Bagnet kare-kare, Ilonggo lechon in Diamond buffet

By Joko Magalong

Posted at May 14 2014 04:45 PM | Updated as of May 15 2014 08:21 PM

(From left) Chefs Sau Del Rosario, Bruce Lim, JP Anglo and Marko Rankel pose for a photo during the opening of the Diamond Hotel Filipino food festival. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

MANILA -- The Diamond Hotel opened its yearly Filipino food festival dubbed "The Best of Filipino Cuisine" on Tuesday at Corniche, featuring the culinary creations of celebrity chefs Sau Del Rosario, Bruce Lim and JP Anglo, as well as the hotel's own executive chef Marko Rankel.

In addition to the regular buffet offerings of Corniche, diners will get to savor flavors from different parts of the Philippines.

Del Rosario, with his Pampanga roots and European training, created sinful hybrids such as the Sisig with foie gras, fried eggs and shallot confit, with the liver giving a creamy mouth-feel to the dish and upping the ante in terms of flavor.

Sisig with foie gras. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

His Bagnet kare-kare features a truffle macadamia sauce, with the barest hint of truffle. The sauce is nutty and rich and the dish is perfect with a cup or two of rice.

Bagnet kare-kare. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

For dessert, his offerings include the DIY Halo-Halo Espesyal, a smooth tibok-tibok with various toppings, a special bread pudding, among others.

Fans of Ilonggo and Negrense cooking will approve of the showcase from Angelo, who aims to elevate Filipino food with satisfying creations like Pritchon pancake with hoisin sauce, the garlicky and tender Wagyu salpicao, the impressive Ilonggo lechon baboy, and the must-try Crispy garlic Kurobota pork, with its fork-tender flavorful meat, served with a tangy homemade banana ketchup.

Chef JP Anglo at the lechon station. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for
Crispy garlic Kurobota pork. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

For dessert, Anglo served a Mango jubilee, that was perfect on top of the Diamond's homemade gelato, as well as an interesting fruit dessert of Melons n’ Cream.

Lim presented a decidedly different take.“I’m in between. I cook Filipino food with western influences,” he explained.

His version of Fried pusit has a salted egg cream sauce that gets a dash of condensed milk to sweeten it. Labelled as an appetizer, it’s perfect with rice, or with a glass of beer.

Fried pusit. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

His Kalderetang itik takes our native duck, confits it, and pours on a tangy sauce of tomatoes. The result is a fork-tender, juicy spoonful.

Kalderetang itik. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

For sandwich aficionados, he offered the Adobo sliders served with a sweet and sour slaw with grilled pineapple on a kaiser bun.

The special participation of Rankel rounded up this Filipino feast with a a mix-your-own goto with all the trimmings, and an aromatic rice congee.

Mix-your-own goto. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

"The Best of Filipino Cuisine" menu changes every day with three cycles. So expect other dishes such as a Malagos macaroni and cheese with crispy fried bagnet” from Lim, a Lechon manok lumpia with sinamak from Anglo, and a slow-cooked Tamarind-rubbed Kambing from Del Rosario, among others.

The festival runs for 10 days only until May 23. Lucky diners will get the chance to win round-trip airline tickets for two to Coron, Palawan for a minimum of P5,000 nett spent on a single receipt at Corniche for lunch and dinner.