Chef Myrna Segismundo is again headlining the Peninsula Manila’s Filipino food festival that will be available at the Escolta and The Lobby. Chef Myrna is the Segismundo is the managing director of Restaurant 9501, the exclusive dining restaurant of ABS-CBN and an ambassador for Filipino cuisine all over the world.
This years event is entitled “From My Table to The Peninsula’s: A Celebration of Chef Myrna Segismundo’s Recipes and Culinary Memories“. The food festival will run from June 16, 2014 to June 29, 2014 only. I got a little sneak taste at the banquet kitchen of the Peninsula Manila together with a number of media people.
The spread felt like a fiesta with an abundance of colors and aroma coupled with lively banter of the chef and the guests. Chef Myrna was on hand to oversee and explain everything that was served that night from the various sauce/sawsawan that Filipinos love to use to the more meaty carving dishes as well as sweet dessert endings.
We were served a light and refreshing Buko Martini, made using fresh coconut water.
A quartet of pates and spreads, Adobo Pate, Kesong Puti Mousse, Tinapa Spread and Tomato Jam, was the first thing we encountered, served with some nice, crusty pandesal. (I had a bad photo, so I used this PR shot). You can mix and match or just use a single one on the bread, there is really no right way of eating them. Seeing pandesal and adobo together made me think of slathering a layer of adobo pate and topping it with the kesong puti mousse. This combination was the bomb, I could have stayed at that station eating it all night but the other delightful dishes begged for my attention.
I’m not really a fan of Kilawin but the bright hues of the avocado seduced me. I took a bite, making sure to get both avocado and fish in it and it was a burst of flavors.
Next was the most photographed dish of the night, the Dinuguan Longganisa. This is Chef Myrna Segismundo’s take on the blood sausage, served with a pickled green mango salsa. I don’t eat dinuguan (pig’s blood stew) but I summoned up the courage to give the dinuguan longganisa a try and I was pleasantly surprised. Even though the color was a deep black, the sausage was light and meaty with the frying giving it a nice toasty flavor.
The lumpia station featured different variations like the fresh lumpia ubod, or munch away at the fried winged bean and shrimp square or the banana heart and ground pork triangles. The classics share space with the unusual combinations showcasing Chef Myrna’s ability to experiment with new flavors.
There was also a noodle station featuring 3 different noodles and broths with a plethora of toppings available for you to make your own individual bowl. One of the chefs told us to be adventurous and included all the 3 kinds of noodles with some shredded chicken and some shrimps with our coconut pandan broth choice. The broth was delicious, a flavor combination that is familiar in Filipino desserts is given a savory role here and it works.
Carnivores need not be worried as Chef Myrna has got you covered with her Boneless Lechon Belly and Roast Adobo Prime Rib . Get a slice of the crisp and meaty lechon belly and eat with the red wine liver sauce or a side of the stewed fruits chutney for a sweet contrast. Th prime rib adobo is marinated in adobo giving it lovely flavor to the bone, cooked with a nice pink center for tenderness. Flavor it up some more with a dolop of adobo jus.
Some of the desserts we tried was her take on Suman at Mangga, rice cake served in a cup topped with slivers of sweet and ripe Philippine mangoes. Don’t miss having Chef Myrna’s famous mini banana-langka turon, these are so good I think I had at least 6 of them.
Escolta Buffet Prices:
Monday to Saturday Lunch – P1,530++
Monday to Thursday Dinner – P1,750++
Friday Saturday Dinner – P2,000++
The Ultimate Sunday Brunch – P2,200++