Two week festival of Filipino food

Noodlies, Sydney food blog’s pick for Good Food Month 2013

By Thang Ngo

The Filipino community is one of Australia’s largest cultural groups, it’s our eighth most spoken language. Their food is interesting and complex, influenced by Chinese, Malay, Spanish and American flavours. Noodlies is currently a little obsessed with Filipino cuisine in Sydney.

For a complete tour-de-force of Filipino food head to Flavours of the Philippines at Cafe Mix, Shangri-La Sydney – thanks to three guest chefs from Makati Shangri-La, Manila. This annual event attracted some 1,400 hungry diners last year and is one of the more successful cultural food festivals in town.

Here are a few highlights from noodlies’ recent visit.

lechon de leche

Lechon de leche is a visually stunning and not less impressive in the mouth. The Spanish might have introduced suckling pig (lechon) but the Filipinos have embraced it with gusto. The shinny skin is impossibly thin and crispy, strips of meat tender and juicy.

sisig station

May the pork love continue forever – sisig station is a must-visit. Here, pork belly strips are fried with loads of garlic, shallot, soy, vinegar and topped with mayo – right before your eyes. Ask for extra spicy, it’s worth it.

lamb and pork belly

How could you resist this visual delight, tender lamb and pork belly pieces resting over banana leaves in a large flat pan. Choose from three types of sauces with varying shades of spiciness.

steamed mussels in ginger sauce

It’d be wrong to only pick just the mussels that have been steamed in ginger, tomato and other vegetables. Why? Because you’ll miss out on the rich, sour and moreish broth – grab a soup bowl for the full experience.

kare kare

Kare kare is a Filipino favourite – oxtail stew in rich peanut sauce), have it with either white rice or the dangerously addictive garlic fried rice.

Oh, and you’ll love the mind-blowing range of desserts – including a halo halo station – pick your ingredients, jack fruit, jelly, coconut, creme caramel and mix with crushed ice. Remember to save room for buko pandan; young coconut with screw pine jelly and mixed fruits with cream and condensed milk, and then there’s turon; banana and jackfruit spring rolls.

Flavours of the Philippines buffet finishes 15 October, lunch is $49 and dinner is $75 per person. To book, contact the Shangri-La at (02)  9250 6206  or email [email protected].

Thanks to Christine (Cooking Crusade) for organising this delicious event and fellow hungry food bloggers, Patricia (Sugarlace), Annie (The Random Foodie) and Jambon (Fit for a pig) for being such good company.

Cafe Mix
Shangri-La Hotel
176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney
(02) 9250 6000