Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Taste the Colors of Christmas at MCafe and Kabila

You can pretty much feel Christmas in the air, the sounds of Christmas carols and the cooler breeze announce the start of the holiday season. And nothing completes the experience than a series of holiday feasts with friends and family. Now you can experience the festive flavors of Christmas at MCafe and Kabila with a wide range of traditional dishes...

MCafe and Kabila's Colors of Christmas features set menus from their Christmas Salo-Salo packages for groups of six (P 550++ per person) and ten (P 650++), with two options to choose from, for that special holiday feast. Simply choose a set, bring your family and friends, and let MCafe and Kabila do the rest.

Part of the Raintree Restaurants group, the same group behind Stella, Rocket Room, Saboten, Terraz, Chelsea Grand Cafe, MoMo! Cafe, and Mr. Jones, MCafe and Kabila offers a wide range of traditional Spanish and Filipino dishes, just the place to celebrate a traditional Christmas feast.

A glass of Chilean Sparkling Wine, Valdivieso Brut, gets you in the holiday mood in no time. Then, the first set of starters begin to arrive, and here's a sampling of some of the dishes featured in MCafe and Kabila's Color of Christmas Set Menus...

Start your Christmas feast with MCafe and Kabila's Jamon & Queso Plate, a selection of traditional Christmas favorites including pineapple-glazed ham, Queso de Bola, mini pan de sal, sweet dried mangoes, calamansi honey, and sugar coated cashews. The traditional flavors of Christmas, all in one plate.

This is then followed by MCafe and Kabila's Fried Kangkong Crisps, deep-fried kangkong leaves and squash flowers with a creamy smoked milkfish dip. The smoked milkfish infused dip adds a comforting flavor to the dip, pairing well with the crisp kangkong leaves.

Fresh Lumpia, with an intricate lattice-type egg wrap filled with stir-fried palm hearts, carrots, pork, and shrimps, with ground peanuts, sugar, garlic water, and sweet muscovado sauce. The flavors are clean and fresh, and the egg wrap holds everything together quite well.

Your Christmas feast continues with the Grilled Chicken Inasal, juicy grilled chicken marinated in lemongrass-annatto oil and served with chicken oil and papaya atchara. Slice a piece of chicken and brush it with the sauce, and go for another a slice. Perfectly grilled, the delicate flavors of the chicken come through, with that hint of smokiness to complete the flavors.

Next, Halaan Soup, a hearty and comforting soup with plump clams and lemongrass. The clear yet rich broth is packed with flavor, with just a hint of saltiness and the refreshing note of lemongrass that lingers after every sip.

I used to remember steamed whole fish topped with a colorful rainbow of ingredients from childhood, and Chef Kalel Chan recreates this traditional dish with his Gindara Mayonesa, tender and juicy baked cod fish topped with mayonnaise, chopped eggs, capsicums, relish, and onions. The tender buttery and creamy gindara's subtle flavors are punctuated by the different toppings, adding both flavor and texture to the dish. A personal favorite, and a definite must-try.

The colorful parade of flavors continue with another traditional dish, Lengua Estofado, the familiar Ox-Tongue Stew, slow-cooked in tomato sauce, olives, mushrooms, and cream. The richly flavored dish just brings back so many childhood memories.

And no feast would be complete without the mandatory roast pork. The Kabila Porchetta, slow roasted tender, juicy, and crisp pork belly roll stuffed with lemongrass, tamarind leaves, and garlic, should satisfy any serious pork craving.

Perfectly roasted, the Kabila Porchetta is juicy and tender, with a light layer of crisp crackling for contrasting textures. Infused with lemongrass, garlic and tamarind leaves, the Kabila Porchetta is really good on its own, but just in case, the traditional sauce is served along with the dish.

Chorizo Callos, a rich ox-tripe and pork hock stew with Spanish Chorizo, chickpeas, and tomatoes. The subtle flavors of the ox tripe are complemented by the sharp notes of the Spanish chorizo for balanced flavors. Another childhood favorite recreated at MCafe and Kabila.

Decked in Christmas lights, the spacious interiors exude a festive holiday vibe. This vibe is then kicked up a notch with an impromptu performance by Viva Voce, one of the metro's best choral groups. And you too can catch them perform at MCafe and Kabila during the holiday season.

For dessert, MCafe and Kabila offer their signature Brazo de Calamansi, a burnt meringue cake with calamansi curd filling...

...the indulgent Ube Tres Leches, a purple yam chiffon cake soaked in three kinds of milk, topped with dessicated coconut...

...and the traditional Salted Egg and Queso Bibingka, a local rice cake with salted egg and Queso de Bola topped with grated coconut, each one a winner, and a perfect way to cap your feast at MCafe and Kabila. The holiday set menus offer a good range of dishes, mixing familiar and comforting flavors with some cool and refreshing twists. And the best part, simply choose your set and make a reservation. No fuss, no worries.

Raintree Restaurants' Cyril Addison, Chef Kalel Chan, and Carmela Sison, welcome the holiday season with MCafe and Kabila's flavorful Colors of Christmas, available from December 1, 2014 to January 15, 2015. Book your reservation, and celebrate the season with the flavorful Colors of Christmas at MCafe and Kabila.

Museum Cafe and Kabila are located at the Ayala Museum Complex, Makati City or call 656-3000 and 757-6000 for inquiries and reservations.

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