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Hann Resorts’ confident, bold flavors

By Cecile Baltasar Published Mar 05, 2024 3:45 pm Updated Mar 06, 2024 12:12 pm

When in Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines, foodies flock to Clark, which is where you would expect to experience nothing less than an intensely satisfying gastronomic adventure. Hann Casino Resort takes this expectation seriously. Standing right in the heart of Clark, this sprawling hub of five-star hospitality dauntlessly and consistently delivers bold flavors through an international culinary extravaganza.

“It’s all in the ingredients,” says Chef Roald Schuur, Swissotel Clark area director of Culinary. “We make sure we use the best and freshest ones for all our dishes. And then we let each of the ingredients shine. With our food, what you see is what you get. That’s how we make sure we serve only the finest dishes.”

It doesn’t hurt, either, that Hann Casino Resort sits squarely in the midst of the sophisticated taste buds of Kapampangans. In fact, Clark Marriott Executive Chef Robert Czeschka counts this as a valuable boost to Clark Marriott’s culinary offerings. 

“Being situated in the culinary hub of the Philippines provides Clark Marriott’s restaurants with a unique advantage. We have access to a diverse range of local ingredients, culinary techniques, and talented chefs, which greatly influence how we craft our menus and dishes. The abundance of fresh, locally sourced ingredients allows us to create dishes that are not only delicious but also reflective of the rich flavors of Filipino cuisine.”

Five-star dining experiences

Early this month, Hann Casino Resort unveiled its Live Bold. Play Bold campaign. Today, as a natural continuation of this directive, they fearlessly assert a sumptuous follow-up: Bold Flavors

They are in a prime spot to effectively deliver on this promise. After all, Hann Casino Resort is home to three world-class hospitality brands. 

Swissôtel Clark, the first Swissôtel in the country, has 10 restaurants, all of which offer to satisfy different sophisticated palates. Excellently run according to Swiss efficiency, any of Swissôtel Clark’s restaurants serves meals with culinary passion.

Clark Marriott, with its ASEAN MICE-certified grand ballroom, has seven restaurants its guests get to pick from. This hotel, which is the first five-star accommodation in Region III, is a well-known first choice among those traveling on business, but still looking for a taste of home. 

Widus Hotel, epitomizing classic elegance, has three restaurants. All these are designed to offer guests the timeless comfort of enjoying excellently prepared meals. 

A vibrant European breakfast buffet 

How about beginning your culinary adventure in the style of European markets? Dining at Swissotel Clark’s Markt is a tribute to the vibrant marketplaces of Europe. 

Walking through this all-day dining restaurant, with its plaza-style layout underneath a stained-glass ceiling, you would almost expect to hear a vendor or two yell out for you to try their freshly baked croissants. No, there is no marketplace hubbub here; but there are those nostalgic striped awnings over the “storefronts,” each of which offer a different cuisine, which is written on old-school chalkboards. 

Markt’s “heartists” getting ready for the daily breakfast buffet

Every day, Markt offers a breakfast buffet from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. There are over 10 stations to choose from, and more than 50 dish combinations to try. 

If you’re in the mood for some Asian or Western barbecue, the Grill station will give you barbecue fare, including baked beans, different kinds of sausages, and other types of meat. The Filipino station gives you various choices including the staples: danggit, champorado, and Pinoy humba. Walk on and you’ll see noodles, various maki, crépes you can put together yourself, pancakes and waffles, cereal, salad, and lots of different kinds of bread. (Here is a cool fact: owing to Swissotel Clark’s commitment to sustainability, their single-serve butter doesn’t come in the usual plastic packaging. Each pat of butter is placed on a serving plate, package-free.)

The coffee station has beans sourced from Benguet and Bukidnon. There are several tea choices, too, if you prefer those. If you aren’t a fan of caffeine, there is also a fresh fruit juice station. (Try the Kalusugan drink for an energy boost.)

Milling around are Markt’s Heartists; servers, really, who know everything there is to know about the food they are serving. 

Markt reverts to ala carte dining after the breakfast crowd is done. 

In the mood for some traditional and modern Chinese cuisine?

Clark Marriott’s Wu Xing offers a celebration of flavors in the mouth. Run by Executive Chinese Chef Lucas Zhou, Wu Xing is the place to go in Clark when you are hankering for authentic Peking duck, which is carved tableside at Wu Xing. This is, after all, their specialty. You can enjoy the duck several ways, including sliced and fried, or marinated in hoisin sauce and wrapped as a spring roll. 

Service is exquisite at Wu Xing. As a restaurant in a five-star hotel, you would expect nothing less. Deliciously elegant, the dishes in this modern Chinese restaurant are, in equal measure, traditional and innovative. 

Wu Xing’s authentic Peking duck

Yes, that may be read as contradictory. However, you will see the logic in the phrase if you taste the pillowy crispy soft tofu and the roasted pork belly, among many others. Each item on the menu offers well-loved traditional flavors which are prepared using modern techniques. 

While enjoying a meal at Wu Xing, there will be moments of utter amazement at the flavors your mouth is experiencing. In this restaurant, there are not enough words to describe the delectable food. 

That’s not surprising at all, given the direction set by Executive Chef Robert Czeschka and Executive Chinese Chef Lucas Zhous. 

“We make sure to get premium-quality ingredients and work closely with trusted suppliers,” says Chef Robert. “More importantly, we cultivate a culture of innovation and creativity to push boundaries and constantly strive for excellence in culinary offerings.”

That explains how Wu Xing manages to still excite all the senses even when they serve authentic and traditional Chinese dishes. 

Benvenuti a Verona

Diners at Swissôtel Clark’s Ristorante di Verona are greeted with a floor-to-ceiling collection of over 300 wines. Beside these is a door leading out to a terrace on the pool deck. Such is the vibe you get when you walk into this Italian restaurant. It is laidback, but you know that behind the kitchen is a team of chefs who know their flavors extremely well. 

The amuse-bouche, or appetizers, are testaments to this fact. Bread served with six different balsamic vinegars, caprese salad, different kinds of risottos—Ristorante di Verona takes its bold flavors seriously. (An insider’s tip: order the risotto frutti di mare and risotto mushroom.)

The expansive wine collection at Ristorante di Verona

Definitely, it doesn’t serve the usual Italian restaurant fare of spaghetti and lasagna. Instead, for example, there’s the malloreddus alla campidanese with pecorino sardo (Sardinian cheese). This is a deep plate of tomato sauce-based pasta—the king of all comfort food. 

Each server at Ristorante di Verona knows their menu offerings. So if you’d like to learn more about the ingredients on the menu—the flavored culinary foam on the risotto, for instance—just ask your server. They will confidently tell you all about it. 

Of course, what kind of Italian meal would it be without pizza? Ristorante di Verona’s handmade prosciutto pizza has several kinds of local herbs as toppings. 

Chef Roald Schuur, Swissôtel Clark’s Area Director of Culinary

This is a direct reflection of Chef Roald Schuur’s directive: “We take pride in supporting local producers of excellent products. We use various local produce in all our outlets no matter what the origin of the cuisine. This is anchored to our sustainability programs and our commitment to the community we are partnered with. In this way, we elevate the guest dining experience through local taste without compromising our DNA.”

Some dolci would be nice, too, don’t you think? If you’d like to have an interactive dessert, there’s the various kinds of affogato (“drown” in Italian)—you pour a shot of espresso over a scoop of gelato, “drowning” the gelato in caffeine heaven. 

At Ristorante di Verona, you don’t just eat a meal; you experience it. And if you dine there on a Sunday, you get to enjoy even more flavors at their Sunday brunch. 

The best restaurant in Central Luzon

Clark Marriott’s Korean-Japanese-American fusion restaurant Smoki Moto is a revelation. Located on the top floor of the hotel, Smoki Moto, ranked by Tripadvisor as the best restaurant in Central Luzon, gives its diners an unobstructed view of the majestic Zambales mountain range.

You can enjoy this landscape even before your meal. Have your cocktails in Smoki Moto’s open-air balcony while gazing at the mountains in the distance. 

Smoki Moto’s mouthwatering tomahawk steak

Speaking of drinks, Executive Chef Robert Czeschka takes special pride in Smoki Moto’s smoked cocktails, served under a glass dome filled with aromatic smoke.

“Our team experimented with various smoking techniques to infuse cocktails with rich, aromatic flavors,” he says. “The idea was not only to enhance the taste but also to elevate the visual appeal of the drinks. The sight of swirling smoke adds a dramatic flair to the cocktails, perfectly complementing the scenic view of Clark.”

Marriott Clark Executive Chef Robert Czeschka

This celebrated panorama continues on the other side of the restaurant. Smoki Moto’s private dining area has floor-to-ceiling glass walls that perfectly offer a view of Mt. Arayat. It isn’t just the view, though, that makes this secluded area more special. Dining here also includes on-the-spot cooking by Smoki Moto’s seasoned chef. 

Turning your gaze toward the restaurant’s interiors, you’ll see that it also epitomizes Hann Casino Resort’s strength and masculinity. Designed with heavy wood, oakwood floors, and dark interiors, the place oozes pleasure. 

Smoki Moto’s menu celebrates the best of Korean and Japanese cuisine. Whet your appetite with some haemul pajeon (scallion and seafood pancake) and modeum rolls. For your entrées, try the Australian angus beef, wagyu rib-eye, and porterhouse steaks. Each one is sinfully juicy and isn’t encumbered by too many sides. At Smoki Moto, the ingredients shine by themselves without being drowned by other flavors. 

You can also choose to continue your Korean food binge with bulgogi noodles, kimchi jeongol, and japchae. 

If you’re at a loss for which dessert to order, have the Mt. Pinatubo delight and the pistachio opera. 

Chef Robert Czeschka knows he and his extremely able staff are up to the task of upholding Smoki Moto’s status as the best restaurant in Central Luzon. In fact, they have fun with the fusion factor. 

“To keep Smoki Moto’s fusion menu fresh and imaginative, our team continuously experiments with new ingredients and techniques, stays updated on culinary trends, and listens closely to guest feedback,” Chef Robert says. “We also ensure that every aspect of the dining experience, from welcoming guests to delivering exceptional service throughout their meal, is executed with precision and attention to detail.” 

The ultimate R&R experience

Food isn’t the only thing that makes a stay at Hann Casino Resorts a feast for the senses; but it is the driving force behind everything. On the casino floor, players have the choice of enjoying food and beverage offerings at their convenience in at least two restaurants—Spice (serving street food, such as laksa and dimsum) and Bar 20 (try, especially, their quesadillas and mojitos).

Laksa, dim sums, and other favorites at Spice inside Hann Casino

Members may opt to play in private rooms, which sit in two separate sections that have their own restaurants. Kai serves authentic Korean cuisine; Nasi offers Filipino (specifically Kapampangan) food. 

Even the spas offer their own snacks. Swissôtel Clark’s Pürovel Spa & Sport, for instance, lets patrons enjoy fresh fruit and healthy finger food after completing their extremely relaxing sessions. Using Swiss and Far Eastern wellness techniques, Pürovel offers the mind and body-healing treatments everyone needs once in a while.

To experience the bold flavors of Hann Casino Resort means you go through a holistic pleasure cruise, but right in the middle of Clark. And with its ambitious plans for expansion, you can be sure that this feast for the senses will just keep getting bigger and better. 

Follow Hann Resorts on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and updates.


Editor's note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring, and educational content created by The Philippine STAR in collaboration with brands like Hann Resorts.