By Cesar M. Cruz Jr
As foodies would attest, a visit to Singapore or Malaysia is not complete without a trip to a hawker center to slurp down a bowl of piping hot laksa. The key ingredient to this richly-flavored soup lies in the laksa paste which is a fine mix of lemongrass, dried chilies, galangal, turmeric, spices, dried shrimp, and shrimp paste. This spicy coconut curry noodle soup can be eaten any time of day.
How then do you satisfy a craving for laksa when you are in Metro Manila? Luckily, Heritage Hotel in Pasay City, a Singapore- Malaysian company, is here to save the day. “When we opened in 1994, we had several Malaysian and Singaporean chefs and they taught all the Filipino chefs (of the hotel). One of our specialties is laksa. It is really authentic in such a way that even the ingredients come from Singapore and Malaysia. If I am not mistaken, the laksa in this hotel is the best laksa in the Philippines because they do not scrimp on the ingredients. We really import the laksa paste from Singapore”, the Director of its F&B Czarina Gandollas shared.
While other dining outlets around the metro may serve Malaysian and Singaporean dishes as well, Heritage Hotel has an ace up its sleeve. It is one of the few certified hotels by the Halal Development Institute of the Philippines. This means that the establishment meets the halal qualifications and requirements in its preparation kitchen and storage areas. As a matter of fact, a lot of the embassies that support halal food, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, frequent the hotel to have a taste of the authentic flavors of its food.
Aside from its famous Singaporean Laksa, other halal food pepper the ala carte menu of the hotel’s Riviera Café. Heat up your digestive system with halal noodles like Fish Beehoon Soup and Fish Ball Noodle Soup. In the mood for rice meals? The Nasi Goreng which is fried rice in sambal gravy with fried chicken drumstick, chicken satay, fried egg and pickled vegetables will not disappoint. The Nasi Lemak which is made of fragrant steamed rice cooked in coconut milk served with sambal gravy, fried fish and anchovies, roasted peanut, sliced cucumber, hard-boiled egg and chicken curry / beef rendang is another good bet. Do you want something truly hearty? Give the Beef Rendang, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Chicken Curry Rice, and Chicken Curry Roti a try!
Heritage Hotel has stayed true to the authentic flavors of it dishes and abided by strict halal food safety policy since it opened its doors 29 years ago. Therefore, it is no wonder that its customer base keeps on expanding through the years. Give its laksa a try and be ready to be its loyal fan.