A couple of days after that, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Seven-Course dinner hosted by Orbit Gum for just a handful of bloggers. I braved through the crazy christmas traffic to be able to get to Bistro Filipino on time.
Stepping into the restaurant, I first saw Chef Myrna Segismundo. I immediately recognized her as she is also an editor for another food magazine aside from being the Managing Director of Restaurant 9501 and a chef who I truly admire.
I was brought to my seat and after a brief exchange of HIs and HELLOs with my fellow blogger, Bistro Filipino's gracious server approached me with a mouthwatering platter of adorable-looking edibles. He then introduced me to each appetizer and encouraged me to try them all. I first tried the Crispy Lumpia Cone filled with Chorizo, Prawns and Heart of Palm which I have to drizzle with spicy Sinamak sorbet, though I find it a bit messy to eat, I surpringly love the spicy sinamak which gave that extra kick to the lumpia. The next one that I tried was the Spicy Sisig in Mini Crispy Rice baskets, this reminded me of Paul who is a true-blue Kapampangan and who loves Sisig more than anything else. I am a big fan of rice baskets in all shapes and sizes and this one perfectly complemented the strong flavors of the spicy meat. I was so happy that I can't help smiling as I take one bite after the next. The third appetizer was the Crunchy Smoked Milk Fish Balls with fresh Mozzarella. Perhaps, I truly fell in love with the second appetizer that this one was pretty good but failed to win me over.
At this point, the program began with our lively host Tonypet of QTV. He introduced the three chefs who will be cooking for us tonight: Chefs Rolando Laudico, Myrna Segismundo and Jill Sandique. Talk about being star-strucked! Imagine, being in the presence of three of the greatest chefs in town and having them prepare our dinner for that evening. WOW!
After the trio of appetizers came the trio of soups. I love soups and I love it more when it comes in small shot-glass portions! Expect Chef Laudico to do the unexpected. We were each served with a platter containing three tiny cups. The first one has an orange ball surrounded with a clear broth, the second cup was yellow in color topped with chopped spring onions and garnished with a fried vegetable; lastly, the last cup is white and foamy with bits of garlic on top. Looking at the menu I found out that the first soup was a Beef Consomme garnished with fresh corn, carrots and potato croquette. I took a small sip of the consomme and I fell in love with the strong beefy taste that exploded in my mouth. The second is a cup of Oven Roasted Pumpkin and Eggplant Puree garnished with Crispy Okra soup. I've always been a fan of Pumpkin Soup thus this is something very familiar and comforting for me. The last cup of soup was my favorite -- Adobo Shiitake Mushroom topped with Creamy Garlic Foam and drizzled with White Truffle Oil, if the name sounds delicious, you should definitely try the soup! It will definitely make you crave for more.
We were done with the first two courses and are aware that there are five more to go. With all the flavors playing on our taste buds, I can't resist but chew a piece of gum that was displayed in front of me. I'm familiar with Orbit Gums but it was actually my first time to try their different flavor aside from Peppermint. In fact, I liked the Melon flavor so much that I brought one pack home with me. Ü
Finaly, it was time for the salad. Once again, Chef Laudico continues to impress us. We were served with a white platter of Mesclun Salad tossed in Dijon Shrimp Paste Vinaigrette topped with Cashew Crusted Kesong Puti. Seeing the salad, I remembered my colleague Krisel who's a big fan of cheese. I made a mental note to tell her about the dinner the following day.
This is the perfect example of being able to layer flavors. I cut up my greens and made sure that each bite has a piece of veggie, kesong puti, tomatoes and mangoes. The mangoes gives that just-right zing to the salty kesong puti. I was definitely enjoying this moment as I take one crunchy bite after the other.
If there's one thing I love about fine dining, it is definitely the Intermezzo. This is the in-between dish that is served to cleanse your palate. My first encounter with an intermezzo was during the debut of a friend. That was eight long years ago but I can still clearly remember how good and refreshing the pineapple sorbet was. That night, our intermezzo was a Tamarind Granite. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant when I found out it was made of tamarind as I am not really that wild about the sour fruit. However, I finally gave in and took a small sip. It was surprisingly smooth and sweet. Though, I still would prefer a sorbet anyday, the Tamarind Granite was something new and interesting.
Moving on to the main course, this time, it was Chef Myrna Segismundo's turn to impress us. First, she served us a beautiful dish consisting of Lapu-lapu and Prawns in Coco-Lambanog Sauce with Cherry Tomato, Brown Rice and Sun-Dried Mangoes. Looking at the plate in front of me, I was just blown away with the interplay of colors and flavors present in just one dish. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to dig into the brown rice and to take a bite of the lapu lapu and prawns! I love anything with coconut milk so this one was definitely a winner in my book!
The next dish was a meat course. Crusted Wagyu Beef Fillet with Cashew Humba Sauce and Sweet Potato Mash. mmmm... The beef was so tender and I truly enjoyed swirling it around the Humba Sauce. The sweet potato mash is also something new for potato lovers out there, it has the same soft and buttery texture but it gives a more local, Pinoy feel to the dish.
The next two courses were expected to give a sweet ending to our lovely dinner. Of course, we were all excited and confident that dessert is will definitely not be taken forgranted especially with Chef Jill Sandique in-charge of it. True enough, before bringing out the sweet treats, she served us a plate of Kesong Puti with Guava confit with Galletas (which were btw flown in from Bacolod). I enjoyed munching into my piece of Galleta topped with a bit of kesong puti and guava spread. I love its suble, sweet flavor which was the perfect dish to follow a strong seafood and meat course.
Last but definitely not the least, Chef Jill brought out her award-winning desserts: Pili Sansrival and Mango Canonigo. When asked which one I liked best, I wasn't able to answer but instead just gave a sweet smile. After all, both desserts are superb and I can't really decide if I liked the Sans Rival more than the Canonigo or it's the other way around.
All I can think off that night was how good my meal was and I really had a wonderful time experiencing the interplay of flavors from each dish. Muchas Gracias to Wrigley's and Bistro Filipino who took the time out to give us this memorable gastronomic experience.
Like I said earlier, I was truly starstrucked with the presence of three of the best chefs in town, of course, I couldn't resist but ask for a photo op: