Chinese Banquets for up to 1800 people have been frequent events at the Marriott Hotel Manila ever since the arrival of Chef Law Wui Wing in 2014. While that may seem lavish, the food served at these banquets takes it to the next level.
Live abalone from Hong Kong, Alaskan king crabs weighing five kilos each, braised bird’s nest in a broth simmered with Chinese ham for at least five hours, and buchi stuffed with Ferrero Rocher chocolate —Chef Law has prepared them all (and much more) for weddings, birthdays, corporate events and other festive occasions.
Now, with the opening of Man Ho in Marriott Manila, these exquisite dishes will be available to customers daily, without them having to book an entire banquet. Man Ho is serving lunch and dinner a la carte. From the menu customers can choose familiar Cantonese dishes such as deep fried boneless chicken in “Japanese style”, fried rice with chicken and salted fish, beef fillet and black fungus with ginger and leeks, sautéed porcini mushrooms, and braised seafood soup with caviar.
In addition, they can try the more unusual ones such as the deep fried bean curd with spicy salt, marinated fungus with black vinegar, the smoked duck breast with mango and the ever popular roasted Peking duck with Chinese pancakes. With Chef Law at the helm, these dishes are guaranteed to be as scrumptious as they sound.
A native of Hong Kong, Law has been cooking in Chinese kitchens since he was 15 years old. After working in some of the best restaurants in Hong Kong and Japan, he became executive Chinese chef at the JW Marriott Hotel in Shanghai, the Pearl Restaurant at the Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall and at the Marriott China Hotel in Guangzhou. The Man Ho restaurant he opened in Shanghai was named one of the top 10 Cantonese restaurants for three consecutive years by Shanghai Modern Weekly.
“I always make sure of the freshness of the ingredients,” says Law. He imports many of the seafood such as the king prawns and crabs from Hong Kong. On his days off, he goes to Chinatown to check what’s available. One of the ingredients he buys there are the almonds which he grinds down to dust to make his authentic almond cream dessert.
Also imported from China are the pigeons and suckling pigs. The suckling pigs come from Hunan province, where pigs of very good quality are raised, says Law.
One of the items in Man Ho’s menu is a rarity in Manila: roast goose with plum sauce. Law is especially proud of the way they prepare this Hong Kong specialty. “We stuff the goose with Chinese herbs,” he says. “Then we put it in front of a fan for about 10 hours so that the skin will be very dry before we put it in the oven.” The technique makes the goose’s skin very crispy.
But it’s more than just the crisp, mahogany colored skin that makes the roast goose so appealing. Underneath the skin is a very thin layer of fat that adds texture and gives the goose a very sensuous flavor. Another must try are the dim sum specialties prepared by Du Wen Bo, a specially trained chef that previously worked at Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall and was a well-known dim sum chef in town. The dumplings are cooked only upon order and are served steaming hot with chili bean sauce.
At this point Man Ho already has bookings for banquets up to January next year. Some of the bookings are from repeat customers who have been extremely pleased with the delicious cuisine and the excellent service.
“I always talk to the guests because I’m the one who knows everything about the Chinese food we serve,” says Chef Law. “I make sure they’re happy. If they’re happy, then I’m happy.”
While Man Ho aims to provide authenticity in its Chinese food preparation, it also anticipates attracting modern food connoisseurs by incorporating contemporary design touches to its otherwise elegant Chinese-inspired interiors. Guests will be welcomed by an elegant ambiance of high ceilings, intricate wood carving details, and floor-to-ceiling windows giving a lush view of the golf course. It has a total of 140 seats and features 6 private dining rooms that can hold from 6 – 24 persons. Two private dining rooms can be combined for a larger intimate gathering.
Man Ho is conveniently situated in the new Marriott West Wing with connection to the Main Hotel and the Marriott Grand Ballroom.