Divine Inspiration: Named After a Bicolano Goddess, This New Restaurant in City of Dreams Manila Reimagines Filipino Cuisine - Lifestyle Asia

Located in Nüwa Manila, Haliya serves Filipino dishes updated with international techniques.

With the opening of Haliya, a restaurant poised to be a go-to dining destination for standout Filipino dishes, City of Dreams Manila sets off to a new culinary adventure, with modernized Filipino cuisine.

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Haliya impresses diners by infusing touches that enhance the flavors of classic Filipino dishes as showcased in over 20 of the most well-loved Filipino dishes that Chef de Cuisine Edmundo San Jose  heartily reimagines with subtle innovations, using a mix of fresh local and imported ingredients. 

San Jose, 40, honed his 24-year culinary experience in banqueting and all-day dining restaurant operations in the Philippines and Middle East. While being exposed to various cuisines and techniques in international hotels, he was in several pre-opening teams of five-star hotels in the Philippines and abroad. 

During the 10 years he worked overseas, he mastered his craft and reaped awards, particularly in live cooking competitions at the Horeca Kuwait Culinary Show from 2013 to 2015. In 2016, his first year as City of Dreams Manila’s Chef de Cuisine of banquets, San Jose led a team to gold at the Philippine Culinary Cup.  

“With Chef Ed helming the kitchen, Haliya pays homage to classic Filipino dishes with fresh, creative interpretations and surprising elements that redefine the Filipino dining experience to a new level,” says City of Dreams Manila property president Geoff Andres. 

Chef Ed San Jose

With Haliya, Andres continues, City of Dreams offers something that excites the imagination of diners toward Filipino cuisine “with its fresh take on some of the most loved Filipino dishes, experienced in a refined setting that evokes the country’s elegant heritage and vibrant culture.”  

Heavenly flavors

Situated at the ground floor of Nüwa Manila, Haliya is named after the warrior goddess of the moonlight who was considered as one of the most beautiful deities in Bicolano mythology. Befitting its name, the 40-seater restaurant complements the refinement that the Forbes Five-Star rated hotel is known for, in its menu and well-appointed interiors.

Paksiw Apahap

Reflecting the richness of Philippine cuisine and culture, two large festive murals by Filipino muralist and painter Yana Ofrasio catch the eyes of diners. Ofrasio’s murals incorporate patterns of colorful Vinta boats of Mindanao and other elements depicting the celebratory spirit of Filipino fiestas and the artist’s passion for colors. 

The chef combines the traditional way of cooking Filipino dishes with the techniques he learned in the two decades he was exposed to different international cuisines. 

“I take inspiration from staple Filipino home-cooked meals, with an intent to enhance the basic flavors that we all love and grow up with,” San Jose explains. “I am delighted to offer new  interpretations of Filipino classical dishes in Haliya that will appeal to local and international palates.”

Lumpia Dinagat

Using premium ingredients and local produce sourced fresh from different parts of the country, the menu also manifests the luxury integrated resort’s commitment toward sustainable dining experiences. 

Icons on the menu identify dishes that are vegetarian, plant-based alternative, and sustainable seafood. Akin to the Filipino spirit of sharing meals, Haliya’s dishes are good for sharing and are served family-style. From the appetizers to mains and desserts, many of the restaurant’s dishes are meant to be enjoyed by two to three persons. 

Chichingka

Dish lineup

For Pampagana (starters), diners whet their appetite with  options such as: Kilawing Tanigue or Filipino style ceviche of tanigue fillet with local sea urchin, fresh lato (sea grapes), cucumber and watercress; and Binalot na Cochi a medley of shredded cochinillo (roast suckling pig) and adobo flakes in a bed of butter lettuce topped with atsara (pickled green papaya), red onion and pork liver salsa; salads, and soups like Guisantes at Malunggay  to warm up the palate.

Haliya also prides itself with its Pangunahing Ulam or viands consisting of familiar hit dishes. Its signature dish is the Haliya Adobo, which features twice-cooked chicken, foie gras, grilled pineapple, shallot confit, baby bok choy, marble potatoes, set in lush adobo glaze and enhanced with golden crispy garlic chips. 

Binakol Rice

Other must-try dishes include: the restaurant’s mouthwatering take on Kare Kare with 24-hour slow cooked US Angus beef brisket, asparagus, baby Baguio pechay and fried eggplant sitting on top of a luscious roasted and crushed peanut sauce and paired with finely blended bagoong (shrimp paste); Paksiw Apahap, a mélange of pan-seared local sea bass, adlai rice, okra, charred  Baguio pechay, pickled ampalaya (bitter gourd) finished with paksiw glaze; and Bistek Tagalog, consisting of slow-roasted black Angus beef tenderloin, broccoli, crispy mushrooms, sweet potato fondant, crispy onion, king mushroom, moringa powder and calamansi soy jus.

Rice being a staple in Filipino dining, has its share of the limelight in Haliya: Binakol rice with pulled chicken inasal (grilled chicken), chayote and coconut meat; Tinapa (smoked fish) rice with aligue (crab fat) and tinapa salsa; fried rice with crispy fried garlic, and steamed rice.

Adobo

To complete the meal, Filipino sweets beckon with indulgent choices for Panghimagas (desserts), which  include another Haliya signature creation and  novelty, Chichingka (bibingka cheesecake served on the table in a burner pot; Haliya Leche Flan, which consists of leche flan, macapuno (coconut sport), kaong (sugar palm) and brandy snap; Strawberry Taho or soy pudding with strawberry consommé, strawberry compote and strawberry pearls; and Mangga Suman, which consists of coconut-mango suman with fresh mangoes and coconut crème. 

A wide range of specialty beverages infused with local flavors are also available and offered alongside an extensive selection of premium wines, liquor, cocktails, mocktails, fruit shakes, juices, and more.

Haliya is open daily for dinner from 5 pm to 11 pm. Reservations are encouraged due to limited seating and restricted capacities for indoor dining. 

For inquiries and reservations, call 8800-8080 or e-mail [email protected] or visit CityofDreamsManila.com.

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