A fun festival of Philippine cuisine at Shangri-la Hotel, Sydney
The world’s most rich and colourful cuisine takes the spotlight once again during Philippine Food Week at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney in a joint initiative with the Philippine Department of Tourism and Philippine Airlines from 2 to 10 October 2015.
Philippine Airlines are flying chefs Darel Pajarito, Edgar Santiago and Ireneo De Mesa from Makati Shangri-La, Manila to create a delectable menu of the Philippines’ most-loved dishes for lunch and dinner at Café Mix. Their menu will bring alive the flavours of this paradise nation, home to more than 7,000 idyllic islands covered in thick lush jungle, dramatic mountain ranges and glistening white-sand beaches.
Philippine cuisine is known for taking comfort food to the next level and this might explain why it is grabbing the attention of picture-snapping foodies seeking out the next hot Asian food obsession.
For those who have not tried Sisig or Lechon, it is time to add this melting pot cuisine to the culinary map, with its mix of Chinese and Malay as well as Spanish influence from colonial days and splashes of American flavour from the days of US governance.
Long-time crusaders of nose-to-tail dining, the Filipinos’ most popular dishes involve using many parts of the animal. Sisig is a stir-fried pork belly and crispy pig’s ear in a heady mix of garlic, ginger and chilli.
Lechon is a whole suckling pig dish native to Spain and its colonies, carved and served with crackling and sides, while Kare-Kare is a rich oxtail and vegetable ragout cooked in a peanut sauce. There will also be carving stations with plentiful barbecued meats and seafood, salad and dessert bars.
The dessert station will be laden with favourites including sweet sticky rice Biko and the to-die-for Leche Flan, a traditional Spanish caramel custard made even sweeter and creamier with condensed milk and extra egg yolks.
At the Halo-Halo cart, guests can have fun making a DIY mountain of shaved ice, sweet beans, fruit, tapioca and vivid purple Ube Ice Cream. Halo-halo means “mix mix” in Tagalog, the primary Filipino dialect, which is exactly what you’re supposed to do.
Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney Head Chef Bo Sorensen said the festival had become a fixture in the hotel’s calendar each year and attracts a huge turnout from the Filipino community and beyond.
“Filipino food is really taking a hold in the broader population,” he said. “The whole foodie phenomenon means people are more adventurous and more curious than ever about trying different cuisines. Anyway, who could say no to that creamy flan? And you have to try Ube, at least, so you can say you’ve had Purple Yam Ice Cream.”
The Philippine Food Week buffet lunch is available at $55 per person from Monday to Friday, noon to 2:30pm, and from 12:30pm to 2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. The buffet dinner is available all week from 6 to 10pm for $75 per person.
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