Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Timeless at Twenty

Dr. Nestor Alonso ll - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino has reached an exciting milestone on February 23 this year – 20 years of service in the hospitality industry in Cebu. The celebration has the theme “Timeless at Twenty.” Government officials, special clients, industry partners, former top honchos of the hotel, media personalities and friends were invited to dinner at the Pacific Ball Room. Dress code was Gatsby-inspired.

Cocktails began at 7 p.m. with dinner at 8 p.m. I selected a martini for the welcome drink and  had three or four glasses. This cocktail made with gin and vermouth at a ratio of 2:1 with a garnish of a green olive was one of my favorite mixed alcohol beverages before wines became popular two decades ago. In college, when budget was extremely tight, it was gin alone plus a garnish of lemoncito that made life bearable and it was my elixir of quietude. 

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel practices authentic Filipino hospitality traits to the maximum and this includes constant innovations in quality of food served to clients. This is manifested in the Gourmet Walk at the west wing of the hotel under the guidance of corporate chef Gio Sias together with signature restaurants and in-house chefs.

My friend GM Anders Hallden has a penchant for different kinds of food service and there were three types in this 20th celebration: Butlered Hors d’Oeures (food in trays, passed by servers in the reception area), Russian Style (appetizers brought to the table sequentially) and the Family-style or English Service for the Main courses (Serving platters are set on the dining table by servers). I was a hotel guest at one time with a fourth food service, buffet table with cheeses from five countries!

Appetizers served were Pork & Shrimp Siomai, Spring Rolls, Fried Ravioli with Truffle & Cheese, Giardinieras or Pickled Vegetables, Dried Tomatoes with Basil Pesto and Bruschetta with Anchovies Fillet. The latter Italian specialty was an easy favorite among my dinner mates. It hard taking photos of the Russian service because servers were quick to distribute the food and I wanted an intact plate for the photo. The solution was to wait for the different appetizers to fill my plate and then take my shot.

Soup served is a classic specialty of Tim Gow – Hot and Sour Soup. The Main Courses were served Family-style: Homemade Seafood Lasagna, Pork Spare Ribs Salt & Pepper, Japanese Chicken in Chili Sauce, Tilapia Fillet, Calamansi Beurre Blanc & Escabecce Vegetables, Eggplant & Funghetto, and Yang Chow Rice. My favorite that night was the Seafood Lasagna loaded with the right amount of cheese, unlike the cheese overload that satisfies the taste buds of millenials.

Dessert was the Duo of Mango Chiboust and Coconut Cluster. GM Anders Hallden gave a toast for “Timeless at Twenty” and God willing, I will still be available, excuse me, to attend the 25th anniversary celebration!



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