What happens when you dip kangkong leaves in a special batter with ground tamarind before deep-frying them to crispy pieces? You get sinigang bites, a new take on an old favorite, as the Waterfront hotels in Cebu give homage to homegrown Filipino food in a culinary festival that runs up to August 31, 2017.

The Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan and Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Lahug joined forces to celebrate Cebuano and Filipino cuisines in a food festival called “UNO’s Modern Filipino Taste: A Filipino Feast for All Senses.”

Waterfront UNO's Modern Filipino Taste
SINIGANG BITES. Chef Roland Laudico dips kangkong leaves in batter that includes ground tamarind as he explains their new take on traditional Filipino food. At left is Chef Jackie, the other half of the celebrity chef couple.

Culinary world power couple Chef Roland and Chef Jackie Laudico worked with Waterfront to come up with a menu of traditional Filipino treats injected with mouth-watering twists.

Mr. Anders Hallden, general manager of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, and Mr. BenHur Caballes, hotel manager of Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan, led the opening of the event at UNO, popular international buffet and a la carte cafe and restaurant.

Along with the games in the casino hotel, people are also attracted to their food and entertainment platforms. However, like many of the modern day gamblers, people of Asian sub-continent prefer to gamble on various online sites like https://www.slotsformoney.com/zh/, where they can gamble for real money at the comfort of their home.

Filipino cuisine reimagined

In another event held in line with the food festival, Chef Roland and Chef Jackie showed media and bloggers how the regular crispy kangkong can take on a novel taste with a new or extra ingredient.

The batter for the kangkong leaves is made up of the usual flour and baking soda but flavored with fine tamarind (sampaloc) powder to give it that extra kick.

Waterfront UNO's Modern Filipino Taste
KINILAW. With a sauce made of bell pepper roasted and pureed and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil, this kinilaw is one you should try. Dijon mustard tops the dish.

The chefs also give the common table fare sisig a makeover, replacing pig’s head and liver with lechon leftover. It is spiced up with garlic, onions, chili, and kalamansi juice and topped with the Laudicos’ own sauce creation.

The kinilaw na isda gets a boost, too, in both methodology and ingredients. Soaking the fish in kalamansi and vinegar changes its taste so the Laudico chefs add these to the kinilaw last. Other differences in the kinilaw: the bell pepper is roasted and pureed and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil. Dijon mustard tops the dish.

Chefs Lau, Jackie culinary creations

The celebrated husband-and-wife culinary geniuses updated old-time favorites, popular comfort food, and classic dishes by the subtle addition of new and enticing flavors and presenting them in ways that catch attention and whet the appetite.

“Cooking, like any facet of culture and art, keeps evolving and transforming in tune with changing lifestyles and the development of technology. The tastes we presented find a delicious common ground between heritage and technology. Thus, the flavors are familiar but surprising,” a press statement released by Waterfront quoted Chef Roland as saying.

Waterfront Chefs Roland and Jackie Laudico
CELEBRITY CHEFS Roland and Jackie Laudico with Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino general manager Anders Hallden.

The Laudicos reinterpret such delicious selections as Balut Napoleon (layers of balut flavor plus shots of its savory juice), Ngohiong Cones served with a spicy sauce, Sinigang Bites (tamarind-spiced kangkong chips topped with bangus mousse), Palabok Bites, (the goodness of palabok topped with Carcar chicharon), Seafood Paella Negra (made with fresh seafood and squid ink), Paella Valenciana, Spicy Bellychon (oven-roasted pork belly with labuyo chili), Sushi Noy (Filipino maki topped with matambaka flakes), Queso de Bola Cheese Cake, and Tsokolate OH with Peanut Butter Mousse.

All throughout August, diners get to partake of these culinary creations at popular Cebu dining spot UNO in both Waterfront hotels in Cebu City and Mactan.

SISIG MAKEOVER. Chef Roland prepares their new take on the sisig, this time using leftover lechon, and served on a pouch made of dumpling wrappers.

More photos of UNO’s Modern Filipino Taste: A Filipino Feast for All Senses

Ngohiong cones and sinigang bites.

Sisig basket.
Spicy lechon belly

Marlen is the editor of MyCebu.ph and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.

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