Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Winning Pair of Filipino Flavors by Chef Sau del Rosario at Solaire Resort and Casino's Fresh Restaurant

The roll of the dice, or the draw of a card, nothing quite matches the thrill and excitement in the game of chance. But there's one sure bet you can always count on, and you can find it right here at Solaire Resort and Casino...

Solaire Resort and Casino's Fresh Restaurant presents its Filipino Food Festival with Guest Chef Sau del Rosario in a month-long feast of traditional local and regional flavors with a modern spin. With guest chef Sau del Rosario on deck at Solaire Resort and Casino's Fresh Restaurant, you've got a winning pair...

Solaire Resort and Casino, an impressive integrated destination resort on an expansive 8.3-hectare site along Manila Bay, is the first luxury resort to open in the bustling economic development zone, or Entertainment City. With over 18,500 square meters of gaming space, it also features an equally impressive range of signature restaurants.     

One of them is Fresh Restaurant, an elegant buffet dining outlet situated beside the Solaire Resort and Casino's gaming areas. Chef Sau del Rosario (R), one of the country's premier chefs, showcases his wide range of authentic and inventive Filipino-themed dishes for the Filipino Food Festival at Fresh Restaurant. 

Just a few weeks after launching his book, "20 Years of Love + Cooking" (see more on Chef Sau's new book here on my previous post at, Chef Sau del Rosario is back weaving his own masterful spin on Filipino cuisine at Solaire Resort and Casino's Fresh Restaurant. Fresh Restaurant celebrates the refined artistry of Filipino cuisine with its month-long Filipino Food Festival featuring an impressive spread of traditional all-time local favorites, regional delicacies, and modern interpretations of classic dishes by Chef Sau del Rosario. My personal rediscovery of local flavors at Fresh Restaurant begins with Chef Sau del Rosario's reinvention of the classic Capampangan Tamales served in elegant glass shooters. The smooth consistency of Chef Sau's take on tamales, topped with quail egg, tender chicken, and drizzled with annatto oil, delivers comforting and familiar flavors in a new and refreshing way.

Fresh Restaurant specializes in an international buffet, but you can find some inventive local flavors as well at the Fresh Seafood Station showcasing its wide variety of premium sushi and sashimi, and Chef Sau del Rosario's innovative Sisig Futo Maki, Japanese rice rolls wrapped in nori and filled with the iconic Capampangan pork sisig for another refreshing and flavorful spin.

You can also find Chef Sau's Green Mango Maki, combining tart and sour green mangoes with smoked fish for a blend of traditional flavors with a modern twist.

Over at the Fresh Salad Station, one can find a wide variety of fresh local salads with regional flavors, including several variations of Kinilaw, the local version of Ceviche, and this creamy Maya-Maya with Mayonnaise topped with carrots, sweet pickles, and egg.

You just know it's a genuine Filipino feast when you have a wide selection of sugarcane and coconut vinegar from the country's different regions, including pickled quail eggs, vegetables, and atchara, plus an equally extensive range of condiments.

A quick walk-through of the different stations at Fresh Restaurant featured some classic Filipino dishes, like Chef Sau's Arroz Valenciana (L), soft and fluffy rice cooked with vegetables and pork, and assorted Longganisa (R), local sausages from the country's different regions. 

Chef Sau then shares his own inventive take on the traditional caldereta with his Lamb Loin Caldereta with Pinakbet Ratatouille (L), a local stew simmered for hours, and the lengua with his US Beef Ox-Tongue with Mushrooms and Corn based on a Capampangan recipe from Chef Sau del Rosario's mother.

Your Filipino feast at Fresh Restaurant continues with even more dishes by Chef Sau, including his rich Gambas, with plump and succulent shrimps...

...and his signature Sisig Foie Gras with Eggs, taking the familiar dish to a whole new level of flavor with the indulgent foie gras and quail eggs. The tender pig's mask and ears are given a flavorful boost by the foie gras, as it melts in your mouth releasing even more flavor. Best enjoyed with an ice cold beer, Chef Sau's Sisig Foie Gras with Eggs is not to be missed.  

From down south, Chef Sau shares his Lobster Alavar Zamboanguena, with fresh lobster cooked in crab fat and coconut milk. The rich and creamy sauce adds a layer of bold flavors to complement the delicate and mild briny sweetness of the lobster, punctuated by a subtle heat from the chili. Add some of the sauce on steamed white rice too, works all the time.

The traditional kare-kare, usually made with ground peanuts, is transformed once again by Chef Sau with his Pork Bagnet Macadamia Kare-Kare, using ground macadamia to thicken the rich sauce. The crisp bagnet plays well with the kare-kare sauce, simply add some bagoong to complete the flavors.

For a lighter option, you can opt for Chef Sau's Steamed Lapu-Lapu with Light Soy, Ginger, and Coriander, with its clean and delicate flavors.

The familiar bulalo is given a flavorful upgrade with premium beef, and a bowl or two of the US Angus Beef Bulalo should be part of your must-try list at Fresh Restaurant's Filipino Food Festival.

Then, there's the lechon. Not one, but three regional variants with distinct flavors. Start with the traditional Luzon Lechon Baboy, with tender and juicy pork and a crisp layer of crackling...

...and then go for the Mindanao Lechon Baboy stuffed with Tablea chocolate and the Cebu Lechon Baboy stuffed with mangoes. The infusion of flavors from the fresh mangoes and bittersweet chocolate add layers of unique notes to the lechon, making each bite different and new.

And there's more. The Lechon Baka, a massive slab of premium beef roasted for hours, is a fitting finale to your Filipino feast at Fresh Restaurant. Tender and juicy, a drizzle of mushroom or pepper gravy enhances the flavor of the beef perfectly.

Fresh Restaurant is also known for its wide array of elegant desserts, including a wide selection of intricate cakes, truffles and tarts. The vibrant colors at the Dessert Station is just pure eye-candy, with so many treats to choose from. Definitely save some room for dessert.

Also spotted at Fresh Restaurant were Chefs Christine Paredes and Edith Singian (L) who featured their indulgent desserts at the buffet. You can also enjoy traditional Capampangan desserts prepared by Mila Mercado (R) like their native crepes and barquillos.

The soft Native Crepes, stuffed with sweet coconut and wrapped in banana leaves, add the finishing touches to an impressive feast at Fresh Restaurant. 

Have some ice cream, and don't forget the freshly made barquillos. Classic Filipino cuisine blending traditional flavors with modern and innovative spins, it's a winning combination you can find everyday at Fresh Restaurant. The Filipino Food Festival with Chef Sau del Rosario at Fresh Restaurant is available for dinner daily and brunch on Sundays from June 15 to July 15, 2015. Sunday Brunch is available from 12:00 nn to 3:30 pm, and priced at P 2,400+ with free-flowing champagne. The Daily Dinner is available from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm, priced at P 2,100+ from Mondays to Thursdays, and P 2,600+ on Fridays, Saturdays, and Holidays.

Solaire Resort and Casino is located at 1 Asean Avenue, Entertainment City, Tambo, Paranaque City or call (632) 888-8888 local 8859 for reservations and inquiries. 

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