If you’ve been at the resort, you may have chance upon their Cacao Garden. Surrounded by those lush trees is where Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa’s best-kept secret has been hiding, The Land of Chocolate. The secret’s out, the wait is over. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa desires to create an extraordinary guest experience that would span from sunrise to sunset. From cacao to sikwate, from sikwate, traditionally served in the morning, to chocolate high tea, leisurely enjoyed in the afternoon.
La Tierra del Chocolate
The Chocolate Garden priced at Php 890++ (minimum of 2 persons), is a cacao tour with specialized chocolate sommeliers guiding you through every step of the makings of chocolate. The sommeliers are highly trained and are now the first in the Philippines and within the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts group.
A Sweet Collaboration
An initiative personally overseen by the General Manager, René D. Egle, has now come into fruition after 2 years of careful development. Guided and improved by some of our local chocolate experts: The Chocolate Chamber, and Auro Chocolate.
The chocolate sommeliers were trained in the classic art of traditional chocolate making by Cebu’s Chocolate Queen, Raquel Choa, of The Chocolate Chamber. While Auro Chocolate founders, Kelly Go and Mark Ocampo, helped refine the sommeliers’ technical skills with their modern and precise approach. You may now, also, enjoy some of Auro Chocolate’s retail chocolate bars available at the Lobby Shop or as a complimentary treat when you stay at any Ocean Club rooms and suites.
The Chocolate High Tea and other chocolate treats
Popular in the United Kingdom, the high tea has now been adapted in many other countries. In the Lobby Lounge of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, pastry chefs put the spotlight on locally-sourced cacao beans and created various confection that comprises The Chocolate High Tea. For Php 990++, 2 persons can enjoy the high tea which includes macaroons, tarts, eclairs, fresh fruits and their choice of premium tea or sikwate (native hot chocolate).
Should you want to indulge in a traditional treat, the classic Filipino trio of Biko, Mango and Sikwate is also available for Php 450++ (good for 2 persons). Spoil yourself further and give their range of cacao-infused liquor which includes Cuddle in a Cup, a comforting blend of chocolate and cream. Click through this link to learn more of their chocolate offerings.
Oh, and did I mention there’s a chocolate in the high tea named after me?
A Chocolate Named After Me
You read that right. A chocolate named after me, Ronah! Me, who does not like chocolate, has a chocolate namesake.Wait, what? I do not like chocolate? Yes, please put your pitchforks down. I’m no witch.
Albeit, a bit tricky to open up your dislike for chocolates among chocolate lovers (which also seems like majority of the world population). I’ve not liked and voluntarily eaten pure chocolates for quite a long time. Growing up as a daughter of an OFW, chocolates are the ultimate pasalubong. Remember when it used to be such a luxurious treat? Duty Free exclusive and what-not. I’ve definitely eaten my fair share of MnM’s, Hershey’s, Cadbury’s and Ferrero Rocher’s, so it’s not just a case of you-haven’t-tried-it. But I know for a fact that I’ve always been drawn to the not-chocolate chocolate. Hershey’s Cookies n Creme, for example, or Toblerone white chocolate.
It took me until college to finally acknowledge the fact that I apparently don’t like chocolate. It’s since been known among my close peers and family that I would not eat chocolate cake or any chocolate-flavored food. Ironically, bittersweet songs and moments are some of my favorite to experience in life but the bitter and sweet taste combination is not something I can partake. I don’t drink coffee for the same reason.
How It Came About
I was, along with a number of bloggers, having dinner with GM René and Director of Communications, Ms. Cassandra at Shangri-La Mactan. Our dessert was chocolate. Usually, I would make no fuss and be discreet about it. No big deal, of course. However, I was sitting right across GM and beside Ms. Cass, leading to their discovery of me not liking chocolates. They didn’t force me the dessert, but we did end up discussing about the then-upcoming Land of Chocolate reveal. They, jokingly, told me they’d still invite me despite my non-preference.
Later on, I shared I’m not that much of a monster (lol) and I’m actually okay with consuming white chocolate. Chocolate Queen, Raquel, would probably frown upon that conversation (she did approach me during the Land of Chocolate event and assured me Ronah Truffle was with her permission). After all, white chocolate isn’t technically chocolate. It only contains cocoa butter and not cocoa powder.
But I digress.
My revelation became a lightbulb moment for GM René, as he realized they didn’t have much white chocolate among their creations, at the time. By the end of the night, he approached and told me, he had asked the pastry chefs to create a white chocolate dessert, include it in The Land of Chocolate launch, and name it after me.
The Ronah Truffle
The Ronah Truffle is a white chocolate truffle with Kahlua, and pili nuts that is now a signature piece of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa’s Chocolate High Tea.
What an amazing honor to now be a part of Shangri-La’s story. Thank you to the generous and appreciative team behind the creation of this delectable treat. Most especially to: Executive Chef Roshan Fernando, Director of Food & Beverage Jonathan Biles, and General Manager René D. Egle. As well as to Ms. Myra, Ms. Jacque, and Ms. Cassandra.
Learn more about La Tierra del Chocolate, or The Land of Chocolate here. For inquiries and reservations, please get in touch with Restaurant Reservations at (6332) 231 0822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
GM René D. Egle, awarding me a Certificate of Appreciation and a box of The Ronah Truffle.