The holidays are in full swing and no doubt many of you are already over the big parties, loud music and huge, rich platters of food. If you are in desperate need for a quiet(er) get-together with only a handful of your nearest and dearest, then may we suggest that you visit The Cellar at The Grand Hyatt Manila for a night (or afternoon—we don’t judge) of tapas and good wine.
Tucked into the second floor of The Grand Hyatt Manila, The Cellar is the place for those who prefer to enjoy their drinks at a steady pace and have quiet, meaningful conversations. Like the name suggests, it’s been designed to look like a wine cellar, with its brick walls, arched doorways and subdued lighting. There are several private and semi-private rooms, which can be reserved (for a consumable fee), but even the main dining area’s tables are spaced at a distance. Walking around and faces are hardly discernible in the darkness, voices are hushed; peals of light laughter spill in sporadically, but even they seem to dissipate immediately.
While it describes itself as a tapas bar, The Cellar offers more than just Spanish dishes—although their Seafood Paella (P1650) is exquisite thanks to its flavorful rice and bountiful, fresh produce. The obvious freshness of The Cellar’s menu continues to all of its dishes. A must-try is the Warm Tomato Salad (P460)—not an obvious choice with all the charcuterie available, but its perfectly ripe, heirloom cherry tomatoes, drizzled with sweet balsamic and sprinkle of pine nuts and slivers of shallots make for a delightfully light dish. It also goes so well with a dry white. If you’re looking for something richer and more indulgent, then the Baked Camembert (P1295), served with candied walnuts and figs and warm, crispy bread is a popular choice. Which wine to pair it with? Ask The Cellar’s sommelier or peruse their Vino Tablet, which lets users narrow down their choice based on country, grape variety, and other categories. For fun, there are also tests that you can take and the Vino Tablet would recommend a wine. It asks users about their favorite band, song, and dream vacations. Wine snobs might sniff at it, but it’s fun and the recommendations were hilariously yet oddly spot on (we got our favorite pinot noir after choosing Ariana Grande!).
While everyone else is headed to the hot new bar at the top of The Grand Hyatt Manila, those who’ve had their fill of disco Christmas medleys and shots of Patron, then The Cellar is the place to visit. Invite your five best friends, order a bottle of Margaux (hey, it’s still the holidays), then maybe split an order of Almond Coconut Orange Cake (P305) or Baked Calamansi Tart (P305), and have a happy, buzzy holiday.