8 restaurants. 20 dishes. 1 awesome Saturday afternoon.
Fort Bonifacio has long been established as a foodie haven. Copious restaurants are scattered all across Bonifacio Global City, as well as in neighboring McKinley Hill. After the rise in popularity of Venice Piazza at McKinley Hill and Burgos Circle at Forbes Town Center, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls presents its newest dining sanctuary -- Tuscany at McKinley Hill.
What better way to show off what Tuscany has to offer than to have a degustation tour headed by two influential foodies, the men behind Mercato Centrale: Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet and RJ Ledesma. The Awesome Secret Foodies Tour comprises eight restaurants and twenty dishes, all for just P1,000. It will run for four Saturdays (November 30, December 7, 14, and 21, 2013) from 2PM to 5PM.
Let's go restaurant hopping...
Planet Grapes has an extensive wine list yet the crowd inside is devoid of wine snobs. Here is where you can learn more about wines from their resident connoisseur on standby, and familiarize yourself with different varieties as offered by their snazzy wine vending machines.
Planet Grapes also features a unique concept---wine meets street food---which brings wine a notch down from its seeming pedestal air. And surprisingly, it works pretty well. For the tour, you get a choice of one red wine and one white wine. I loved their Moscato, a sweet white that had me dreaming of buying a whole bottle for myself.
TRATTORIA POGGIO ANTICO
Talk about getting your appetite going. Each little piece in this plate makes me wish for a heck of a lot more. The combination of ham and melon drizzled with a little olive oil; the melting of crepe stuffed with ham and cheese topped with mushrooms in truffle oil delectably in your mouth; the crunch of mozzarella crostini with a slice of tomato; and the heavenly taste of oyster on a bed of liver pate; every morsel was a song, and they celebrated in perfect harmony.
B AND T MEXICAN KITCHEN
Yes, it's a big plate, and if you can't finish everything, at least make sure to try the sweet Mango Glazed Habanero Chicken.
L.E.S. (Lower East Side) Bagels proffers an endless combination of bagels and cream cheese creations. There's blueberry, sesame, chocolate and wheat bagels, which you can pair with cheese blends like Garlic and Chive, Bacon and Cheddar, Apple Cinamon, Caramelized Onion and Raisin, and Blueberry.
Sauceria prides itself in using the freshest ingredients, and its forte is making sauces from scratch; hence the name.
This is Zaru Soba topped with Tuna Tataki encrusted with black and white sesame seeds filled with a peppery kick. Mix the wasabi, sour cream, ginger, and chopped spring onions before letting them slide into the dipping sauce. Twirl the soba with your fork and dunk it in before you deliver it into your mouth.
Twirl, chew, sigh. A melange of mushrooms (shiitake, button, oyster) and prosciutto is drenched in truffle cream sauce amid a heap of al dente linguine. It made me almost forget that a steak has been placed before me.
US T-bone usually served with prawns and potato wedges had a couple of sausages and potato gratin instead. I didn't mind as I focused all my attention on the huge steak. The juice rolled out, almost dribbling through the corner of my mouth, and I sank back in contentment at I munched on a nice large piece laden with fat.
A sample of West Side Four Season Pizza is also included on the menu.
As a treat, we were given a shot glass of panna cotta with a layer of strawberry gelee on top and chocolate at the bottom. A dice of mango, a piece of strawberry, and an undulated caramel candy gave textural contrast to this lush dessert.
Main Street brings Canadian fare into the city with its comfort food.
Their signature dish is this thick-cut fries served with beef gravy and cheese curds. Even when full, you just won't be able to resist putting one piece after another into your mouth.
Simple but good is a direct description of this Kitayama beef in sesame bun, decorated in a layer of melted cheddar cheese, house sauce and a spread of tomato relish.
I've previously stated my lack of interest over a similar ice cream flavor by a different brand, and sad to say, this was no different. I really can't wrap my head around the idea of putting bacon in ice cream and the cloying taste of the maple its infused with.
Aside from both pastries offered in the degustation lineup, Sophie's Mom's famous Red Velvet Cupcake was thrown into the dessert buffet set up for the tour. I had my eye on the Flourless Chocolate though, the moment I spotted the words "dark chocolate terrine with salted caramel whipped cream". One bite was bliss! And that's saying a lot considering I'm not into cupcakes nor sweets.
By the end of the gastronomic tour, I was heavily sated. I felt P1,000 is a cheap price to pay for all the good food offered, but in hindsight, at least the affordability will be attractive to more people.
How to join The Awesome Secret Foodies Tour:
- The Awesome Secret Foodies Tour will run for 4 Saturdays: November 30, December 7, 14, and 21, 2013 from 2PM to 5PM in Tuscany at McKinley Hill.
- Tickets for the tour are priced at P1, 000 per person.
- A limited number of tickets are sold at the redemption booth (between Ukkokei Ramen Ron and Marciano's) near the Tuscany Grand Villas Gate from 11AM - 6PM.
- Participants may choose their preferred date for the tour on a first come, first served basis.
- No rebooking of tours.
- No ticket reservations will be entertained over the phone.
- Tickets must be claimed in person on a first come, first served basis at the designated redemption booth.
- Each participant will be given a tour kit including the tour ticket, tour pin, degustation menu and the McKinley Hill Gourmet Guide.
You can also check out www.MegaworldLifestyleMalls.com.