Last weekend, we had the opportunity to try the Healthy & Sustainable set menu developed by Novotel Manila Araneta Center for AccorHotels’ sustainable development program called Planet 21.
The food was really fresh and delicious, and the best shocker of all, was that the set menu only costs P1,400 nett! For a menu like this at a hotel, I would have expected the price to be around P2,000+.
WHAT IS PLANET 21?
So, introductions first. Planet 21 is AccorHotels’ sustainable development program.
As part of the AccorHotels group, Novotel Manila Araneta Center is committed to active and sustainable participation for positive hospitality, with the goal of protecting the planet. The group’s ambitious goal includes striving for zero food waste, offering healthy and sustainable food, and engaging its guests in a sustainable experience.
Acting for the planet, Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s initiatives include sourcing produce from its very own El Dorado Farm in San Mateo, Rizal and sustainable seafood farmed through means which consider long term vitality of ocean life. Novotel’s vegetbles, herbs, and even flowers, are sourced from their El Dorado Farm, so they have control over every stage of the food production.
Beyond healthy and sustainable food, the hotel also reduces food waste by donating excess food to The Philippine National Red Cross. In 2017 alone, the hotel managed to save 16.9 tons of food from landfills equal to 42,220 meals or 73.2 tons of CO2, equivalent of 179,364 miles driven in a car.
Healthy N Sustainable Offerings
This year, GourmetBar by Novotel kicks off Planet 21 Day by offering a Healthy N Sustainable set menu available from April 21 to May 20.
The fresh produce comes from harvests from Novotel Manila’s El Dorado Farm, and the seafood comes from sustainable seafood supplier, Meliomar, Inc.
Novotel Manila Araneta Center Executive Chef Michael Schauss telling us about the dishes and where the ingredients are sourced: did you know that they can trace each dish’s seafood back to which shipping vessel caught it – including when and where?
The Healthy N Sustainable set menu includes:
- Sustainable Spanner Crab Tortellini with Novotel Manila’s El Dorado Farm Carrot-Saffron Velouté
- Line-Caught Seared Tuna in Organic Avocado Ceviche with Novotel Manila’s El Dorado Farm vegetable and herbs
- Bisque from Mangrove Crown Prawns
- Sustainable Grilled Herb-Marinated Trevally Fish with Creamy Spinach and Vine-Ripened Tomatoes from Novotel Manila’s El Dorado Farm on Sweet Potato Pureé
- Mango-Passionfruit Cheesecake
The Healthy N Sustainable menu may be ordered as a set priced at Php 1,400 nett or in individual dishes starting PHP 250 nett.
We had the set for dinner last Saturday and everything was fresh and wonderful:
The crab tortellini was appropriately crabby, the carrot-saffron veloute was naturally sweet. I thought the tortellini wrapper was a bit thick, but other than that, it was a delicious bite and a wonderful way to start the meal.
The seared tuna was so fresh and light. It didn’t taste fishy. It was a ceviche, but it wasn’t overly sour. The bright flavors of the salsa and the ceviche marinade just served to highlight the freshness of the tuna. The tuna looks like beef, huh? 🙂
The shrimp bisque was thick and shrimpy – we get the essence of fresh shrimp head /juice, and it wasn’t too salty. I knew they used very fresh shrimp because I get a reaction when I eat shellfish that are not quite fresh.
The trevally fish was grilled perfectly – it was properly cooked, but juicy and tender, not overcooked nor dry. The tomatoes in this dish were amazing – biting into them just gives a burst of concentrated tomato flavor – regular tomatoes just can’t come close. The sweet potato puree was also delicious. FYI, the fish was changed from sword fish to trevally fish due to availability issues.
The Mango-Passionfruit Cheesecake has got to be one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. It is a light cheesecake, but the mango and the passionfruit flavors strongly infuse every bite. The crunchy crust is also unforgettable.
Every dish we tried was really good, but if I had to pick favorites, they would be:
- Mango-Passionfruit Cheesecake
- Shrimp Bisque
- Seared Tuna
Serving size is appropriate for a 5-course menu. A person with a regular appetite would be able to finish everything with their appetite satisfied. 🙂 I was happy with the food – the food quality is high, I was full – just right, not about to burst my tummy – and then to find out that all these seafood dishes only cost P1,400 nett for the whole set!
If cocktails are your thing, take a sip of refreshing sustainable drinks that’s sure to cool off your hot summer, to pair with GourmetBar by Novotel’s Healthy N Sustainable menu or signature nibbles at The 6 th Pool Bar & Lounge. For Php 360 nett, enjoy infused creations from Novotel Manila’s expert mixologists with Papa Doble, a combination of Don Papa rum and calamansi juice with citrus and basil infusions or the Spicy 6th Sling, a mix of Belvedere vodka, melon and chili infused gin, with notes of lychee, orange and pineapple.
Novotel Manila Araneta Center is committed to sustainability, and you can do your share too!
For inquiries and reservations, please call (02) 990 7888 or email [email protected] More information about Novotel Manila Araneta Center, its facilities and services are available via www.novotel.com, www.accorhotels.com, or www.novotelmanilaaranetacenter.com.
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