Last October 8, 2011, the WOWBatangas team was invited to Asian Flavours’ 2nd Anniversary celebration.
The day also came to be a feast of excellent Pinoy Food.
Philippine cuisine was the highlight of the afternoon as generous servings of Hinornong Isda, Ginataang Manok sa Dilaw, Kalderetang Laguna, Kare Kareng Buntot, Arroz Valenciana, Nilagang Tadyang ng Bakang Batangas and Ensalada were all ours for the munching.
I tried to put all of it on my plate. But the plate was deemed to small and my appetite too big.
When I saw the kare-kare, I almost forgot my name. I’ve been longing for kare-kare for almost two weeks at the least.
I found myself helpless like an impregnated woman who longed for mangga and alamang.
Lo and Behold, an alamang was also on site that made the already sumptuous dish an ethereal one.
The samalamig, too, is laudable as it boasted of a taste not so sosyal, not so foreign. Authentic, I must say.
The pang-himagas were turones de lakatan and minatamis na saging sa hielo.
The turones de lakatan, I have to admit, were the best tasting turons to ever land on my tastebuds and trying to elaborate on its flavor would only cause me to froth at the mouth.
The Pinoy ambiance is truly felt as the gathering is replete with a 5 piece rondalla band who serenaded the guests.
More interestingly, the raw ingredients: the greens, the meat and the rekados are bought locally. Even the black, treated palayoks which the chef used for most of the cooking are bought from San Juan, Batangas.
“Medyo boring na kasi kapag inuulit-ulit lang kaya medyo nilalagyan natin ng mga olives-olives dyan (among other spices) to give the dish a twist and also a hotely feel,” remarked Chef Paul Poblador in an interview after we filled our tummies.
The chef emphasized that his brand of Pinoy cooking is not a new one. It is rather an “updated” one which delves on twists and innovations with the ingredients but never cancels out the Pinoy taste.
That style made his creations in line with the changing times and the progressing ‘wants’ of the people with their food.
Indeed, Chef Paul’s creations has “innovative” and “classy” spelled all over the Pinoy Buffet he has prepared for guests (bloggers) on that windy afternoon.
“Filipino cuisine is of international standards,” the chef furthered. He also pointed out that the only flaw, if any, of the Pinoy dishes is its lack for the knack of presentation.
True enough, most of the Filipino dishes we know are brown in color making the foreigners generalize that ours is all about the exotic taste. But we all know how far better Filipino dishes are compared to those spicy, uhmmm… exotic food of the Thais and the Indians and the rest of our neighboring countries.
But the dishes he made did not lack a single garnish. My eyes were given a treat seeing those ulams presented the most proper and the most appealing way possible — steaming inside native palayoks.“If you want (excellent) Thai food, go to Thailand,” the jolly chef said half kiddingly.
Only Filipinos could perfect Filipino dishes, we were reminded.
“This is not as good as lola’s cooking,” Poblador, who also represented Philippine Cuisine in various international Food Expos, humbly admits.
But after tasting the food, I also conclude that Chef Paul’s cooking would not equate to my Grandma’s recipes.
The humble chef’s creations are almost the same, only better.
Asian Flavours is open to all people who want to experience Asian cuisine at its best. In Asian Flavours, one would not only be provided with scrumptious and delectable food for he is also served with a private and relaxed ambiance which would complete the very essence of fine dining.
And to you out there who is in the hunting for an Octoberfest in Batangas, Lima Park Hotel will have one on October 29, 2011. The event will be graced by all girl rock group General Luna, FHM girls and Cosmo Bachelors.
Tickets cost P500. For reservations, call (043) 881-1555.