The Filipino favorite sour soup, the sinigang, is transformed into finger food, taking its basic ingredients and preparing them in a different way. Water convolvulus leaves are coated with batter flavored with tamarind and fried crisp, then topped with milkfish mousse. The favorite merienda item, pansit palabok, is packed into fresh rolls and sprinkled with crushed chicharon from Carcar, Cebu. Then, different kinds of sisig are placed in fried rice wrappers and topped with garlic aioli.
The Sinigang Bites, Palabok Bites and Sisig Baskets are just three items to introduce you to a sumptuous spread of classic Filipino dishes given updates and modern twists; fused with other dishes; or prepared with different techniques and surprising ways by the husband-and-wife tandem of chefs, Roland and Jackie Laudico.
Just in time for the celebration of the 119th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence on June 12, and highlighting to the growing interest on Filipino foods in the United States, the Waterfront Group of Hotels is featuring Laudico creations in its all-day dining outlet Uno, which offers international buffet and ala-carte dining.
The food festival, “Uno’s Modern Filipino Taste: A Filipino Feast for All Senses,” will be at the Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan in Lapu Lapu City on Mactan Island, from June 8 to August 31, 2017, and at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Lahug, from June 9 to August 31. It will then be brought to Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City in August.
Waterfront has been promoting itself as a prominent gastronomic hub in Cebu City, intensifying into this food festival. It chooses the Manila-based Laudicos for their reputation for innovating on classic Philippine cuisine. The Laudicos have been in the catering and restaurant business for seventeen years, earning a popular reputation. They have been in television shows and chosen to endorse several products. Their culinary careers are crowned with the opening of their own restaurant, Guevarra’s, in San Juan City, Metro Manila.
The Laudicos have professed an advocacy of championing Filipino cuisine, which is currently gaining traction in the United States. They are glad that Filipino food is getting noticed and predicted that it will continue.
For the Waterfront festival, the Laudicos have prepared about sixty dishes, to be featured in Uno’s buffet spread in rotation. These include their signature ones and their takes on popular Cebuano dishes. Many of the dishes are conversation pieces because of their novelty.
The appetizers are curious and delightful. Aside from their deconstruction of sinigang, palabok and sisig, they have the Kinilaw Spoons, local ceviche with kalamansi juice, spices and capsicum emulsion, served on spoons; the Pinoy Maki, maki topped with bigeye scad or matambaka flakes; and Balut Napoleon Shots, pureed duck embryo.
Popular chef Tristan Encarnacion has recently joined the Waterfront food-and-beverage team and contributed the danggit macaron, macaron with laing and dried rabbit fish mousse and shrimps, with is intriguing with the blending of the sweet, the salty and the fishy.
The main dishes featured interesting fusions such as pinaupong nilasing na manok and the kimchi pinangat, the Bicol dish of taro leaves and smoked fish cooked in coconut milk with kimchi. The Kaldereta Pie is kaldereta prepared like shepherd’s pie or more accurately, spicy lamb stew topped with mashed potato and cheese. The San Miguel battered fish with buro cream is fish dipped in batter using San Miguel Beer and served with creamy fermented rice sauce.
In experimenting with Cebuano dishes, the Laudicos have come up with such things as the Ngohiong Cones, the fried rolls, popular as street food, served in fried conical wrappers; and the nilagang bouillabaisse, updated version of the Cebuano fish soup.
The pochero corn chowder is beef stew with corn puree and the fried humba is a drier version of the popular Visayan and sweetish version of the adobo. The Balbacua Uno is slow-cooked oxtail, beef knuckles and skin, and the Puso Surprise is the puso, rice cooked in packets of woven coconut leaves ubiquitous on Cebu streets, but prepared with a sparse filling of meat and peanuts sauce, similar to Batangas tamales.
These innovativeness spill into the dessert spread which has biko made into balls, suman into panna cotta, cream puffs that are actually bicho-bicho with yema and the cheesecake using queso de bola.
The looks of these Filipino dished may be different but the flavors are very recognizable. The Laudicos have defamiliarized Filipino cuisine that makes us look at it in a different way and makes the Filipino feast a dining experience that allows surprises, discovery and delight.
|Uno Restaurant of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel ans Casino in Lahug|
|Fried rice station|
|Chefs Roland and Jackie Laudico with Waterfront Cebu City Hotel general manager Anders Hallden and Waterfront Airport hotel manager Rex Benhur Caballes|
|Pan de coco|
|Nilasing na pinaupong manok|
|Queso de bola cheesecake|
|Suman panna cotta|