Here’s my story in today’s (Oct. 9) issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (on page C2), with additional photos of the fabulous lunch at Prince Albert Rotisserie.
Premium Wine Buffet and Legendary Food, All on a Card
LIKE THE RESTAURANT IT’S PARTNERING WITH, CITIBANK’S dining offer for its clientele exudes an aura of exclusivity and refinement. No 50 per cent discount on meals. No buy-one-take-one deal. And definitely not—heaven forbid—a coupon to be presented at the end of the meal.
Instead, from now until July 2015, Citibank platinum card holders and Citigold clients can avail of a two-hour wine buffet for two at Hotel InterContinental’s Gambrinus Bar, for every P5,000 they spend at Prince Albert Rotisserie.
With a wide selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Chardonnay, the wine buffet certainly seems like a fitting reward for Citibank clients dining in Manila’s longest operating fine dining restaurant. In addition, they can enjoy musical entertainment of pop, jazz and folk music played by a different singer every night.
“It’s all about the experience,” says Batara Sianturi, CEO and managing director of Citibank. “We understand that our clients want the best in life, whether it’s the best deal or the best products or the best service.”
For this Prince Albert Rotisserie seems to be the logical choice. Its plush carpeting, dark wood paneling, subdued lighting and tables dressed in immaculate white are the very ideals of elegance. In addition, there’s the well-trained wait staff hovering discreetly around the tables, ready to fulfill diners’ requests. In the evenings, the romantic mood is enhanced by the sweet piano music played by the restaurant’s own pianist.
And of course there’s the food. Prince Albert’s signature dishes have become almost legendary. There’s the classic Caesar Salad prepared tableside, with the dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic expertly whisked together in a wooden bowl until it becomes emulsified and creamy, after which it’s tossed with crunchy Romaine lettuce leaves, croutons, and bacon bits.
The roasted prime rib is 250 grams of succulent U.S. Angus beef, served with puffy Yorkshire pudding, enriched by a silky red wine sauce, plus baked potatoes with sour cream, chives and bacon bits, and crisp, roasted vegetables—all served with flair in sterling silver Christofle de Paris cloches.
Prince Albert is also probably one of the very few fine dining restaurants in Manila that serves juicy, extra large Fine de Claire oysters from France.
Beyond that, diners can even order dishes off the menu, according to hotel manager Christopher Wichlan. “We can create and customize food for our clientele,” he says. That may include a dessert of five-spice chocolate mousse with orange gelée and Mandarin sauce, for instance, which can be whipped up upon request.
Through the decades, Prince Albert has become a tradition for some families. It has seen generations celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Parents have become grandparents, who now bring not just their children to Prince Albert but also a whole caboodle of grandchildren. And little boys who once dined there with their parents have become young men bringing their own dates to dine at the very same table.
This time, with Citibank’s most recent offer for their clientele, they can avail of the wine buffet too, either on the same day or at most 30 days after their qualifying spend at Prince Albert. It’s like a logical progression of the pleasures of fine dining, or another way to look at it—a way of extending their celebration further.
“With this partnership, we are introducing our clients to a unique experience that they can treasure with a family member or a close friend,” says Bea Tan, consumer business manager of Citi Philippines. “They can take advantage of great food, fine ambiance and a special privilege they cannot find anywhere else.”
(For more on this offer from Citi, visit: www.citibank.com.ph or call the 24-hour Platinum Priority Hotline at 995-9888.)
Prince Albert Rotisserie: Hotel InterContinental Manila, Ayala Avenue, Makati. For reservations call (+63 2) 793-7000
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