The "Kulinarya Kalayaan Food Festival" at Bayview Park Hotel Manila is still on going until the last day of this month. We were again invited to taste its new spread of dishes last week as everyday there's a new set of menu so that it won't look monotonous. Again, this happened at lunch time between 11AM to 2PM. Thanks to Ms. Precy Mendoza and Ms. Hershey Bardon for having us again. I can't help but be so grateful about the cheerful invitation. Going at this hotel is quite easy for me but Friday means traffic jam and I have to resort taking a cab in order to make it to the lunch on time. Unfortunately I came in late, 10 minutes past eleven o'clock in the morning. It is always best to be on the set appointment always on time so that there will be no need to hurry. Haste makes waste but good thing I've learned to iron out the mess; I took snapshots of all the native Filipino dishes because influx of people will be uncontrollable in the coming minutes. I was so right with my intuition. Due to the very affordable price of the buffet, professionals and hotel guests got enticed with this Pinoy culinary feast for only PhP450/person. I noticed that there were two long tables reserved for the Supreme Court employees that day. And in no time the restaurant lobby is filled with lunch crowd. Here's what whet my appetite that afternoon . . .most coming from the black claypot that always look enigmatic to me.
Berdeng Gulay na may Kamatis, Sili at Pipino (Mixed Green Salad)
I started my meal with a salad. If I remember it right based on my love for cookbooks, this fiber-rich starter is also called Pinoy Salad. I'm fond of eating greens and it was good to point out that there were no wilted portions and all vegetable cut-ups from cucumber, bell peppers, lettuce and tomato are all fresh and cleanly cut. Black and green olives I know for sure came from bottles so we were assured of its fresh quality too. Two salad dressings were available - vinaigrette and mayo dressing but I choose none of them for the simple reason that I only ate some forkful of veggies before hopping into soup that I badly needed. I did not take breakfast for all you know.
I had two small bowls of this hot noodle soup even if I just experienced sweltering heat outside the hotel and the just enough ventilation at the coffee shop-turned hotel restaurant. There were chicken pieces in my every scoop making me this dish a high-protein one. I enjoyed sipping its tasty chicken broth but I preferred it to have more black pepper to sustain its flavor.
Pancit Bihon Guisado (Stir-fried Bihon Noodles w/ Mixed Seafood & Vegetables)
Tastes really good and Pinoy ang panlasa! Never short in ingredients particularly mixed seafoods.
Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette)
I never felt any itch in my tongue as I tried to incorporate this in my second plate. Still as good as warm and would love to partner it with banana catsup if it's available.
Ginataang Tanigue (Spanish Mackerel in Coconut Milk)
My month will never pass had I not tasted this dish as it is always made available at home at least 2-3 times a month. My parents love this fish drenched in plentiful of coconut milk. Want it a bit spicy like one of my home-cooked favorite. Suitable for both tanigue and tilapia. This one matchedwell with Kanin sa Pandan.
Kalderetang Baka (Beef Caldereta)
Beef cut-ups were tender though flavor lacked some liver spread taste in my opinion that is something that I always like with this dish, yet okay with the tomato sauce/paste level. Always present in fiestas and in my family's case, on every birthday celebration.
Who would not mind digging in to its goodness, I for one is a halo-halo lover to the point that I eat variety of this summer Pinoy favorite thirst quencher on a daily basis, but I learned to curtail it as early as last month in order not to gain unexpected weight. Ingredients were limited to nata, ube halaya, pinipig, red and green gulaman, sweetened garbanzos and sweetened red beans plus shaved ice, leche flan, shite sugar and evaporated milk. A mixture of sweetened preserved fruits like sweetened banana, sweetened sweet potato were absent which I missed a lot but this one from Bayview Park Hotel's Kulinarya Festival was equally good as my favorite daily dose of sweetness.
Pinya at Pakwan (Pineapple and Watermelon Slices)
Slices of these freshly sliced fruits are things I cannot just easily decline. I finished the buffet with these fruits seating nicely on my plate. I am not aware how much I consumed but for sure it was a lot that you guys expect me to eat. I need these fruits for my healthy digestive system, you know what I mean.
Say what, I can finish a llanera of this caramel custard in just one seating but that day I did not attempt to display my weirdness when it comes to this well-known custard dessert. According to the marketing head of the hotel, this is their specialty. Prima facie, it is indeed and concertedly proven by our taste buds. Plating was pretty with all the celery stalks and cherry pieces that borders the white plate. Irresistibly good!
Still have not celebrated Philippine Fiesta, come over here with you foodie friend as this promo will end come July 13, 2012. KULINARYA FESTIVAL 2012 is a joint project of Department of Tourism and Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines. For inquiries, please call (632) 247-9000 or (632) 526-1555. You may also email the at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy and savor our cuisine which hopefully will hit the level of the best Asian cuisines in the world.
Bay View Park Hotel Manila
1118 Roxas Boulevard cor United Nations Avenue
Ermita Manila, Philippines