7 Filipino-Themed Feasts You Can Indulge In
As Filipino food is gaining ground in the international culinary scene, especially as it has found champions in the likes of Anthony Bourdain, it is about time to take note of our homegrown dishes and savor that fusion of sweet-savory-spicy flavors that is definitely sariling atin. Since Independence Day is in June, several Filipino food festivals come to the fore, each with their own take on our culinary heritage. We list down some of the places to go to try for a sumptuous sampling of leveled-up lutong bahay.
Kanyaman at Novotel Manila
The word kanyaman means "delicious" in Pampanga, and Chef Sau Del Rosario brings forth a curated lineup of gustatory delights from his home province at Novotel’s Filipino food fest. The buffet menu features the celebrity chef’s modern take of Kapampangan cuisine such as Truffled Sisig Paella, Foie Gras Sisig, Crispy Lechon Belly with chocolate and cheese stuffing, Pancit Luglug, Pochero, Duck Adobo, and brick-oven baked Longanisa Pizza. The dessert station likewise offers season favorites hot off the griddle Bibingka and Puto Bumbong, plus creative kakanin creations by dessert book author Editha Singian.
The special Food Exchange Manila buffet runs until June 15 with lunch and dinner rates at special rates of P1,200 on weekdays and P1,600 during weekends (including Friday buffet dinner).
Novotel Manila Araneta Center, General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City; reservations recommended at telephone number (02) 990-7888.
Independencia: Flavors of Northern Philippines at Marco Polo Cebu
The Queen City of the South gets a taste of the North, with Marco Polo Cebu’s food festival that brings dishes such as Pochero, Bringhe, and Bicol Express to its buffet. The culinary caravan at Cebu’s food landmark, Café Marco, is crafted and perfected under the guidance of heritage cuisine guru, Ms. Jessica Avila. Independencia: Flavors of Northern Philippines runs until June 15, with a special lunch rate of P880/head on weekdays.
Marco Polo Cebu, Nivel Hills, Cebu Veterans Drive, Cebu City; for inquiries and reservations, call 253-1111 local 8249. For more details, visit their website at www.marcopoloplazacebu.com.
Pistahan sa Café 8 at Crimson Hotel Alabang
Authentic Filipino cuisine from various regions will be the spotlight at Café 8 as the Crimson Hotel culinary team brings the best of local gastronomic scene – from the North’s Vigan longganisa, Visayas’ aromatic chicken inasal to the South’s kilawing tuna. They also have a cocktail cart that features that potent Pinoy coconut-based wine Lambanog as the alcohol base. For those who want a different kind of buzz, there’s Kapeng Barako brewed from Batangas beans and refreshing Pandan Tea is also available as a milder drink choice. Lunch buffet rate per person is P 1,514 while dinner buffet rate is P 1,729. Both rates come with free flowing drinks.
Those who want a lighter repast can come for the hotel’s Merienda Cena, with the Fiipino version of afternoon tea translated into appetizing goodies including mango sago, cassava cake, tres leches, turon with caramel sauce, pork mini burger with adobo glaze, kesong puti and tomato sandwich, and smoked tanigue mousse with quail eggs.
The buffet promo runs until June 18, the merienda cena is available until June 15.
Crimson Hotel, Entrata Urban Complex, 2609 Civic Drive, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City; for booking or more information, please visit the official website at http://www.crimsonhotel.com/manila/ or call (02) 863-2222.
Guiltless Filipino Food at Marriott Hotel Manila
Filipino food has traditionally rich both in flavors and in calorie content. With the growing importance that diners place on their own health and on the health of the planet, Marriot Hotel Manila recently added vegan-ized Filipino dishes to their buffet lineup at Café Marriott. It’s their way of satisfying those undeniable cravings for the comfort food that we grew up with. Executive Chef Meik Brammer and his team have thoroughly studied and searched for quality plant alternatives that provide the same aroma, texture and flavor to replace the meat in favorite dishes such as Bicol Express (portabello, shitake and Tagaytay’s oyster mushroom), Sisig (banana hearts and breadfruit , and Bacolod Inasal (high-protein tofu to be dipped in traditional Iloilo vinegar sinamak).
The buffet-style setup at Cru Steakhouse and the Marriot Café is available for only P1,950 at lunch every Saturdays to Fridays and P 2,100 at dinner every Sundays to Thursdays.
Manila Marriott Hotel, 10 Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay City; for inquiries, call (02) 988-9999 or visit manilamarriott.com.
UNO’s Modern Filipino Taste at Waterfront Hotel and Casino Mactan and Cebu
Dubbed as a “Filipino Feast for All Senses”, the Waterfront Hotel and Casino properties in Mactan and Cebu take a modern spin on traditional Cebuano goodies as interpreted by celebrity chefs Rolando and Jackie Laudico. Diners can delight on Uno’s Cebuano dishes with a twist, with imaginative menu items that include Danggit Macarons, Lechon Kambing, Palabok Bites with Carcar Lechon, and Stuffed Puso. With dessert expert Jackie Laudico on board, the traditional sweets section with kakanin like Cassava Cake and Pichi-Pichi are joined by to-die-for delicacies such as a Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse.
The food festival for both properties runs until August 31.
Waterfront Hotel and Casino, JY Square IT Center, 1 Salinas Dr, Cebu City; for reservations, call (032) 232 6888 ext. 8605 or visit www.waterfronthotels.ph.
LuzViMinda 5 at F1 Hotel Manila
In what is probably the longest-running Filipino food festival, F1 Hotel brings anew its innovative concept that ties together the culinary heritage of our three main islands. This year, the LuzViMinda fest brings together a collaboration of Chefs Mikel Zaguirre (Locavore) for Luzon, Dennis Uy (Meximama) for Visayas, and Kalel Chan (Museum Café) for Mindanao, together with the hotel’s Executive Chef Decker Gockioco, to offer a buffet that highlights what those three stars on our flag symbolize. Among the dishes to be found on the impressive spread are Pork Tocino Barbecue Skewers and Crispy Pata Roulade from Luzon, Chicken Inasal and Ube Otap Napolones from the Visayas, and Rib-Eye Rendang and Curacha (the seafood, not the Osang movie) from Mindanao,
The spread is open from June 9 to June 30, lunch or dinner at P1,699 per person. Get 40% off when you use Maybank Credit card.
F1 Hotel Manila, 32nd Street, Taguig City; for information, For inquiries, call 908-7888 or visit www.f1hotelmanila.com.
Philippine Harvest at Central Square BGC
If you would like to try authentic Filipino goodies in a more informal setting, you could also visit the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Harvest food fair at the Central Square Mall in BGC. Philippine agricultural products will be exhibited, including artisanal chocolates and sauces, coconut products and more. There will be a food tunnel where the public can take a culinary journey with the free samples offered by exhibitors.
The exhibit runs from June 16 to 18, at mall hours.