Sunday, June 14, 2015

An Epic Celebration of Local Flavors at F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 3 Pistang Pinoy

Third time's always a charm. And it always gets better. Go on a flavorful journey and experience the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Philippines at F1 Hotel Manila's F All Day Dining Restaurant...

Chefs Bruce Lim, Tatung Sarthou, and Sider Tadtad collaborate for F1 Hotel Manila's 3rd Filipino Food Festival, the Luzviminda 3 Pistang Pinoy at F All Day Dining Restaurant from June 12 to 25, 2015. There's just no better way to celebrate Independence Day like rediscovering local flavors from all over the country. And for two weeks, you can savor and enjoy the very best dishes from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in an epic buffet spread, only at F1 Hotel Manila.

Now on its third year, F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda food festival is now a popular and much-awaited gastronomic event. This year's guest chefs include Rustique Kitchen's Chef Bruce Lim representing Luzon, Alab Filipino Restaurant's Chef Tatung Sarthou for Visayas, and Big 8 Corporate Hotel's Chef Sider Tadtad for Mindanao.

This is also my third time to experience an Independence Day staycation at F1 Hotel Manila, with an overnight stay at one of F1 Hotel Manila's elegant Fort Suites to complete the experience. The well-appointed room has everything you need for that perfect staycation.

With a separate bedroom and living area, it's the perfect home base for a day-long gastronomic journey of local flavors. The hotel staff made sure I start my culinary adventure on the right track with a plate of Native Suman with Matamis na Bao and fresh mangoes.  Then, it was time to experience the epic buffet at F All Day Dining Restaurant...

F1 Hotel Manila's Executive Chef Eugene San Juan and guest Chef Tatung Sarthou welcome diners along with GM Tony Co, Twinkle Lacsamana, Chef Donna, Cindy Brual, Pau Esmedilla (L) and Chef Bruce Lim with his team (R) also present during the launch of Luzviminda 3 Pistang Pinoy Food Festival.

This year's edition of F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 3 also featured the unique "Lotlotan" style of cooking from Mindanao, using a bamboo pole filled with fresh ingredients and cooked over fire, prepared by guest Chef Sider Tadtad (L) of Mindanao, supported by F1 Hotel Manila's Executive Chef Eugene San Juan (R).  

As with the previous Luzviminda food festivals at F1 Hotel Manila, one can sample traditional local and regional flavors from Luzon, Visayas , and Mindanao. And one can also discover familiar flavors presented in new and inventive ways, which makes the Luzviminda food festival a culinary event not to be missed.

F1 Hotel Manila's team of chefs prepare the final touches for the lunch service, and Chef Pierre (R) proudly shows off some freshly prepared crispy Pork Cracklings, or Chicharon (R), perfect with Sukang Iloko or Sukang Ilonggo, or Sinamak, with chili. 

And it's the perfect starter before an impressive feast of Filipino flavors. The light and crisp cracklings deliver a mildly salty note to balance the richness, perfectly rounded out by the sharpness of the local vinegar with chili. 

Continue your culinary journey of local flavors with the freshest catch of the day at F All Day Dining Restaurant's Seafood Station, with its offerings of fresh and plump Shrimps...

...and fresh Lobsters, delicately steamed. Simply drizzle some butter to bring out the clean and subtle briny notes, and nothing else. Pure and clean flavors, you just can't go wrong with fresh seafood. F1 Hotel Manila's Executive Chef Eugene San Juan and his team do an amazing job with the impressive selection of dishes at F All Day Dining Restaurant.

Also at the Seafood Station, one can find large Mussels (L) and Oysters (R), along with a variety of fresh Kinilaw, the local version of Ceviche, and fresh, raw tuna and salmon, clams, and bamboo shells plus an equally impressive selection of salads. 

Pair your fresh seafood with a generous serving of Lato, a local seaweed also lnown as "sea grapes," drizzled with a sharp vinaigrette and calamansi, topped with fresh tomatoes, onions, and salted egg. Each pop of the sea grapes release a burst of briny flavors, cleansing your palate as you go for more fresh seafood.

Go for some fresh oysters topped with a flavorful cocktail sauce with sweet plantains, a refreshing mango salsa, or local sugarcane and coconut vinegar...

...followed by a plateful of fresh seafood. You can have your oysters and mussels baked if you prefer, but it's great as is with its delicate flavors. Then it's time to hit the mains at F All Day Dining Restaurant...

No true Filipino feast is complete without the iconic Lechon (L), perfectly roasted with tender and juicy pork with a layer of crisp crackling. Or you can try Chef Tatung Sarthou's boneless Cebu Lechon Belly (R), richly seasoned and great on its own, without any sauce at all.  

Chef Bruce Lim brings familiar flavors to the buffet with his comforting Pancit Cones, local noodles sauteed with seafood and vegetables and wrapped in banana leaves.

But Chef Bruce Lim has more flavorful surprises up his sleeves, like this inventive Dinuguan Pie, topped with a soft crust for an entirely new flavor experience. You don't need an extra side of puto with your dunuguan, the pie crust does the job nicely.

Chef Bruce Lim transforms the familiar Lengua into a another new and exciting dish with his unique Lengua Pastel Maja Blanca, with tender cubes of ox-tongue in a thick and creamy sauce with sweet corn. The flavors are rich yet delicate, familiar yet different. The creative twists from the guest chefs highlight local flavors in a refreshed and inventive way, opening up so many possibilities for local cuisine.

The creamy Aligue Ravioli, with soft and chewy pasta stuffed with crab fat draped in a rich sauce, is another example of local flavors transformed into a new dish. And it's an execution that works perfectly.

Chef Tatung Sarthou adds his own spin to the traditional vegetable dish with his Poki-Poki Gratin, with eggplants and cherry tomatoes. And this is what makes F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda Food Festival special, with its wide array of local flavors prepared in new and creative ways.

But your culinary journey is far from over, with still so many flavors to experience and rediscover, like the traditional Pork Humba, slow cooked braised pork in a sweet, sour, and salty sauce with black beans. The pork just melts in your mouth, delivering a richness that lingers, finished by the sharp salty notes of the black beans.   

A unique taste of Mindanao is represented by Chef Sider Tadtad's Linutlot Kotipa Way Ow An,  with catfish, mudfish, shallots, ginger, tomatoes, and lemongrass stuffed in a young bamboo tube and laid over an open fire. The traditional cooking method with bamboo tubes, used by the indigenous tribes in Mindanao, imparts a fragrant aroma and subtle sweetness to the dish for a medley of rich flavors.

Chef Sider Tadtad also offered his signature Ata na Kan On (L), or squid ink rice garnished with crispy squid rings, great when paired with grilled seafood. Chef Tatung Sarthou added his traditional Arroz Valenciana (R) to the buffet spread, with soft and fluffy rice cooked with chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetables. 

Chef Tatung Sarthou's Ilonggo Beef Kansi, a rich and hearty beef stew cooked with herbs and fragrant aromatics, is another dish offering distinct regional flavors.

A classic comfort food, and a popular hangover cure, the Papaitan is a classic Ilocano soup with cow or goat innards, including the bile which adds that distinct layer of bitterness.  The blend of garlic, onions, chili, and calamansi balance the mild bitterness of this traditional soup. Great as is, or with some rice.

But save some space for dessert. At F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 3, you'll find both traditional and inventive new executions of local desserts, like Chef Bruce Lim's elegant take on the popular taho with his Taho Panna Cotta. Silky smooth with just the right sweetness, one of my personal favorites.

Chef Bruce Lim has more delectable and indulgent desserts on the buffet spread, like the Coconut Rice Pudding with Chocolate Ganache (L), while Chef Tatung Sarthou has his equally elegant Pastel de Leche (R) in pastry shells. Each bite-sized serving packs decadent flavors to cap your feast of local flavors at F1 Hotel Manila.  

And there's more. Chef Sider Tadtad's Durian Mango Cheesecake infuses local fruits in a unique dessert creation, a masterful blend of mango and durian in a rich and creamy cheesecake. The bright colors are a visual cue to the unique flavors of the dessert, and it tastes as good as it looks.

Other selections include Chef Bruce Lim's Coco Jam Cream Puffs and White Corn Cream Puffs (L) and Theo and Philo's Pastillas and Truffles (R). Like the main dishes, the playful twists on local flavors in the wide array of desserts bring delightful surprises in an epic gastronomic journey of our rich culinary heritage.   

Craving for more unique dessert creations? Try Chef Sider Tadtad's Dodol, a sweet and chewy dessert, almost like toffee, made with coconut milk and rice flour in a crisp pastry shell.

You can go for the regular crepes, or be adventurous and go for some Ube and Pandan Flavored Crepes filled with mangoes and drizzled with chocolate and caramel.

And if it's ice cream you want, try something new and different, like the unique Salted Egg Ice Cream. And it works. And don't forget to try the Durian with Tuyo Ice Cream as well. And you'll be pleasantly surprised. Just like the previous Luzviminda food festivals at F1 Hotel Manila, there's always something new to discover and experience local flavors in bold, creative and non-traditional executions for surprising flavors.

End your feast with an indigenous delicacy from Maguindanao, Chef Sider Tadtad's Tinagtag, crispy rolls made with rice flour and sugar, and just perfect with a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 3 Pistang Pinoy is an epic culinary journey of discovery and surprises, a blend of comforting flavors and inventive and creative spins highlighting the richness and diversity of our culinary heritage. And it's just the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day. F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 3 Pistang Pinoy buffet is available from June 12 to 25, 2015 at F All Day Dining Restaurant for both lunch and dinner. And you get to taste the distinct regional flavors of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao for only P 1,399 net per person. Add P 100 and get an unlimited fill of Filipino drinks like sago't gulaman, melon, and buko pandan.  And here's more good news. Dine in for lunch or dinner buffet and get a chance to win round trip tickets to Boracay from 2GO Travel, now that's cool.

F1 Hotel Manila's Luzviminda 3 Pistang Pinoy is in partnership with BDO, Dasoland, Raflora, Culinary Exchange, Destileria limtuaco, 2GO Travel, Security Bank, and Seagull Glassworks.  

Check out what's for dinner and discover local regional cooking methods like Lotlotan in my next post here at

F All Day Dining Restaurant is located at the 3rd Floor of F1 Hotel Manila, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City or call 928-9888 for inquiries and reservations. 

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