This month, Makati Shangri-La, Manila, in partnership with the Embassy of South Africa, celebrates Freedom Day through a food and wine festival on April 22 to 27, 2013. Titled “A Taste of Rainbow Cuisine: Celebrating South Africa,” the festival will feature the country’s diverse flavors and culinary ingenuity in the hotel’s four dining venues: Circles Event Café, Red, Conway’s and Lobby Lounge.
At Circles Event Café, patrons may feast on a dinner buffet of exquisite South African dishes from April 22 to 25. Signature dishes include Beef Frikkadels with Tomato Chutney, Steamed Saldannah Mussels in Creamy White Wine and Herb Sauce, North African Chicken with Tomato and Coriander, Garlic and Rosemary-infused Karoo Leg of Lamb, and Cape-style Traditional Bobotjie with Peach Chutney, among others.
Guests also have the option to sign up for an exclusive cooking class on April 24, where a team of chefs flown in from South Africa’s leading luxury hotel, Emperors Palace, will personally guide each student on the preparation and cooking methods. Limited seats are available; hence, reservations are highly encouraged.
The Lobby Lounge will offer a special South African high tea on April 22 to 27, from 3 to 6 p.m. South African delicacies such as Smoor Snoek sandwich, CapeMalay Koeksisters (a type of doughnut with ginger, anise, cardamom, cinnamon and coconut flakes) and Amarula Chocolate Truffles are paired with African teas, and may be enjoyed along with the soothing music of a 14-piece classical orchestra.
At Red, gourmands will surely appreciate a plated dinner paired with South African wines on April 25. Some of the menu highlights are: Seared Venison Carpaccio served with Grilled Goat’s Cheese, Kumquat Preserve and Grapefruit Dressing; Curried Apple and Butternut Soup with Coconut Milk and Lemon Zest; Cumin, Lime and Coriander-rubbed Salmon with Rooibos-infused Prawn Risotto; Sautéed Asparagus Tip and Ginger Hollandaise; and Char-grilled Ostrich Fillet served with Caramelized Sweet Potato with Walnuts, Marula Pickles, Swiss Chard and Red Wine Jus.
At Conway’s, a traditional Braai spread is offered, complemented with South African beer. A braai is an Afrikaan term for “barbeque” or “grill,” and is a casual social event where families and friends gather to dine. South African braai comprises mainly of meats, including boerewors, sosaties, kebabs, marinated chicken, pork and lamb chops. Other mainstays are samp (dried corn kernels), chakalaka (spicy vegetable relish) and pap, a kind of porridge made from finely ground corn or maize, and traditionally eaten with the meat.
The country of South Africa is located at the south eastern tip of the African continent, and is known for having one of the world’s most diverse natural resources, ethnic groups and culinary range. The cuisine of South Africa is popularly known as “Rainbow Cuisine” because of its multicultural sources, having originated from the country’s colonialization and immigration of various peoples. “The cuisine is exactly as its nickname ‘rainbow’ describes it – a combination of spices introduced by the Dutch East India Company, early Malay settlers, French wine farmers, Indian sugar laborers, British gold diggers, German immigrants and of course, the local African community,” explains Golden Whitehead, Makati Shangri-La’s Executive Assistant Manager for Food and Beverage, and a native of South Africa himself. “Rainbow cuisine will complement our current selection in Circles Event Café, adding a twist that you normally do not get in Philippine cuisine with the richness of the offering. We are also flying in three South African chefs, a cultural representative, over 700 kg of South African produce that are not found anywhere in the Philippines, and a wine maker that will make this a truly authentic and unforgettable experience. It is truly a diversified cuisine with something for everyone.”
As a special treat, guests who dine with at least five persons at any of the participating outlets from April 22 to 27 are entitled to a raffle ticket for a chance to win a roundtrip ticket for two to South Africa care of Etihad Airways.
For restaurant reservations and further inquiries, please call (632) 813 8888, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to https://www.shangri-la.com/manila/makatishangrila/dining/restaurants/circles-event-cafe/book-a-table/. Further information may be found on Facebook /MakatiShangri-La and on Twitter @MakatiShangriLa.