Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Flavours of the Philippines @ Shangri La

I was fortunate enough to attend the launch lunch for Flavours of the Philippines at Sydney's Shangri La.  The festival is running between 1 - 15 October and coincides with Good Food Month.

Greeted my the Shangri La team on arrival, introductions were made and we were seated around two big tables with other food bloggers.

As a newbie to Filipino cuisine and only really having tasted adobo before I was very keen to learn more about the cuisine and the regional variations.  Filipino food has over the centuries developed into a unique blend of Malay, Spanish, Chinese and American.

On closer inspection of the buffet, I was surprised of the abundance of both cold and hot dishes on offer and I had already eyed off the halo-halo bar as I walked in.

Chef Gene S. Del Prado, who is the Executive Sous Chef of the Shangri La in Makati in the Philippines is visiting Sydney for the festival and dishing up some fantastic dishes.  If you are looking to sample a new cuisine, try a few more dishes from the Philippines or an expat living in Sydney and craving some home cooked dishes, this is the place to dine.

There was more food than I could sample on this day - but it all looks absolutely delicious. Below is a selection of what's on offer.  All I can say is make a reservation before 15 October and go see for yourself.  I will be definitely looking at the Shangri La in the Philippines when I visit (whenever that will be!).  Thanks to the Shangri La for hosting a wonderful event for the opening of the festival.

kilawing Talaba - oyster ceviche
I was very surprised with this dish. In fact it was one of my favourite dishes of the day.  Cold, plump, fresh oysters with vinegar, garlic, onions and chillis

Atchara - Pickled young papaya

Lumpiang Sariwa - fresh vegetable spring roll

Spanish mackarel ceviche

Embotido - minced pork wrapped in crepinette

Adobong Talong - eggplant cooked with soy suace, garlic and vinegar

Itlog na Maalat na may kamatis - Salted egg with Tomato

Green Mango with Bagoong (shrimp paste)

Sinigang sa Miso na Lapu-lapu - Grouper sour broth with miso
The grouper was meaty and soft and flaky all at the same time - the sour broth was perfectly balanced

Blue Marlin Inasal - grilled blue marlin with Annatto oil

Pusit Bicol Express - squid with chilli & coconut milk

Ihaw-Ihaw - lamb rump, beef ribs and chicken
Ihaw-ihaw is a barbeque grill and today there was lamb rump, beef ribs and chicken.  I only had the lamb and ribs and both were super tasty and tender.  

Callos - ox tripe and Ox feet menudo
Always up to trying new flavours and textures - this was a rich stew with a dense gelatinous texture to it.  Hearty definitely - yummy yes!

Steamed fish (I think it was snapper!)

Pata Humbra - Pork knuckled in sweet soy sauce

Suwam na tahong - steamed mussel in ginger broth

whole roasted pig
In true Filipino style a feast would not be complete without a whole roasted pig with delicious crackling.
Estofadong Dila - slow cooked ox tongue in tomato sauce
I'm no newbie to ox tongue - but this was tender and juicy from the slow braise and tomato sauce. 

Pancit Palabok - rice noodle with smoked fish and shrimp sauce
Sweet and fishy was the only way I could describe it - fulled by tasty!

Kare Kare - stewed ox tail in peanut sauce
I loved this dish - the richness of the ox tail and the thick sweet coating of peanut sauce had me secretly licking my fingers (I was on my best behaviour though)

Sisig bar - cooked to order fresh sisig
Sisig is sizzling pork with onions, garlic, chillis.  The pork is specifically pig's ear and jowl but other meaty parts can also be used.  Definitely a winner this dish.

halo halo bar

self serve halo halo - make your own
So what is halo halo? - basically meaning to mix - it consists of shaved ice and condensed milk and a mix of whatever dessert toppings you choose - ranging from nata de coco, boiled fruits to kidney beans and topped with purple yam ice cream

delicious taro ice cream with condensed milk and all the bits!

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