Eating your way through Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao... again...
This year, we celebrated the Independence weekend just like how we celebrated it last year -- with a family staycation at F1 Hotel and a feast at F Restaurant's Luzviminda Food Festival. Now on its 3rd year, LuzViMinda features dishes from the three major regions in the country, hence the name.
Each region is represented by a chef. For Luzon, it's Chef Bruce Lim of Rustique Kitchen, for Visayas, it's Chef Tatung Sarthou of Alab Restaurant, and Chef Sider Tadtad from Big 8 Corporate Hotel is in charge of the dishes from Mindanao.
The buffet runs from June 12 to 25, 2015 and is available for lunch and dinner for only P1,399 nett per person. You can add P100 for unlimited Filipino drinks.
We started with some local cheeses and a couple of bread rolls smothered with some dips like Malunggay Pesto, Eggplant Dip, and Tinapa Mousse. There are soups available such as Papaitan and Seafood Larang with Tamarind and Mango to warm the stomach in preparation for the gastronomic Filipino feast.
Just like last year, the spotlight shines on the Cebu Lechon, but not to be snubbed are the Chicharon, Crispy Buntot ng Tuna, and Lechon Belly Roll, which share the stage with the roasted pig. There are numerous pickled sides great for pairing with these unctuous viands. There's Green Mango, Labanos, Watermelon Atchara, Balimbing, etc. Take your pick and do try the next.
Among the hot dishes available, my favorite would have to be the Lengua Pastel Maja Blanca by Bruce Lim. It's a nice, fresh take on lengua, and that tender meat coated in creamy sauce just makes my mouth water every time I reminisce each bite. Also worthy of note are the Dinuguan Pie also by Chef Bruce Lim, and the Poki Poki Gratin by Chef Tatung Sarthou. The Squid Ink Rice by Chef Sider Tadtad looked tempting, though I was full by the time I was contemplating on trying it.
Aside from the Filipino section, the buffet still has a salad and seafood station. You can opt for greens with a medley of dressings, or you can also try some delectable local salads and ensaladas like Manga Talong Salad sa Tinapa, Pako Salad, Pomelo and Eggplant Salad, etc.
The seafood selection is aplenty as well, with crabs, clams, mussels, oysters, lobsters, and prawns. Aside from these ocean treasures, there's a stash of sashimi and sushi present, to satisfy any Japanese cravings you might have.
The amount of desserts could rival the mains. With tantalizing names such as Taho Panna Cotta, Theo and Philo Champorado Pudding with Candied Tuyo Flakes, Coconut Rice Pudding with Chocolate Ganache, Coco Jam Cream Puff, Tinagtag, Dodol, Otap Mango Float, Filipino Mile High Pie, Brazo de Ube, Theo and Philo Pastillas and Truffles, be sure to make room for these treats. Of course there are cakes---Durian Mango Cheesecake, Theo and Philo Chocnut Cheesecake, Bibingka Cheesecake(!!!)---and sadly I was too full to try them. I wanted to cry, these are the times I seriously wish I had two tummies.
There are also some assorted silvanas, fruits, a halo-halo station, a tsokolate station, native desserts like Ginataan, and a chocolate fondue station. Do try some colored mango and chocolate crepes, and don't miss the ice cream. They have Salted Egg flavor that's more of a salted caramel, and the Durian Tuyo that has an interesting aftertaste.
Skip the sodas and get the Sago't Gulaman or the Melon juice, even just to have a taste of some nostalgia. When you finally try all that you like, feel free to go back for your favorites. If you still have some stomach space left that is. It isn't everyday you get to enjoy food from the far corners of the country. Do try it out, the buffet runs until June 25, 2015.
LuzViMinda at F Restaurant
Spot: 3rd/F F1 Hotel Manila 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Contact No.: 928.9888