And they came to the relaunch of Rizal Ballroom
THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee () - July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

It was a sparkling evening at Makati Shangri-La as the newly renovated Rizal Ballroom was unveiled at a grand launch party billed The Debut: Rizal Ballroom Relaunched. The luxurious, elegant interiors of the city’s biggest hotel event venue were showcased through a program that intertwined dinner, dance and theatrical entertainment.

Beneath a canopy of custom-crafted crystal chandeliers, cosseted by fabric-padded walls with intricate leaf patterns, guests were treated to lobster and scallop tarts served in the form of mini wedding cakes. Dessert was fittingly called My Sweet Jewelry Box — an edible art piece that one would rather keep than eat. Each course came on cue with a parade of waiters — all part of a unique storyline directed by Audie Gemora. The musical journey patterned after Mamma Mia was performed by Analin Bantug, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, JM Rodriguez and Cheska Ortega. The performance narrated the story of a lady whose milestone moments in life were made all the more special as they were celebrated at Makati Shangri-La. The lady protagonist eventually found her daughter spending her coming-of-age party in the same enchanting place she celebrated hers, completing her life circle. 

Among the glimmering crowd were STAR EVP Grace Glory Go, Fortune Ledesma, Washington Sycip, William Go, George Yang, Carla Sibal, Marietta Santos, Allure’s Philip Cu-Unjieng, Annie Ringor, Anton Mendoza, Liza Ilarde, Maurice Arcache, Mario Katigbak, Baby Cruz and Shangri-La Properties president and CEO Andy Bautista with his wife Tisha.    

Area manager/GM of Makati Shangri-La Reto Klauser welcomed guests and remarked, “This evening is a celebration of life, of great achievements, of endings and beginnings. We are proud that Makati Shangri-La, Manila has been part of all these momentous highlights in this great cycle. As we open our doors to our newest shining jewel, we herald the spirited start of more joyous occasions to be celebrated and of unforgettable events to unfold.”

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently own and/or manage 62 hotels under the Shangri-La and Traders brands. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services in Australia, mainland China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, the Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

(For more information, visit

New dishes at Inagiku

Inagiku, the Japanese restaurant at Makati Shangri-La, has been one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in the Philippines. My staples there are the melt-in-your-mouth toro (fatty blue tuna fin belly) and anything of the restaurant’s aburi sushi. Aburi sushi servings (including salmon, toro, scallop, tuna, prawn or engawa, a Japanese flat fish) are slightly torched and served with this yummy creamy miso and mirin sauce.

I recently ate there to discover the restaurant has revised its menu and added new dishes. These include nasu adedashi (deep fried Japanese eggplant with tempura sauce), salmon tartarehosho yaki (roasted prawn, bream and vegetables in Japanese paper served with ponzu sauce), shake to shitake no age ankake (deep fried salmon and shiitake mushroom with yuzu sauce), blue mussels with yuzu orange sauce and several other dishes. My new favorites are the spicy sushi and sashimi.

(Check out the new dishes at Inagiku located at the second floor of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, call (02) 813-8888 for reservations.)

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