Savortooth: Diamond Hotel’s Lobby Cafe

If you follow this blog, you know that while most people eat to live, I eat for a living. We were fortunate enough to try out Diamond Hotel’s recently opened Lobby Cafe (read SPOT.ph for details). The interiors were typical of hotel du jour, but Diamond’s has this glistening counter full of treats from The Cake Club. Beautiful Vanessa macarons, Super Moist Chocolate Cakes, St. Honore Tarts stare up at you, whispering “Eat me! Eat me!” Beautiful, albeit evil, confectionery that tempt you into buying even when (1) you don’t have a sweet tooth, (2) you’re on a diet, or (3) you’re just not hungry. Drool…

… Anyway, here’s our food trip in photos:

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Zucchini Cream.
I forgot to take a photo of the actual soup, but it wasn’t as attractive without the blanket of tuile over it, anyway. Creamy without being too thick, flavorful without being too heavy (I hate heavy soup because I feel that, as a starter, it should just warm the tummy up and not fill it all together); there are minty hints of basil with the juicy zest of tomato. I alternated sips with bites of parmesan wafer for that crunchy sharpness. The exchange, I think, prevented that umay feeling.

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Carla’s French Onion soup! I didn’t try it because I have major laway issues (which Carla understands, thankfully), but I love how messy is looks. Mouthwateringly sloppy. Beautiful. It has emmentale and croutons in beef broth.
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Truffle Fries. A few meters away and I could already smell the yummy truffle musk! I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t just take regular fries and drowned them under white truffle oil. In Season 2 of MasterChef US, all three judges agreed that truffle oil was something of a joke to “real” chefs.
“One of the most pungent, ridiculous ingredients ever known to chef,” Ramsay said. “I can’t believe you’ve just done that. I think you just put your apron up in flames.”

“A sure sign of someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing,” Bastianich continued. “Do you know that truffle oils are made by perfumists that have no white truffles in them?” He added: “Generally if you go to a restaurant and you see white truffle oil on the menu, it’s a good reason to run away.”

Anyway, Diamond Hotel’s truffle fries are the REAL DEAL! With the truffles actually used in seasoning. Yum yum!

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Smoked Salmon Caesar.
Just your average Caesar salad with slabs of salmon and bacon, and slices of bread. I do wish they diced everything, though. It’s a bit of a hassle to cut through the salad during serving. I’m very picky with my smoked fish because there’s a tendency to make it gummy (kinda like how Gollum likes his seafood). This one’s nicely tender.

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K Lang. Fresh Tomato Pappardelle Pasta. I like the sauce, but I’d really rather talk about the Truffle Fries again.
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Lamb Pot Pie. Isn’t it gorgeous? Curried bits of braised lamb shank. It’s a shade spicy but it would be great with rice. Too bad we got it later; I was too full to devour it.
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Under the flaky crust. 😀
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It’s sandwich royalty, so I’m sure you know what it is. It’s probably 9th in line to the sandwich throne right behind fluffernutters and liver spread. I’ve tried many a Reubens in my day, but I think they should all take lessons from this one. The corned beef is a humongous slab, kind of like a patty, with subtly tangy sauerkraut. I didn’t really notice the elementale. I was too happy with the two major ingredients; they can stand on their own.
Desserts! I don’t really have a sweet tooth unless it’s ice cream, so I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves. Desserts are confusing in Diamond Hotel. All of them were sourced from Cake Club, which for me, is Diamond’s primary selling point. Most of the ice cream flavors are inspired by the cakes themselves so if you order, say, a Le Royale, you have to specify how you want it: sliced on a plate or frozen in a cup.
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SPOT.ph ranked Cake Club’s cheesecake No. 1 on their best cheesecakes list. We don’t question it (since of course we work there), but in the spirit of variety, we tried their other cheesecake: Guia. According to the menu, it’s supposed to be lighter with walnuts and maple syrup. Errr. It’s really rich, let’s leave it at that.
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The Le Royale (cake).
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Ice cream!!! Cheesecake; Le Royale; Salted Caramel; Ispahan (the last one’s ice cream version is not listed in the menu. Wink wink).

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