shoe brand HotWind is now in Manila and has opened its doors at Glorietta 4. Owner Andy Cruz explains, "It carries every imaginable style – from the prettiest pastel ballet flats to the most elegant velvet-trimmed bejeweled peep-toe pumps. We’ve also brought in a lot of ballet flats in keeping with the autumn/winter Francophile trend. We know Filipinas love shoes so we’ve brought in a reasonably priced fashion-forward brand." Shoes average between P2,500 to P4,000.

The brick walls, antique chandeliers, plush velvet ottomans and framed artwork of the Glorietta boutique are a step above a more pedestrian feel of HotWind’s rapidly expanding stores in China. HotWind has opened shop in eight provinces in China and the exclusive franchise in the Philippines is their first venture abroad.

Others seen at the launch included Pauline Suaco-Juan, Angela Reyes, Boompy Martel, Rina Azcuna, Agoo Bengzon, Russ Alfonso, Cherina Sy, Xandra Ramos, Tessa Dragon, Vanessa Mayuga, Firma’s Chito Vijandre and Ricky Toledo, Liz Uy, Minelli Bautista and photographer Paolo Pineda.

The HotWind flagship store is located at Level 1, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati. Satellite branches are at Level 2, The Ramp, Crossings, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong and second floor Nail Spa, 109 Gamboa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati.
New Year at Pearl
The New Year’s countdown at The Pearl of the Pacific Resort and Spa gets better every year. Aside from having the best fireworks display on the island of Boracay, hospitable owners Greg and Marilou Sanson and daughter Rita makes sure guests are well attended to. Joining the revelry from Iloilo was Greg’s brother George with wife Beth and children Liezel and Jared. Many foreign guests from Sweden, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland and Germany were around this year’s celebration.

Others seen were Grace Katigbak, New York-based Lorrie Reynoso, Rodgie Panganiban, Tiffany Munich’s Wolfgang Bierlein who flew in from Munich after a five year absence from Manila, Pam Saguin, Evie Guevarra and Prime Dizon.

Guests enjoyed an international buffet as Marissa Harding of the Rage Band belted out songs that made guests dance. Sold Out band alternated all through out the night. Rica Arambulo also entertained hotel guests with her self-composed songs. Sponsors for this event were Hitachi, Seair, Asia Brewery and Paradise Mango Rum Liqueur.
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(E-mail me at peppertstar@yahoo.com)

ACE DURANO AGOO BENGZON ANDY CRUZ ANGELA REYES ASIA BREWERY AND PARADISE MANGO RUM LIQUEUR AYALA CENTER EDSA SHANGRI-LA GLORIETTA JOHN RICE NEW YEAR
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