Peninsula hotel kicks off Australian festival


Posted at Jan 15 2014 04:58 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2014 12:59 AM

Beef tenderloin. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for

MANILA – The Peninsula Manila kicks off this year’s Australia Day festivities in Manila with the “Tasting Australia” food promotion this weekend.

The nine-day Australian food fest is part of the month-long Celebrate Australia Festival, staged by the Australian Embassy in Manila, which includes a theater festival, book-club sessions, film screenings and fashion events.

The Pen gave a preview of Tasting Australia on Monday night, which also highlights the culinary talent of the hotel’s Australia-born executive chef Richard Green. Dishes featuring prime Australian ingredients, as well as cheeses and wines, will be served at Old Manila, Escolta and The Lobby from January 18-26.

Among the main courses were roasted Tasmanian ocean trout with wild dill pepper sauce and Australian grain-fed beef tenderloin, while the appetizers included blue swimmer crab and avocado tartlet, tempura of gluf bugs with lemon grass, palm heart and mango salad and barramundi and vegetable spring rolls.

Pavlova. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for

Crocodile was used to flavor the consommé which had “red claw” wontons, while the desserts included the airy pavlova topped with whipped cream and strawberries and the local pastry, lamingtons, in various flavors.

The hotel will also hold an Aussie “Barbie” or barbecue party by the pool on January 18, 24 and 25, while Manila-based Australian DJ Callum David will spin at Salon de Ning on January 23.

Other events

The Pen promotion is just one of the many activities lined up for Celebrate Australia Festival, which highlights the country’s multicultural heritage.

David will also join the “Aussie Collective” -- Australian DJ Emil Rowe and Filipino DJ Jason Go – as they spin Aussie and international tunes at URBN Bar in Bonifacio Global City on January 30.

The international bestseller “The Book Thief” by Australian author Markus Zusak will be featured in “read it before you see it” book-club sessions at Fully Booked ahead of the movie’s opening on February 19. Fully Booked will also display a number of books from Australian authors for two weeks starting January 24.

An outdoor film screening of the movie “Red Dog,” about a stray dog who unites a remote Australian mining community,” will be held at the Greenbelt Park on January 25, which will also feature a mini-food fair, highlighted by lamb-on-a-spit and wine tastings.

The Australian Embassy will also stage the inaugural Short + Sweet Manila, which features stage plays that lasts only 10 minutes or less. This will be held at the University of the Philippines-Diliman from February 26 to March 9.

Aussie brands such as Roxy, Quicksilver, Cotton On and Ever New will also be featured in fashion shows in retail centers.