Shangri-La Hotels support sustainable food movement...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not sure why its description indicates "slippery", but this oyster dish has a light, acerbic taste that will leave you wanting more.
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!
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.
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!
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