Get Set Eat: A taste of Asia Pacific cultures at Hotel Jen Manila

I can say that the dining options at Hotel Jen, which is a part of the Shangri-la International Hotel Management are playful and experimental. Able to surpass the original to make it unique and truly their own. During my visit at Hotel Jen in Manila, I was able to experience a distinct variety of flavors and got a taste of various cultures located in the Asia Pacific and in the most creative of ways possible. 

I took a visit at one of the top floors of the hotel going to the Club Lounge, where I was greeted by this massive view -- it's where I can see the Cultural Center of the Philippines, a place where I fondly remember myself as a kid running around its many halls as we distract our aunt while she does her rehearsals prior to her scheduled piano recitals; Star City, a paradise of amusement for both kids and kids at heart; beside it is DZRH, a radio station where I first took my internship while studying in college; and Manila Bay, a perfect spot where you can see the grandeur view of the Manila sunset when the weather is good.    

It's only at night where you can see all the crazy and colorful lights start to shine if you want to spot the dining and entertainment establishments outside the hotel. Hotel Jen is the best option if you want to know more about city hotspots through their Night Light feature (click here to know more).

But for now, I'm staying in, as I wait for a multi-cultural feast to come my way.

The Club Lounge is actually an area that's exclusive for hotel guests during the day where they can hang out while snacking on whatever is available, it transitions and becomes a dining venue at night.

Drinks are mandatory, such as a glass of wine or a cocktail from the bar, mixed by their friendly in-house bartender, while you help yourself on this cheese plate.

Cheese Plate
Dinner started with Chilli Crab Fondue from Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore. Ah Hoi’s Kitchen's signature Chilli Crab is served with a twist, in a bread bowl served with steamed vegetables and shrimps, offering a fun yet practical take on this iconic Singaporean dish. This is one hot, savory and yummy appetizer.

Chilli Crab Fondue
Next is the Laksa Johor Slider from Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour, JohorInspired by Sultan Abu Bakar's visit to Italy in 1866, Laksa Johor is prepared with spaghetti and the locals used to eat it with their hands. This crispy mini burger rendition offers a fun take on this popular dish and is perfect for gatherings.

Laksa Johor Slider
The Smoked Pulled Lamb Pongteh (Smoked pulled lamb in nyonya-style soya bean paste) from Hotel Jen Penang is a classic dish, as Chicken or pork pongteh is considered a usual Perenakan dish in Penang. This smoked lamb rendition is inspired by the hearty barbecues in Southern America. To soak up the delicious sauce, it is served with foccacia bread and potato wedges with the ubiquitous Chinese five-spices powder.

Smoked Pulled Lamb Pongteh
The Laksa Lemak Singapura (Laksa Fried Rice) from Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway Singapore was our last main course and is a definite showstopper. An alternative take on a classic Peranakan dish in Singapore, the wok-fried rice is infused with spicy aromatic laksa broth for a tasty and hearty meal.

Laksa Lemak Singapura
In this case, my favorite part of the entire meal is dessert. Ginataang Turon (plantain, coconut, glutinous rice balls and mixed-tuber fritters) from our own Hotel Jen Manila. Most people in the Philippines do have a penchant for sweet desserts, unlike my picky palate. This delectable treat combines two popular Filipino mid-day snacks: Ginataang halo-halo (glutinous rice balls, tubers, and tapoica pearls in coconut milk) and turon (banana fritters), for a satisfying end to a meal.
Ginataang Turon
Catering to urban adventurers, the Hotel Jen brand delivers quality, comfort and value with a playful twist and friendly service. Hotel Jen embraces the love for life and travel, helping curious travelers to leave boring behind through spontaneous experiences, unpublished insights and unconventional perspectives. Launched in 2014, Hotel Jen offers vibrant hotels in some of the best locations across Asia Pacific, including Brisbane, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenyang, China, Manila, Penang, Johor in Malaysia, and Maldives. For more information, visit or join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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Disclosure: All views expressed in this article are from the author.

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