Filipino food is a South East Asian cuisine which has a most unique flavour profile. The cuisine is a melting pot of Chinese and Malaysian flavours with a huge mix of Spanish influence from the colonial era. Top food critic in the US Andrew Zimmern in 2012 said Filipino food is the next big thing in American food scene. Since then, Filipino themed food trucks, cafes and restaurants have been making waves in the food industry.
In Australia, Filipino food is also making quite the noise with markets, festivals and events showcasing food that is uniquely Filipino. Early this year, top US chef Anthony Bourdain showcased food and the Filipino people in his food and travel documentary Unfinished Business in the Philippines. He cited the most bizarre but alluring dish he had in the Manila and how Filipinos are one of the most caring folks he’s met. All these are celebrated at this year’s Philippine Food Festival at the Shangri La Sydney, showcasing the depth and deliciousness of Filipino cuisine at Café Mix from 16 to 25 September 2016.
As you walk into the spacious dining area of Cafe Mix, you will be greeted with familiar Original Pilipino Music (OPM) serenading you in the background and while seated, friendly Filipino staff are around to serve you with specialty drinks created just for the festival – Shangri – Filo (Vodka, Blue Curacao, Pineapple Juice with a touch of lime, shaken over ice), Tropical Maganda (Bacardi Rum, Malibu, blended with pineapple sorbet and coconut cream) and the best selling beer from the Philippines, good old San Miguel Beer.
Top chefs from Shangri La Makati Rico Celdo Venzon, Athene Blanche Tan Oropesa and Erma Balaquiao were flown in to create colourful and flavourful dishes to showcase Filipino cuisine. The buffet includes national dishes like Adobo Manok (a rich chicken dish cooked in soy, vinegar and garlic) and crowd pleasers Lechon Sisig (stir fried crispy pork) and Kare Kareng Buntot ng Baka (stewed oxtail in peanut sauce).
And for the sweet finish, classic favourites like Halo Halo (sweetened fruits topped with shaved ice, leche flan, purple yam ice cream and milk), Turon (banana and jackfruit spring roll) and Maja Blanca (coconut pudding with sweet corn) are just a few on offer.
“It’s the perfect time to showcase Filipino cuisine with a creative menu that will not only be familiar to Filipino diners, but also an adventure for those looking to discover a colourful cuisine influenced by its tropical climate,” Sydney Shangri La Head Chef Bo Sorensen said.
The Philippine Food Festival is presented in partnership with Philippine Airlines and The Philippine Department of Tourism, and to honour the 70 years of collaboration between Australia and the Philippines, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney will donate $2 for every person who dines at the festival to Operation Restore Hope.
The buffet lunch is available from noon to 2:30 p.m. at $57 per person. The buffet dinner is available from 6 to 10 p.m. at $82 per person. For bookings, call (02) 9250 6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.shangrila.com/sydney.
Disclaimer: The writer dined as a guest at the media launch of the Philippine Food Festival at Shangri La Sydney.
Other post/s by Bambi Manlulo
- Filipino talents in Holiday Voices - December 30th, 2015
- A writing and art inspired life - August 27th, 2015
- Top chefs from the Philippines at The Grace Hotel - July 25th, 2015
- From flying the skies to the Masterchef kitchen - July 7th, 2015
- Fil-Aussie mum wins recipe contest with old handwritten recipe - October 27th, 2014