Eat your way around the world with these 17 small plates

Joko Magalong-De Veyra

Posted at Nov 09 2017 06:26 AM | Updated as of Nov 09 2017 11:59 AM

MANILA -- Giving has never been this delicious. 

The fourth installment of Lifestyle TV’s Around the World in Small Plates recently gathered the crème de la crème of Manila’s culinary scene to showcase their interpretations of global cuisines for a cause at the Penthouse, 8 Rockwell. 

With proceeds going to the ICanServe Foundation, an organization geared towards breast cancer awareness, the dinner was a jam-packed affair, full of good cheer, and above all, terrific food. 

Missed this event? Here’s a glimpse of this year’s dishes. 

1. Braised Snails Bone Marrow Chives and Garlic (UK)

Pig Pen chef Carlos Garcia Rodriguez had guests coming back for more of this intrepid dish. Who knew the delicate chew of snails with the richness of bone marrow would work so well together? Rodriguez did, apparently. Surprisingly good. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

2. The Egg (France)

I will admit to loving any iteration of William Mahi’s now famous The Egg offered at his restaurant 210 Kitchen and Drinkery. Because what’s not to love? Runny yolk, cream, cutting the cream with a sliver of parma ham—this dish is all about texture and pure creamy yolky bliss. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

3. Chicken Kabsa (Saudi Arabia)

Bamba Bistro’s chef Tina Legarda continues to wow in these showcases with her playful take on Chicken Kabsa. Flavorful Arabic-style chicken and rice with a dollop of beet hummus for earthiness and a creamy mouthfeel. It was the sweet and tangy date sauce that made this dish stand out for me, hitting the right marks in sweet and sour. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

4. Adobong Pugo Confit (Luzon, Philippines)

One of the faces that we see on Lifestyle TV, chef Claude Tayag of the show "Chasing Flavors," presented adobo quail egg with pandesal. On his plate as well was pititian (chicharon) which was to be eaten by a pickamatis, a pickled tomato, sweet and sour, quite popular in his Bale Dutung restaurant. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

5. Thai Green Mango Salad (Thailand)

Another Lifestyle TV mainstay, chef Sandy Daza of the show "Casa Daza," presented a seemingly simple tweak to this Thai classic. Instead of the usual catfish, Daza added toasted coconut. You’ve got texture, a slight sweetness, and the barest backnote of coconut to complete a bracingly sour bite. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

6. Sake-cured Salmon (USA)

Not going for the obvious, chef Chad Odgen of Hyatt City of Dreams Manila recreates a dish he invented in New York City. Sake gives the salmon a fruity cure, almost nutty at times, with the addition of microgreens and sour cream to cut the salmon’s richness. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

7. Quatro Leches Ice Cream Cake (Nicaragua)

Manila Creamery’s Jason Go had one of the most elaborately plated dishes of the night. It was quite fascinating to watch the assembly line as you waited for the dish -- a dab of cream there, a smidgen of an off-white paste, and then a few scoops of something that looks like soil, then finally a quenelle of luscious milk ice cream, garnished with herbs. It’s almost a shame to eat it, as the dish was so pretty, but one has to mix it up to get those four milk flavors scattered all throughout the elements with each bite giving you a different mouthfeel and taste. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

8. House-cured Corn Beef & Raclette Tartine (Switzerland)

There’s just something about melting cheese that one can’t help but love. Pair that with Mesclun's Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara's house-cured corned beef on bread with mustard, pickles, mushrooms, and onions. Classic and satisfying. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

9. Beef Rendang (Singapore)

If you’ve eaten at Hey Handsome, you might have the notion that chef Nicco Santos’ dishes are elaborate, nuanced, and layered. He didn’t disappoint with his Beef Rendang for this dinner. Elements were layered one upon the other – crispy rice, toasted a little with a torch, bright yellow rendang sauce, a sliver of cured beef, some oil, some foam (coconut cream? Who knows?) with white-probably-liquid-nitrogen-kissed okra seeds? The dish was spicy, sweet, and creamy, depending on what you had on your spoon. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

10. Dry-cured Lamb with lingonberry and potato (Sweden)

The first rule of Swedish cuisine is that everything goes with lingonberry jam. Chef Josh Boutwood of The Test Kitchen proves this adage by serving up an umami rich plate – dry cured lamb with healthy scrapes of cheese, a couple of marble potatoes with some lingonberry jam for a definite sweet-salty contrast. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

11. Pulpo a la Gallega (Spain)

Octopus is a tricky thing to cook, so when one gets a piece with a crusty black-flecked exterior coupled with a soft and chewy interior, seasoned with paprika and salt, one feels very lucky. Which exactly what I felt after eating a plate from chef Miguel Vecin of Bar Pintxos. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

12. Garganelli Aglio e Olio a la Talanka (Italy)

While garganelli is not a shape we see often in the Philippines—it’s tubular with a flap, like a floppy penne, it’s a great shape that holds sauces (and oils) nicely, as we found out in chef Raul Fores of Made Nice’s dish which had slivered garlic and crab fat in its ribbed crevices. Garlic and crab fat. What’s not to love? It made me wish I had a piece of bread to swirl into the leftover oil in my bowl. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

13. Lechon Manok with santol and kalabasa, Guinamos Curry with Ube Basmati Rice and Coconut Yogurt (Negros, Philippines)

Sarsa’s JP Anglo continues to push the boundaries of what we know Negrense cuisine to be. One of the more colorful plates of the night had us eating smoky skewers of chicken, in between bites of kalabasa (pumpkin), ground up santol, and earthy ube rice, sauced with a umami forward curry sauce, with a yogurt sauce for some acidity. It’s hard to explain, just very easy to eat. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

14. Beef Cheek Yiouvetsi braised in bignay wine with dolma risotto and eggplant puree (Greece)

Chef Robby Goco of Souv served us a comfort dish perfect for the recent cold weather -- beef cheek slow-cooked in tomato sauce and wine, on top of a risotto flavored with grape leaves, and an eggplant puree that added some creamy earthiness. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

15. Lechon Minacao (Macau)

Macau sausage-flavored rice stuffed and cooked inside a roasted pig. A piece of skin, a slice of meat, on top of the rice (think of it as fried rice with macau sausage, with vegetables, and pure pork flavor, thanks to the drippings) equals another home run by Dedet dela Fuente’s Pepita’s Kitchen. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

16. Bao Carnitas y Salsa Macha (Mexico)

As baos are not traditionally Mexican, this modern take on the Carnitas taco by chef Carlos Franco of Tomatito had us initially baffled, but with every bite of the slow-cooked pork with its vegetables and green salsa, we found ourselves appreciating the texture and the heft that the bao gives each bite, and that one bao wasn’t enough. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

17. Casablanca Cake (Morocco)

Tilde Café makes exceptional baked goods, including cakes. For this dinner, chef Ginny De Guzman served generous slices of a beautiful cake – filled with walnuts, pistachio, candied oranges, with layers of buttercream and meringue — like a festive Moroccan sansrival. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra