All power, the ladies & lunch at Paseo Uno

Paseo Uno is always busy for lunch.

It was the time of the year for the Houdini stunt. The disappearing act has become a yearly habit- vanish from Davao and appear in a new place (from my bucket list) around my natal day. But due to an unpredictable work agenda, the plan to be in Agra, Prague or Istanbul will have to happen on another date.

The stopover will have to be the destination- Manila, the transient stop to somewhere. Gone were the times when frolicking around the metropolis was exciting for me. I had my fair share. The luster of the place will have to be the time spent in company of good friends.

Luckily, the influential ladies of Mandarin Oriental Manila, Alu Suarez, Director of Sales & Marketing, and Charisse Chuidian, Director of Communications, welcomed me to their hotel for the weekend (even with high-occupancy) in such a short notice. Mandarin Oriental, the deluxe hotel where everything is fabulous- the location, the service and amenities and the restaurants, will be my home for the weekend.

What was even more exciting was the chance to finally, for the very first time, get together with my hosts and friends for lunch. Alu, Charisse and I in one table - rare and priceless. They took time off from their highly toxic work schedule for a quick catch up (and cover an eon of missed personal interaction). I am truly blessed.

And the ladies lunched...Mandarin Oriental Manila's Isabel Cang, PR Assitant, Alu Suarez, Director of Sales & Marketing & Charisse Chuidian, Director of Communications

Paseo Uno may always be busy for the midday repast but a table in a quiet corner was the perfect spot for us (plus the picture window afforded natural lighting and a relaxing view of the outdoor pond with flowing water. Hurray to the Tokyo-based interior designers!).

So we shared our news and updates while taking turns visiting the food stations with open kitchens that serve an amazing array of cuisines prepared by a bevy of chefs. Although the spread can seduce anyone to try everything, my indulgence had to be all of Alu’s recommendations (to which I say, you should as well) - the Sesame Crusted Salmon with Orange Slaw and Ginger Glaze, the Roast Beef (grilled to your specification) paired with (perfectly baked) English Muffin, and the Lamb Shoulder with Saffron, Cinnamon, Coriander and Black Pepper.
Lamb Shoulder with Saffron, Cinnamon, Coriander and Black Pepper, the Sesame Crusted Salmon with Orange Slaw and Ginger Glaze, and the Roast Beef (grilled to your specification) paired with (perfectly baked) English Muffin, 

Something for any craving, from freshly baked breads to succulent oysters.

As much I would love to have more of the house specialties, I had to beg off and leave room for the most important course, the dessert.

So Alu pointed out the best-sellers from the wide selection on the “forget your diet and sin” station- the Pudding, the freshly baked Bibingka with Salted Eggs, (I skipped) the Cheesecake with Tropical Fresh Fruit Topping and the homemade ice cream.

Welcome to dessert heaven!
If I can gorge on one dessert and take home more from Paseo Uno, it would have to be the ice cream. The creamy texture of the Green Tea ice cream, Crushed Sesame Seeds ice cream and the Orange Sherbet have the right tinge of sweetness making it my kind of dessert.

The menu changes daily at Paseo Uno, so better check ahead if they are serving these succulent treats should you want to try them. But whatever the day is, I am pretty sure a feast of delights will always welcome you.

Executive Chef Rene Ottlik with Alu Suarez.

Being with these ladies was such a treat. Our time together may have been short but it was what you can call sweet. I hope it won’t be another year before we can have another get-together. I won’t mind meeting up with them in Paseo Uno again.

Time to check in. I was led to the Club Floor. Sweet. Another exciting story to tell.

Paseo Uno is at the Ground Floor of the Mandarin Oriental Manila, Makati Avenue, Makati City 1226, Metro Manila, Philippines. For information and reservation, call telephone: +63 (2) 750 8888 or visit their website: