A Roaring Feast of Lions, Dragon, and Lunch Delights at the Grand Hyatt Manila!

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Get ready to rumble with the rhythm of prosperity! When Chinese New Year rolls around, the streets come alive with the vibrant beats of drums and the energetic melodies of traditional music. It's not just a feast for the eyes but a full-on sensory extravaganza! (Note: Please find the video below, located near the end of the article or on YouTube ).

As the Year of the Wood Dragon roared in, we found ourselves amidst the opulence and excitement of the Grand Hyatt Manila, a beacon of 5-star luxury nestled in the heart of Bonifacio Global City (BGC), the Philippines' pulsating social and business hub. This wasn't just any celebration; it was a vibrant welcome to 2024, a year we all hoped would be brimming with luck and prosperity.

 
The moment we stepped foot into the grandeur of the Grand Hyatt, we were greeted by a spectacle that was nothing short of magical. The dragon dance troupe was already there, poised at the hotel's entrance, ready to set the festivities into motion. The air buzzed with anticipation, and as the minutes ticked by, a hush fell over the crowd. Then, with a burst of energy that could wake a sleeping dragon, the performance began. Five lions, their colors vibrant against the opulence of the hotel lobby, danced to the rhythm of heart-thumping drumbeats. A dragon, sinuous and majestic, weaved through the throng of onlookers, its movements a mesmerizing dance of power and grace.

The performance was not just a feast for the eyes but also a cultural immersion, as the lion and dragon dancers weaved through the onlookers, bringing with them centuries-old traditions believed to usher in good luck, fortune, and prosperity. As the dance came to a close, we were showered with gifts: money coins, oranges for abundance, and gold chocolate coins for a sweet taste of prosperity, each a symbol of wealth and good luck, handed out by the lion dancers with playful grace. It was a moment of pure joy, liveliness, laughter, and camaraderie, and a reminder of the rich cultural tapestry that makes celebrations like these truly memorable. These aren't your average backyard boogies; they're high-octane performances designed to kick bad vibes to the curb and roll out the red carpet for Lady Luck.

 

As the last echoes of the drumbeats faded away and the vibrant lion and dragon dancers took their graceful bows, we knew the celebration was far from over. With our spirits high and our appetites awakened by the morning's excitement, we ascended to the upper floor of the Grand Hyatt Manila, where the Grand Kitchen awaited us. Here, we were about to indulge in a buffet lunch priced at PHP 3,400 per person—a promise of a Lunar New Year / Chinese New Year culinary journey that would tantalize our taste buds.

 
As we eagerly awaited the opening of the restaurant doors, fortune favored us once more. The lion and dragon performers, as if drawn by the magnetic pull of our collective good vibes, made an encore appearance. Their unexpected return was like a festive wink from the universe, suggesting that luck, prosperity, and perhaps a few extra good health were in our immediate future.😀


The Grand Kitchen, a sanctuary for food lovers, is a place where the world's flavors converge, offering local and international cuisines. It's not just a feast for the palate but a spectacle for the eyes, with an interactive show kitchen.

Stepping into the Grand Kitchen is like entering a time capsule where contemporary chic meets vintage charm. The decor is a tasteful blend of modern lines and nostalgic touches, creating an ambiance that's both elegant and welcoming. And let's talk about the buffet strategy here – it's all about quality over quantity. Dishes are served in modest portions, ensuring every bite is as fresh as the first, and replenished with a frequency that rivals the beat of the lion dance drums.


The array of culinary selections at the buffet is both diverse and curated, featuring a limited yet exquisite range of dishes. Patrons can indulge in the succulent porchetta and the tender, slow-roasted beef brisket, each dish masterfully prepared to highlight its unique flavors.

 

Wander over to the kimchi bar, where a symphony of shallots, corn, radish, and cabbage awaits to add a kick of fermented finesse to your plate. Each variant is a testament to the rich tradition of Korean fermentation.

Antipasti

For those seeking to ignite their appetite, the assortment of antipasti presents a prelude to the meal. The selection is crafted to entice the senses and prepare the palate for the culinary journey ahead.

Green Salad

Complementing the heartier offerings is a fresh salad bar, a verdant oasis designed to provide a refreshing counterpoint to the more indulgent dishes. It is a thoughtful inclusion that allows for a balanced dining experience.

Dessert

The dessert station is a visual spectacle, with an array of confections that are as pleasing to the eye as they are challenging to the sweet tooth. While the desserts may lean towards the sweeter side, they are nonetheless a celebration of indulgence.

Ramen Noodles

Amidst these varied options, for me, the true standout is the ramen. Offered with two richly flavored broths—pork and miso—each bowl is a comforting embrace of noodles and savory depth. Accompanying this is the refreshing guava juice, a sweet and tangy beverage that cleanses the palate and refreshes the senses.

And for those who have a special fondness for potatoes, this place has got you covered.

Baked Pasta

The buffet also offers delectable baked pasta options. Indulge in the rich flavors of penne in tomato sauce, or savor the creamy goodness of mac and cheese. For those seeking a more earthy and savory experience, it also features penne in mushroom sauce.

Juices - guava, watermelon, calamansi and orange

The buffet is loaded with mouth-watering options, including four refreshing drinks: guava juice, calamansi, watermelon, and orange. And for all you caffeine addicts out there, they've got coffee to keep you buzzing all day long. The homemade iced teas are not included in the buffet, but you can still get your hands on them for an ala carte price. 
 
 Heart Eye Cute Rabbit Dacing Emoticons   Watch the video below or on YouTube:

Now, let's address the elephant in the room – or should I say the lion. While the buffet's offerings are indeed satisfying, the experience does not fully align with the expectations set by the premium price of PHP 3,400 per head for the Chinese New Year 2024 celebration. The culinary journey, while pleasant, stops short of reaching the pinnacle of opulence that one might anticipate at such a cost. Nevertheless, the Grand Kitchen secures its place as a distinguished venue for those in pursuit of a dining experience that skillfully blends quality with variety, even if the splendor is not as grandiose as the price would imply.

 

In the end, the Grand Kitchen offers more than just a meal; it's an experience wrapped in elegance, sprinkled with fun, and served with a side of good fortune. Whether the buffet lived up to its grandiose name or not, one thing's for certain – it's a place where memories are made, laughter is shared, and bellies are filled with joy. And isn't that what a feast is all about?

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