A celebration of two Asian culinary traditions, The Cafe at HYATT City of Dreams Manila will house specialties from the Guangdong region of China from June 14 – 19 for the Cantonese Treasures (Cantonese Food Festival) and then dive into the exquisite Indian cuisine for July 17 – 24 for Road to Gurgaon India (Indian Food Festival). Two food festivals with cuisines familiar and close to our palate so it’s quite the exciting lunch when we had a sneak peek of some of the dishes that they will serve.
Here’s some of my favourites from that preview luncheon, giving you 10 must-try dishes at the Cantonese and Indian Food Festival at The Cafe1. Roasted Duck – Probably one of my favourite dishes ever, though very simple looking, preparing a good roasted duck is not an easy task. From that crispy, crispy skin with the lining of fat seemingly disappears between that thin layer of crispy goodness to that gorgeous piece of succulent meat. Then it’s laced with some more of that flavourful sauce and it’s all good. Give me some fried rice and a bowl of this and I’m one happy camper.
2. Crispy Pork Belly Macau Style – I love a well prepared pork belly dish in all kinds and permutations and their crispy pork belly was just so good! From that irresistible crackle of to those layers of fat that almost melts in your mouth, this is a more rice, more fun kind of dish. I mean who can say no to crispy pork belly right?!
3. Pork Asado – Another dish that’s familiar to most of us, their version of asado is also quite good, the deep flavours have permeated nicely through each strand of the meat making it an awesome pair with rice or any other carb filler. I found myself pairing this with some egg fried rice and I just love the toasted, caramelized edges.
4. Deep Fried Parrot Fish with Chili Sauce – Definitely one festive dish, the whole fish was fried beautifully retaining a nice tinge of crunch to the bite even with the coating of chili sauce. The parrot fish yields a soft meat and then you hit the chili bits from the sauce, leaving you wanting for more. This is very good, definitely a must-try.
5. Stir-Fried Vermicelli Prawns – Now this is a very simple and clean tasting dish, with clear vermicelli bits acting like a sponge soaking all those flavourful bits from the sauce and and the prawns. It’s fantastic!
6. Paneer Makhani – A big YES for this dish of cottage cheese simmered in tomato sauce along with some spices. The first thing that hits you is that thick sauce with that distinct flavour from the aromatics and spice blend and then you hit the cheese that just melts in your mouth in one big, creamy, gooey mess. SO GOOD!!!
7. Macchi Amritsari – Now it’s no secret that I love salmon so I really liked this dish, here we had pieces of the fish lightly battered in spiced flour, I loved the crunchy piece of skin contrasted with the flaky, tender mouth feel of the meat and then there’s that whiff and the unique flavour from the spice blend.
8. Kerala Prawn Masala – This one was just so flavourful, so good! Tiger prawns cooked with coconut curry leaves with some ginger and chili. The prawns were cooked perfectly and enveloped with this incredibly rich and flavourful sauce, it’s actually quite addicting and I found myself eating lots of rice because of this dish.
9. Chicken 65 – From one great dish to another, this chicken dish is another must-try, buttered chicken with that awesome chili garlic paste, I could eat this all day! From the perfectly cooked chicken pieces to those spicy bits, that unique hint of spice leaves one craving and wanting for more.
10. Maes Ke Sooley – Now this is my favourite dish, I would definitely go back to The Cafe just to have the chance to savour this dish of smoked lamb with raw papaya. The natural flavours of the meat was just perfect with the spice blend that they used. I love everything about this dish, from the flavour, the doneness of the meat and those killer toasted fatty bits. SO GOOD!!!
For the Cantonese Treasures (Cantonese Food Festival) Chefs Xi Quing Hui and Zhao Pan Fei from Hyatt Regency Dongguan will fly in to showcase some specialties from the region and the food festival will be available from June 14 – 19. And then for the Road to Gurgaon India (Indian Food Festival) Chef Ajith Kumar of Hyatt Regency Gurgaon, New Delhi will bring the recipes and the exquisite spices to recreate the signature dishes that will be available at The Cafe from July 17 – 24. For inquiries and reservations about these upcoming food festivals you may call +632 691 1234 ext. 1162
Hyatt City of Dreams Manila
Aseana Boulevard Corner
Macapagal Avenue, Entertainment City,
(02) 691-1234 ext. 1162