March 15, 2019

Latin American Flavors from Waterside at Solaire

As a then colony of Spain for many years as Mexico, the Philippine Islands have just as much Hispanic cultural influences as any other Latin American country. That is why there are so many similarities between the Philippines and Mexico and other Central and South American countries for that matter.

Aside from being conquered by the Spaniards, Filipinos are more than alike with Latin Americans through being religious because of being a predominantly Catholic. We are also known for our highest regards when it comes to valuing the concept of family and our love for gatherings/parties. Moreover, Filipinos very much esteem culture and tradition.

These similarities in traits may be attributed due to the trade that transpired between the said countries. Because during that time when travelling to their distant Asian conquered lands, Spaniards traveled by way of Mexico, taking the annual galleon that linked Spain with China. This brought about the successful introduction of food, agriculture products and other things brought about by the commerce.

Speaking of which, this was somewhat the core of the new menu items created by Chef Hylton LeRoux of Solaire Resort and Casino’s Waterside Restaurant. Hailing from South Africa, Chef Hylton Le Roux is a seasoned chef with experience in well-known freestanding restaurants in London that include the popular restaurants of Gordon Ramsey at London’s Savoy Hotel, Restaurant Gordon Ramsey, and The Fat Duck in Bray to name a few.

He moved to the Philippines in 2009 with his wife and two kids and, upon arrival and with the determination to make his mark in the local culinary scene, he immediately joined as an instructor in one of the leading culinary schools in Manila. He soon became Executive Chef in a popular Country Club in the south, eventually set up a catering company, and even became a TV Chef Host of the program Market to Master, which ran for 4 seasons and was shown locally on the Lifestyle Network and on various TV channels abroad. Now he oversees Solaire’s Waterside Restaurant.

Waterside - Latin Inspired Cuisine is an ensemble of fine tastes. Waterside is the perfect backdrop for your get-together with family and friends. Indulge in the great food and its luxurious ambiance. Whether you fancy a light snack or a heavy meal, you can be assured of the finest quality Latin-inspired cuisine at Waterside.

What makes Waterside’s new menu very special? The new menu builds on Waterside’s tradition of offering the best of Latin flavors to their guests. Inspired by his trip to Mexico’s spice and street markets last year, Chef Hylton Le Roux, Head Chef of Waterside, has created and re-imagined new dishes that will surely excite the palate of both loyal guests and newcomers to Waterside. More than 85 percent of the menu are new and features choice ingredients flown in from Mexico.

Months before the menu was finalized, Chef Hylton and his team has already conceptualized a menu that was ready for launching. But he related that when he went to Mexico to source for purveyors for the ingredients that he needs for his new menu, he realized that Latin American food, Mexican food in particular, is so similar yet equally different, with a lot of Filipino dishes. Thus he scrapped that original new menu and created one that showcase that “similarity and difference”.

Fortunately, I was one of those who got to get dibs of Waterside’s new dishes. We got to try all the new dishes from appetizers, to mains, to desserts and even signature cocktails for an early happy hour.


Ceviche - Marinated Kingfish, avocado leche de tigre, sweet potato, cancha corn, pomelo

Albondigas - Spanish style beef and pork meatballs, sofrito sauce, crispy potato, Manchego cheese

Tuna Tostada - Soy orange marinated tuna, salsa fresca, cilantro, chili, roasted peanuts


Sisig Taco - Crispy pig mask, pickled cucumber, red onion, chicharrón, coriander. Served with salsa verde, salsa rojo, pico de gallo

Pork Carnitas Taco - Crispy slow-cooked pork, grilled pineapple, pickled red onions, jalapeño. Served with salsa verde, salsa rojo, pico de gallo

Beef Barbacoa - Citrus chili marinated beef, coriander, red onion


Arroz Con Mariscos - Peruvian seafood rice, scallops, shrimp, clams, aji amarillo cream, salsa criolla

Pollo Guisado - Dominican chicken stew, sofrito sauce, green olives, piquillo pepper, saba chips

Caldo De Res - Mexican style beef shank and tomato broth, cabbage, corn, carrots, garbanzo beans, ancho chili paste

Cuban Style Suckling Pig Carnitas - 1/4 sous vide suckling pig, green mango salsa, mojo sauce, choice of two sides

Escabeche De Pescado - Fried whole snapper, escabeche sauce, grilled bok choy, cilantro, red onion, garlic chips


Churros and Chocolate - fried-dough pastry with rich chocolate dip

Pumpkin Flan - pumpkin and custard layered dessert with a soft caramel top with shredded coconut and fresh mango cubes

Mexican Bread Pudding - rum raisins, vanilla ice cream, condensed caramel sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Coffee Cream Slice - coconut crunch, fresh berries

Besides the new food items, we were also treated for an early happy hour which showcased Solaire’s Senior Beverage Manager’s Michael O’Shea’s carefully crafted Latin-Inspired signature cocktails:

Papa Wake Up - Dead Man’s Fingers Coconut Rum, Arc Botanical Gin, fresh pineapple juice, vanilla and Angostura bitters

Category 5 - Plantation Pineapple Rum and OFTD, green chartreuse, passion fruit, fresh lime and smoked pineapple

Pineapple’s Back - Plantation Pineapple Rum, Hine Cognac, fresh lime juice and Angostura bitters

Lady Margaret - Corallejo Blanco, Grand Marbier, fresh lime juice and agave syrup

Ed’s Piña Colada - Dead Man’s Fingers Coconut Rum, Arc Botanical Gin, fresh pineapple juice, vanilla and Angostura bitters

Classic Mai Tai - Rum Pyrat XO, Myer’s Rum, Orange Curacao, fresh lime juice, and Orgeat syrup

I totally enjoyed this lunch/food tasting, of course not only that we got first dibs but also that what Chef Hylton relayed about the “similiraties and difference” of the dishes to local Filipino dishes were really evident. Yeah, there were moments when we would all exclaimed, “yeah this taste like that, or this is similar to this dish”.

It might sound a bit of an exaggeration but I’m not kidding when I say that around 95%  of the is a hit with me. For the appetizers, I liked the ceviche since it wasn’t as tangy as the local version; the albondigas may not be the “almondigas” that we cook at home but dang, that was so tasty. For the tacos, I love all of them but the Sisig and the Beef Barbacoa were two main faves. For the main dishes, the standouts for me were the Arroz Con Mariscos simply because I love seafood and the rice was packed with flavor. The Caldo De Res was supposed to be the Mexican version of the Bulalo, but that reminded me more of the Pochero; the Cuban Style Suckling Pig Carnitas was out of this world! That was so tender and really mouthwatering. And the Escabeche De Pescado, it does look like the Filipino version but the spices in it were more pronounced.

As for the desserts, well, I have a sweet tooth so it won’t be surprise if I say that I loved them all. Yet what still lingers in my mind (and in my mouth) is the Pumpkin Flan, it has more character than our overly sweet local version. The Mexican Bread Pudding as interesting and the Chocolate Coffee Cream Slice is just like a slice of paradise. And my gosh, the cocktails all were so on point! I love the cocktails from Solaire’s other bar: Cigar Bar and Poker Room and little did I know, it was Michael O’Shea who also concocted those cocktails. So, after learning about that, I wasn’t surprised that Waterside’s signature cocktails are equally indulging. My favorites would have to be the Lady Margaret (Waterside’s version of the margarita), Ed’s Piña Colada was easily everyone’s pick and that Category 5, looks quite plain, but boy oh boy, that drink, I’m telling you, is downright strong; hence the category 5 allegory to the highest level of hurricane.

Most of Waterside’s best-selling dishes were kept in the new menu, such as Gambas al Ajillo, Paella Valenciana, Paella Negra and Seafood Paella, as well as their Australian grass-fed steak selections. But guests can expect more authentic Latin flavors and a wider selection of dishes from the new menu, which are best shared with family and friends wherein Chef Hylton was able to bring back the aroma, colors and taste of South America in every plate. The new menu will be available starting March 8 2019 onwards at dinner, which starts at 6 pm. Also the new dishes will be part of “Passion for Platters” which are sharing dishes, that are good for 2 persons.

GF Solaire Resort & Casino, Aseana Ave.,
Entertainment City, Parañaque City
Contact Nos: 02 2469069 ext:616

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Waterside - Solaire Resort & Casino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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