Sunday, September 28, 2014

Australian Flavors: An Australian Sojourn at Circles Events Cafe

The very best Australian beef, lamb, and seafood, including Sydney Rock Oysters and Blue Swimmer Crabs. With the very best Australian wines. Discover modern Australian flavors and Pacific Rim Cuisine at Makati Shangri-La's An Australian Sojourn at Circles Events Cafe...

Starting September 28 to October 2, 2014, experience a wide selection of modern Australian cuisine at Circles Events Cafe's An Australian Sojourn, prepared by guest chef Matthew McCool from Shangri-La Hotel Sydney.

Named Chef of the Year in 2011, Australian chef Matthew McCool brings over twelve years of culinary experience with stints in Michelin-starred restaurants. The week-long festival at Circles Events Cafe features Chef Matthew McCool's take on Pacific Rim Cuisine, shown at right welcoming guests along with Makati Shangri-La's Chrystel Ilano.

Circle Events Cafe regularly hosts guest chefs from the global network of Shangri-La Hotels, featuring the best international cuisine for authentic dining experiences (check out my previous post on Circles Events Cafe's Turkish festival here at and Indian cuisine here at This time, Circles Events Cafe showcases the best of modern Australian cuisine. Chef Matthew McCool starts our flavorful experience of modern Australian and Pacific Rim Cuisine with Tomato Soup damper and dukkah, a tart and comforting spiced tomato soup served with Australian damper and dukkah. The sides of damper, a local Australian wheat-flour based bread, and dukkah, a blend of herbs, nuts, and spices, add a touch of traditional Australian flavors to the first course.   

Chef Matthew McCool then introduces some of Australia's best flavors with his Cheese Board, a selection of farmhouse Australian cheeses. Widely acknowledged as one of the best in the world, the Australian dairy industry boasts a wide selection of premium cheeses, perfect with a glass of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon.

The rich medley of flavors goes up a notch with Chef Matthew McCool's Onion Salad, with onions and preserved lemon quinoa. The subtle sweetness from the onions and the deep, bold and tart flavors of the preserved lemons add a distinct and sharp richness to the soft and fluffy quinoa.

Beetroot Salmon, a beetroot cured Tasmanian salmon, topped with capers, pickled radish, and oranges. Fresh, pure, and clean flavors, and with the best ingredients, that's exactly what you get. The beetroot adds just a touch of mellow sweetness that blends well with the buttery richness of the salmon, a deceptively simple dish with so much flavor.

No Australian feast would be complete without lamb. Chef Matthew McCool's Roasted Lamb Rack, Darling Downs roasted lamb with lemon myrtle. The best lamb from the famed Darling Downs region of Queensland highlights my Australian Sojourn experience at Circles Events Cafe, a personal favorite.

Tender, juicy, with clean flavors, and none of the usual overpowering gamey notes from the typical lamb dish. Elegantly plated, the sweet sauce perfectly complements the lamb's rich flavors.

Pair your dishes with Australia's McGuigan Signature Shiraz, a full-bodied red with deep, bold notes of dark cherry, plum, and just a hint of spice, complementing the fresh and clean flavors of Chef Matthew McCool's Australian dishes. An initial sip brings pronounced spice notes, with a fruity finish and a lingering subtle layer of creamy vanilla.

Steam Snapper, whole steamed red snapper, with mussels and ginger. Chef Matthew McCool serves an east west fusion showcasing Australia's rich seafood, with the delicate flavors of the tender snapper perfectly complemented by the sweet ginger. Light, yet full of flavor, and another classic take on Pacific Rim Cuisine by Chef Matthew McCool.

For dessert, Chef Matthew McCool serves a duo of indulgent treats, the Lamingtons Platter, with traditional chocolate and coconut lamington...

...and the Native Finger Lime Pavlova Shooter to cap my Australian Sojourn experience at Circles Events Cafe. The Australian Sojourn lunch buffet on September 28, 2014, is priced at P 2,149 net while dinner buffet from September 26 to October 2, 2014 is set at P 2,395 net and includes the iced tea buffet. And here's more good news, diners get a chance to win roundtrip tickets good for one person to Sydney, Australia via Cebu Pacific Air plus accomodations at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney for every P 2,000 spent at Circles Event Cafe. If you prefer a more intimate experience, you may also try the special wine-pairing dinner at Sage Bespoke Grill on October 1, 2014, with a curated menu offering Blue Swimmer Crabs, Sydney Rock Oysters, and Charred Swordfish paired with Australian wines.

Another successful and flavorful launch at Circles Events Cafe, with guest chef Matthew McCool flanked  by Shangri-La Makati's team, with (L-R) Chrystel Ilano, Mica Syquijor-Cordero, and  Lesley Anne Tan. The best of the world comes to Circles Events Cafe once more, with An Australian Sojourn. Discover modern Australian and Pacific Rim Cuisine at Circles Events Cafe, starting September 28, 2014.

Circles Events Cafe s located at the Lobby Level of Makati Shangri-La, Manila, Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City or call (632) 814-2580 or email or more information or reservations. 

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