The HEAT keeps me coming back for more and I did last Monday with a good friend who invited me to sample EDSA Shangri-La's HEAT's A Taste of Finland by Chef Sara La Fountain. The American-Finnish sensation Sara La Fountain offered guests a one-day-exclusive lunch and dinner food festival while on promotion of her new TV show New Scandinavian Cuisine on the Asian Food Channel. Visiting EDSA Shangri-La's HEAT must be a special occasion because my last visit last year was another big event for a friend who visited the Philippines after a long time staying in another country. Who will not remember their famous buffet breakfast where all types of bread and other international cuisines entice every diner to stay longer than usual? Since my last visit, EDSA Shangri-La's HEAT kept the flame of passion for Asian and Continental gourmet dishes alive with Chef Sara La Fountain's delectable Finnish dishes.
Although I've tried only three of the five ( Salmon Soup with Fresh Egg Roe, Vorschmack with Marinated Beets: a traditional Finnish dish of minced beef and lamb, anchovies, herrings and onions, garnished with pickles and sour cream; Crayfish Salad with Boiled Quail Eggs, Raddish, Avocado, Asparagus, Dill-Mayonnaise and Cilantro-Ginger Dressing, Karelia Stew: a traditional beef and lamb stew with black peppercorns, all spice and bay leaves: Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake) being overwhelmed with too many of my favorites at HEAT, it felt like I've literally traveled and experienced all those dishes she had featured on TV. Arriving a few minutes after the HEAT opened and stayed until they closed at 11pm, I've missed a lot not being able to try some of the other delicious dishes offered. The marinated beets tasted like those juicy and sweet fruits freshly-picked punctuated with the veggies and the Vorschmack creating an explosion of salty, sweet, tangy and juicy flavor in my tongue. I wanted to get more but the excitement to get more from the buffet table was more imminent than that satisfaction.
Chef La Fountain's Salmon Soup with Fresh Egg Roe looked heavy and creamy with distinct flavors of spices in the mouth but it was so delicious I gave in to a few more sips before indulging on the next.
I must blame myself from eating a whole serving of those Yorkshire pudding at the Asian kitchen with steaks, lamb and couscous, Lamb Roganjosh (lamb with kashmiri spices), Gheya Ghana Dal, Lamb Tikka, Tandoori Chicken and Shrimps, Papadum and healthy salad offerings before sampling Chef La Fountain's Karelian Stew - a traditional meat stew originating from the region of Karelia with carrots, onions and root vegetables. It looked like Menudo or Afritada from the locals but what makes it truly authentic Russian-Finnish is the choice of vegetables imported from the Karelian region. I loved that it's not salty, spicy or oily compared to those local dishes we may associate it to. It's a simple mix of meat and vegetables until you listen to how the dish was concocted. Like all the other countries with dishes inspired during the war, Karelian stew isn't that different except that the veggies mixed can be substituted with those of local dishes.
A simple turn at the left brought me to Japan with Sushi and Sashimi haven and the dessert heaven at the right. Foreigners and locals who flock at the Pasta Station and the Tacos Station made me want to have my own with such wide variety of choices of toppings, sauces and vegetables rarely seen in other buffet restaurants I've visited. The Westerners stuck to the variety of sausages, salami and hams with toss-your-own salad section while the Koreans kept mixing Filipino dishes with those of Indian and Greek offerings in their plate. Filipino kids were awesome creating their own ice cream crepe and fried ice cream flavors and toppings while I enjoyed the looks and the curiosity of some at the Pistachio Cream Fountain beside the Chocolate Fountain. A look down the fountain is the array of fruits and candies on sticks beside the dainty glasses mousse in different flavors to everyone's delight.
Just when I felt I could not bear for some more past another diner with plateful of bibingka and puto bumbong with aroma that reminded me of Christmas. It was the same smell that kept me going to the province and I did not resist the temptation. I had a few slices with muscovado sugar on top while the chef at the ice cream and crepe station made us a personalized banna-butterscotch ice cream crepe.
Five trips to the 10 interactive kitchen made my stomach so full so my friend and I had to share the delightful Banana Butterscotch Ice Cream Crepe with Fresh Kiwi and Mango slices on the side. It was the chat in between the bites that gave me the tenacity to put more in my mouth. It was in between the hard-to-breathe-let's-talk-for-a-while moments that made me pray that my stomach can have more. The glutton in me had to partake of those I've missed while observing the diners pick their choices but the body had to surrender in the end. I have much admiration to the men who were able to get a few more helpings of the dishes I took. The battle to win and conquer indulging on all the dishes at the HEAT was so difficult.
Now I have more reasons to visit as they celebrate 20 years of being the top ranked buffet restaurant in the country with promos like a group of 5 and up to receive 20% discount on food every 28th day of the month. Great to celebrate Father's Day this Sunday, June 10 at Isla Ballroom for a Knockout Combo of a thrilling World Welterweight title match between our very own Manny Pacquiao VS the undefeated Timothy Bradley with EDSA Shangri-La's famed buffet breakfast for only Php1,800++net per person. HEAT is also giving five guests dining for free for every 20 guests called the Vicennial Blowout perfect for promotions and other celebrations this year.
The trip around the world at HEAT now with 13 interactive kitchens led by Executive Chef Warren Brown offering Asian and continental specialties, freshly prepared or cooked a la minute may just be too intimidating for some but a visit is enough to convince you how it is really more than its worth. How much is an epicurean adventure at EDSA Shangri-La's HEAT? Php1450++net H-ealthy E-ating A-mazing T-aste per person. It's a hole in the wall you'd want to completely be lost in delightful gluttony for the rest of your life.For more information:
HEAT is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. with breakfast at 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., lunch at 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. For restaurant reservations, please call (63 2) 633 8888 local 2777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.