Dining under the Southern Sky | Tempo Lifestyles News Philippines

Dining under the Southern Sky


by Maan D

Towering above the Muntinlupa skyline is a dining destination that not only offers you a breathtaking view, but also an array of dishes that are sure to please the palate. Guests at Hotel Vivere’s The Nest are sure to enjoy the view that reaches as far as the provinces of Laguna and Batangas on a clear day, along with samplers from different cuisines expertly prepared by Chef Anna Park.

The Nest is aptly named, as hotel general manager Elvie Sanchez-Quiazon envisioned this to be a place that reminds one of the comforts of dining at home. The open-air skylounge is a refreshing change from the confines one associates with the city, where the warmth of the morning sun welcomes their breakfast buffet diners and the twinkling lights of the skyline take the ala carte dinner guests’ breaths away.

Many of the guests are top-level expats billeted by nearby multinational companies, and the restaurant outlet makes sure that there are dishes to remind them of home. Filipino cuisine is ably represented, with dishes that balikbayans and locals definitely crave for. “During the weekdays, we have mostly expats among our guests, but weekends are about family for Filipinos, and they comprise a big percent of our diners,” Quiazon explains.

They have recently launched a new menu but say that they retained the favorites, which Quiazon says in jest might start a riot if taken out. If there is something that will surely cause a rebel yell if taken away, it is their best-selling Crispy Binagoongan – crackling lechon kawali simmered in shrimp paste with tomatoes and a hint of chili.

As The Nest’s comfort-food dining is done family style, servings are good for sharing. This would be a good idea with their Cowboy Steak. Inspired by how big they like ‘em in Texas, this 500 gram slab of succulent bone-in meat branded with grill marks could be a potential heart-stopper if eaten alone. Diners who want to feel a little less sinful can have their steak with veggies, via the Bistecca with Mixed Green Salad (400 gms of boneless rib-eye served with a choice of two starch and two veggie sides).

Another meaty treat that is a must-try is their signature Beef Rib Fingers dripping with a rich and flavorful Coffee Barbecue Sauce. Something different is their Duck Adobo, where duck legs are braised in the garlicky sweet-salty flavors that we all know and love. For international flavors, they offer Beef Rendang, Bibimbap, and even a Japanese Bento Box.

Those looking for fresh seafood would find it in the menu, too. Highlights include a ritzy Prawns Thermidore – prawn shells topped with a mixture of prawn morsels and mushrooms, tossed with a white wine seafood sauce and topped with melted cheese; and a pairing called Lapu-Lapu and Prawns Harmony – baked fresh fish fillet and prawns drizzled with a white clam sauce.

Whenever one dines out, it is a must to leave room for dessert. At The Nest, you will be glad that you did. There is nothing quite as homey as a warm apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream or Apple Pie ala Mode. They also offer a truly sinful Decadent Molten Lava Cake with a lovely Salted Carmel sauce that is perfect for accompaniment with a cup of espresso over a chat with friends or family as the meal winds down. For Filipino flair, there’s a Frozen Brazo dessert where fluffy meringue is married with custard and served with a scoop of Mantecado ice cream.

Another aspect of what makes a stay or meal at the luxurious Vivere Hotel memorable is their impeccable service. The solicitous staff is ever on hand to assist, and dinner at The Nest is definitely more fun with an impromptu sing-along to the tunes provided by their talented pianist.

Vivere hotel is located at 5102 Bridgeway Ave., cor. Asean Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. for more information, call 771-7777 or visit their website at www.viverehotel.com.ph.