About two weeks ago, my best friend and I received an e-mail informing of a mission for us to complete in the next few weeks, probably leading to mid-December. The mission: Try-out Manila’s Signature Dishes 2010, prepared by Unilever Food Solutions, and our say on the different dishes served to us.
It’s no easy task, mind you. But for the love of good food and good wine, we accepted the challenge; the only thing that worries me is the uncertainty of whether or not my clothes would still fit me once our mission is complete.
To start our 5-week long gastronomic adventure, we visited Fish Out of Water at Greenbelt 5, Makati. It was hard to find at first, knowing that the whole 3rd floor mainly features furniture and home accessories. Hidden from the sights of passers-by and mall-goers, the first thing that struck us was the huge lit circular sign that was shouting the word “FISH.” The place was a good mix of simplicity, elegance, and creativity. We met the friendly and very accommodating manager Jude, and were given a “sitting tour” of Fish Out of Water.
The Food: Thang Nang Crab Set
The set presented to us included a plate of greens called Cebuano Danggit Salad, a fusion of fresh salad greens, fried to the crisp danggit in honey mustard dressing. I’d say starting the food adventures with the right set, with the right salad was probably a positive indicator of good things to come. The ingredients used were all fresh and the vegetables had a light, sweet taste found only in good produce. Also, the taste produced when chewing on a mouthful of veggies, tomato, and danggit is simply indescribable—in a positive way, of course.
The main dish was the Thang Nang Crab, the origin of the set’s name. The idea behind the dish comes from a variety of influences but it is mostly a Thai crab dish. The presentation of the dish is just as interesting as the taste: a huge crab of at least 1 Kg sitting on top of a mountain of pasta. The flavour of the garlic really seeped into the crabmeat, giving diners the option of eating the crab and the spaghetti separately. One thing I learned from this dish is that one can never take spaghetti so lightly; I found myself stuffing my mouth every five seconds! It was difficult to steal a twirl of spaghetti though since my best friend also had quite the appetite for this dish’s awesome pasta.
To complement the set, manager Jude gave us a glass each of their fine tasting Chardonnay. Having eaten salad, seafood and pasta, it was only fitting to cleanse our palates with good chilled white wine. “It is the perfect way to end the meal,” my friend said what with us being too full from eating all those food. To our surprise, Jude had a final treat for us.
As any other meal should be closed with a sweet dessert, we were served their famous Barako Cheesecake, a light and semi-sweet, semi-strong tasting treat with real kapeng barako sprinkles.
We recommend this dish to our friends who enjoy eating well-balanced meal sets, with extra emphasis on garlic and cream. The experience was simply superb!
What more is that given the quality of service and the undeniable hospitality of the manager and the staff, we’ll surely be back to try more of their Asian inspired renditions of Filipino dishes.
Another glass of Chardonnay please!
Unilever Foodsolutions (UFS), being the preferred foodservice business partners among restaurateurs, felt the need to acknowledge notable restaurants who are developing Manila as a culinary city. They have partnerered with select restaurants within the metropolis in coming up with signature dishes. UFS has synergized with these restaurants, both through dish development and promotion campaign for these signature dishes, in achieving one common goal: coming up with a different culinary experiences that provide value for money and culinary memories for diners.
If you're a restaurateur (or an aspiring one) and in need of help in coming with your signature dish, call (632) 588-8855 or email at email@example.com.
Blog post courtesy of Yuri of Lost Tsinelas