Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Taste of the Philippines: F1 Hotel Manila Luzviminda 2 Buffet

The flavors of 7,107 islands come together in an epic feast for a celebration of Filipino flavors at F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 2 Buffet, the second edition.  7,107 islands, and 7,107 flavors, a medley of dishes defining our culinary heritage and history, all in one place. 

Launched last June 12, Independence Day, F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 2 runs through June 26, 2014, with an impressive range of authentic regional and local dishes created by Chef Sau del Rosario and his team of guest chefs.

"Food meets Art" is this year's theme for F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 2 buffet, featuring a collection of artworks by Filipino artists at the lobby. Proceeds from the sale of various artworks during the two week run will be donated to the Kythe Foundation, a charity for children with cancer.

And just like last year, one must start at the F1 Hotel Manila's impressive Seafood Station, featuring an assortment of the freshest seafood harvested from the archipelago.

Regional variations of Kinilaw (L), the local version of Ceviche, with the freshest tuna and seafood in a variety of spice blends, greet diners at the Seafood Station, along with a variety of fresh oysters on ice.
Fresh mussels, clams, shrimps, and more oysters are on display, simple, clean and fresh flavors. The selection also includes the freshest sashimi, a wide range of fresh salads, and even more seafood reflecting the diversity and richness of the archipelago. 

Fresh, clean flavors. A fresh Seafood Salad with plump shrimps...

...and a flavorful Grilled Eggplant Salad with tomatoes and salted duck eggs are just some of the local salads available at F1 Hotel Manila, and the perfect way to start your meal.

The fresh, plump shrimps are worthy of a second trip back at the Seafood Station...even a third. Sweet and briny, simple flavors that keep you coming back for more. And there's more. Chef Sau del Rosario taps some of the best chefs from the different regions for the two-week long celebration of local flavors, with Chef Tristan Encarnacion of Epicurious to represent Luzon, Chef Editha Singian of Pino Restaurant, and Chef Victor Barangan of Marco Polo Davao for Mindanao. And the collaboration yields the most impressive collection of local and authentic flavors I've seen, and tasted, for a true celebration of Filipino cuisine. And here's some of the dishes you can find at F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 2...

...Luzon's Sinaing na Tulingan, a slow-braised local mackerel cooked in a clay pot and served on banana leaves...

...Kawaling Hinipunan from the Visayas, crisp pork belly on a rich bagoong (shrimp paste) sauce...

...Kilain Kapampangan, a classic dish with pork liver and chili from plains of Pampanga, a known culinary center...

...Pochero Bisaya, a Visayan version of Bulalo, and a unique stew with pumpkin and sweet potatoes...

...and the iconic Sauteed Crabs  in Alavar Sauce, a signature seafood dish from Mindanao, with plump crabs in a rich crab fat sauce.

Extra rice? Why not have some of Cebu's Puso, steamed white rice wrapped in banana leaves. Unwrapping the banana leaves releases a fragrant aroma, perfect when paired with any of the mains.

Pork Sisig, the classic dish made with pork cheeks, liver and chili from Pampanga, is given a regional twist with variations for that unique Visayan and Mindanao flavor. Sisig with Kornicks? You can find it here at F1 Hotel Manila.

Take a light breather from the feast with some Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls, with a spicy vinegar dip before round 2. As with all buffets, go on your own pace, and there's no need to rush.

Grab your second plate continue on your culinary journey of the Philippines with Mindanao's savory Paklay, a rich stew made with beef and pork innards, including tripe, liver, and heart in a rich bright red sauce colored with annatto.

A cool classic reinvented. Inihaw na Pusit, grilled squid stuffed with seafood paella, a meal in itself. Tender, perfectly grilled squid with rich paella, another winning combination.  And that's what makes Luzviminda special, where you can find traditional and comforting local dishes along with classic dishes with an updated twist.

Pancit Habhab and Bagnet Pakbet from Luzon, traditional favorites and just some of the dishes featured in the Luzviminda 2 buffet.

Going for a third plate? With Litson Manok and Roasted Pork Belly, why not.

The classic, boneless slow roasted pork belly, with tender and juicy pork and a crisp layer of crackling. No Filipino feast is complete without this.

Chef Sau del Rosario once again impresses with the second edition of Luzviminda at F1 Hotel Manila...

...along with Chefs Victor, Tristan, and Dennis, with another epic celebration of Filipino flavors. Now on its second year, F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda is definitely an experience one shouldn't miss.

And to complete your Filipino dining experience, you can enjoy a variety of local desserts like the traditional Suman wrapped in banana leaves with panutsa syrup...

...or the sweet and creamy Mangosteen dessert served in bamboo...

...and my favorite dessert from last year's edition of Luzviminda, the Durian Panna Cotta, and still the only way I can eat and enjoy durian. I'm not a fan of the fruit, but I can have the Durian Panna Cotta anytime.

Like all the stations at the Luzviminda Buffet, the Dessert Station is also equally impressive, combining local fruits in classic desserts (for selected recipes on some of the dishes featured in the Luzviminda 2 buffet, see my post here at

The very best regional flavors, all in one place. And if you're planning to go on a culinary journey with authentic local flavors, you better hurry. Fi Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 2 Buffet runs until June 26, 2014 only. Enjoy a true Filipino dining experience, only at F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 2 Buffet.

F1 Hotel Manila is located at 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City or call 928-9888 and 908-7888 for inquiries.

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