Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Latin Vibes: A Christmas Feast with Peruvian Flavors at Samba.

The world is finally discovering Peruvian cuisine with its rich gastronomic heritage deeply rooted in tradition infused with diverse influences from more than five hundred years of historic cultural exchanges including Spanish, African, Chinese, Japanese and Italian notes for a truly unique culinary experience.

This Christmas day, discover the flavors of Peru and South America with a special holiday dinner at Samba at Shangri-La at The Fort for a taste of one of the world's distinct and emerging cuisines. The festive five-course meal, masterfully prepared by Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray, include iconic Peruvian seafood starters and mains, a savory beef dish all the way to an indulgent dessert to cap your Peruvian dining experience for a unique Christmas day feast.
Many consider Peruvian cuisine as the original fusion cuisine, integrating various culinary influences in a melting pot of rich flavors. Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray and Enah Baba of Shangri-La at The Fort offer diners a unique taste of Peru with its special Christmas dinner at Samba along with holiday-inspired cocktails... get you in the holiday groove. The special handcrafted Yuletide Spirits include (from left to right) the Ramos Fizz, a smooth and creamy gin-based cocktail; the refreshing Santa Claus Iced Tea, a blend of redberry puree, Moroccan mint syrup, rosehip and hibiscus tea; the Christmas Flip, a classic eggnog spiked with cognac; The Pinay Colada, a rum-based cocktail inspired by the Pina Colada; and the Sparkles, a festive cocktail with whisky, honey, rosemary, and liquid gold prosecco.  The holiday-themed cocktails are available in all restaurants at Shangri-La at The Fort from November 30, 2017 to January 1, 2018 for only P 450. This is where the holidays come alive, right here at Shangri-La at The Fort. This theme is brought to life with a series of art installations in a collaboration with Bea Valdez displayed throughout Shangri-La at The Fort. Have a tipple with Shangri-La at The Fort's seasonal aperitifs before dinner...

No Peruvian feast is complete without ceviche. Peru is acknowledged as the birthplace of ceviche, the well-loved seafood dish with fresh seafood cured in citrus juices like lemon or lime and spiced with chili peppers. At Samba, ceviche is elevated to a whole new level with the freshest seafood and Peruvian peppers. And Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray starts off the Christmas dinner preview at Samba with his Ceviche De Atun Y Camaron En Crema De Rocoto, an elegantly plated starter with yellow fin tuna loin, prawn tail, rocoto leche de tigre foam, a tasty Peruvian capsicum with a soothing heat, glazed sweet potato, cancha corn and cold press extra virgin olive oil. The fresh and clean notes of the tuna deliver a burst of vibrant briny sweetness, layered with the mildly sweet and tart rocoto with its gentle spice. It's this delicate layering of flavors that define Peruvian cuisine, masterfully executed by Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray at Samba.

The delicate notes of the tuna tease your palate, followed by the intense flavors of the Peruvian rocoto pepper and the sweetness of the corn and herbs. Each seemingly distinct note from the different components of the dish weave a colorful tapestry of fresh and bold flavors merging in a seamless blend. Unlike our local version of ceviche, the kinilaw with seafood marinated in vinegar, ceviche offers milder, more subtle flavors allowing you to taste the delicate notes of the tuna. Chef Carlo caps the dish with crisp, paper-thin rice paper adding texture and flavor to an excellent first course.

For the second course, Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray served his comforting Cappuccino De Ave Al Aji, a hearty and creamy chicken soup topped with fresh herbs and bread croutons sprinkled with cinnamon. The broth warms both the palate and body, but it's the addition of cinnamon that makes this soup course different. Not only does it add another layer of flavor, it also completes the festive holiday vibe.

Have another round of the Christmas Flip, and one more sip of the Cappuccino De Ave Al Aji, and Christmas takes on a cool Latin vibe at Samba.

For the third course, Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray impresses once more with his Corvina En Reduction De Chupe, another beautifully-plated dish with delicately braised black cod, grilled prawn, coral butter sauce, creamy fava bean puree, and micro greens. The pairing of the dish with creamy puree and flavored rice paper crisps is another signature style of Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray, with each dish topped with his intricate creations.

The soft braised black cod almost melts in your mouth releasing a light yet savory richness coating your palate. The creamy fava bean puree and rich coral butter sauce infused with the briny hints of prawn add those layers of bright notes consistent with Chef Carlo's style, evident though all of his dishes.

Chef Carlo's elegant style is highlighted yet again in his fourth course, a savory Lomo Al Wok Con Quinua Andina with US Beef Tenderloin, potato canchan and organic black and white quinoa, Peruvian panca pepper and flavored crisps garnished with micro leaves. The plate becomes a colorful canvas painted with bold strokes of balanced flavors, with the fork-tender US beef tenderloin complemented by the potato canchan with quinoa and panca peppers. Each bite reflects the melting pot of flavors that continue to define Peruvian cuisine, from its flavorful indigenous peppers to the savory richness of the beef.  

Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray draws inspiration from his native roots, preserving traditional flavors while infusing a modern and contemporary flair for his own personal take on Peruvian cuisine. And just like his previous dishes, the creamy potato canchan made from the Peruvian pink potato with quinoa pair well with the beef, and the crisps with its whisper of saltiness completes the dish.

Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray weaves Peruvian flavors in an indulgent dessert to cap a Latin-inspired Christmas feast at Samba with his decadent Trufon De Chocolate Y Lucuma, a multi-layered dessert with a tempting mousse made from 70% Peruvian chocolate topped with crispy almond flakes and red chili paired with velvety smooth Lucuma ice cream laid on a chocolate bowl drizzled with garden greens powder. The deep, rounded and nutty notes of the chocolate line your palate with its richness followed by contrasting flavors from the red chili for another tasty combination. The Lucuma ice cream, made from the Peruvian lucuma found in the Andean valleys, adds a unique flavor to the dessert. Almost like a sweet potato in flavor with a light buttery hint similar to the local chesa fruit, the ice cream adds a uniquely Peruvian touch to the dessert. Chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray's rice paper crisps return adding textural contrasts and a hint of saltiness to complete the flavors. 

From starters to mains and dessert, diners get to experience authentic Peruvian flavors this Christmas at Samba. The special  feast will be served for lunch on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018 for P 1,900++ net per person. Or celebrate Christmas with a sumptuous dinner feast for P 2,900++net per person on December 24 and 25, 2017; and P 3,350++ net per person on December 31, 2017. Guests can also welcome in the new year by the poolside with a cabana dinner for P 6,000 per person, inclusive of a six-course menu and a bottle of Veuve Clicquote champagne for a minimum of two persons. Add a festive Latin vibe to your holiday celebration with the special Christmas feast at Samba, and discover one of the world's emerging cuisines.

Samba is located at Level 8 of Shangri-La at The Fort Manila, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City or call (632) 820-0888 for inquiries and reservations.

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