New Culinary Flair: Providing A Fresh Twist On Fine Dining

This established restaurant offers an innovative take on contemporary bistronomy cuisine, serving finely-crafted dishes with fresh local ingredients.

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s April 2023 Issue. 

Old Manila at The Peninsula Manila is regarded as one of the best fine dining restaurants in the city. The Peninsula Manila’s 46-year-old signature restaurant can accommodate 80 guests with a private dining room that can sit 24 is now modernized with accented Art Deco-inspired geometric patterns complemented by large black and white photographs by photographer Francisco Guerrero. 

The Magsaysay Room

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The buzz has been great since it reopened in mid-January this year as Italian Chef de Cuisine Domenico Nicolino brings new culinary flair to Old Manila as he takes over bringing his innovative take on contemporary bistronomy cuisine. He trained under Michelin-star chefs in Copenhagen‘s Restaurant Kong Hans Kaelde and created menus for the Emporio Armani Café in Munnich. 

Chef Domenico Nicolino Old Manila at The Peninsula Manila
Chef Domenico Nicolino

The 38-year-old chef is the first Italian to be appointed Chef de Cuisine of Old Manila. His cuisine combines classic techniques with the best local seasonal produce and will take a farm-to-table approach, sourcing as many ingredients as possible from local areas, including fresh vegetables from farms in nearby Tagaytay and Batangas, with others flown in daily from Mindanao while establishing relationships with trusted suppliers to source quality fish and seafood that are ethically and sustainably sourced, or responsibly farmed. U.S. and New Zealand premium beef are from cows that graze on alpine pastures, complementing the Wagyu that he imports from Japan.

Beetroot Salad Old Manila at The Peninsula Manila
Beetroot Salad


A must order is the Old Manila Signature Beef Tartare. This is hand chopped US beef tenderloin with oyster mayonnaise, shallots, capers, Kristal caviar. Nicolino makes his oyster mayonnaise with live Irish Gallagher oysters, glucose, a touch of mustard, and oil. This emulsion is a perfect complement that adds some brininess to the raw beef. Their other version of beef tartare has no oyster mayo and is served with capers, shallots, cornichon, pickled mustard seeds, and of course, the egg yolk. When in season, try his French Tomato Salad which was a refreshing and flavorful treat; and Nicolino said he did not use any salt on this dish, which we found astounding. 

Signature Beef Tartare Old Manila at The Peninsula Manila
Signature Beef Tartare

Foie Gras Parfait with pear, muscat gel, almond nougatine is a light and refreshing entree as well. Outstanding mains include Gnocchi à la Parisienne served with wild mushrooms, truffles, leeks, parmesan foam; the Aged Comté Cheese Risotto with chanterelles, Albuféra emulsion (a French daughter sauce derived from the mother sauce velouté); and a diner favorite–Panseared Turbot served with razor clams, sake dashi beurre blanc. Guests can also avail of the dry-aged selection of steaks that are grilled.

Pan-seared Turbot Old Manila at The Peninsula Manila
Pan-seared Turbot

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia April 2023 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Photos courtesy of Old Manila.

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