Opening Night: Philippine Food Festival @ Grace Hotel
The Opening Night of the Philippine Food Festival, held at the Grace Hotel was on Thursday night last week (to kick off their two week long festival). In preparation for this assault to our stomachs, we turned up with growling stomachs and after waiting patiently through the speeches, we pounced upon the buffet style food like hyenas.
This year, three of the Philippines top chef’s Rodito I. Dimatera Head Chef, Benjamin Zabala Native Delicacies Chef and Leandro T. Templonuevo Sous Chef were flown into Sydney. On the night, these chefs combined traditional Philippine food with flavours borrowed from China, Spain, Mexico and the United State, to create their own take on contemporary Philippine food.
I liked Head Chef Rodito I. Dimatera’s philosophy that “in the Philippines, food and eating is an integral part of our daily lives,” as it perfectly reflects mine (as many a foodie will tell you), so I fill up my plate full of pieces from the salad bar, including crunchy salads, Pork crackling with roasted baby tomato & mustard leaves salad (Ensaladang Bagnet) and chicken stuffed with sausage (Galantina), and move over to the hot section before realising my plate was already full. Ok, a second trip to the hot section would be needed I decided, battle-plan style.
The pancake style spring rolls were one of my favourite dishes on the night, along with the (although messy to eat) marinaded prawns which literally fell apart because they were so succulent. The slippery little suckers (aka glass noddles) were also a hit. Unfortunately I was a bit too traumatised by the Babe-like whole pig (with a hat made out of food) to fully enjoy the Lechon (Philippines-style roast suckling pig), which sat next to the pig, at the carving station. But the others enjoyed it.
There was an entire dessert station as well, but seeing as I’ve recently lost my sweet tooth (a disaster according to my besties), I had to leave it to the others to enjoy. And with bloated bellies, we took our leave to waddle down York Street.
Where: Grace Brassiere – Level 2, The Grace Hotel, 77 York St, Sydney NSW 2000.
When and how much: 10 – 26th August, 2012
Lunch Buffet: Tue-Fri: $38pp & Sun: $48pp
Dinner Buffet: Thu-Sat: $48pp
Sponsored by: The Grace Hotel, Department of Tourism, Philippine Airline, San Miguel, Madarin Oriental Hotel