Another night at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa brought me to the port city of Valencia. Michelin-trained Executive Sous Chef Daniel Quintero continues with his second volume of The Culinary Guide dinner series, taking eager guests to another Spanish gastronomic experience.
I had a cuba libre on my hand and Edah’s Rose on the table, waiting to be indulged. Edah’s Rose is a curious little drink with an interesting name. It is a cocktail mix of tequila, cranberry, and orange, created by bartender Kirby Enecio, named after his close friend who is very fond of roses.
As soon as everyone was settled on the dinner table, the first course was served. Foie Gras Cuba Libre, Lemon, Cola and Wild Rocket Salad paired with Dr. L Riesling, 2015 from Dr. Loosen Estate in Mosel, Germany. The white wine here perfectly complemented the dish. I did not also expect that foie gras would go well with cola and lemon but the harmony of the flavors was satisfying. Overall, it was a good dish with a lot of interesting tastes that were in sync.
Moving on to the second course, Suquet from el Poblet, Grouper with Lobster, Saffron and Chorizo was paired with Damside Chardonnay, 2015 from the Pike Estate in Clare Valley, Australia. As soon as I had my first bite from the grouper fish, I realized how insanely delicious it was. Everything was perfect. I had mini claps while eating the dish. Hands down to Chef Daniel! As for the wine, it was medium-bodied and less citrusy, making it perfect for the dish.
This got me real excited for the main course. It was a Mediterranean Lamb grilled with Manchego Cheese Croquette, Piperade, Broccoli Jus and Almond Aioli, served with Heritages Lirac, 2016 from Ogier in Rhône Valley, France. This is actually the first time that Chef Daniel created this dish. It was a bold move from him knowing that everyone in the room is a food critic. Even so, the guests were ecstatic knowing it’s somehow the “world premier” of the dish. The lamb is delicious and well-seasoned. The meat was tender and I enjoyed every bite of it. The piperade sauce accompanied the meat and the aioli perfectly. The wine was also a good match with the lamb as it was subtle yet elegant and full-bodied.
To end the night, a serving of refreshing Orange Salad, Extra Virgin Olive Oil Soup with Honey, Vanilla Ice Cream, Pine Nut and Mint was paired with The Accomplice Moscato, from NV De Bortoli Estate in Yarra Valley, Australia. I loved the contrast between the orange, soup and ice cream. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the ice cream, I would have confused this as an appetizer. Or maybe I was just a little tipsy from drinking the countless glasses of wine! As expected with vanilla ice cream, it was really good but it made me reminisce on the previous dinner’s dessert Tierra. I’m more of a chocolate lover, you see. Haha
One thing I learned from attending these dinner series’ is that you don’t compare since every meal is unique and has its own story.
If you want to experience this gastronomic journey, head over to Cowrie Cove and indulge in this divine culinary expedition that will take you to Valencia.
Now, I’m looking forward to the third series, The Basque Country!
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