Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Philippine Food Festival: 11-22 June 2008

Received an email from friend, Sen announcing yet another Filipino Food Festival at the Grace Hotel in the heart of Sydney CBD. I am sure, from memory, this is not the first Philippine Food Festival held in this venue. I believe this is almost a yearly event hosted by the Philippine Department of Tourism and Grace Hotel, coinciding with Philippine Independence day celebrations.

Enough background. The details, as announced by Philippine Tourism Attache Ms Consuelo "Lito" Jones and the Grace Hotel website:
Filipino Food Festival, from 11 till 22 June at the Grace Brasserie, Level 2, Grace Hotel, 77 York St Sydney. Guest Executive Chef for this festival is Michel Le Teuff, from Travel Cafe Philippines, Makati City.

Lunch Buffet: Monday to Friday for only $35pp & Sunday $45pp
Dinner Buffet: Friday & Saturday for only $45pp

For reservations phone: (02) 9272 6636 or email: restaurant.reservations@gracehotel.com.au

I use to work around this area, Grace Hotel is on the corner of King and York Streets, just off George Street. Nearest train stations, in case you want to take public transport and walk; are Town Hall and Wynyard Stations.

In her email, Lito said "I do hope you all have a chance to come around and try Filipino cuisine prepared by guest chefs from Travel Café Philippines, Manila."

You will find that the food somewhat tastes the same but presented in a "fine dining" style. Hope to see you there!


JayAshKal said...

Thanks Mario for helping us promote.


Tourism Attache'
Australia/New Zealand
Philippine Department of Tourism
Suite 401 Level 4 Thakral House
301 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Anonymous said...

the 2008 phil food festival at grace hotel sucks..rip off..there's hardly any authentic phil food...mains/desert/entree hardly represent authentic food..i guess nagtipid..where's the bagoong and kare-kare and tuyo..i don't like the taiwan milkfish stuffed w/ chili? attn: grace hotel...pls get a filo chef...

JayAshKal said...

Hi Anonymous, Well you re not alone. A lot of my friends are dissapointed as well, one calls the sample menu "deceiving".

The sample menu was the one obviously bandied around, but when we got there (we went on a Sunday lunch) the menu is about 95% different from the sample menu.

The food was nice, catered for the "international taste". A far cry from home cooked meal. Presentation is obviously fine dining. Service is above average.

I think the main peeve is the "promised menu" as opposed to the ones served on the day. Maybe a feedback to the organisers will make the next one better.

Anonymous said...

if you visit the travel cafe philippines in makati, you'd be as disappointed. The food is horrible and it's not at all Filipino. Very disappointing to think that it was created to be the flag-bearer of Philippine cuisine to the world. They're going to franchise that in many cities abroad yet what they're serving is very far from real Filipino food that we all love.

JayAshKal said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for dropping by and the comment re this post.

I have no problem with that as long as they (Travel Cafe Philippines) label their food as "fusion" and not sell it off as authentic Filipino food.

As I've said in the post, I think the reason for the presentation and the "fusion Pinoy recipe" is to adapt to foreign/international tastes.

But if Travel Cafe, as you say was created as a flagship of Philippine cuisine, then there is cause for dissatisfaction.

A couple of years ago, I went home and found myself and friends at the newly renovated Tagaytay Vista Lodge. Their main restaurant is being ran by a British chef with an Aussie wife. His Filipino food is much better in terms of presentation and taste. Very close to our "local" and authentic tastes; and only PHP500 per person!

You can't beat that, plus the magnificent view of Taal volcano and lake and the splendid local entertainment. I would go back there.