October - Good Food Month is the best yet worst month for a foodie. With an influx in food deals and events, it is hard to choose which events you want to go to. As part of Good Food Month myself and a few bloggers were invited to the launch of the Philippine Food Festival.
The Philippine Food Festival involves a lunch ($48 pp, 12-230pm) or dinner ($75pp, 6-10.30pm) buffet option at Cafe Mix inside the Shangri-La Hotel. Bringing the tastes of Philippines to Australian shores, by actually have 2 chefs from the Philippines cooking up a storm. The buffet has a salad bar, dessert bar, bain maries filled with food (mostly meat based), and a halo halo station! Available from the 1st - 15th October 2013.
Banana leaf grilled fish
Pork knuckle cooked in sweet soy sauce
Crispy pork Belly
Seared ox tail in peanut sauce
Rice noodle with smoked fish and shrimp sauce
Seared mussles in ginger broth
Chef making pork sisig
Ox Tripe & ox feet menudo
Pork with tomato based sauce and capsicums
Grouper sour broth with miso
Grilled blue marlin with anatto oil
Squid with chilli and coconut milk
Plate 1: All meats, no greens
My aim was to try as many components as possible, yet still have room for dessert! As you can see from the photos, Filipino food isn't very vegetarian friendly. However, for all the non vegetarians our there, Philippine Food Festival is a great way to taste the flavours of the Philippines.
My favourite of all the dishes was the mussels and pork sisig. The pork sisig had amazing fresh flavours, with a kick of spice. It was also topped with a bit of Japanese mayonnaise, which finished it perfectly. This was my first time eating Filipino food, and I find it extremely hard to describe the flavours of Philippines. It doesn't have the distinct spice of thai food or nuttiness of Malaysian food. Filipino food is filled with flavour, sauciness and overall delicious. I know that lacks description, but hopefully the photos do it justice. Now onto desserts!
Meringue Roulade filled with vanilla custard
Vanilla sponge layered with cream and mixed fruit
Glutinous rice topped with raw sugar
Glutinous rice with chocolate
Young coconut with pine jelly, fresh fruit and
mixed fruit with cream and condensed milk
Halo Halo station
Halo Halo with fruit, jellies and ice cream!
All the desserts were delicious! The various glutinous rice dishes were unique in there own way. The leche flan was fantastic, it had a perfect balance of egginess and sweetness. The meringue roulande with vanilla custard was delectable. A soft meringue texture, with vanilla custard yet a crisp top layer, need to find out how to replicate such a dessert. Ube pudding was pefect, I wish I wasn't so full so I could have gone for another plate of that alone.
Halo halo is a popular Filipino dessert consisting of shaved ice, evaporated milk and other toppings of your choice (as if you are picking toppings for froyo). It is traditionally presented in a cup, but I wanted a bowl to fill it up. It can be an acquired concept, but delicious in every way.
The Philippine Food Festival was a great way to experience the flavours of Philippines. The buffet means a fulfilling dining experience, and the desserts alone are a reason to have a taste.
Good food, good times!