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Rooted in Nature at Shangri-La Hotels

Rooted in Nature at Shangri-La Hotels

Saturday, April 18, 2015

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Shangri-La Hotels support sustainable food movement...

Rooted in Nature mural and basket

Sustainable food is food produced with high regard for quality in terms of freshness, nutritional value, and production practices. Sustainable agriculture means feeding the world without damaging the environment or threatening human health. It's a way of growing or raising food in an ecologically and ethically responsible manner. Sustainable food movement thus helps out small local farmers and fishermen, at the same time, it enables people to eat fresher and healthier meat and produce. It's a win-win situation, and I think more restaurants should practice this.

Shangri-La Hotels all over the world have launched a global campaign called Rooted in Nature, wherein the hotels' restaurants are introducing dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients. These sustainable dishes are available year-round.

For this April though, Inagiku, Shang Palace, and Sage Bespoke Grill, Makati Shangri-La's dining outlets, have a set menu that celebrates local produce, fish, and meat from exceptional food suppliers in the country, priced at only P1,500. On the other hand, Circles Event Café will have a section in their buffet that includes said sustainable food for the same buffet rates.

Sage interiors 1 Sage interiors 2 Sage interiors 3 Sage interiors 4 Sage interiors 5 Sage refreshments and nuts

The launch event, which included a mini tour of the restaurants, started at Sage Bespoke Grill, Makati Shangri-La's premium steak house, situated on the floor above Sage Tapas Bar. There, a martini glass filled with pili nuts and some refreshments were served. There was Calamansi and a sweet drink called Mint Cooler made of mint, lemon, and basil. My favorite was the Basil Mash, a downright refreshing drink.

After a few introductions and a little background of what Rooted in Nature is all about, we went on to our first leg of the tour: Inagiku.

Inagiku interiors 1 Inagiku interiors 2 Inagiku interiors 3 Inagiku menu and drink Inagiku Tuna Tartare and Grilled Eggplant 2
Tuna Tartare with Mirin Sauce, Grilled Eggplant, and Sesame Sauce

Inagiku Vegetable Tempura and Corn Dashi Soup
Baguio Vegetable Tempura and Corn Dashi Soup with Sweet Pork

Inagiku Sea Bass in Salt Block
Steamed Local Sea Bass in Salt Block with Calamansi Sauce

Slim wooden beams adorned the whole place, giving off a relaxing vibe. Watermelon cream shooters peppered with almonds (?) were passed around before we were asked to sample the divine tuna tartare with mirin sauce. The grilled eggplant on the side spelled freshness, and that sesame paste on top provided a nice nutty taste.

Another interesting item on the menu is the mountain of salt that hides a treasure of steamed local sea bass on a bed of wakame or edible seaweed, and topped with mushrooms. It is wrapped in kombu or edible kelp to protect it from the block of salt, lest it becomes too salty to eat.

Shang Palace interiors Shang Palace menu and drink Shang Palace Peanuts
Roasted and Boiled Peanuts

Shang Palace King Prawn Salad
King Prawn Salad

After a taste of Japanese, we moved on to some Chinese cuisine at Shang Palace. Here, dark mahogany wood lined the hallway that led to a majestic chandelier at the far end. Each side has a series of doors leading to different function rooms. We were ushered into one of the rooms where a tray of roasted and boiled peanuts was served as appetizers, and I found myself liking the latter a lot more with a kick hinting at every bite. I chased the spiciness with sips of that sweet mango juice.

The King Prawn Salad is a delight! Prawns from Roxas alternate with fresh fruits on a short skewer that you then coat with that aioli-like dip on the side. More please!

Circles menu and bread Circles cheese Circles Tuna

Our penultimate stop was at Circles Event Café. A section was filled with different ingredients from various regions in the country. Bread, seafood, salad, and desserts were calling out to us, and it was a futile effort to simply ignore it.

There were vegetables from Greenproduce Farm in Bukidnon and organic salad ingredients from Tagaytay Highlands. Tuna is sourced from an artisanal fishery that engages with small-scale fisheries around the Philippines.

The Blue Goat Cheese and Feta comes from Malagos Farm in Mindanao, chicken comes from Pamora Farm in Garreta, and bangus comes from Batangas, Pangasinan and General Santos.

Circles seafood Circles sashimi Circles fruits Circles Sambong Tea
Sambong Tea

Circles Chocolate Panna Cotta and Tagaytay Coffee
Chocolate Panna Cotta, Whipped Chocolate Ganache, Olive Oil, and Toasted Bread; Tagaytay Coffee and Caramel Delight with Almond Streusel, Orange Jelly

Circles Pili Nut Tart
Bicol Pili Nut Tart, Soft Honey, and Caramel Filling

Circles Dulce De Leche Sphere and mangoes
Dulce de Leche Sphere, Carabao Mango Salsa

Circles Strawberry Melba
Baguio Strawberry Melba, Strawberry Marshmallow, White Chocolate Ganache

The dessert table looked extra tempting knowing that the elements that went to each and every delectable confection is of high quality.

The chocolates come from Theo and Philo Chocolates in Davao, the first bean to bar chocolate maker in the Philippines. The strawberries are freshly picked from Baguio. Pili nuts come directly from Bicol, and the mangoes are sourced from Guimaras Island.

Sage RIM menu and function room Sage bread with dips Sage Iced Tea and Sambong Tea
Iced Tea and Sambong Tea

Sage cooler shots
Calamansi, Mint Cooler, and Basil Mash

The gastronomic tour ended with a superb luncheon at Sage Bespoke Grill. Warm, soft bread signalled the start of an amazing lunch that was very much pleasing to the eyes as it was to the palate. It comes with three spreads, but I only tried the herbed butter and a sort of eggplant mash, both of which went well with the rolls.

The Sage Iced Tea is a sweet house-blended drink, while the Sambong Tea is the hot version of what we tried in Circles. Others opted for another round of the Mint Cooler and Basil Mash.

Sage Shrimp Carpaccio
Shrimp Carpaccio and Tartare with Calamansi Sorbet

I usually skip the raw shrimp when devouring a set of sashimi, but this raw prawn dish I devoured entirely. Make sure to add a bit of that calamansi sorbet in every bite for a lovelier flavor profile.

Sage Cucumber Gazpacho and Oyster
Cucumber Gazpacho, Breaded Slippery Oyster, and Goat Cheese

Not sure why its description indicates "slippery", but this oyster dish has a light, acerbic taste that will leave you wanting more.

Sage Lapu-Lapu
Lapu-Lapu, Beetroot, and Clams

This is an excellent dish! The fish was cooked perfectly, and the beetroot (even the white beans) was a delicious accompaniment. Compliments to the Chef!

Sage Chicken Breast
Chicken Breast Cooked in Fresh Herbs Rice Crust

I was already full by this time so I didn't get to finish this particularly huge course. Unearth the chicken breast beneath the tutong (rice crust), pour a little gravy, and enjoy each bite with the fresh vegetables it comes with.

Sage Baguio's Garden
Baguio's Garden

This strawberry playground made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. And indeed, it tastes as wonderful as it looks. Light and sweet without that cloying taste, it's literally a work of art. Kudos to Makati Shangri-La's pastry chef!

Inagiku Tuna Tartare and Grilled Eggplant
I leave you with another look at Inagiku's Tuna Tartare and Grilled Eggplant ♥︎♥︎♥︎

We were given a basket of fresh fruit and vegetables, plus a loaf of the best Banana Bread I've ever tasted. Soft and moist with just the perfect amount of sweetness, I wish they would sell this at their pastry corner. I'd hoard loaves of this!

Really, for just P1,500, each of these exquisite set menus is a steal. As for Circles, having that section of sustainable food is a bonus on what you would have paid for their regular buffet fare. Go experience exceptional meals that highlight the best of what our country has to offer this April 2015. After that, you'll still be able to enjoy Rooted in Nature menu items, just look for the RIN pea shoot logo beside the dish description on a la carte menus of the hotel's restaurants and café stations.

Makati Shangri-La, Manila
Spot: Ayala Ave. cor. Makati Ave., Ayala Center, Makati
Contact No.: 813.8888
Facebook: MakatiShangrila
Instagram: @makatishangrila
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3 comments:

Haniya Ahmad said...

Awesome pics, sis! You have such a gift. good
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Haniya Ahmad said...

they should have taken off the tail as well as I found it distracting in finishing my meal seamlessly.famous quotes

Haniya Ahmad said...

very reasonable price.
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