Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Australia in Old Manila!

When one says Australian cuisine to me, all I can really think about it crocodile, alligator and kangaroo meat. Other than that, I really don't know what they are known for. 

This month, The Peninsula brought in the finest Australian chefs to tell us exactly what the cuisine is about. 

Meet Chef Greg Doyle....he was in charge of what we had for lunch yesterday in Old Manila. 

After the meal, I can officially say that I must have an Australian appetite because I loved just about everything he put on the table. It also always pleases me when the chef de cuisine comes out to meet their customers and takes time out to explain the dish that he prepared. 

Kingfish Tartar, sterling caviar-mirin soy sauce and begonia leaf was our first course. It was light, a bit sweet with the perfect balance of saltiness. It was a great start and made us crave for what's to come. 

Carpaccio of John Dory with mustard leaves - broccolini, wild fennel in dill oil. 

Celeriac cappuccino with roasted Langoustine lardons-fried bread-thyme. This is not to be missed. 

Steamed Bass Grouper with carrot puree, onion shells and oyster mushrooms.

Slow roasted lamb shoulder with caramelized garlic-baby vegetables in lamb jus. This is TO DIE FOR. The lamb almost melted in my mouth. The flavor was intense and it was so moist I wanted more. The vegetables were fresh, almost sweet and loved the crunchiness of the carrots.

Probably the thinnest PASTRY chef that I have ever met, Executive Pastry Chef Nic Waring prepared 3 kinds of delicious sweet treats for us. (It's so Pinoy of me to mention the weight right?)

Sour Cream Parfait, carrot hazelnuts with white chocolate and lemon thyme. Now, this may sound weird and may not look like dessert but I have never ever had dessert like this. It was sour, sweet, crunch, soft all in one bowl. It's not your regular sugary ending but it is such a pleasant surprise that explodes in the mouth. Ugh, it is so complicatedly good that I just can't explain it. 

Coconut Pudding with pineapple, licorice and mint. When Chef explained this dish, it wasn't as simple as what it says on the menu. He must have said 8-10 different ingredients in it that we found hard to believe but a spoonful of this stuff in our mouths made us look at each other with awe. I honestly don't know what to type next to describe this dessert to you so I will just leave it at that. 

Not your ordinary pralines. 

Basically, all I can say about the desserts prepared is how shocked I am as to how Chef can remain to skinny despite the awesomeness of his craft. Is he one of those guys that you love to hate? Eats everything but doesn't gain a pound? I guess so....

One thing is for sure, I must have gained around 10 lbs from this lunch because I ate everything on my plate. It was THAT good.  You have until Feb. 3 to try it out. 

The Peninsula Manila
Old Manila

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